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, February 01

IIA Video: Joseph Fuhr

By IIA

Joseph Fuhr, Professor of Economics at Widener University, discusses broadband, the macro-economy, and the multiplier effect.

Broadband Fact of the Week

By IIA

Fact of the Week

A single YouTube viewing consumes nearly 100 times as much cellular bandwidth as a voice call.

Holman Jenkins, “The Coming Mobile Meltdown,” Wall Street Journal. October 13, 2009.

More facts about broadband.

A Court Challenge

By Bruce Mehlman

With the FCC moving forward with its proposed net neutrality regulations, at least one member of the commission is already warning that any new regulations will surely face a legal challenge once enacted. Reports PC World:

If the U.S. Federal Communications Commission adopts broad new net neutrality regulations, the agency’s authority to do so will be challenged in court, predicted Robert McDowell, a member of the commission.

It’s unclear whether the FCC has the authority to create net neutrality rules for broadband providers, which under current FCC rules are classified as largely unregulated information services, McDowell said Friday during a speech at a Free State Foundation broadband policy forum. And the suggestion by some advocacy groups that the FCC reclassify broadband services as more heavily regulated common carrier services would also face lawsuits, he said.

The Power of Language

By Brad

Today’s New York Times looks at the expansion of broadband on language education services:

With the growth of broadband connectivity and social networks, companies have introduced a wide range of Internet-based language learning products, both free and fee-based, that allow students to interact in real time with instructors in other countries, gain access to their lesson plans wherever they are in the world, and communicate with like-minded virtual pen pals who are also trying to remember if bambino means baby.

A Discussion About Net Neutrality and the Digital Divide

By Brad

Last week, James Rucker of the group Color of Change penned an op-ed for the Huffington Post taking aim at the position of some civil rights groups when it comes to net neutrality:

Net Neutrality is the principle that prevents Internet Service Providers from controlling what kind of content or applications you can access online. It sounds wonky, but for Black and other communities, an open Internet offers a transformative opportunity to truly control our own voice and image, while reaching the largest number of people possible. This dynamic is one major reason why Barack Obama was elected president and why organizations like ColorOfChange.org exist.

So I was troubled to learn that several Congressional Black Caucus members were among 72 Democrats to write the FCC last fall questioning the need for Net Neutrality rules. I was further troubled that a number of our nation’s leading civil rights groups had also taken positions questioning or against Net Neutrality, using arguments that were in step with those of the big phone and cable companies like AT&T and Comcast, which are determined to water down any new FCC rules.

Most unsettling about their position is the argument that maintaining Net Neutrality could widen the digital divide.

Today, Maximum Leverage Solutions President Navarrow Wright offered a rebuttal to Rucker’s op-ed, also on the Huffington Post:

We all know the fight today is between Google and the ISPs. And just because the arguments you make sound just like those made by Google and Public Knowledge, it doesn’t make you a bad guy. What I don’t understand though is why you are criticizing people who are looking for answers. You seem surprised that the CBC and civil right leaders are concerned that when the big companies fight each other the under served may lose?

Don’t you think the FCC should answer the questions raised by the civil rights leaders and CBC? Why is it wrong to ask the FCC to make sure the rules they are proposing will not widen the digital divide? Why is it wrong to ask the FCC to make sure the rules they develop will not lead to regressive pricing which would shackle poor people? Why is it wrong to ask that the costs be borne by the people that cause them and not by the underserved? Why are you so afraid of the answers to these questions?

Dept. of Rejection

By Brad

Via Government Tech, last week the NTIA sent out 1,400 rejection letters to broadband grant hopefuls. Those who have been rejected are being encouraged to closely study the grant proposals that have been approved so far before re-applying.

Smart Phone Explosion

By Brad

The runaway success of Apple’s iPhone has not gone unnoticed by the other major tech players. First Palm released its own smartphone, the Pre. Then Google got in on the act with first its Android operating system, then its own smart phone the Nexus One. Now, Gizmodo reports, there are rumors that Microsoft is set to throw its considerable weight into the market with a Zune phone.

Friday, January 29

A Fractured Web?

By Brad

Investor’s Business Daily explores a possible effect the recent Google-China dispute could have on the Internet as a whole:

China, which has imposed censorship on its Internet users and used filtering software to block Web sites, is determined to have a role in shaping next-generation Internet standards, analysts say. China wants rules governing cyberspace to be compatible with its political aims. In any event, analysts say China probably has the tools to create and manage its own cyberspace, if it so chooses.

We are seeing the world moving away from the global Internet to a series of national networks,” warned Columbia Law School Professor Tim Wu at the New America Foundation on Wednesday.

Interview with a Scammer

By Brad

The UK site Scam Detectives has a fascinating interview with a convicted Nigerian email scammer:

Scam-Detective: How did you find victims for your scams?

John: First you need to understand how the gangs work. At the bottom are the “foot soldiers”, kids who spend all of their time online to find email addresses and send out the first emails to get people interested. When they receive a reply, the victim is passed up the chain, to someone who has better English to get copies of ID from them like copies of their passport and driving licenses and build up trust. Then when they are ready to ask for money, they are passed further up again to someone who will pretend to be a barrister or shipping agent who will tell the victim that they need to pay charges or even a bribe to get the big cash amount out of the country. When they pay up, the gang master will collect the money from the Western Union office, using fake ID that they have taken from other scam victims.

The full interview is worth checking out.

Streaming the State of the Union

By Brad

How many people watched President Obama’s State of the Union address online? According to the official White House Blog, close to 1,300,000.

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