The content presented in BTOP's Connecting America's Communities Map includes data provided by grant recipients, which was submitted during the annual and quarterly report process and is available on the BTOP website. The Map is updated annually and therefore, does not reflect current project status. The Map also contains certain information about planned project progress, and such information is subject to change. It does not include data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service's (RUS) Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP), although a list of BIP-funded projects is available on the State Dashboard.
Click headline to access maps based on state and zip code--
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa.) said he plans to stop blocking confirmation of two Federal Communications Commission nominees caught in the middle of his investigation into the agency’s handling of satellite venture LightSquared.
In a harshly worded statement, Grassley, the ranking Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the FCC appears to have shown preference to the private firm. He said the company benefited from regulatory decisions by the FCC because its business supported the agency’s quest to bring more broadband Internet to rural areas.
With new FCC documents provided by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Grassley said he is now able to move ahead with his investigation and will lift his hold on nominees Ajit Pai, a Republican, and Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat.
Their appointments will fill vacancies on the five-member FCC, which is at the center of controversies over broadcast political disclosure rules and decisions to put billions of federal dollars into wireless and other Internet projects.
The Federal Communications Commission voted 2-1 Friday morning to require broadcasters to post political ad data on the Web, making it easier for the public to see how as much as $3.2 billion will be spent on TV advertising in this election.
The files, which detail the times ads aired, how much they cost and whether stations rejected ad buy requests from campaigns, among other things, are currently available only on paper at each station.
The FCC rejected an industry push to water down the measure. But the adopted rule also has serious limits. For example, the data will not be searchable or uploaded in a common format.
The rule will first apply to affiliates of the four major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) in the top 50 TV markets. All other stations will have until July 2014 to comply.
“[L] arge areas of some swing states, like Virginia, Missouri, Wisconsin and Michigan, could see an influx of advertising in markets outside of the top 50,” the Sunlight Foundation noted in an analysis Friday.
Construction will soon begin on a segment of fiber optic network that will bring the potential for Broadband access to Cheboygan County.
According to Merit Network, who is coordinating the running of the main fiber, a portion of construction has been released to contractor J. Ranck Electric of Mt. Pleasant, Mich.
Roland Davidson, a project manager for J. Ranck, said permits have been completed and underground construction should begin in two weeks on a segment between Mullett Lake and the city of Cheboygan. The fiber will follow M-27, although traffic will not be affected. Motorists will see signs and flags posted.
It’s no secret that the entertainment industry can be rather one-sided in their views when it comes to piracy and copyright. This week, however, MPAA chairman Chris Dodd took this spin to the extreme. In a speech he referenced Hollywood’s history to argue how important copyright protection is. But, he forgot to mention that the US movie industry was actually built by rogue filmmakers, ‘thieves’ and ‘pirates’.
Spearheaded by the MPAA, Hollywood’s major movie studios continuously emphasize how copyright infringement costs them billions of dollars every year.
Pirates are ruining the industry and are the direct reason for the loss of thousands of jobs, they say. Better copyright protections are the solution, they conclude.
A recent example of this reasoning was displayed by MPAA boss Chris Dodd earlier this week at the CinemaCon meeting in Las Vegas. Dodd told the audience that copyright protection has always been vital to the US movie industry, and it’s copyright that has allowed Hollywood to thrive .
The MPAA used this to emphasize that the movie industry and the tech sector have a mutual interest in strong copyright legislation. Or put in his words:
Enterprise architects have been a staple of corporate IT departments for well over a decade now, starting in earnest with the advent of service-oriented architecture and corporate data modeling. The need for enterprise architecture was spurred by the need to gain control over an increasingly complex computing environment, and an increasingly large backlog of data and feature needs. But those needs are changing, and so is the job of the enterprise architect.
The use of the term “architecture” in this context comes, in part, from the idea that one can create a “blueprint” for how a business can run on technology. The “architect” is someone who looks at the materials available, interviews the “client” (aka the business) about desired form and functional outcomes, and engineers solutions to meet those needs.
As the corporation is a multi-”client” entity, the enterprise architect has been increasingly tasked with reconciling competing requirements to efficiently achieve form and function across the enterprise as a whole. To do this, enterprise architects were (and are) often granted control over large parts of how data, software and infrastructure are organized to efficiently address the greater good.
Like many college students, Wilhelmina Tsosie must go online to complete her assignments. But unlike the vast majority of Americans, she finds that the biggest challenge in her coursework is merely getting connected.
Tsosie is a member of the Navajo Nation, the Native American community whose sprawling reservation has long been isolated from the rest of the country -- an isolation now being reinforced by the digital age.
On a recent night, she endured a 30-mile drive along a dark desert highway to reach this town, her nearest access point to the Internet. She carried her laptop into a hotel that offers wireless access. In the dim light of the lobby, she hunched over the screen and finished an online exam.
Like many Navajos, Tsosie, a petite 34-year-old with glasses and a jet-black ponytail, can't receive basic Internet service at home, because her home is too remote. She and her husband and their two young children live near the peak of a tree-covered mountain, beyond the reach of Internet service providers, forcing her to drive long distances to get online.
This has never been easy, consuming time as well as gas money. Now, with local gas prices nearing $4 a gallon, Tsosie can no longer afford frequent trips to reach the Internet. She worries about the effects on her grades. Last semester, she failed a class after missing too many assignments -- the result of unreliable web access, she says.
Well, here's some good news on the copyright front down under in Australia. You may recall that, back in 2008, a bunch of Hollywood studios (along with two Australian movie studios, just to make it seem "local") sued Australian ISP iiNet for failing to "do enough" to stop infringement. As far as we can tell, Hollywood basically wanted iiNet to wave a magic wand. We later learned, thanks to a US State Department cable leaked via Wikileaks that, not only was the MPAA really behind the lawsuit (though it tried to keep its involvement secret), but that it chose iiNet (the third largest Australian ISP) on purpose: they were "big enough to be important" but not big enough to have the resources to fight back (in the tangled mind of the MPAA). This, like so many MPAA actions these days, turned out to be a serious miscalculation.
Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda will hold a keynote speech at this conference, organised by the European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA). Some of the topics that will be discussed include: Do we need industrial policy to achieve Digital Agenda targets? Will the market deliver the Commission's broadband targets on its own or should policy-makers be more pro-active? Should we favour fibre-to-the-home or be technology neutral? Should pricing be used to incentivise investment in NGA? Should policy-makers favour "infrastructure competition" or a "one-network" approach?
Click headline to read more and access hot link to ECTA site--
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has scheduled a hearing for April 24 on the migration of video from traditional TV to online, whether that is the future of content delivery and whether that could mean lower prices for consumers.
"It will examine the role that disruptive technologies play in facilitating this transition, and the business and legal models that foster the growth of this sector," according to Rockefeller's office.
The hearing comes on the heels of the FCC's request for comment on the definition of "multichannel video provider" and "channel" and whether an online video provider should be subject to the same obligations and responsibilities -- program access and carriage requirements, and must-carry -- as traditional video providers.
Verizon today announced a service that will let business users connect to their enterprise network from an LTE device without traversing the public Internet or requiring the use of an IPSec virtual private network.
The offering, dubbed Private IP Wireless, provides “secure, reliable and high-speed access to all business requirements,” said Stephen Goodman, Manager of Global Wide Area Solutions Marketing for Verizon Enterprise Solutions, in an interview.
When data from a Private IP Wireless customer reaches the cell tower, it will be sent to an enterprise gateway connected to Verizon’s MPLS network. From there it will connect “into your VPN that we’ve built at layer 3,” explained Goodman. “To the network, the mobile device is just another IP address.”
Goodman expects the offering to appeal to organizations with branch offices as well as to mobile workers. “LTE can be as fast, or faster, than a T-1” as well as a “cost-effective solution,” Goodman said.
According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. resulting in $73.7 billion being spent on stroke related healthcare costs. During a stroke, 1.9 million irreplaceable brain cells are lost every minute—so time is of the essence. However, new developments in the telemedicine field have opened up opportunities for hospitals to save stroke patients brought to the hospital for treatment.
New telestroke programs are not only starting but also expanding. For example, C3O Telemedicine formerly C30 Medical Group is currently partnering with Community Memorial Health System in Ventura California. Both the medical group and health system are using telemedicine so stroke patients now have immediate connectivity to highly skilled neurologists and neurointensivists.
C3O Telemedicine offers not only telestroke care but also neurocritical care, telepsychiatry, critical care, and teleICU and other telemedicine solutions.
Just a quick update on the ARRA-funded project in Anoka County. As you may recall, Anoka ia working on building fiber to anchor institutions – and they are hoping to find a last mile provider to serve local residents and businesses. In fact, part of my reason for mentioning their progress is to help them find a good last mile partner – so please feel free to share the news…
The western and southeastern areas of North Carolina have most of their anchor institutions connected to a fiber-based broadband network. Today, the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative has finished the first part of their project ahead of schedule.
The $144 million phase has installed the entire fiber infrastructure. In addition to this they have activated the network and are now providing high-speed fiber-based broadband services to CAIs (Community Anchor Institutions). Schools from kindergarten to senior high, community colleges and universities are now using the broadband connections.
Healthcare facilities, public safety and other institutions also received connections.
Funding for the project was primarily through the BTOP (Broadband Technologies Opportunities Project. The Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative contributed $24 million and FRC LLC, the primary installer for the first phase provided a $4 million investment. Some of the financing came from private donations.
By putting an office in Nevada, where there is a zero percent corporate tax rate, Apple avoids paying the millions of dollars in taxes that would be levied in California, the home of its headquarters.
The company is set to make $41.4 billion this year, which would mean lots of revenue for the various countries where it does business if it didn’t exploit tax loopholes.
Without such loopholes, Apple’s U.S. federal tax bill would have been $2.4 billion higher last year, according to Treasury Department economist Martin A. Sullivan. In total, the company paid $3.3 billion in international taxes on profits of $34.2 billion. Wal-Mart paid $5.9 billion on profits of $24.4 billion.
Tim Maylone, Cherry Capital Connection, shares a very important document from the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association about broadband in the rural community. Here’s an excerpt with a link following to the full report.
Pirate Party MEP Christian Engstrom and the Pirate movement’s founder Rick Falkvinge presented their views on copyright reform to the European Parliament this week. The Pirates want to bust the myth that their ideas only center around legalizing file-sharing and offer what they see as sensible alternatives to draconian legislation such as ACTA and SOPA.
“Today’s copyright legislation is out of balance, and out of tune with the times. It has turned an entire generation of young people into criminals in the eyes of the law, in a futile attempt at stopping technological development.”
These are the first words of a new book that two Pirate Party icons shared with all members of the European Parliament this week. In a time where copyright laws increasingly violate basic human rights, Pirate Party MEP Christian Engstrom and Rick Falkvinge want to break this trend.
Instead of merely pointing out what is wrong with current proposals such as ACTA, they’re going a step further by offering alternatives.
Everywhere from the White House to the local White Castle people are heavily promoting broadband as an antidote to economic woes. But what if a local economy is so far in the tank it appears to be on life support with no hope for resuscitation, even with broadband? At Broadband Communities Magazine’sBroadband Summit this week in Dallas, broadband and economic development become almost interchangeable. A whole track of sessions addressed how broadband is improving economic conditions.
However, extreme poverty in a number of rural and urban communities presents special challenges to some of today’s solutions being offered. As those with the highest hurdles grapple with and [hopefully] overcome their challenges, more fortunate communities should pay attention to what solutions bubble up. There could be lessons in innovation worth copying by everyone.
As European telecom policymakers end a workshop on global Internet policy this week, Verizon Executive Vice President Tom Tauke shared his ideas for an appropriate U.S. model for Internet governance. Speaking at a panel sponsored by NDN, Tauke said it is not surprising that other countries are pushing for a greater influence in the policies that make up the Internet’s physical infrastructure, a debate that will play out on a multi-national level over the next several months with impending changes to an international telecom treaty.
But the United States should take stock too, Tauke said, calling for development of a sound national technology policy that should principally be focused on the consumer. “We all should insist that Congress do what it is supposed to do – establish a sound national policy for the Internet ecosystem.”
Click headline to read more and access hot link to remarks--
April 21 is Earth Day -- an annual reminder of the importance of 'going green'. Today, broadband-driven tools are helping to save natural resources, save money for consumer and promote green job growth.
The new app, Opower, allows users to post their energy use to their Facebook pages and invite friends to note their consumption. The idea is that transparency and friendly competition may help spur greater energy savings. The shift can not only help the environment, but your wallet, too. According to the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), if every U.S. household cut electricity consumption by 1%, consumers would save a total of $1.6 billion on annual energy bills – the equivalent of taking more than 1.2 million homes off the grid.
News organizations cultivate a reputation for demanding transparency, whether by suing for access to government documents, dispatching camera crews to the doorsteps of recalcitrant politicians, or editorializing in favor of open government.
But now many of the country’s biggest media companies—which own dozens of newspapers and TV news operations—are flexing their muscle in Washington in a fight against a government initiative to increase transparency of political spending.
The corporate owners or sister companies of some of the biggest names in journalism—NBC News, ABC News, Fox News, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Politico, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and dozens of local TV news outlets—are lobbying against a Federal Communications Commission measure to require broadcasters to post political ad data on the Internet.
As we have recently detailed, political ad data is public by law but is not widely accessible because it is currently kept only in paper files at individual stations. The FCC has proposed fixing that by requiring broadcasters to post on the Internet details of political ad purchases including the identity of the buyer and the price.
Click headline to read more and access hot links--
We've expressed significant concerns about the Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, and her statements that copyright is for the author first. This isn't the first time we've had concerns about Pallante, who also strongly supported SOPA and testified at the House Judiciary Committee hearing in favor of SOPA. Usually, the heads of government agencies don't take specific positions on bills, especially when that position appears to favor one particular set of stakeholders over others. It certainly raises significant questions over the impartiality of the office.
Thankfully, some in Congress are noticing. Rep. Zoe Lofgren recently quizzed Pallante about these statements and about her testimony, during a House Oversight Committee meeting concerning the Library of Congress (which is in charge of the Copyright Office). Lofgren also dropped a bit of a bombshell, noting that the day before Pallante testified in favor of SOPA she was hanging out in Hollywood with top lawyers from the major MPAA studios. Pallante played it off as an attempt to talk more directly to stakeholders rather than lobbyists -- as if the top lawyers at the studios don't already have plenty of access with the Copyright Office and other government officials.
The consolidation of the nation's Tier 2/3 MSOs continued Wednesday as WideOpenWest Holdings LLC (WOW) plunked down US$1.5 billion in cash to acquire Knology Inc., a cable overbuilder that's been on a mini-M&A tear of its own. (See WOW! Buys Knology .)
With the addition of Knology, WOW will become the nation's thirteenth-largest pay-TV operator, with about 800,000 customers and 2.8 million homes passed in 13 states combined.
There's no system overlap, as both companies primarily operate cable networks that compete with incumbent MSOs such as Comcast Corp., Bright House Networks , Charter Communications Inc. , Mediacom Communications Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc., depending on the market. WOW's current footprint touches parts of Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana, while Knology serves pockets of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee.