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, April 19

Broadband Fact of the Week


Fact of the Week

In 2008, the 94 percent of U.S. schools with Internet access used almost exclusively broadband connections, but residentially-based broadband in rural areas continues to lag the availability in metropolitan regions.

— Robert LaRose et. al., “Closing the Rural Broadband Gap,” Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media, Michigan State University. November 30, 2008.

More facts about broadband.

Friday, April 16


By Brad

Apple’s iPad may be selling like hot cakes here in America, but in Israel it’s being confiscated. From the Associated Press:

Customs officials said Thursday they have already confiscated about 10 of the lightweight tablet computers since Israel announced the new regulations this week. The ban prevents anyone — even tourists — from bringing iPads into Israel until officials certify that they comply with local transmitter standards.

At issue is whether Apple’s device affects other wireless devices in Israel, but it’s expected to be cleared up before the iPad officially launches in the country later this year.

Before the Senate

By Brad

On Wednesday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski testified before the Senate Commerce Committee about the commission’s recent loss in court and the National Broadband Plan. As Broadband Breakfast reports, the senators had some stinging criticism:

[Genachowski was] chided strongly by senators for a proposal “long on vision, but short on tactics,” as described by panel Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

Rockefeller was particularly disappointed with FCC chief Julius Genachowski’s strategy of prolific requests for public comment on key issues instead of commission votes and actions.

Just seeking comment on a slew of issues is not enough,” Rockefeller told Genachowski, who was the lone witness at the hearing. “It’s action that counts.”

Things were also heated from across the aisle:

The ranking Republican on the panel, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, was equally irate with the FCC for different reasons. “I am…concerned by the aggressive regulatory posture being conveyed by the commission,” she said. “If the FCC were to take the action…reclassifying broadband without a directive from Congress…the legitimacy of the agency would be seriously compromised.”.

After the FCC v. Comcast ruling, Chairman Genachowski is in a tight spot: On one hand, he has committed the FCC to net neutrality regulations, but the federal court ruling appears to have stripped the commission of the power to implement them. On the other, he acknowledges that the goals put forward in the National Broadband Plan will require hundreds of billions in private investment — investment that may evaporate in the wake of new regulations on broadband providers.

Cyber Diplomacy

By Brad

Today’s New York Times has an interesting read on the differences between how the U.S. and Russia view cybersecurity:

The United States has succeeded in creating a global 24-hour, seven-day network of law enforcement agencies in 50 nations, which have agreed to collect and share data in response to computer attacks and intrusions. While officials from both nations said that law enforcement cooperation had improved, the Russians have refused to sign the European cybercrime treaty, which the United States strongly backs.

At the same time, for the past 13 years, the Russians have been trying to interest the United States in a treaty in which nations would agree not to develop offensive cyberweapons or to conduct attacks on computer networks. The United States has repeatedly declined to enter into negotiations, arguing instead that improved law enforcement cooperation among countries is all that is necessary to combat cybercrime and cyberterrorism.

Thursday, April 15

IIA Podcast: David Sutphen


IIA Co-chairman David Sutphen discusses digital literacy and education at a recent IIA Hill Academy event.

Wednesday, April 14

“Mutually Assured Destruction”

By Bruce Mehlman

With both sides of the looming Title II fight already making noise, Michael Grebb of CableFAX offers a possible solution:

[H]ere’s an idea. Call it crazy, but what if the FCC just left things alone—but with a caveat? What if Genachowski, with a wink from Obama, just told the big telecom players not to favor packets and to equally apply any bandwidth management schemes to all (including its own services). Net neutrality would loom over the industry like a threatening but dormant hydra. That way, cable and telcos would agree not to put their TV Everywhere-esque “TV on the Web” platforms on faster or prioritized pipes. And in return, Internet access would stay an information service with no market disruption. It would be voluntary, yes… and that always carries risks. But let’s face it: It’s mutually assured destruction—a friendly threat to ensure that the terrible, horrible, greedy, awful, despicable behavior that consumer groups tell us will occur… never does.

What the FCC’s Loss Means

By Brad

The Washington Post brought together two former chairmen of the Federal Communications Commission — Michael Powell and Reed Hundt — to talk about the FCC’s recent loss in its case against Comcast, and what it means for both the National Broadband Plan and net neutrality. Here’s a snippet:

The full version of the conversation will be available later today.

Putting Spectrum to Use

By Brad

While broadcasters battle the FCC over giving up valuable spectrum for the wireless industry, twelve major broadcast groups — including FOX, NBC, and Telemundo — have announced they’re getting into the mobile content service. From the official press release announcing the project:

By aggregating existing broadcast spectrum from its launch partners, the new venture will have the capacity to offer a breadth of mobile video and print content to nearly 150 million U.S. residents. In addition to broadcast spectrum, the partners will commit content, marketing resources and capital to the new venture. The service will employ ATSC-M/H, an open broadcast transmission system developed by the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) specifically for mobile devices.

The venture is designed to complement the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) National Broadband Initiative by giving consumers mobile access to video content while reducing congestion of the nation’s wireless broadband infrastructure. In addition, the service’s mobile content network will have the capacity to deliver local and national time-sensitive emergency information to citizens across the U.S.

This appears to be a shrewd move, allowing broadcasters to hang on to their spectrum while potentially making billions in the process.

Speaking of Twitter…

By Brad

As TechCrunch reports, the micro-blogging service now has over 100 million users — and is adding close to 300,000 new members each day.

With those kind of numbers, no wonder they’re launching an advertising program.

Meanwhile, in other Twitter news, the Library of Congress has announced it is archiving every “tweet” posted since 2006. Wow.


By Brad

The Obama administration continues to embrace social media to interact with the public. Their latest foray: Asking citizens to submit their ideas via Twitter. GigaOm explains:

In a post on the official White House blog, Thomas Kalil — the deputy director for policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy — described what the government is calling the “Grand Challenges of the 21st Century” project. In addition to emailing ideas to the White House, citizens can post their ideas as a response to the White House Twitter account @whitehouse with the #whgc hashtag.

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