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, August 25

Potential Auction Hiccup

By Brad

Remember the FCC’s long-gestating spectrum incentive auctions aimed at freeing up more airwaves for mobile broadband? Well, as The Hill‘s Kate Tummarello reports, the much-needed auctions have hit a potential snag:

Broadcasters are threatening to stand in the way of next year’s highly anticipated airwave auction, putting one the Obama administration’s top priorities at risk.

Officials in the broadcast and wireless industry are hopeful that a new lawsuit from the National Association of Broadcasters will put pressure on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reach a reach a compromise to save the auction — expected to net billions of dollars — from would could be a months-long delay.

This lawsuit puts a cloud over the auction,” said one Republican FCC aide.

In order for the auctions to be successful — not to mention generate a sizable chunk of revenue for the Federal Government — broadcasters need to be on board. Hopefully, the FCC can negotiate a deal that makes everyone happy.

Doctor Glass

By Brad

Google Glass is certainly controversial, but as Kim-Mai Cutler of TechCrunch points out, the wearable tech is already leading to innovation in health care:

While Google Glass has generated a healthy debate over privacy, etiquette and whether the device will ever gain broader acceptance in society, there are some obvious specialty use cases for Glass.

Remedy, a startup founded by two sisters who are a Thiel fellow and medical student, is betting that doctors will find Google Glass useful in quickly collecting and piecing together case data on patients.

They’ve done a pilot with three Harvard-affiliated hospitals in the Boston area to test out a Google Glass app with some paired desktop software that lets physician assistants quickly collect and share visuals of patients to surgeons on call. Normally, these assistants just call the surgeons over the phone and verbally describe the status of the patient.

About Service, Not About Content

By Brad

At Tech Policy Daily, Babette Boliek clears up some confusion about Title II regulations:

So I say to you NYT, and others under the same misted view of Title II, “I do not think it means what you think it means.” Title II treats telephone services as a common carrier. It is not about content, it is about prices – namely the regulation of prices. The “unjust and unreasonable” language the NYT points to is about prices. For example, if the post office (the quintessential common carrier) offers shipping services to a beef producer, they have to make those services available to other beef producers. Title II does not speak to the instance where beef producers are not offered delivery services (or, by analogy, certain content not allowed), and it does not prohibit the beef producer from asking for special treatment of her beef – like refrigeration or overnight delivery.

For more on Title II and its potential negative impact on broadband, check out our recent Telecommunications Forum featuring FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai.

Friday, August 15

Just the Facts

By Brad

Given all the faulty information being tossed around about regulating broadband under Title II, Patrick Brogan of US Telecom has posted a blog correcting inaccuracies being spread by some of the biggest interest groups. An excerpt:

In comments filed at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and in an earlier blog, net neutrality proponent Free Press, is making a puzzling and questionable claim that broadband investment will not be harmed by reclassification to common carrier regulation under Title II of the Communications Act. In fact, Free Press makes the incorrect claim that “Title II is good for the economy” and actually promotes broadband investment.

On the contrary, a reclassification to Title II would create unambiguously negative pressures on broadband provider investment that would not exist absent reclassification. The question is one of degree and the relative weight compared to opposing forces, like demand and competition. At a minimum, Title II reclassification seems unnecessarily risky and potentially counterproductive for policy goals dependent on more investment, such as expanding deployment to all parts of the country and enhancing U.S. global competitiveness.

Head on over to the US Telecom site to read Brogan’s post. It will add some clarity to a complex — and often misconstrued — issue.

Tuesday, August 12

Simmons on Title II

By Brad

Over at The Grio, our Co-Chairman Jamal Simmons has penned an op-ed on the perils of reclassifying broadband under Title II. An excerpt:

Government should help set standards for business, such as a worthwhile minimum wage for workers. Defining the boundaries of acceptable behavior like emission standards is good too, but it doesn’t make much sense to have regulators in the middle of each team’s huddle signing off on plays. The market requires more flexibility than that. Uncle Sam should mostly get out of the way to let businesses compete.

Those in support of Title II argue that the fears of many business owners can be allayed by the FCC’s power to “forbear” from enforcing some of the Title II provisions. That exercise of restraint, however,  doesn’t bind future commissions from rescinding that grant of forbearance.

Once the regulatory bear is out of its cage, there is no telling where it would stop. Some companies have proposed having wireless broadband service come under the umbrella of Title II also. Until now, the FCC has kept those services in a separate category that allows innovation and investment to flourish.

You can read Simmons’ full op-ed over at The Grio.

Tuesday, August 05

The Need for a New Regulatory Framework

By Brad

Over at The Huffington Post, Kristian Ramos — self-described “tech nerd” and one of our Broadband Ambassadors — writes about the new study from Anna-Maria Kovacs released last week. An excerpt:

Expanding consumer options and preferences has forever broken down traditional standalone wire line, wireless, cable and broadcast services. According to Kovacs, 89% of households subscribed to wireless voice by the end of 2013, either by itself or in combination with some supplemental type of wired voice service.

Additionally, 29% of consumers prefer the blend of wireless service with plain old telephone service (with voice capabilities) and 22% with voice over internet protocol. Those figures are corroborated by a recent Pew Research Center study, which shows that as of 2013, 70% of adults had fixed-broadband access from home, a number that rises to 80% when access via smartphone is included. And most notable, are the 38% of consumers who rely solely on wireless.

Given this data it is clear many households are combining some form of fixed broadband (including some forms of fixed wireless) with mobile wireless broadband. All of this underscores the need for a new regulatory network framework based on the recognition of the diversity of consumers and the various choices they have today in a 21st century broadband world.

Check out Ramos’s full piece over at The Huffington Post.

Monday, August 04

Irving Talks Title II

By IIA

Last week, our Co-Chairman Larry Irving appeared on Government Matters to discuss Title II and the very real risks it could have on investment, innovation, and the entire Internet ecosystem. Check it out.

Tuesday, July 29

Title II Telecom Forum With FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai

By IIA

If you missed last week’s Telecommunications Forum on Title II and its impact on broadband investment, check out archived stream below.

Thursday, July 24

A Discussion About Title II

By IIA

Click here to watch a live stream of our telecommunications forum on Title II regulation and its potential impact on deployment of 21st century broadband networks and services. Things kick off with Keynote Speaker FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai at 10 a.m.

Also participating are Fred Campbell, Director of the Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology; George Reed-Dellinger, Senior Vice President and TeleMedia/Internet Analyst for Washington Analysis; Anna-Maria Kovacs, Visiting Senior Policy Scholar at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy; and Roslyn Layton, Ph.D. fellow in Internet Economics at the Center for Communication, Media and Information Technologies at Aalborg University in Denmark.

Our own Co-Chairman Bruce Mehlman is moderating.

Wednesday, July 23

IIA Telecommunications Forum

By IIA

Tomorrow morning at 10 a.m., at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington D.C., IIA is holding a telecommunications forum on Title II regulation and its potential impact on deployment of 21st century broadband networks and services.

The Keynote Speaker for the event is FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai.

Also participating are Fred Campbell, Director of the Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology; George Reed-Dellinger, Senior Vice President and TeleMedia/Internet Analyst for Washington Analysis; Anna-Maria Kovacs, Visiting Senior Policy Scholar at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy; and Roslyn Layton, Ph.D. fellow in Internet Economics at the Center for Communication, Media and Information Technologies at Aalborg University in Denmark.

Our own Co-Chairman Bruce Mehlman will be moderating what promises to be a lively and informative discussion about the future of technology. More information, including how to watch the forum via livestream, is available here.

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