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

Thursday, February 25

The Great Firewall

By Brad

China, already one of the most restrictive nations when it comes to the Internet, is now forcing anyone who wants to create a website to meet with regulators and show proof of ID.

Today in Milestones

By Brad

Apple has announced that customers have now downloaded 10 billion — yes, billion — songs from the company’s iTunes service. Even more staggering: It took just seven years.

Wednesday, February 24

IIA Video: Brian Foley


Brian Foley, Provost of North Virginia Community College Medical Education Campus, discusses workforce development for the use of broadband.

Tuesday, February 23

Statement From IIA


IIA Co-Chairmen Bruce Mehlman and David Sutphen respond to the FCC’s new study “Broadband Adoption and Use in America.”

I commend the FCC for its leadership on broadband adoption and for recognizing the role the Internet plays in the American job market. We no longer operate in a brick-and-mortar economy. Broadband increases opportunities for American businesses large and small to succeed and advance and enables new job creation as well.Investing in Internet technology and infrastructure benefits all business sectors, and at a time when economic recovery is at the top of our national agenda, broadband advancement has never been more critical.

— Bruce Mehlman

The new FCC study underscores the need to remain focused on closing the digital divide by addressing the American public’s attitudes about broadband and reinforces the IIA’s belief that digital literacy must be a key component of the National Broadband Strategy, due to Congress next month. In a 2009 survey of 900 African Americans and Hispanics by Obama pollster Cornell Belcher, 43 percent of respondents cited not knowing how to use the Internet or not seeing the need for the Internet as the reason why they are not online, and 44 percent of those same minorities polled said they would be more likely to subscribe to Internet services if they were provided free lessons on how to use the technology. Bridging the digital divide and getting every American online should be our top priority—broadband Internet is the great enabler and the great equalizer.

— David Sutphen

Against Title II

By Bruce Mehlman

As proposed new regulations on the Internet continue to be debated, some of America’s major Internet providers — including Verizon, AT&T, and Time Warner, among others — have sent a letter to the FCC arguing that the broadband industry should not be classified as a Title II telecommunications service. From the letter:

Some net neutrality proponents believe that economic growth is propelled primarily by investment at the “edge” if the Internet, and not by network providers who operate the Internet’s core and access networks, but that is a dangerously flawed vision. Continued investment and innovation by each group mutually expands opportunities for the other. The greater ability of network operators to offer innovative, revenue-generating enhanced capabilities and features to application and content providers, the greater the ability of the network operators to expand the potential reach and robustness of those networks for consumers. And the better the network capabilities available to “edge” providers, the greater the opportunity for them to develop innovative services that increase consumer demand for broadband. The current, stable Title I regulatory environment has facilitated this “virtuous cycle” of investment and innovation all levels of the Internet, just as the Commission expected.

This is certainly no time to retreat from those policies. Many of our nation’s core priorities in education, health care, energy conservation, environmental protection, technological innovation, job-producing investment, and economic growth depend on the continued flow of private capital for deploying and expanding broadband networks.

Read the industry’s full letter to the FCC.

Twitter is Somewhat Popular

By Brad

Yesterday, popular micro-blogging service Twitter had some information to share. From the company’s official blog:

Folks were tweeting 5,000 times a day in 2007. By 2008, that number was 300,000, and by 2009 it had grown to 2.5 million per day. Tweets grew 1,400% last year to 35 million per day. Today, we are seeing 50 million tweets per day—that’s an average of 600 tweets per second.

From 5,000 to 50 million in just three years. Wow.

Surveying Broadband

By Bruce Mehlman

In advance of its deadline to present a national broadband plan to Congress on March 17, the FCC conducted a consumer survey on Internet usage. The commission will be presenting the results at the Brookings Institute today, but via Multichannel News here are some highlights:

The survey, a random phone survey conducted in October and November, found that 80 million adults (and 13 million kids) do not have high-speed Internet at home.

More than one-third of the non-adopters (28 million adults) indicated that they don’t have broadband because either the price of service is too high (15%); they can’t afford a computer; installation costs are too high (10%); or they don’t want a long-term service contract (9%). According to the survey, the average monthly broadband bill is $41.

The full FCC survey results are available via the Wall Street Journal.


By Brad

Via the New York Times, Tufts University has changed its admission policy to allow would-be students to include YouTube videos about themselves as part of their application:

Lee Coffin, the dean of undergraduate admissions, said the idea came to him last spring, when watching a YouTube video someone had sent him. “I thought, ‘If this kid applied to Tufts, I’d admit him in a minute, without anything else,’” Mr. Coffin said.

For their videos, some students sat in their bedroom and talked earnestly into the camera, while others made day-in-the-life montages, featuring buddies, burgers and lacrosse practice. A budding D.J. sent clips from one of his raves, with a suggestion that such parties might be welcome at Tufts.

Monday, February 22

Grading the Grants

By Bruce Mehlman

Geoff Daily of App Rising, who has been keeping a watchful eye on how and when federal broadband grants are doled out, has handed out grades for the first year of the effort. The overall grade: D+.

Despite the bad grade, however, Daily is still hopeful:

Just because the stimulus is failing now on almost all fronts doesn’t mean that it can’t recover and post solid even spectacular marks. Ultimately the grade that matters most is that the best projects are funded and on that they’re not failing. They’re also learning from at least some of their mistakes. So I for one am still hopeful that the broadband stimulus will be more than just another government folly.

Cleaning Up the Store

By Brad

The Telegraph reports that Apple’s massively successful “App Store” appears to be getting more kid-friendly:

Apple has removed around 5,000 apps from its App Store, including some that it claims feature “overtly sexual” content.

Dozens of developers received a message from Apple stating that the company was refining the guidelines under which the App Store operates, and that content that it had “originally believed to be suitable for distribution” were now no longer deemed appropriate, following “numerous complaints from customers about this type of content”.

While “sexually explicit” apps require an age warning before they’re downloaded, Apple outright removing apps for sexual content is a change in direction. One theory: Apple’s new iPad, which is being heavily geared towards students and schools, is a reason for the change.

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