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

Wednesday, February 10

Today in Ever-Expanding Google

By Brad

Not content with dominating search and online advertising (not to mention online video), Google has announced it is getting into the Internet Service Provider business. Details can be found on the official Google blog:

We’re planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States. We’ll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We plan to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.

The announcement prompted this response from social networking guide Mashable:

Although it sounds like we’re still some time from seeing Google’s fiber service available on a massive scale, this could represent a massive shift in the Internet ecosystem. Keep in mind that Google has also recently launched its own Public DNS service, as well as an alternative to HTTP that it calls SPDY. The company clearly thinks it can build a better Internet than the one we have today.

If it’s successful, Google will not only know what we do on their plethora of services, but also just about everything else we do on the Web (especially if Google becomes our ISP). Now, perhaps more than ever, the question of whether or not that’s too much power for one company to have is at the forefront.

The Mobile Broadband Explosion

By Brad

Via BetaNews comes a new study from Allot Communications that finds mobile broadband increased a startling 72% worldwide in the second half of 2009 alone. Leading the charge was YouTube, which was responsible for 10% of worldwide mobile broadband use.

This rapid increase of mobile broadband traffic shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, as CNet reports, Cisco is predicting an outright landslide in mobile traffic:

By 2014, researchers predict, mobile data traffic throughout the world will reach 3.6 exabytes per month, or an annual run rate of 40 exabytes. This is a 39-fold increase from 2009 to 2014, or a compound annual growth rate of 108 percent.

Researchers believe that the amount of data traffic traversing the mobile network by 2014 will be equal about 1 billion DVDs. By comparison that is about the equivalent of 133 times all the data that has ever been transmitted across a mobile network since networks first were launched in the 1980s until today.

Tuesday, February 09

IIA Video: Marcia Thomas-Brown


Marcia Thomas-Brown, Program Manager for the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved, discusses the economic benefits of broadband in the field of health care.

Monday, February 08

Net Neutrality & Investment

By Bruce Mehlman

Last week, Entropy Economics released a detailed report on the effects net neutrality would have on jobs. After examining the official comments submitted to the FCC, Entropy found that those who could be counted as “Net Neutrality Skeptics” directly employ 1,440,021 people. “Net Neutrality Supporters,” meanwhile, only employ 148,936 — a difference of 10 to 1.

The Entropy report also looked at the amount of Capital Expenditures for skeptics and supporters, and the result was even more startling. From an article at Digital Society by the report’s author, Bret Swanson (who is also an IIA Broadband Ambassador):

We have often noted the communications sector’s important capital investment role in the U.S. economy. In 2008, U.S. info-tech capital investment totaled $455 billion, or 43% of all U.S. non-structure investment. The communications service providers alone invest $65 billion or more annually. Among companies filing FCC comments, the Net Neutrality Skeptics invested $189 billion over the last three years, compared to $18 billion for the Net Neutrality Supporters. Two of the nation’s largest infrastructure investors, AT&T and Verizon, each have more employees than all the Net Neutrality Supporting companies combined.

Net neutrality supporters often dismiss the effect new regulations will have on private investment. But as the Entropy report makes clear, discouraging private investment from net neutrality skeptics would have a chilling effect on the U.S. economy. And with the FCC’s own estimates for the cost of a national broadband plan reaching as high as $350 billion, a reduction in private investment could put the goal of bringing broadband to everyone out of reach.

Broadband Fact of the Week


Fact of the Week

In the U.S., The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) projects that high-speed connections to the home would increase the number of telecommuters to 19 million by 2012. That would save 1.5 billion hours of commute time - and reduce gasoline consumption by 5 percent.

John T. Chambers, “Broadband Speeds Our Economy,” GigaOm, March 3, 2009.

More facts about broadband.

IIA in the News: David Sutphen in Ebony


IIA Co-Chairman David Sutphen has penned a piece for Ebony magazine about why the FCC should direct its attention to the National Broadband Plan and closing the digital divide, as opposed to divisive new regulations. Check it out.

Up is Down

By Brad

A curious side note to yesterday’s Super Bowl extravaganza (congratulations New Orleans!) was the fact that for the first time in 20 years, Pepsi didn’t advertise during the game. As GigaOm reports:

In December, the company said that it had decided to forgo the advertising frenzy that is the Super Bowl for the first time in over two decades (although Doritos, which is owned by Pepsi, will air several ads during the game). Instead, Pepsi said it would spend $20 million funding community renewal events across the U.S. that would be selected through a “crowdsourcing” project similar to Dell’s Ideastorm, in which users get to vote on the various proposals submitted by other users.

Pepsi’s abandonment of the biggest advertising day of the year in favor of a major Internet push wasn’t the only surprise, though, since Google — which has long shied away from traditional TV advertising — did have an ad during the game.

Friday, February 05

Focusing on Health Care

By Brad

Via Government Health IT, the FCC is putting a lot of thought into health care applications as it develops a national broadband plan:

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act called for the FCC to develop a plan for establishing broadband connections to the Internet as a way to spur business development, job creation and improvements in healthcare.

As part of the plan, the FCC will analyze health IT applications enabled by broadband, including electronic health record systems, video conferencing and remote monitoring, Kaushal said at a Feb. 3 conference sponsored by the mHealth Initiative, which advocates the use of cell phones and other mobile devices to improve healthcare.

Net Neutrality & Jobs

By Bruce Mehlman

Entropy Economics has published a new report examining the effect proposed net neutrality regulations would have on the U.S. job market. From the report (PDF):

Regardless of one’s view of long-term effects… there is little chance Net Neutrality regulations could improve the near-term jobs picture.

There is, on the other hand, a substantial possibility for harm. Net Neutrality could substantially reduce the willingness of service providers to invest in new wired and wireless networks. And it could do so immediately. Any capital expenditure reductions would directly affect tens of thousands of workers who build and maintain these networks. Capex reductions would also ripple through the whole network equipment and software value chain, starting with large companies like Cisco, Juniper, Alcatel-Lucent, and Qualcomm; then damaging the prospects of hundreds of smaller suppliers in the high-end semiconductor and software sectors.

Entropy also looked at the number of employees of both net neutrality skeptics and supporters, and finds that skeptics directly employ 1,440,021 people, while supporters employ just a fraction of that — 148,836.

Read the full report.

The Power of Social Networking

By Brad

When it comes to where people get their news online, a new report finds that Facebook is now fourth behind Google, Yahoo!, and MSN.

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