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

Blog posts tagged with 'Internet Access'

Monday, April 21

Changes From Being Connected

By Brad

At the Huffington Post, Bianca Bosker offers a fascinating look at how Myanmar, which up until recently was pretty much an Internet black hole, is dealing with being connected. An excerpt:

Eh Thaw Taw—“Royal” to his Facebook friends—relies on his Huawei smartphone for the usual message-sending, picture-taking and status-updating, but he never, ever uses Google for the simple reason that he doesn’t know how.

“I can’t search,” the 24-year-old says, thumbing his phone as we stand under trees on the Yangon University campus, which reopened last fall after being shut down in 1988 by a military regime wary of protests. What if Royal, an economics major, needs to look up, say, the gross domestic product of the United States? “I ask my teacher, who will search for it,” he answers.

Royal’s classmate, 20-year-old E Lawm Nap, is appalled. “In this century, every person can use website or the Google!” she chides him.

But then again, this is Myanmar, a country that only three years ago had a lower cellphone penetration rate than North Korea, and even now enforces a policy of one SIM card per family. It’s a country where computer schools still lack computers; text messages can take two hours (or two days) to arrive; and Royal is forced to be nocturnal, since the only reliable Internet connection he can get is from midnight to dawn.

Read the whole thing.

 

Friday, January 04

Connected Nation

By Brad

New numbers from research firm NPD Group find that there are now more web-connected devices in the U.S. than there are people. As Brett Molina of USA Today reports:

Desktop and laptop computers continue to dominate the space, although mobile devices are slowly catching up. The survey finds 183 million of those Net-connected gadgets are computers, followed by 133 million smartphones. Video game consoles are a distant third with 39 million and tablets reaching just over 31 million.

All told, NPD Group reports there are now 425 million connected devices — over 100 million more than there are people.

 

Friday, November 30

Cutting of Syria

By Brad

Yesterday, all of Syria plunged into Internet darkness as rebels continue to clash with the government. Today, Bassem Mroue of the Associated Press reports the blackout continues:

The Internet outage, confirmed by two U.S.-based companies that monitor online connectivity, is unprecedented in Syria’s uprising against Assad, which activists say has killed more than 40,000 people since the revolt began in March 2011.

Regime forces have suffered a string of tactical defeats in recent weeks, losing air bases and other strategic facilities. The government may be trying to blunt additional rebel offensives by hampering communications.

Thursday, December 15

More Than 6 Million

By Brad

That’s how many U.S. households will solely depend on mobile broadband for Internet access by the end of this year, according to new numbers from Strategy Analytics Service Provider Strategies.

Thursday, April 14

Access in North Korea

By Brad

At Wired, Adam Rawnsley explores the current state of Internet access in North Korea:

North Korea’s official net isn’t likely to be a dissent hub anytime soon. Citizens in the North can log on to the country’s own intranet service, “Kwangmyong”, but it’s completely cut off from the rest of the web and offers only access only to sanitized domestic sites, state propaganda like the Korean Central News Agency and government-provided email addresses. (If you’re lucky enough to be Supreme Leader Kim or among a select group of the ruling class, you can get your lolcat and YouTube fix on a satellite link.)

But illegal tech gadgetry smuggled across the border from China is changing the equation. You can now buy smuggled 3G phones from China — as many as a thousand North Koreans have, by one estimate — and try to snag a signal near the border with China for net access.

The full article is worth checking out.

Monday, April 11

Cutting off Armenia

By Brad

Here’s a strange one: The Guardian reports that a 75-year-old woman in the country of Georgia managed to plunge the country of Armenia into digital darkness when she inadvertently cut through a vital underground cable while rooting around for scrap copper:

As Georgia provides 90% of Armenia’s internet, the woman’s unwitting sabotage had catastrophic consequences. Web users in the nation of 3.2 million people were left twiddling their thumbs for up to five hours as the country’s main internet providers - ArmenTel, FiberNet Communication and GNC-Alfa – were prevented from supplying their normal service. Television pictures showed reporters at a news agency in the capital Yerevan staring glumly at blank screens.

Large parts of Georgia and some areas of Azerbaijan were also affected.

Friday, January 28

Shutting Down the Internet

By Brad

At GigaOm, Bobbie Johnson has a fascinating report on how the Egyptian government shut down the country’s Internet during this week’s major protests:

“It looks like they’re taking action at two levels,” Rik Ferguson of Trend Micro told me. “First at the DNS level, so any attempt to resolve any address in .eg will fail — but also, in case you’re trying to get directly to an address, they are also using the Border Gateway Protocol, the system through which ISPs advertise their Internet protocol addresses to the network. Many ISPs have basically stopped advertising any internet addresses at all.”

Essentially, we’re talking about a system that no longer knows where anything is. Outsiders can’t find Egyptian websites, and insiders can’t find anything at all. It’s as if the postal system suddenly erased every address inside America — and forgot that it was even called America in the first place.

Read the whole thing.

 

Thursday, January 13

Conditional Approval

By Bruce Mehlman

Via John Eggerton of Multichannel News, the FCC is nearing an approval of the long-gestating Comcast/NBC Universal merger. There will be some conditions, however, including forcing Comcast to offer standalone Internet access (with a $49.95 price cap) along with bundled offerings for three years.

Monday, March 08

A Fundamental Right

By Brad

A new poll conducted by BBC World Service asked participants whether the Internet should be a “fundamental right.” Perhaps not surprisingly, four out of five said yes.

Monday, December 07

Slowing Dissent

By Brad

Iran continues to show the world what a real restrictive Internet looks like. Reports the Associated Press:

For weeks after the disputed June presidential election, demonstrations triggered by claims of massive fraud in the vote brought hundreds of thousands to the streets, but the relentless crackdown that followed has taken a heavy toll.

Seeking to deny the protesters a chance to reassert their voice, authorities slowed Internet connections to a crawl in the capital, Tehran. For some periods on Sunday, Web access was completely shut down — a tactic that was also used before last month’s demonstration.

The government has not publicly acknowledged it is behind the outages, but Iran’s Internet service providers say the problem is not on their end and is not a technical glitch.

Thursday, June 11

French Court Says “Non” to “Three Strikes”

By Brad

France’s controversial “Three Strikes” law, which would cut Internet access to online pirates, has been struck down by the country’s highest court. And as Read Write Web reports, the decision makes a surprising—and probably groundbreaking—claim: Internet access is a “fundamental human right.”

No doubt the rest of the world is watching closely.

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