By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist
At a time in the United States when political opinions seem to fly to the extremes, with no middle ground, it’s no surprise that the FCC’s recent report on broadband deployment evokes a similarly polarized reaction.
Of the five commissioners who authored the report, three (including chairman Julius Genachowski) seem to believe that 95% penetration of fixed broadband by any technology (see graphic) is cause for alarm, citing the lack of broadband in rural areas and tribal lands. Two of the three commissioners filed dissents to the conclusions of the report.
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Tags: broadband, FCC, infrastructure, policy, social and economic development
On Saturday, March 10, Jasmin Melvin published the story “Web Giants Face Battle Over ‘Do Not Track’, Other Consumer Privacy Legislation.” The U.S. government, and governments around the world, have their eyes set on Google, Apple, and Facebook and their current and future policies in regards to internet privacy laws. SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act, was the legislature’s first major attempt at regulating the Internet, and web giants like Google and Wikipedia responded with a day of blackouts, generating “3.9 million tweets, 2,000 people a second trying to call their elected representatives, and more than 5,000 people a minute signing petitions opposing the legislation.” SOPA may have failed, but you can be sure it won’t be the last attempt at regulation. This week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), plans to issue new recommendations for Internet privacy and data management policy.
You might think, “What’s the big deal, sure I want my privacy protected from Google, Facebook and the like, this is the United States of America.” Well, it’s not quite that simple. I agree, Google and Facebook can’t afford to get this one wrong: they would risk losing massive numbers of users who opt out, or choose new options that don’t track data or new features such as a “do not track” button. But decisions like this have massive consequences that go beyond personal privacy and data management. Read More »
Tags: ad revenue, ads, Altimeter Group, data, facebook, FCC, Google, internet, internet privacy laws, jeremiah owyang, privacy, social media, sopa, stop online piracy act
Ongoing investment in essential telecommunications infrastructure matters to everyone, whether they know it or not. This fundamental assertion will be a reoccurring theme in my commentary. My belief is deep-rooted, and it goes back to the beginning of my work experience. As a young man, my first job in the telecom industry was at The Commercial Cable Company, a subsidiary of ITT Worldcom in London, England.
Back in the 1970s, I had the opportunity to join what was then a leading international record carrier, that was also an early pioneer of unique data services. I was schooled in the application of electronic teleprinters, private line services and store-and-forward message switching systems. I quickly learned about the socioeconomic benefits gained from deploying telecom facilities, while assigned to support the communication needs of numerous private and public institutions.
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Tags: broadband, FCC, global networked economy, infrastructure, innovation, internet
Significant news today from the federal agencies whose job it is to find 500 MHz of radio spectrum needed for the booming mobile broadband market, 300 MHz of that needed in the next five years.
First, the National Information and Telecommunications Administration in the Department of Commerce announced that it would soon be releasing a report that will identify 115 MHz of spectrum available for commercial broadband in the next 5 years: 1675-1710 MHz and 3550-3650 MHz. NTIA also said it would continue to examine 20 MHz of spectrum on both ends of the 4200-4400 MHz band for possible use, as well as potentially relocating federal users at 1755-1780 MHz.
Meanwhile, across town, the Federal Communications Commission hosted a day-long Spectrum Summit. At that Summit, the FCC released the results of a new study: “Mobile Broadband: The Benefits of Additional Spectrum.” I’m pleased that Cisco figures prominently in that study since the FCC used Cisco’s own Visual Networking Index demand data in evaluating the future demand curve for mobile broadband. The FCC’s study concludes that the demand growth will outpace both technology’s ability to become more efficient, and carriers’ ability to add more cell sites, so that by 2015, we’ll need 300 MHz of new spectrum to meet demand. If anything, the FCC’s prediction may be very conservative.
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Tags: broadband, FCC, mobile