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  • Joly MacFie 7:43 pm on 12/21/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: access, ,   

    @FCC announces launch of 14 #broadband adoption pilots 

    FCCThe Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it has saved $210m on its Lifeline program, mainly through eliminating fraud. Out of that $14m has been allotted to broadband adoption pilots in 21 states and Puerto Rico. Details below.

    Launch of 14 Broadband Adoption Pilots Across the Country

    Using $14 million in savings from reforms, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau has chosen 14 high-quality pilot projects to advance broadband adoption through Lifeline. The projects will provide critical data and rigorous analysis regarding how Lifeline can efficiently and effectively increase broadband adoption and retention among low-income consumers.

    Located in 21 states and Puerto Rico, the pilots will also provide broadband for nearly 75,000 low-income consumers who now lack service.

    Robust, affordable broadband has become essential to access jobs, education, and economic opportunity. Over 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies today – including Wal-Mart and Target – require online job applications. And students with broadband at home have a 7 percent higher graduation rate. But low- income households adopt broadband at much lower rates than the average household: Fewer than 36 percent of families with incomes less than $25,000 subscribe to broadband at home, compared to nearly 92 percent of families with incomes over $75,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    In order to rigorously test how best to use Lifeline to support broadband adoption, the pilots will gather data and provide analysis on a wide a range of geographic, technological, and programmatic variables. Projects include five wireless broadband projects, seven wireline broadband projects, and two offering wireline or wireless technologies. Seven will test discounted service in rural areas, including two on Tribal lands, and seven will test discounted service in urban and suburban areas. Variables that will be experimentally tested include the use of digital literacy training, equipment types, subsidy levels, speed ranges, and usage limits.

    The Pilot Program will run for 18 months, beginning on Feb. 1, 2013. Winners have three months to set up the pilots, and must provide one year of subsidized service. The pilots must complete data collection and analysis in the final three months. Following is a list of projects and the states in which they are located. A more detailed description of the projects is available in Appendix A of the Order, available at http://www.fcc.gov/document/14-projects-chosen-lifeline-broadband-pilot-program-competition.

    1. Frontier Communications Corporation (OH, WV)
    2. Gila River Telecommunications, Inc. (AZ – Tribal)
    3. Hopi Telecommunications, Inc. (AZ – Tribal)
    4. National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) Project (which includes the
    following carriers: Alpine Communications (IA); and Leaco Rural Telephone (NM))
    5. Nexus Communications, Inc. (OH, MI, IA, NV, CA, LA, MS, NJ)
    6. Partnership for a Connected Illinois Project (which includes the following carriers: Adams Telephone Cooperative; Cass Telephone Company; Harrisonville Telephone Company; Madison Telephone Company; Mid-Century Telephone Cooperative; Shawnee Telephone Company; and Wabash Telephone Cooperative (IL))
    7. PR Wireless, Inc. (Puerto Rico)
    8. Puerto Rico Telephone Company (Puerto Rico)
    9. T-Mobile Puerto Rico LLC (Puerto Rico)
    10. TracFone Wireless, Inc. project using smartphones (FL, MD, TX, WA, WI, MA)
    11. Troy Cablevision, Inc. (AL)
    12. Vermont Telephone Company, Inc. (VT)
    13. Virgin Mobile USA, L.P. (MA, OH)
    14. XChange Telecom Corp. (NY)

    Wireline Competition Bureau Staff Contact: Kimberly Scardino at 202-418-1442

     
  • Joly MacFie 3:31 pm on 12/18/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: access, , , , Scott Stringer   

    Scott Stringer “Start Up City” report calls for upgrading NYC Internet #startupcity @scottmstringer 

    Start Up CityOn December 11 2012 Manhattan Borough President, and candidate for City Comptroller, Scott Stringer issued “Start-up City: Growing New York City’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for All“. The report delineates 11 areas in which NYC can act to foster growth and access to its developing tech economy. Section 3 is devoted to connectivity, and is reproduced below:

    III. THE “FOURTH UTILITY”: IMPROVING INTERNET CONNECTIVITY IN NEW YORK CITY

    “It’s like the elephant in the room is that bandwidth here sucks…There has to be ways for the city to construct much better bandwidth availability for start-ups.” – David Pakman, Partner, Venrock111

    Defining the Problem: New York’s lack of reliable, high-speed internet is limiting the growth of Tech 2.0. Though entrepreneurs in New York have access to broadband, many of those we interviewed said that the City’s telecom infrastructure is well behind where it should be for a city vying to be one of the nation’s two leading technology hubs. In fact, many start-ups that have looked for affordable space in former industrial districts outside of Manhattan have had to abandon those plans after discovering highspeed internet connections were not available.

    Goal: Improve internet speed and reliability by increasing competition throughout the five boroughs and opening up government property to fiber optic cable.
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  • Joly MacFie 4:11 am on 11/22/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: access, pacinet, picisoc   

    PacINET “Access for All” conference underway in Fiji – webcast info #pacinet2012 @picisoc 

    picisocThe 10th annual PICISOC Conference, PacINET 2012, is underway in Suva Fiji from November 22-26. This year’s theme is ‘Access for All’, and the program is being coordinated to showcase access opportunities for internet users in the Pacific. Fiji time is UTC+13 or 17 hours ahead of NYC.

    What: PacINET 2012
    Where: Japan-Pacific ICT Centre, University of the South Pacific (Laucala Campus) in Suva Fiji
    When: November 22-26 (2000-0400UTC | 1500-2300 EST the day before)
    Program: http://www.picisoc.org/pacinet/pacinet-2012-november-22-26-suva-fiji/
    Webcasts: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ytcfiji2012 | http://www.ustream.tv/channel/pacinet2012
    Twitter: pacinet2012

     
  • Joly MacFie 7:25 am on 09/05/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: access,   

    VIDEO: ISOC-DC SENIORS 2020 including Pew report: Older Adults and Internet Use #seniors 

    Internet Society Washington DC area Chapter Breakfast Discussion: SENIORS 2020 – What’s Grandma Doing Online? at The Car Barn, WDC, on May 17, 2012.

    1) Older Adults and Internet Use – Mary Madden

    2) Introduction to BeClose – Liddy Manson

    3) Technology for Aging in Place – Laurie Orlov

     
  • Joly MacFie 4:35 pm on 08/08/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: access, , , nycha, the bronx   

    @NYCHA Digital Vans bring #Internet to #NYC projects #access #broadband #btop 

    A DNAinfo story Mobile Computer Labs Deliver High-Speed Internet to Public Housing details NYC Housing Authority’s two mobile computer labs.

    From the story:

    The air-conditioned vehicles, which NYCHA calls Digital Vans, are outfitted with eight laptops each and wireless Internet, which tenants can also access outside the vans on their own devices. Trained instructors travel with the vans to problem solve or, in some cases, to explain computer basics.

    The vans shuttle daily between 19 NYCHA developments across the city, including 10 sites in The Bronx, stopping at each development about once every two weeks. They are partly funded by a federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grant.

    Included is a good quote from NYCHA CIO Atefeh Riazi: ““I’ve never seen a seven-year-old do homework on a cellphone.”

    The Digital Vans’ locations can be ascertained by following @NYCHA.

     
  • Joly MacFie 2:42 pm on 06/29/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: access, , , , usa   

    Pew: 48.4% of U.S. adults access #Internet via cell phones #broadband 

    A new Pew survey Cell Internet Use 2012 finds that Americans are increasingly using cell phones to access the Internet.

    Some 88% of U.S. adults own a cell phone of some kind as of April 2012, and more than half of these cell owners (55%) use their phone to go online. We call these individuals “cell internet users” throughout this report, and this represents a notable increase from the 31% of cell owners who said that they used their phone to go online as recently as April 2009.

    Moreover, 31% of these current cell internet users say that they mostly go online using their cell phone, and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer. That works out to 17% of all adult cell owners who are “cell-mostly internet users”—that is, who use their phone for most of their online browsing.

    Pew cellphone use 2012

    The survey reinforces the idea of a “new digital divide”:

    Young adults and non-whites are especially likely to use their cell phones for the majority of their online activity:

    Nearly half of all 18-29 year olds (45%) who use the internet on their cell phones do most of their online browsing on their mobile device.
    Half (51%) of African-American cell internet users do most of their online browsing on their phone, double the proportion for whites (24%). Two in five Latino cell internet users (42%) also fall into the “cell-mostly” category.

    Additionally, those with an annual household income of less than $50,000 per year and those who have not graduated college are more likely than those with higher levels of income and education to use their phones for most of their online browsing.

    Read the full report:

     
  • Joly MacFie 12:15 pm on 05/18/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: access, , cuf, ,   

    New Tech City report – NYC Internet sucks! #nyc #broadband 

    New Tech CityThe Center for The Urban Future has issued a report – New Tech City – that details NYC’s rapid growth to tech industry pre-eminence in the last few years. However, the report states that that development is hampered by the poor state of Internet infrastructure in the city, citing the lack of availability, bandwidth, and competition.

    Here’s the relevant passage, in full.

    Bandwidth

    It’s not difficult to grasp why a strong, reliable broadband infrastructure is absolutely essential for tech companies built around the Internet and mobile technologies. What is surprising is that New York – the world’s media capital – could be behind the curve in having the bandwidth that the city’s tech companies need. Unfortunately, that appears to be the case. Over the course of our interviews for this study, the state of broadband connectivity in the city came up as the second most frequently cited threat to New York’s future growth in the tech sector.

    To be sure, we didn’t hear of a single tech company in New York that doesn’t have a broadband connection. And whereas virtually everyone we interviewed noted the challenge in finding talented engineers, bandwidth was cited as a problem by less than half of those we interviewed. However, it came up again and again. “It’s like the elephant in the room is that bandwidth here sucks,” says David Pakman. “You should be able to walk into any building and have at least 150 megabit connection available to you. There has to be ways for the city to construct much better bandwidth availability for start-ups.”

    A number of those we interviewed for this report told us that their Internet connection goes down on a relatively consistent basis. Some said that the problem is a lack of redundancy, since only one telecom provider offers high-speed service where they are located. Still others say that they had to abandon plans to relocate to former industrial districts outside of Manhattan that happen to offer inexpensive rents, solely because there is no broadband infrastructure in buildings there.

    “Bandwidth is one of the big, big constraints out there,” says John Borthwick of Betaworks. “It’s really crappy and there is uneven accessibility to bandwidth. I know a lot of our companies complain about this. Even here [at Betworks’ office in the Meatpacking district], we have FIOS in the building, which is good. But we don’t have a backup to it. Time Warner Cable doesn’t pass the building, so there’s no backup. And so if FIOS goes down, which is conceivable for a day, we’re screwed. Hopefully it won’t happen, but there should be redundancy to bandwidth.” Chris Dixon, the co-founder of start-up Hunch, the recommendation engine which was purchased by eBay in November 2011, recently blogged about the problems getting broadband at his company’s office, which is centrally located on 21st Street in the Flatiron district. “Amazingly, one of our biggest challenges being a NYC start-up has been getting reliable Internet access” Dixon wrote in December 2011. “It’s embarrassing how bad Internet access in Manhattan is.” [Chris Dixon, "Getting Broadband in Manhattan," December 2, 2011.]

    While a number of tech companies have a problem with spotty Internet service, another issue is that there are some commercial districts outside of Manhattan where it is still difficult to get a broadband connection, period. This problem is by no means widespread citywide. The gaps are mainly limited to a handful of former industrial neighborhoods – including several along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront – where the telecommunications infrastructure is roughly 100 years old. Because they were mainly filled with manufacturers who generally weren’t online, telecom carriers like Verizon never saw enough demand to justify the huge upfront cost of building out fiber optic lines to these commercial buildings. And since these districts had few residential customers, the economics never made sense for cable television companies like Time Warner and Cablevision to develop the infrastructure to serve these areas. The Center for an Urban Future’s 2004 report, “New York’s Broadband Gap,” detailed many of these problems.[Jonathan Bowles and Tara Colton, "New York’s Broadband Gap," Center for an Urban Future, December 2004.]

    The problem is that many of these older industrial districts are now appealing neighborhoods for tech start-ups – not to mention graphic design firms, fashion companies and other businesses and artisans – because they tend to offer much more affordable rents than in Manhattan office districts and, in many cases, are in close proximity to areas where many techies live today. But without a fast Internet connection, buildings in these districts become a nonstarter for tech companies. “There is a company I know of that is one of the most exciting new start-ups in NYC,” venture capitalist Fred Wilson blogged recently. “They are locating their new office in the emerging area in Brooklyn between DUMBO, Fort Greene, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This is a cool new neighborhood that could be home to a lot of start-ups looking for great workspaces at low rents. But there is no commercial grade Internet service in this neighborhood. Time Warner Cable wants this young start-up to guarantee them $80,000 in revenues so they can afford to dig up the street and lay the cables. That is nuts. We need to wire up this city from Staten Island to the Bronx, from Harlem to Rockaway Beach.” [Fred Wilson, "Talent and Bandwidth," AVC, January 6, 2011.]

     
  • Joly MacFie 1:28 pm on 05/14/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: access, developing countries, , , unesco,   

    ISOC-OECD-UNESCO report – The relationship between local content, Internet development and access prices #WSIS 

    Internet SocietyToday, May 14 2012, a joint ISOC-OECD-UNESCO report The Relationship between local content, Internet development and access prices  was presented at the WSIS Forum in Geneva by Janis Karklins, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General, Markus Kummer, the Internet Society’s Vice-President for Public Policy, and Taylor Reynolds, Senior Economist at the OECD.

    This important study finds that the three elements are inter-related and likely feed into each other in a virtuous circle: (i) better connectivity is significantly related to higher levels of local digital content creation. In essence, countries with more Internet infrastructure (at all income levels) are also the countries producing more local digital content as measured by Wikipedia entries and by web pages under a given country-code top-level domain; (ii) countries with more international connectivity have lower domestic broadband prices and countries with better domestic infrastructure have lower international bandwidth prices. The inter-linkages between the different elements lead to three key lines of policy considerations evolving out this research: (i) Fostering content development, (ii) Expanding connectivity, and (iii) Promoting Internet access competition.

    The Internet Society press release is below. More info: http://www.internetsociety.org/localcontent

     

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  • Joly MacFie 4:58 pm on 05/05/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: access, , ,   

    Video: Susan Crawford at #TNW2012 #internet #infrastructure #access 

    On April 27 2012 Susan Crawford gave a keynote at the Next Web Conference in Amsterdam. In her talk she gave a preview of the theme of her forthcoming book “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age

     
  • Joly MacFie 5:46 am on 03/03/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: access, , FTTx,   

    Report: Russia passing USA in #fiber 

    Dave Burstein in Fast Net News – Russia Passing U.S. In “Fiber” – reports that Russia is on the cusp of passing the USA in terms of percentage of residences reached, either directly by fiber, or by some fiber+LAN system.

    He says:

    All in the name. Korea’s #1 in penetration if 100 megabits on copper from fiber to the basement is “fiber.” Japan is #1 if only fiber all the way to the apartment is considered. The U.S. is far behind in either case, with the larger countries of Europe – except Russia – even further behind. Nearly 60% of Korean homes subscribe to one or the other and over 40% of Japanese. So do 27% of Lithuanians.
    Yes, Lithuania leads Europe. They, the Russians and other Eastern Europeans generally deliver broadband by fiber to the basement and copper to the apartment, Speeds are often 100 megabits; Russia often is near the top in average Internet speeds.
    “Fiber” in the U.S. only reaches 8% of homes. The vast majority of U.S. fiber lines are Verizon, which has essentially stopped building. Russia is at the same level, expanding rapidly. China is only at 4%, although they are expanding at a rate of 10M a quarter.

    (More …)

     
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