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, March 24

Rebuilding Haiti

By Brad

The Washington Post reports on an innovative idea to help rebuild Haiti’s infrastructure following the country’s devastating earthquake in January:

John Stanton, founder of Voice Stream and former chief executive of T-Mobile USA, wants the Haitian government to forget about rebuilding its copper wire communications network. Instead, he thinks Haiti should go mobile.

“Necessity is the mother of invention,” Stanton said.

Stanton pitched the idea at the CTIA trade show in Las Vegas, and announced that his company Trilogy would be willing to contribute as much as $100 million to the effort.

Later in the Post article, a familiar name offers some insight:

Experts say any project to rebuild infrastructure in the nation should be open to competition. That would include laying down fiber for a stronger backbone to connect calls. Dozens of new cellphone towers would be raised to support traffic that will grow as Internet use takes off.

“It can be a fantastic opportunity, but all over the world there is also a push to have a mix of wireless and fixed-wire networks supporting broadband and communications,” said Bruce Mehlman, co-president of the Internet Innovation Alliance and former assistant secretary of commerce for technology policy. “And you must make sure that this doesn’t preclude any competition.”

Pay to Play (With Girls)

By Brad

Anyone who has spent time fragging fellow players in Halo or Call of Duty knows that, for the most part, Microsoft’s popular online service Xbox Live is dominated by males — usually potty-mouthed, immature males. And now, in true American fashion, the lack of female players has inspired a new enterprise. IGN reports:

What if you could pay a bit of cash to play Modern Warfare with an attractive girl? Or maybe relax with a casual game of checkers while you video chat with said female? A new social service launching tomorrow, March 23, called GameCrush is hoping there are gamers out there willing to pay for the opportunity to play with girls.

Milestone of the Day

By Brad

How big is mobile Internet becoming? According to Ericsson, very big:

Mobile data surpassed voice on a global basis during December of 2009, Ericsson announced today at the CTIA Wireless 2010 convention in Las Vegas. This finding is based on Ericsson measurements from live networks covering all regions of the world.

Ericsson’s findings show that data traffic globally grew 280% during each of the last two years, and is forecast to double annually over the next five years. The crossover occurred at approximately 140,000 Terabytes per month in both voice and data traffic. The data traffic increase is contributing to revenue growth for operators when more and more consumers use data traffic generating devices such as Smartphones and PCs. During the same period, Ericsson measurements show that traffic in 3G networks surpassed that of 2G networks.

While such a milestone is impressive, GigaOm wonders if the increased use of mobile broadband will lead to trouble down the road:

[T]hat data traffic was generated by an estimated 400 million smartphones set against 4.6 billion mobile subscribers making voice calls. What happens when everyone has a smartphone?

Tuesday, March 23

Four Encouraging Things About the National Broadband Plan

By Brad

National Broadband Plan

At the Huffington Post, IIA Broadband Ambassador Navarrow Wright digs into the FCC’s National Broadband Plan and highlights four points he finds encouraging:

[T]his plan has a real-world focus. Probably the best parts of the report deal with the specific ways broadband will improve our lives. The plan has clear, almost futuristic detail on what broadband means for us. Start with jobs and economic growth - probably the single most important issue in the country now. Today’s entrepreneurs can’t grow an effective business and generate jobs without high-speed Internet access, which offers low barriers to entry. But the plan also covers online education to help the unemployed or underemployed, improved energy efficiency and better healthcare at less cost.

On that last point, a nursing home can cost $200 a day. But a wireless health monitoring system for someone living independently costs half that much per month. Do the math.

Read Navarrow Wright’s full op-ed at Huffington Post.

Broadband Fact of the Week


Fact of the Week

Minority-owned small businesses are growing four times faster than all U.S. firms, accounting for over 50% of the 2 million businesses started in the U.S.

Matt Warner, “Opportunities For Disadvantaged Businesses,” Blogband. October 6, 2009.

Read more facts about broadband.

Monday, March 22

IIA Video: David Sutphen


IIA Co-Chair David Sutphen speaks about the the specifics of digital literacy and the digital divide.

Crazy Stat of the Day

By Brad

Every 60 seconds, more than 24 hours of video content is now submitted to YouTube. Seriously.

Transparency in the Digital Age

By Brad

The Public Online Information Act of 2010,  submitted in Congress by Rep. Steve Israel [D-NY], would require the Executive Branch to “publish all publicly available information on the Internet in a timely fashion and in user-friendly formats.”

Questions for Congress

By Bruce Mehlman

At the Washington Post, tech writer Cecilia Kang offers 10 smart questions for Congress to ask FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski about the National Broadband Plan.

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 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

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. 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.

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