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

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.

Tuesday, April 13

Taking it to the Mattresses

By Brad

When addressing the critical need for more spectrum in the National Broadband Plan, the FCC offered a plan that would encourage broadcasters to voluntarily give up some of their spectrum. The broadcasters would then receive some of the proceeds once that spectrum was auctioned off.

But as The Hill reports, this idea isn’t sitting well with many broadcasters. Case in point: Gordon Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, who compared the plan to something out of The Godfather.

Between broadcasters and a possible move to classify broadband as a Title II service, the FCC is going to have a lot of fights on its hands in the coming months.

Tweeting for Advertising Dollars

By Brad

With somewhere around 50 million “tweets” a day, Twitter definitely has a social impact. Up until now, though, the service has ignored chances to monetize all its activity. That’s about to change. From the official Twitter blog:

We hope you’ll share in our enthusiasm as today we unveil a simple service we’re calling Promoted Tweets. It’s non-traditional, it’s easy, and it makes a ton of sense for Twitter. Our COO Dick Costolo will be talking about this much anticipated offering in detail today at the AdAge Digital conference. Tomorrow at Chirp, both Dick and our fearless leader Evan Williams will further discuss this program and what it means for the Twitter ecosystem.

What exactly are “Promoted Tweets”?

You will start to see Tweets promoted by our partner advertisers called out at the top of some search results pages. We strongly believe that Promoted Tweets should be useful to you. We’ll attempt to measure whether the Tweets resonate with users and stop showing Promoted Tweets that don’t resonate. Promoted Tweets will be clearly labeled as “promoted” when an advertiser is paying, but in every other respect they will first exist as regular Tweets and will be organically sent to the timelines of those who follow a brand. Promoted Tweets will also retain all the functionality of a regular Tweet including replying, Retweeting, and favoriting. Only one Promoted Tweet will be displayed on the search results page.

As for how this change is going down with Twitter’s users, according to the site Twitter Sentiment, reaction so far is mixed.

Cutting the Cable Cord

By Brad

Via TechCrunch, a new report from an outfit called Convergence Consulting Group finds that an estimated 800,000 homes in America dropped cable last year in favor of getting their entertainment needs online.

Monday, April 12

News on the March

By Brad

It’s no secret that the news industry is struggling in the digital age, but as Politico reports, at least one heavy hitter believes the industry will not only survive, but thrive:

The chief executive of Google has a message for the staggering newspaper industry: Things will get better.

And Google CEO Eric Schmidt told a group of newspaper executives Sunday evening that his growing company will be an integral part of those changes.

Newspapers will make money once again, he said, but it will be from online advertisements and an altered subscription model. Schmidt said his firm is working on new ways to tailor advertisements and content for consumers, based on what stories they read.

We have a business model problem, we don’t have a news problem,” Schmidt said.

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