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Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
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Open Technology Initiative Report Shows U.S. Lagging in Broadband | community broadband networks

Open Technology Initiative Report Shows U.S. Lagging in Broadband | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation just released a report titled "The Cost of Connectivity." The report, authored by Hibah Hussain, Danielle Kehl, Benjamin Lennett, Chiehyu Li, andPatrick Lucey examines 22 cities across the planet for speed, triple play offerings, and what consumers can get for $35. The results, unfortunately, are not surprising. From the Report Summary:

 

'The results indicate that U.S. consumers in major cities tend to pay higher prices for slower speeds compared to consumers abroad. For example, when comparing triple play packages in the 22 cities surveyed, consumers in Paris can purchase a 100 Mbps bundle of television, telephone, and high-speed Internet service for the equivalent of approximately $35 (adjusted for PPP). By contrast, in Lafayette, LA, the top American city, the cheapest available [triple play] package costs around $65 and includes just a 6 Mbps Internet connection. A comparison of Internet plans available for around $35 shows similar results. Residents of Hong Kong have access to Internet service with symmetrical download and upload speeds of 500 Mbps while residents of New York City and Washington, D.C. will pay the equivalent price for Internet service with maximum download speeds that are 20 times slower (up to 25 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 2 Mbps).'

 

'The results add weight to a growing body of evidence that suggests that the U.S. is lagging behind many of its international counterparts, most of whom have much higher levels of competition and, in turn, offer lower prices and faster Internet service. It suggests that policymakers need to re-evaluate our current policy approaches to increase competition and encourage more affordable high-speed Internet service in the U.S.'

 

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Google Launching Free 5/1Mbps Internet, 1Gbps Service for $70 a Month in Kansas City | Stop the Cap!

Google Launching Free 5/1Mbps Internet, 1Gbps Service for $70 a Month in Kansas City | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google formally announced its new fiber to the home service to residents of Kansas City today with game-changing pricing for broadband and television service.For $70 a month, Google will deliver consumers unlimited 1Gbps broadband service.

 

For an additional $50 a month, customers can also receive a robust television package consisting of hundreds of digital HD channels, and throw in a free tablet (they call it ‘the remote control’), free router, free DVR with hundreds of hours of storage, and access to Google’s cloud backup servers.

 

Google has also found a solution to affordable Internet for poorer residents. The company is promising free 5/1Mbps service for up to seven years if customers will pay a $300 installation charge, payable in $25 installments.

 

Customers who agree to sign up for multiple services and a service contract can waive the $300 installation charge.

 

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Cable Industry Blames Google, Netflix for Bottlenecks - Thinks FCC Should Now Name and Shame Content Companies | DSLReports.com

An amusing blog post by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association popped up over at their CableTalk website last week. In it, the cable lobbying organization pats itself on the back for the cable industry's improved showing in a recent FCC study that showed ISPs are improving (but still have work to do) in terms of actually delivering the speeds they advertise.

 

You would think that the cable industry would want to just take their kudos and move on, but the NCTA apparently couldn't help themselves when it comes to taking a few veiled shots at Google and Netflix, suggesting they might be the problem when it comes to speedy connectivity:

 

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Google Unveils Superfast Internet in Kansas City, Mo. | NYTimes

Google Unveils Superfast Internet in Kansas City, Mo. | NYTimes | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Encouraging residents here to rally each other, Google on Thursday unveiled the highly anticipated details of its new ultrahigh-speed Internet network, which is supposed to run 100 times faster than typical broadband connections.

 

The service, known as Google Fiber, will offer residents in selected parts of the metropolitan area in both Kansas and Missouri the option of purchasing the gigabit Internet service for $70 a month or both the Internet and a television service for $120 a month. The TV service, Google said, comes with a Nexus 7 tablet that serves as a remote.

 

The announcement, made in a plaza on the Kansas-Missouri state line, is Google’s venture into a world of broadband providers who have looked skeptically at the company’s effort. Some have branded it a publicity stunt that will do little to advance the country’s broadband agenda. Typical broadband providers undertake the costly task of providing service to millions of homes, while Google’s prototype will reach far fewer customers – the initial round here is available to about 170,000 homes.

 

But Google executives said they were hoping to bring Internet speeds up to date with existing technology, noting that the current average household broadband speed was only slightly faster than it was 16 years ago when it was first introduced in homes.

 

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Google Fiber puts it on the (state)line with announcement | Kansas City Business Journal

Google Fiber puts it on the (state)line with announcement | Kansas City Business Journal | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google Fiber appears to have set up shop in a Westport building for the time being.

 

The Google team plans to announce details of its incoming ultra-fast Internet network at an invitation-only event scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday.

 

In a Wednesday blog, Google Fiber’s general manager, Kevin Lo, encouraged the world to watch the announcement live on YouTube.

 

But local media and stakeholders attending the announcement in person have been instructed to head to a building at 1820 Westport Road, near the Missouri-Kansas border at Stateline Road.

 

A Google spokeswoman declined to say whether the location would serve as Google Fiber’s local headquarters or if the site merely was an announcement locale.

 

Chances are the location will have some longevity.

 

The building — and one nearby on the same corner — has been undergoing a high-end refurbish this month, according to a source close to the project.

 

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Is Broadband Must-Have Resource for Economic Recovery? | CNBC

Is Broadband Must-Have Resource for Economic Recovery? | CNBC | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The global economic recovery has been anything but uniform—discriminating in many cases from country to country and more closely to home between states and cities.

 

Economists and politicians are working diligently to identify characteristics that are driving this disparity.

 

One key element that does not get the attention it is due is broadband access.

 

The Internet has become an important resource with real economic impact: every 10 percent increase in broadband penetration within a country drives a 1.3 percent additional growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to a recent UNESCO/ITU Broadband Commission report.

 

While access to Internet connections has grown dramatically, it has been outpaced by advancement of applications including more rich content, video, voice and other features that demand a high speed connection that require broadband speeds, making broadband access critical.

 

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BroadbandBreakfast.com: Update from the FCC’s July Open Commission Meeting

As part of its July Open Commission meeting, the Federal Communications Commission gave an update of its Measuring Broadband America report. This follow-up was the result of further collection of data from the over 7,000 measurement devices given to volunteers around the United States, and to show how the initial report affected Internet Service Providers’ broadband offerings.

 

The round of testing conducted in April 2012 included measurements taken from consumers using DSL, cable and fiber. The thirteen ISPs that were tested serve approximately 80% of broadband users in the country. The latest round of testing showed significant improvement in both ISP speed and accuracy of advertised speeds, even at peak hours – between 7:00 PM and 11:00 PM on weeknights.

 

At peak times, five ISPs now provide speeds at or exceeding 100% of their advertised speeds, compared to only two ISPs in the March 2011 testing. Also, the accuracy was not improved by a decrease in advertised speeds, but rather by improved network performance. All three technologies for delivering broadband improved from the previous testing round, though ISPs were generally more accurate in their upload than download speeds.

 

The report noted that consumers are adopting faster tiers and greater speeds. The average user’s tier speed was 11.1 Mbps in March 2011, but that increased almost 30% to 14.3 Mbps in April 2012. Actual speed increased even more because users adopted higher tiers, jumping from 10.6 Mbps to 14.6 Mbps, nearly 38%.

 

The adoption of higher tiers means that users could consume more data – whether by higher overall Internet usage or by more use of data-intensive applications. In last year’s testing, the highest speed offered was 35 Mbps, this year seven ISPs offer speeds of 50 Mbps or greater, with four of those offering speeds of at least 100 Mbps in some areas.

 

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How to Tackle Broadband Adoption by the Nation’s Underserved Populations | BroadbandBreakfast.com

How to Tackle Broadband Adoption by the Nation’s Underserved Populations | BroadbandBreakfast.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Last week, the fourth year of the Broadband Breakfast Club Series came to an end with a timely panel on “Bringing Broadband Adoption to the Nation’s Underserved Population.” Panelists from the private, nonprofit and state government sectors came together to discuss what can be done to promote broadband usage in order to connect the one third of our nation that still does not have a broadband connection at home.

 

While physical access to broadband connections remains a major concern for adoption, the panel focused most of its attention on the other prongs of adoption which involve cost education and relevance. Efforts to subsidize cost of service cost of hardware along with digital literacy efforts were the primary concern of the panelists.

 

Just last week, Chairman Genachowski of the Federal Communications Commission and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, announced a nationwide digital literacy partnership between the 2,800 American Job Centers and Connect2Compete (C2C) extending the digital literacy training coalition to thousands of communities across the country.

 

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Perfect storm for managed service, co-lo and cloud industries | NetworkWorld

Perfect storm for managed service, co-lo and cloud industries | NetworkWorld | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Even with the cloud computingmarket growing at more than double the pace of the managed service and colocation industries, analyst Philbert Shih of Structure Research told a conference of hosting providers Monday that their sector is still well poised for growth into the future.

 

There is a "perfect storm" of events that leave outsourced IT functions, including managed hosting, colocation and cloud all well positioned for future growth, says Shih, who spoke at the annual HostingCon 2012 event in Boston.

 

"This is a snowball rolling down a slow, gradual hill," says Shih, noting that outsourcing IT will continue to be a dominant trend for years to come.

 

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Economic Impact of fiber in Lake County, MN | Blandin on Broadband

The Grand Forks Herald recently featured the story of Lake County Internet efforts. We’ve talked about the project before – which is an ARRA-supported project intended to bring fiber to are.

 

The incumbents fear that the ARRA loan is too much and that taxpayers will end up paying back the hefty loan…

 

'County officials estimate they need 65 percent of households to subscribe in order for them to repay their loan.'

 

'Larson, of Medicacom, doesn’t believe that’s realistic. He said to reach that number, the county will have to sign up a lot of new subscribers in rural areas, as well as take the majority of customers away from existing providers in larger towns like Two Harbors.'

 

“It’s going to fail,” he said. “I don’t know how else to say it more plainly than that to the taxpayers of Lake County. It’s going to fail, and they’re going to have to pay it back.”

 

Local leaders feel that the County needs the fiber to increase safety and economic opportunities…

 

'But Lake County Commissioner Paul Bergman said Mediacom has not improved or expanded its service, and could have itself applied for stimulus funds.'

 

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The PCAST Report And The Inconvenient Truth About Federal Spectrum. | Public Knowledge

The PCAST Report And The Inconvenient Truth About Federal Spectrum. | Public Knowledge | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We have all kinds of reality-challenged folks in Washington. We got those who believe that we need to go back to the gold-standard and abolish the Federal Reserve. We got those who think vaccinations cause learning autism. To this we can now add “the folks who think we can keep finding federal spectrum to auction forever.”

 

Case in point, the reaction by some to last week’s report on the future Federal spectrum management by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). The PCAST Report fond that we won’t clear big chunks of spectrum for auction anytime soon. We therefore ought to consider other ways that will make spectrum available for commercial use and simultaneously make federal spectrum users more efficient. This means moving from a world that treats exclusive federal allocations (occassionally cleared for exclusive commercial applications) as the norm to a world that treats sharing federal spectrum with commercial users as the norm.

 

You would think the spectrum-starved commercial wireless industry would welcome the chance to get access to Federal spectrum, even on a non-exclusive basis, with cheers and open arms. Sadly, to the collection of incumbents and spectrum old guard still living in the 1990s, this admission is anything from a “white flag of surrender” to yet-another-sinister-conspiracy by Google, Microsoft and other socialists within the Obama Administration to undermine the licensed carrier way of life.

 

As some of us have argued for some time, we face a basic reality that runs up against clearing more spectrum that has nothing to with the ideological “property v. commons” fights that took up so much time ten years ago when Wi-Fi and mesh demonstrated the value of unlicensed “shared” spectrum.

 

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Senate Commerce Looks at Cable Act Overhaul | C-SPAN

Senate Commerce Looks at Cable Act Overhaul | C-SPAN | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Because of great strides in the television marketplace, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is taking a fresh look at the twenty-year-old Cable Act on Tuesday.

 

The hearing, chaired by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), discussed changes in television technologies over the past two decades. It focused on examining the effectiveness of the Must-Carry law, a 1992 law currently in place for the cable industry.

 

The Must-Carry law requires a variety of local broadcast stations to be viewed on pay-TV platforms. Today’s Must-Carry rights were enacted by Congress in the 1992 Cable Act, which the Supreme court upheld in 1997. Congress then found that cable systems have an “economic incentive” to alter their local broadcast signals and that, without Must-Carry rules, broadcasters' viability is jeopardized.

 

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Google, Facebook, Amazon, eBay form new Washington lobbying group | Wash Post

Google, Facebook, Amazon, eBay form new Washington lobbying group | Wash Post | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google, eBay, Amazon and Facebook are launching a lobbying group, The Internet Association, to try to raise their voice in Washington as federal officials focus their sights on their largely unregulated tech industry.

 

Leading the group will be Michael Beckerman, former deputy staff director of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and longtime adviser to Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich).

 

The association is expected to officially launch in September, when it will release its full list of sponsors and members. Its most prominent members are Silicon Valley giants Google, Facebook, eBay and Amazon, according to a person familiar with the group’s plans. Those firms face a slew of regulatory issues that directly affect their businesses: privacy legislation, online sales tax reforms, cybersecurity and proposed anti-piracy and copyright laws.

 

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Orangeburg County, South Carolina, Moves Ahead With Stimulus-Funded Broadband | community broadband networks

Orangeburg County, South Carolina, Moves Ahead With Stimulus-Funded Broadband | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Orangeburg County, South Carolina, received $18.65 million in broadband stimulus funds for high-speed broadband (which we previously noted). Unfortunately, AT&T and its friends at ALEC have since pushed through a state law to limit local authority in building networks.

 

According to the Broadband Adoption Map from the Investigative Reporting Workshop of the American University School of Communication, Orangeburg County has a broadband adoption rate of 20-40% as compared to the national rate of 60%.

 

Not only has AT&T refused to invest in modern networks in much of South Carolina, it is not even bothering to accept a federal subsidy that would underwrite some of that cost. Which is actually good for the rest of us, because subsidizing any AT&T activities is a very poor use of taxpayer dollars.

 

But Orangeburg is moving forward on its own. The Orangeburg County Council approved a $2.4 million contract with Edwards Telecommunications to complete the third phase of their project. This phase alone will use 171 miles of fiber and add 902 households to the network. Two more phases are scheduled before the entire project is complete.

 

According to a Gene Zaleski Times and Democrat article:

 

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Could A New Data Plan Tear Your Family Apart? | Huff Post Tech

Could A New Data Plan Tear Your Family Apart? | Huff Post Tech | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Arguments around U.S. family dinner tables may soon go from who talked too much on the phone this month to who used up the family's Internet service.

 

Thanks to new metered pricing plans for Internet access unveiled by top U.S. cellular providers Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc families will be able to share a single data allowance for multiple devices. A drawback is the higher price of data in these plans.

 

The companies say the new plans are designed to help consumers save money and simplify their lives. Consumer advocates worry that they will instead make managing the family wireless plan more complicated than ever.

 

"I think what you'll see is a set of consumers that overbuy and you'll see consumers that don't buy enough and get charged overage," said John Breyault, National Consumers League vice president of public policy. Breyault added that consumers "are not that great at estimating their usage."

 

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Google Fiber to arrive this fall; $70 for gigabit service | Ars Technica

Google Fiber to arrive this fall; $70 for gigabit service | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google announced its highly anticipated Google Fiber service today, bringing 1Gbps Internet access to selected residents of Kansas City.

 

The service will be available for a $300 installation fee to households in Kansas City, and will launch this fall. It will also come with 1TB of Google Drive storage, and Google Fiber TV service. That includes high-definition cable channels and a DVR-style recorder that can record up to 500 hours of HD TV. The service is also going to be available symmetrically—meaning you can upload and download as much as you like at ridiculous speeds.

 

"We believe there's no need to wait," said Patrick Pitchette, Google's chief financial officer. "There's no need for caps. There's no need for slow—why slow?"

 

Google representatives pointed out that American ISPs have done a terrible job of maintaining high levels of speeds at low costs.

 

"Americans pay more per megabit than any other major world economy," said Milo Medin, the head of Google's Fiber project.

 

Google also announced that it would be releasing a Google TV Box, a Fiber box, and a Storage box (which includes 2TB of storage). The company has decided that the Nexus 7 will be the main remote device and will come standard as part of the package deal.

 

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Google Fiber Announcement in Kansas City, July 2012 | YouTube.com Video

Google makes a special announcement about Google Fiber and the next chapter of the Internet in Kansas City, July 26, 2012.

 

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Study: Unified communications to hit $20.8 billion in 2016 | FierceEnterpriseCommunications

Study: Unified communications to hit $20.8 billion in 2016 | FierceEnterpriseCommunications | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A new report from market research and consulting firm COMMFusion forecasts the worldwide market for unified communications and collaboration services to hit $20.8 billion by 2016.

 

"The need for unified communications and collaboration (UCC) has never been greater, and the technologies continue to evolve to meet changing user needs," wrote Blair Pleasant, president and principal analyst of COMMFusion, in a post about the study. "The growing mobile workforce has led to the need for workers to communicate regardless of their location or device, and the rise of video communication and collaborative tools have created new ways for people to interact."

 

The report, Unified Communications & Collaboration Market 2011-2016, explores how trends like worker mobility, the virtual workforce, the consumerization of IT, bring your own device (BYOD) and virtualization are contributing to the growth of the unified communications sector. The next big opportunity, the study finds, will be hosted solutions—but the study predicts most enterprises will continue to opt for hybrid solutions of both premise-based and hosted for years to come.

 

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Broadband US TV - US Ignite--What's the Opportunity for Communities, Network Providers, and Developers Webcast

Broadband US TV - US Ignite--What's the Opportunity for Communities, Network Providers, and Developers Webcast | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

With the June launch of its US Ignite initiative, the White House has taken a bold step to stimulate creation of a new wave of services and applications that leverage advanced broadband networks running up to 100 times faster than today's Internet. A new public-private partnership with almost 100 partners to date, US Ignite will build on the National Science Foundation's GENI network to interconnect communities with advanced fiber networks to facilitate sharing of knowledge, experiences, and applications across multiple disciplines. The program is poised to match developers of advanced medical, public safety, energy, and other bandwidth-rich applications in these communities with experts who can help accelerate the development and commercialization of these applications.

 

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BroadbandBreakfast.com: A New Era for Broadband Use and Adoption? Collaborative Efforts Between Providers and Internet Educators Lead the Way

The existence of the Federal Communications Commissions Broadband Lifeline Pilot, and the emergence of national public-private organizations focused on computer training could herald the beginning of a new age of broadband adoption and use, said panelists at the Broadband Breakfast Club last week.

 

BroadbandBreakfast.com released the video of the event, which included participation by experts from Connect2Compete, the Benton Foundation, Comcast, the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, and a consultant. The event was moderated by Drew Clark, chairman and publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com, and also executive director of the Partnership for a Connected Illinois.

 

The FCC’s National Broadband Plan identified three areas that need to be addressed to getting all Americans online: the cost of broadband, basic digital literacy skills and the relevance of content available over broadband transmission. All three were featured in the discussion at Tuesday’s event.

 

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International bandwidth demand grows 45% | TeleGeography

Data from TeleGeography’s Global Bandwidth Research Service reveal that demand for international bandwidth grew 45% in 2011, and at a compounded rate of 57% annually between 2007 and 2011. Although growth has slowed since 2008, when network capacity increased nearly 70%, the pace remains brisk, with aggregate capacity requirements more than doubling every two years.

 

The rate of growth varies widely by region, and has been fastest on links to less-developed regions. Between 2007 and 2011, international bandwidth usage in the Middle East grew at a compounded rate of 98% annually, from 148Gbps to 2.3Tbps. Over the same time period, Africa’s international bandwidth usage increased 85% annually, to 677Gbps, and Latin America’s international bandwidth usage grew 71%, to 5.6Tbps.

 

International bandwidth requirements in Asia and Europe grew at a compounded rate of more than 55% between 2007 and 2011, while international bandwidth demand in North America and Oceania grew 47%. “Although international bandwidth usage growth is slower in these mature markets, their capacity requirements are far larger than those of emerging markets,” said TeleGeography analyst Jon Hjembo. “North America’s international bandwidth usage is nearly ten times greater than that of the entire Middle East, while used capacity connected to Norway is greater than that connected to all of the countries in Africa.”

 

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Latin American Networks to Share Stolen Handset Database | cellular-news

­Today GSMA Latin America announced the commitment of the main mobile network operators (MNOs) in Latin America to collaborate with the regional governments in initiatives designed to reduce mobile phone theft and related crime. This voluntary initiative of GSM networks will allow the sharing of stolen mobile device information in order to block stolen devices and make their trafficking and reuse across the region more difficult.

 

At a meeting of the Chief Regulatory Officers Group for Latin America (CROG Latin America), public affairs representatives of the regional networks agreed on the steps to start exchanging stolen handset information via the GSMA's IMEI Database. The agreement implies the information shared between MNOs be used to identify devices reported as stolen from users to ensure they are recognised and eventually blocked subject to local regulations.

 

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The Big News about Google Fiber in Kansas City? | Gigabit Nation on BlogTalk Radio

The Big News about Google Fiber in Kansas City? | Gigabit Nation on BlogTalk Radio | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

People are making a big deal over the Google announcement this week about their fiber project in Kansas City. But what does it really mean to KCK and KCMO? To the rest of the U.S.?

 

The Co-Chairs of the Mayor's Bi-State Innovations Team, Michael Burke and Ray Daniels, are key stakeholders assisting the two cities maximize Google's fiber initiative. The Team recently

released “Playing to Win in America’s Digital Crossroads", 

a report that advises KC stakeholders how to benefit from the highspeed network.

 

Burke and Daniels help us analyze the Google announcement, and give us insights to what's next in KC's drive for gigabit broadband. They also discuss the previous day's international summit initiated from KC that addressed management issues that can help or hinder broadband initiatives.

 

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No credit for Uncle Sam in creating Net? Vint Cerf disagrees | CNET News

No credit for Uncle Sam in creating Net? Vint Cerf disagrees | CNET News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Vint Cerf is one of the privileged few computer scientists who can claim to have helped change the course of history. His pioneering work with Robert Kahn led to the development of the TCP/IP networking protocols, which would underpin the Internet. Both Kahn, who at the time was on the payroll of the Defense Department, and Cerf received government funding for their research. Ditto for much of the collaborative work undertaken by Cerf and the other now-legendary names involved in creating the myriad integuments of the Internet. (You can find a good narrative of their labors at this site managed by the Internet Society.)

 

However, the role played by the U.S. government in the history of the Internet has suddenly turned into a topic of debate. On Monday, former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz offered a decidedly revisionist take with a column titled, "Who Really Invented the Internet?" In the piece, Crovitz cast doubt on the assertion that the U.S. government deserved credit for helping create the Internet. He described the claim as an urban myth. Instead, Crovitz, who said that Xerox deserves the credit, refracted the question through a different lens: "It's important to understand the history of the Internet because it's too often wrongly cited to justify big government," he wrote.

 

In an e-mail Q&A, Cerf, nowadays working as an Internet evangelist at Google, offered his vivid recall of what it was like to be present at the creation and a different recollection about what it was like during those heady days.

 

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FCC may bring utilities frequency relief | FierceSmartGrid

FCC may bring utilities frequency relief | FierceSmartGrid | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal would give utilities free access the underutilized 4.9 GHz radio spectrum, a frequency range currently dedicated exclusively to public safety organizations.

 

50MHz of space, located on the 4.9 GHz band, was given to public safety organizations back in 2002. Credit: iStock

The 50 MHz of space, located on the 4.9 GHz band, was given to public safety organizations back in 2002. But the FCC estimates fewer than 3 percent of those eligible actually hold licenses to operate in this space.

 

"Whatever the reason for the band's woeful underutilization, the good news is that today we are starting anew…I look forward to engaging with my colleagues and interested parties and I hope that we will proceed mindful of the years we've lost," said FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, in a statement included with the June 2012 proposal.

 

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