The U.S. Federal Communications Commission's national broadband plan released last week contains many good ideas, but it also leaves the door open to new regulations of broadband providers, representatives of providers said Tuesday.The broadband plan recognizes that private investment will largely pay for the broadband networks of the future, including the goal of bringing 100Mbps of broadband service to 100 million U.S. homes by 2020, said James Cicconi, senior executive vice president for external and legislative affairs at AT&T. [ Also on InfoWorld: Bill Snyder makes it clear in his Tech's Bottom Line blog: The National Broadband Plan needs to be fixed -- already | Cut straight to the key news for technology development and IT management with our once-a-day summary of the top tech news. Subscribe to the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. ]But the plan does not, in an outright manner, reject calls from some consumer-focused groups to reclassify broadband providers as common carriers, … [Read more...] about Providers register mixed reactions to FCC’s broadband plan
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The northeastern corner of Arizona, home of the Navajo Reservation, is one of the world’s most desolate spots. Endless miles of sand, rock and scrub are interrupted only briefly by sparse human settlements. Broadband access? High-speed links are about as abundant as flowing water in this rugged desert country. Even the telephone infrastructure has remained largely untouched since lines were first strung in the 1930s and ’40s.Providing distance-learning support to 110 Navajo chapter houses?reservation community centers?has been an ongoing challenge for Ed Groenhout, vice president of strategic initiatives at Northern Arizona University. The chapter houses, funded by the Navajo Nation, provide a variety of health, education, communication, shopping and other services, including adult training programs. Northern Arizona University’s distance-learning project helps Navajos prepare for jobs in the hospitality industry. "Each chapter house has only one phone line, which is … [Read more...] about Satellites Deliver Broadband
I live in the country amidst rich forests, abundant wildlife, clear starry nights and a silence so deep it often stuns visitors from the city. The price I pay: really crappy Internet access.I'm a technology journalist who works at home, so I should have fast, reliable access. I don't. And while last year's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a.k.a. the stimulus package) included $7.2 billion to increase the availability of broadband in rural areas, I'm not holding my breath.Welcome to the land that telecommunications forgot. US Official: Broadband Regulation May Be Needed The stimulus money undoubtedly will lead to reasonably priced, reliable broadband for some rural dwellers who currently don't have it. And normal market expansion will help others. But out here in the stunningly beautiful but sparsely populated ridges and valleys of southwestern Wisconsin, as for much of the rural United States, the dream of ubiquitous broadband is likely to remain just that -- a dream -- … [Read more...] about Broadband in Rural America: I’m Not Holding My Breath
Verizon Wireless' proposed purchase of unused mobile spectrum from four cable companies will reduce the incentive for the companies to compete against each other in the video and broadband markets, critics told U.S. lawmakers Wednesday.The spectrum deals, announced in December, include agreements that would allow Verizon and the four cable companies to market each others' products, leaving the companies with less incentive to compete against each other on price and services, said Joel Kelsey, policy adviser at Free Press, a digital rights group. "These agreements simply represent a deal between these companies to stay out of each others' way in perpetuity," he said. "They put former rivals on the path to cooperation, not competition."The deals, which would allow Verizon to purchase mobile licenses covering more than 280 million U.S. residents, would also kill potential competition in a mobile industry increasingly dominated by Verizon and AT&T, Kelsey said. The U.S. Federal … [Read more...] about Senators, Critics: Verizon Spectrum Deals Could Hurt Competition
Generations of people have run from the farm toward the city, which is why we all curse during rush hour. But the idea of telecommuting, even part time, makes it possible for many to return to the small towns they rejected decades ago. Unless, of course, the small town doesn't have broadband access.The leading broadband satellite provider is Hughes Network Systems. It also supplies broadband of all flavors to large enterprises (look on the roofs of retail stores and you'll almost always see a Hughes satellite dish) and DirecTV to consumers. Mike Cook, Senior Vice President of Hughes North American Division, called to tell me about the company’s small business product line."We estimate there are 10 to 15 million households, and 3.5 million small businesses, outside the reach of terrestrial broadband," said Cook. Small businesses to Cook mean companies with less than 40 branches, but most of the Hughes’ focus is on businesses with maybe 20 employees over five sites.It seems … [Read more...] about Broadband to the boonies
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission plans to release a national broadband plan next week that will lay out an ambitious set of goals for broadband deployment and adoption.The official version of the plan will be released at a commission meeting Tuesday, but FCC followers have seen the agency unveil several major thrusts of the plan in a series of speeches and briefings in recent weeks. In a mid-February speech, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski kicked off the announcements by saying it was the agency's goal to bring 100M bps (bits per second) broadband service to 100 million U.S. homes by about 2020.Many members of the U.S. tech community have called for a national broadband policy for years, and Congress, in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in early 2009, required the FCC to develop the plan. Several tech groups have expressed general support for the announcements so far, but others have questioned how the FCC will accomplish what appears to be a wide-ranging and … [Read more...] about FCC’s National Broadband Plan: What’s in it?
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission's national broadband plan released last week contains many good ideas, but it also leaves the door open to new regulations of broadband providers, representatives of providers said Tuesday.The broadband plan recognizes that private investment will largely pay for the broadband networks of the future, including the goal of bringing 100M bps (bits per second) of broadband service to 100 million U.S. homes by 2020, said James Cicconi, senior executive vice president for external and legislative affairs at AT&T. But the plan also does not, in an outright manner, reject calls from some consumer-focused groups to reclassify broadband providers as common carriers, subject to a broad set of regulations from the FCC, he said during a forum on the broadband plan Tuesday.FCC officials have predicted the plan will lead to dozens of rulemaking proceedings at the agency, an "odd way" to encourage private investment, Cicconi said. The plan recognizes … [Read more...] about Providers Question Parts of FCC’s Broadband Plan
I've been keeping an eye on various mobile broadband offerings and noticed they are much more readily available these days. What's more, it seems they are affordable and very usable when compared to the previous generation of mobile data services. The majority of mobile phone networks in the UK now offer HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access), which is a 3G-based mobile broadband capable of up to 14.4 Mbit/s down-links.From what I can see, the fastest available at the moment is offered by Vodafone: 7.2 Mbit/s using a USB modem with a data limit of 3GB per month. You have to buy the modem for £49.99 and subscribe for 18 months at £25 per month. That all adds up to a total of £499.99 (~1034 USD).Three are offering a slower 2.8 Mbit/s service with the same 3GB limit as Vodafone but for only £15 per month. The USB modem is free with a minimum contract of 24 months making the total cost £360 (~745 USD).T-Mobile are offering a free USB modem with their … [Read more...] about Affordable mobile broadband?
UK telecommunications provider BT (British Telecom) has offered to invest 600 million pounds, or $778 million, to provide broadband internet to remote areas, Britain's government announced on Sunday.BT's goal is to provide all houses in Britain with internet speeds of at least 10Mbps, "typically enough for a family to stream films, carry out video conferencing and browse the web at the same time," according to a Reuters report. In its proposal, BT sets out to offer coverage of at least 10Mbps to about 99% of homes and businesses by 2020, reaching complete expansion within two years after that. The idea is that company would make its money back in charging for access to its local networks, according to Reuters. SEE: The Internet Marketplace Entrepreneur Bundle (TechRepublic Academy)"We already expect 95 percent of homes and businesses to have access to superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps or faster by the end of 2017," BT's chief executive Gavin Patterson told Reuters. "Our latest … [Read more...] about British Telecom’s $778M broadband investment could improve remote work for rural UK workers
There are new early Black Friday 2014 Deals available today from Best Buy. Best Buy launched early Black Friday and holiday sales last weekend. Each day the retailer adds new deals. Today one of the interesting deals is a $49 Chromebook.The HP 11-1121us 11.6" Chromebook is 4G LTE mobile broadband enabled on the Verizon Wireless network. The $49 deal is in conjunction with a 2-yr contract on Verizon.Features of the HP 11-1121us include Samsung Exynos 5 Dual CPU, 2GB RAM, 16GB SSD, 2 USB and webcam. If like Chromebooks and want to be connected on the go this is the deal for you. Best Buy says you save $150 over the list price.Today is Friday and in exactly 3 weeks is the actual Black Friday 2014, November 28. There The weeks ahead of the actual Black Friday 2014 are the ideal time to score Black Friday deals without the usual stress involved. Not that many shoppers compete for the best deals as they do during the Thanksgiving Day week. You still have to be though conscious about when … [Read more...] about $49.99 Chromebook Is Early Best Buy Black Friday 2014 Deal