Tuesday, March 09
With broadband stimulus funds slowly making their way to applicants, a new wrinkle has emerged that may slow down recipients putting the money to good use. As Phone Plus reports, it comes down to the question of taxes:
[I]f the government doesn’t clarify whether the grants are considered taxable income, onlookers fear recipients won’t use the money any time soon – defeating the purpose of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
When asked whether recipients would be taxed on the stimulus funds, the Treasury Department reportedly offered no concrete answer. Stay tuned…
Via Krebs on Security, from July to September of 2009 cyber criminals bilked $25 million from businesses — $15 million more than traditional banks robbers netted during the same time period.
Monday, March 08
TechCrunch highlights a new report from Forrester Research that predicts online retail will continue to grow in the next five years — from $155 billion in 2009 to as much as $250 billion by 2014.
Via InfoTech & Telecom News, the Electronic Frontier Foundation — long supportive of net neutrality principles — is arguing against the FCC imposing new regulations:
In comments filed with the FCC in February, the San Francisco-based organization said the agency lacks the authority to issue neutrality regulations that would ban Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Comcast from favoring some forms of Internet traffic over others.
“Congress has not deputized the FCC to be a free roving regulator of the Internet,” the group argued in a filing that came as a shock to net neutrality supporters such as the intensely pro-regulation “public advocacy” groups Free Press and Public Knowledge.
“So while EFF strongly endorses the goals of this commission ... a limitless notion of ancillary jurisdiction would stand as an open invitation to future commissions to promulgate ‘policy statements,’ issue regulations, and conduct adjudications detrimental to the Internet,” EFF wrote.
Read the full Heartland Institute report, which also quotes IIA Co-Chairman Bruce Mehlman.
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.
According to Christopher Guttman-McCabe, CTIA’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, the wireless industry directly employs 268,000 people with jobs that pay 50 percent higher than the national average of wages in similar categories. Carriers are on track to continue to invest this year and next with their average capital investments reaching $22.8 billion a year.
Cecilia Kang, “Wireless Lobbyists Step Up Defensive Against Net Neutrality,” Washington Post. September 28, 2009.
More facts about broadband.
Friday, March 05
On Wednesday, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies held a panel discussion called “Open Internet, Innovation and Economic Development.” A a re-cap of the event is now widely available, and highlights some of IIA Co-chairman David Sutphen’s remarks:
Panelists like David Sutphen, co-chair of the Internet Innovation Alliance, asked that government focus on adoption first, especially among minorities and lower-income groups. “The National Broadband Plan is most important,” said Sutphen. “If we could get everyone who has been worried about open Internet principles focused on the digital literacy and value proposition gap, we’d go a long way towards solving the problem.”
Read Capital Wire’s full re-cap. Video is also available of the event.
Here’s something cool: The magazine Popular Science has scanned its entire archive — reaching back 137 years! — and put it all online. The best part: It’s free.
IIA Co-chairman Bruce Mehlman has an op-ed today on AOL News:
High-speed Internet connections are helping to change the meaning of a snow day—serving as a vital tool to keep Americans working, even when the roads, public transportation and airports are not. For those who could go online from home during the storms, it was largely business as usual.
But clearly not enough could. The “Snowmageddon” of 2010 forced federal offices to shut their doors for days, resulting in an astounding loss of money and productivity. It’s been estimated that closing the government for just one day costs taxpayers roughly $100 million. If you factor in the business shutdowns in the private sector, it is easy to see that these storms exacted a high cost on the nation as whole.
The problem is that currently about a third of the population doesn’t have a broadband connection, and one in five don’t have any Internet connection at all.
Read the full op-ed.
creative commons image from zrail
Thursday, March 04
Mobile Internet has certainly made major gains in recent years, but can smart phones and other wireless devices supplant traditional desktop computers in the next three years? According to John Herlihy, Google’s European sales chief, the answer is yes. Reports Silicon Republic:
“In three years time, desktops will be irrelevant. In Japan, most research is done today on smart phones, not PCs,” Herlihy told a baffled audience, echoing comments by Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the recent GSM Association Mobile World Congress 2010 that everything the company will do going forward will be via a mobile lens, centring on the cloud, computing and connectivity.