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

Friday, February 19

Net Neutrality vs. the Goal of Universal Broadband

By Bruce Mehlman

From a Huffington Post op-ed by Julius H. Hollis of the Alliance for Digital Equality on the national broadband plan:

More than $100 billion has already been spent to deploy high-speed systems across America. But the FCC has estimated that $350 billion is necessary to achieve universal broadband access. As such, the focus of the FCC should be on speeding this process, either through federal programs or by incentivizing the investment of private companies.

Throughout this process, we must also strive to ensure that access remains affordable. To achieve this, I see one logical solution - to have the build-out in these communities financed in part by agreements between the companies paying to lay the wires and the companies that will use those links to sell services.

Largely missing the point, proposals for new “neutrality” rules do nothing to help us realize these important goals. Instead, it is widely thought that new net neutrality regulations will reduce much needed investment in infrastructure, thus causing broadband to become less affordable and accessible to underserved and un-served populations.

Dept. of Bad Ideas

By Brad

From Ars Technica comes the troubling story of a Pennsylvania high school, school-issued laptops, and school officials allegedly spying on kids at home via webcam.

More Grants

By Brad

Yesterday, the NTIA announced 10 new projects have received broadband grants. All told, $357 million in grants were promised to projects in eight states: California, Florida, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

(Via Multichannel News.)

Broadband and Hispanics

By David

Portada points to a new report from the U.S. Department of Commerce that shows for Hispanic Americans the digital divide is still in place, despite some recent gains:

43,08% of Hispanics use a broadband (39.74%) or dial up connection (2.98%) at home, while 49.31% uses the internet either at home or anywhere. The percentage of Hispanics who do not have Internet access lies at 50.69% in comparison with a 25.68% ratio for White Non Hispanic.

Read the full report, “Digital Nation: 21st Century America’s Progress Toward Universal Broadband Internet Access.”

Thursday, February 18

Teasing from the FCC

By Bruce Mehlman

Over at the FCC’s official broadband blog, Chairman Julius Genachowski has posted some tidbits from the commission’s upcoming national broadband plan. Writes Genachowski:

By setting ambitious goals and laying out proposals to connect all Americans to a world-class broadband infrastructure, we will help secure our country’s global competitiveness for generations to come.

The FCC’s National Broadband Plan will include the following key recommendations:

100 Squared Initiative: 100 million households at a minimum of 100 megabits per second (Mbs)—the world’s largest market of high-speed broadband users—to ensure that new businesses are created in America and stay in America.

Broadband Testbeds: Encourage the creation of ultra high-speed broadband testbeds as fast, or faster, than any Internet service in the world, so that America is hosting the experiments that produce tomorrow’s ideas and industries.

Digital Opportunities: Expand digital opportunities by moving our adoption rates from roughly 65 percent to more than 90 percent and making sure that every child in America is digitally literate by the time he or she leaves high school.

The full plan is scheduled to be presented to Congress on March 17.

When the United Nations Met Broadband

By Brad

Via CommsDay, the United Nations is getting into the Internet business by starting the Broadband Commission for Digital Development. Among the new commission’s major tasks: an overhaul of worldwide spectrum allocation.

Domain Games

By Brad

TechCrunch reports that the domain has been sold for a cool $1 million — the largest price for a .org domain to date.

The most expensive domain name ever? That would be (of course), which sold for a whopping $14 million.

A Big Deal

By Brad

Last summer, Microsoft and Yahoo! announced they would be joining forces in an attempt to better compete with search giant Google. Today, their deal has finally been given the stamp of approval from regulators in both the U.S. and Europe.

Wednesday, February 17

IIA Video: Deborah Tate


Former FCC Commissioner Deborah Tate discusses broadband adoption gaps and mobilizing young people to serve as peer-group Internet ambassadors.

Tuesday, February 16

The State of the Digital Divide

By Bruce Mehlman

Multichannel News digs into a new report from the FCC on the state of high speed Internet in America and finds there’s clear evidence that despite gains, the digital divide is alive and well — especially in low-density areas:

For the fixed connections, like cable and DSL, the commission data found that in 200 counties (representing 1% of U.S. households), no more than 20% met that definition of high speed, while in about half as many counties (104) with eight times the population (8% of the households), 80% had at least those speeds.

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