Because every American
should have access
to broadband Internet.

The Internet Innovation Alliance is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American, regardless of race, income or geography, has access to the critical tool that is broadband Internet. The IIA seeks to promote public policies that support equal opportunity for universal broadband availability and adoption so that everyone, everywhere can seize the benefits of the Internet - from education to health care, employment to community building, civic engagement and beyond.

The Podium

Monday, March 22

Leaving China

By Brad

Via CNet, word has it that after fights over censorship — and a major cyber attack — Google is preparing to pull out of China:

After months of negotiations over whether it can run Google.cn with or without restrictions, it seemed that Google was getting ready to make a decision in the near-term future. However, according to a Financial Times report last week, Google is now “99.9 percent” certain that it will shut down Google.cn.

The rumored date for Google’s departure is April 10.

Update, courtesy of Ars Technica:

Google has officially stopped censoring search results in China, but in a somewhat roundabout way. Google.cn no longer works as a search portal—instead, visitors are being directed to Google’s service based out of Hong Kong, where taboo topics are not regulated by the Chinese government.

Whether China will simply block Internet users in the mainland from accessing Google Hong Kong remains to be seen.

Friday, March 19

We’ve Come a Long Way

By David

The Internet is the great equalizer and enabler in today’s global, digital economy – those not online have the most to lose. We are thrilled to see many months of collaboration between the public and private sectors come to bear in a historic National Broadband Plan. 

We’ve come a long way in the development of high-speed Internet, and going forward, the people who can benefit most from broadband connectivity should be the focus of every discussion on Internet policy. The plan provides a great opportunity to extend the power of connectivity to all Americans, consistent with the President’s goals and vision.

The Road Ahead

By Bruce Mehlman

National Broadband Plan

I applaud the FCC for presenting an ambitious plan that sets goals for greater broadband availability, adoption and speeds — all key to the advancement of our economic, health care and educational systems. 

The National Broadband Plan both highlights a decade of success and innovation in Internet technology and lays out the work that remains ahead. It has been estimated that hitting the targets outlined in the plan, including at least 90 percent broadband adoption by 2020, could cost as much as $350 billion. This plan could be powerful and positive provided strict new regulations are not imposed to undermine investment. 

At Long Last: A National Broadband Plan

By Brad

National Broadband Plan

It’s an historic day for America’s Internet, as this morning FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski officially released the National Broadband Plan.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski unveils the country’s first National Broadband Plan. The plan sets an ambitious agenda for connecting all corners of the nation while transforming the economy and society with the communications network of the future—robust, affordable Internet.

The full plan is available at Broadband.gov.

 

 

Thursday, March 18

Net Neutrality & the Digital Divide

By Brad

During the recent YouTube interview with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski about the National Broadband Plan, IIA Broadband Ambassador Navarrow Wright of Maximum Leverage Solutions submitted a question. Here’s video of Wright’s question and the Chairman’s response:

Wednesday, March 17

Step Aside, Google

By Brad

According to the analysis firm Hitwise, Facebook has for the first time toppled search giant Google from its perch as the most-visited website in America. CNN Money reports;

Facebook accounted for 7.07% of U.S. Web traffic that week, while Google received 7.03%.

While this is definitely good news for Facebook, it comes with one major caveat:

The study compared only the domains Facebook.com and Google.com—not, for example, Google-owned sites like Gmail.com.

A Chat with the Chairman

By Brad

Following the release of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan yesterday, Chairman Julius Genachowski sat down for an interview on YouTube:

A Disturbing Trend

By Brad

Via Ars Technica, a new report from the Simon Wiesenthal Center warns that hate groups are embracing social media networks like Facebook and YouTube:

Unsurprisingly, terrorists and other groups have become fans of social networks because that’s where the kiddies are—young people are particularly vulnerable to messages from these groups, and if Facebook is the best way to reach them, then that’s where the groups will go. SWC says that its members have met with Facebook officials to have some of these groups removed, “[B]ut with over 200 million users, online bigots have to date outpaced efforts to remove them.”

According to the SWC report, hate groups have increased online activity by 20% — in 2009 alone.

National Broadband Plan Wrap-Up

By Brad

National Broadband Plan

A sampling of online chatter following yesterday’s release of the National Broadband Plan. First up, the Huffington Post:

Among the cornerstones of the plan is a ‘shoot for the moon’ goal of connecting 100 million U.S. households to 100 megabits per second broadband service over the next decade. Goals of this ambition require an unshakable policy foundation that is unequivocally supportive of investment. This means the many rule-makings that likely flow out of this plan must be cohesive in nature—pulling in the same constructive and unifying direction and staying true to the Chairman’s early and firm commitment to fact-based, data-driven decisions.

From Business Week:

If the U.S. military ranked 17th in the world, you can bet that as a nation we would make strengthening our armed forces a national priority. Yet that’s just how the U.S. stacks up against the rest of the world in terms of access to high-speed Internet connections. The vital communications systems that make our economy work and serve as a platform for business innovation and social interactions are second-class. Sadly, many of us have accepted that.

It’s time to overcome our broadband complacency. The national broadband plan sent to Congress on Mar. 16 by the Federal Communications Commission is critical to our economic and national security. Without a plan, we simply cannot compete.

The L.A. Times:

The FCC’s plan calls for a dramatic expansion of affordable, high-speed Internet. A chief goal is to ensure that at least 100 million homes have access to networks that allow data downloads at speeds at least 20 times faster than what most networks now deliver.

The bulk of the recommendation can be enacted by the FCC, such as diverting money from a fund for affordable phone service to rural areas to be used for increasing broadband access.

But Congress would have to act on others, particularly changing rules for federal auctions of federal airwaves to entice some broadcasters to give up their spectrum so the airwaves could be used for wireless Internet access.

USA Today:

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn criticized the recommendation to coax, and possibly force, television broadcasters to give up some airwave spectrum. The plan aims to increase broadband competition by boosting the amount of spectrum for wireless Internet services to 500 MHz from 50 MHz.

She said that “it is certainly possible, if not likely” that the few minority-owned stations likely would be among the first to sell their spectrum. She says she would find a policy that further diminished that number to be “untenable.”

The Wall Street Journal:

The FCC report suggests that 100 million U.S. homes—of a total 112 million—should have “affordable access” to 50 megabit per second Internet service in five years. That’s about 10 times faster than most homes get today. But the plan doesn’t define affordable.

Nor does it offer a specific recipe for its aim. The FCC says it will ultimately propose dozens of new rule changes to enact some of the ideas in Tuesday’s report.

The New York Times:

The broadband proposal, which the agency sent to Congress on Tuesday, “is necessary to meet the challenges of global competitiveness, and harness the power of broadband to help address so many vital national issues,” the agency chairman, Julius Genachowski, said in a statement.

President Obama said the plan recalled the way “past generations of Americans met the great infrastructure challenges of the day, such as building the transcontinental railroad and the Interstate highways.”

Tuesday, March 16

Then & Now

By Brad

In 1996, the cable and telecommunications industry invested $5.7 billion in infrastructure; since then, they have invested more than $161.2 billion.

In 1999, there were just 105 different broadband providers across the United States; today, the FCC reports that there are nearly 1,400.

In 2000, there were approximately 7 million broadband lines; now there are more than 132 million.

In June 2000, 59 percent of U.S. zip codes had at least one high-speed Internet service provider available; today, broadband has been deployed to 100 percent of zip codes across the country and only 6 percent of U.S. homes don’t have access to any broadband services, according to the FCC.

According to the NTIA, 4.4 percent of U.S. households had adopted broadband Internet in August 2000; as of October 2009, this number had multiplied to 63.5 percent of U.S. households.

According to IIA Broadband Ambassador Bret Swanson, monthly Internet traffic was approximately 170 million gigabytes in 2004; as of October 2009, monthly traffic measured two billion gigabytes — a tenfold leap.

On July 30, 2008, the Internet Innovation Alliance was first out of the gate calling for a National Broadband Strategy; now, the Federal Communications Commission officially presents its National Broadband Plan to Congress.

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