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

Wednesday, February 03

Today in Online TV

By Brad

Today’s Wall Street Journal profiles start-up Move Networks Inc., which is hoping to create a full-on television network online:

If the company is able to launch the service it is now pitching to broadcasters—tentatively dubbed Move TV—viewers could watch programs in one of three ways: via a computer’s Web browser; on a television that is either equipped with a built-in Internet jack or connected to a set-top converter box; or on a wireless, Internet-connected device like an iPhone or iPad.

Because Move isn’t laying cable or launching satellites, the company’s executives argue they can charge consumers far less than traditional pay-television operators for a comparable suite of channels. Move hopes to undercut those operators further by offering a pared-down lineup—perhaps as few as 80 to 100 channels.

So far Move Networks has received funding from the likes of Microsoft, Comcast, and Disney. But whether consumers — not to mention America’s broadband infrastructure — are ready for a fully online TV network remains to be seen.

Elsewhere in the online TV landscape, USA Today reports that popular video site Hulu is flirting with the idea of charging for some content.

Social Networking Security

By Brad

Post Tech looks at a new survey from computer security company Sophos on social networking sites and cyber attacks:

Sophos said that reports by companies of spam and malware derived from social networks such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter were up 70 percent from a year earlier. And of the 500 companies surveyed, 60 percent said Facebook—by far the largest social network internationally—posed the biggest security risk.

“2009 saw Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites solidify their position at the heart of many users’ daily internet activities, and saw these websites become a primary target for hackers,” according to the report. “Because of this, social networks have become one of the most significant vectors for data loss and identity theft.”

Tuesday, February 02

Someone is Always Watching

By Brad

Via Wired comes the story of a Canadian property owner, the illegal removal of trees, and the Google Street View camera that caught the remover in the act.

Against Anonymity

By Brad

In a move that has immediately sparked concerns over free speech, the South Australian government has taken the bold step of censoring Internet speech. The new law, which had the support from both major parties, forces anyone commenting on an upcoming election online to do so under their real name and postcode.

Re-Committing to Net Neutrality

By Bruce Mehlman

During a special YouTube event yesterday, President Obama re-declared his commitment to proposed net neutrality regulations. Via Multichannel News:

“I’m a big believer in net neutrality,” he said. “I campaigned on this. I continue to be a strong supporter of it. My FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has indicated that he shares the view that we’ve got to keep the Internet open, that we don’t want to create a bunch of gateways that prevent somebody who doesn’t have a lot of money but has a good idea from being able to start their next YouTube or their next Google on the Internet.”

The president went on to say that the administration was getting “pushback, obviously, from some of the bigger carries who would like to be able to charge more fees and extract more money from wealthier customers.” Not addressed, however, were the concerns from many of the people against new regulations that imposing net neutrality could hurt private investment in the Internet and further exacerbate the digital divide.

Monday, February 01

IIA Video: Joseph Fuhr

By IIA

Joseph Fuhr, Professor of Economics at Widener University, discusses broadband, the macro-economy, and the multiplier effect.

Broadband Fact of the Week

By IIA

Fact of the Week

A single YouTube viewing consumes nearly 100 times as much cellular bandwidth as a voice call.

Holman Jenkins, “The Coming Mobile Meltdown,” Wall Street Journal. October 13, 2009.

More facts about broadband.

A Court Challenge

By Bruce Mehlman

With the FCC moving forward with its proposed net neutrality regulations, at least one member of the commission is already warning that any new regulations will surely face a legal challenge once enacted. Reports PC World:

If the U.S. Federal Communications Commission adopts broad new net neutrality regulations, the agency’s authority to do so will be challenged in court, predicted Robert McDowell, a member of the commission.

It’s unclear whether the FCC has the authority to create net neutrality rules for broadband providers, which under current FCC rules are classified as largely unregulated information services, McDowell said Friday during a speech at a Free State Foundation broadband policy forum. And the suggestion by some advocacy groups that the FCC reclassify broadband services as more heavily regulated common carrier services would also face lawsuits, he said.

The Power of Language

By Brad

Today’s New York Times looks at the expansion of broadband on language education services:

With the growth of broadband connectivity and social networks, companies have introduced a wide range of Internet-based language learning products, both free and fee-based, that allow students to interact in real time with instructors in other countries, gain access to their lesson plans wherever they are in the world, and communicate with like-minded virtual pen pals who are also trying to remember if bambino means baby.

A Discussion About Net Neutrality and the Digital Divide

By Brad

Last week, James Rucker of the group Color of Change penned an op-ed for the Huffington Post taking aim at the position of some civil rights groups when it comes to net neutrality:

Net Neutrality is the principle that prevents Internet Service Providers from controlling what kind of content or applications you can access online. It sounds wonky, but for Black and other communities, an open Internet offers a transformative opportunity to truly control our own voice and image, while reaching the largest number of people possible. This dynamic is one major reason why Barack Obama was elected president and why organizations like ColorOfChange.org exist.

So I was troubled to learn that several Congressional Black Caucus members were among 72 Democrats to write the FCC last fall questioning the need for Net Neutrality rules. I was further troubled that a number of our nation’s leading civil rights groups had also taken positions questioning or against Net Neutrality, using arguments that were in step with those of the big phone and cable companies like AT&T and Comcast, which are determined to water down any new FCC rules.

Most unsettling about their position is the argument that maintaining Net Neutrality could widen the digital divide.

Today, Maximum Leverage Solutions President Navarrow Wright offered a rebuttal to Rucker’s op-ed, also on the Huffington Post:

We all know the fight today is between Google and the ISPs. And just because the arguments you make sound just like those made by Google and Public Knowledge, it doesn’t make you a bad guy. What I don’t understand though is why you are criticizing people who are looking for answers. You seem surprised that the CBC and civil right leaders are concerned that when the big companies fight each other the under served may lose?

Don’t you think the FCC should answer the questions raised by the civil rights leaders and CBC? Why is it wrong to ask the FCC to make sure the rules they are proposing will not widen the digital divide? Why is it wrong to ask the FCC to make sure the rules they develop will not lead to regressive pricing which would shackle poor people? Why is it wrong to ask that the costs be borne by the people that cause them and not by the underserved? Why are you so afraid of the answers to these questions?

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