Thursday, October 29
How big of an event was last Sunday’s live U2 concert on YouTube? According to Variety, it generated close to 10 million streams around the world — the largest streaming event in YouTube’s history.
In the wake of the NTIA’s announcement that the first round of broadband grants would be delayed until December, many rural WiMAX providers are finding themselves in a tough stpot. From Wireless Week:
According to Luisa Handem, managing director of the Rural Mobile Broadband Alliance (RuMBA USA), the delay is affecting several RuMBA-affiliated companies and will both delay and jeopardize some wireless broadband programs initiated by the group’s members.
“Money needs to be on the ground and in the hands of those deploying broadband as soon as possible,” Handem said. “This is not welcome news.”
Wednesday, October 28
Last week, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) introduced a bill that would block the FCC’s net neutrality proposal. And now, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn) has introduced a similar bill in the House of Representatives. From Multichannel News:
Blackburn said the FCC has plenty to keep it busy regulating those media. “[L]et’s not add to their workload by giving them authority over the Internet,” she said in announcing the bill.
“As conceived by the FCC, network neutrality is counterproductive,” said Blackburn spokesman Claude Chafin. “It hurts the Internet and specifically for us, our constituent interest, is that it enables piracy by not allowing service providers to discriminate between sites that are transferring files illegally and those that are not.”
The FCC is currently seeking public comment on the proposed rules at OpenInternet.gov.
Via Broadcasting & Cable, the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) and Rural Utilities Services (RUS) — the two agencies in charge of distributing grants for broadband expansion — have decided to delay announcing the winning bidders by at least a month.
How would America’s Internet infrastructure fare in the wake of a flu pandemic? According to the Government Accountability Office, not well. From the Washington Post:
The Government Accountability Office reported earlier this week that if the flu reaches a pandemic, a surge in telecommuting and children accessing video files and games at home could bog down local networks.
And if that were to happen, it is not clear whether the federal government is prepared to deal with the problem, the GAO said.
During a national emergency, keeping America’s communications networks running is the job of the Department of Homeland Security. Unfortunately, the DHS doesn’t currently have a strategy to deal with the pandemic scenario. That means keeping America’s Internet running during a crisis could fall to Internet Service Providers. But as the Post reports:
Network operators such as Comcast, AT&T, Cox and Verizon are limited in their options. They could add bandwidth capacity and lay down private lines for essential workers, but that is expensive and would take too long. Shutting down certain Web sites or prioritizing traffic could run into technical and regulatory hurdles, the report said.
The GAO report was commissioned by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Tuesday, October 27
Business Week has an interview with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on his proposed net neutrality rules, the need for ongoing private investment, and America’s shortage of available spectrum. Check it out.
Earlier today, we announced David Sutphen will be joining me as co-chairman of IIA. David brings a ton of experience and insight to the national broadband debate, and I look forward to working with him on a daily basis.
David has already blogged about his joining IIA (see below), and you can read more coverage from the Washington Post and The Hill.
Social networking site Facebook is flirting with the macabre by allowing the pages of deceased members to remain active. Reports PC Pro:
The company says it will give previously confirmed friends of the deceased access to their “memorialised” Facebook page, which will continue to display photos and wall posts, but remove “sensitive information” such as status updates and contact information.
“When an account is memorialised, we set privacy so that only confirmed friends can see the profile or locate it in search,” the company’s Max Kelly writes on the Facebook blog. “Memorialising an account also prevents anyone from logging into it in the future, while still enabling friends and family to leave posts on the profile Wall in remembrance.”
Via Broadcasting & Cable comes word on a new study conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association that finds spectrum currently being held by broadcast networks — spectrum valued at roughly $62 billion — could mean $1 trillion in benefits if it is instead allocated for wireless broadband.
Monday, October 26
Today I officially join Bruce Mehlman as co-chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance. With our government currently working toward a national broadband plan, I couldn’t be joining this organization at a better time.
Broadband is the great equalizer. It has the ability to transform lives. Most importantly, it gives everyone — regardless of race, income, and geography — a chance to succeed in the economy of the future.
A true national broadband plan won’t leave anyone behind, which is why IIA will continue to encourage private investment — and smart policy — in order to bring vital broadband access to everyone. Only through the continuing partnership of industry and government can America achieve the goal of universal access.
Following in IIA co-founder and former co-chairman Larry Irving’s shoes will not be easy. But I’m positive that Bruce and I, along with all of IIA’s members and Broadband Ambassadors, will continue to work hard in order to help connect everyone in America to the power of broadband. This is an historic time for our country, and I’m honored to be a part of it.