Tuesday, March 02
Read Write Web reports that online movie giant Netflix isn’t content with leading the pack when it comes to movies by mail and streaming video services. They’re now looking to bring the cinema to a smart phone near you:
Recently, Netflix sent out a survey to select subscribers in order to determine interest in an iPhone application for streaming movies via mobile phones. According to the survey’s wording, the proposed app would be Wi-Fi only and would offer the same content that the Netflix “Watch Instantly” service provides.
Via Ars Technica comes the story of some tech-savvy thieves, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and the $150 thousand bridal show scam.
The American Consumer Institute has released a new study, “Innovation and National Broadband Policies: Facts, Fiction and Unanswered Questions.” From the Executive Summary:
“Innovation” has emerged as a pivotal element in the debate over whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should impose new constraints on managers and providers of broadband network infrastructures. This study brings to bear facts and analysis emerging from a review of much of the literature on innovation and especially that bearing on claims by advocates of “net neutrality,” “open networks” and related notions.
We find that innovation is thriving at both the core and the edge of the network in the current policy environment, which has fundamentally allowed the Internet to evolve with little government involvement. Further, we find no evidence that greater FCC involvement in markets for broadband services would protect or promote innovation in the Internet Ecosystem. Indeed, we believe that such intervention is more likely to discourage innovation than stimulate it.
The full ACI study is available on their website (PDF).
Monday, March 01
Today, more than 600,000 Americans earn part of their living by operating small businesses on eBay’s auction platform.
Julius Genachowski prepared remarks, included in “FCC & Net Neutrality: Part 1,” Techlobbyist.net.October 5, 2009.
More facts about broadband.
Sunday, February 28
We’re excited to announce that seven community leaders have joined our Broadband Ambassador program today. Coming from diverse professional backgrounds, each ambassador shares our enthusiastic support for broadband Internet access and adoption for all Americans.
The new ambassadors are:
• Sylvia Aguilera, Executive Director of HTTP: Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership
• Harry Alford, President and CEO, National Black Chamber of Commerce
• Ed Foster Simeon, President, United States Soccer Foundation
• Joseph P. Fuhr, Professor of Economics, Widener University and Senior Fellow, American Consumer Institute
• Jimmy Lynn, Managing Partner, Lynn & Associates
• Marcia Thomas-Brown, Program Manager for the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved
• Navarrow Wright, Social Media and Internet Consultant, Maximum Leverage Solutions
More information on each ambassador can be found on our Broadband Ambassador Program page.
Friday, February 26
At the Huffington Post, Digital Society Fellow (and IIA Broadband Ambassador) Bret Swanson writes about the negative effect proposed net neutrality regulations would have on jobs and the economy:
Supporters might argue Net Neutrality will protect consumer access to the Internet and promote long-term innovation. These are crucially important goals. But I think they are wrong on these policy virtues as well. I’ve made the case elsewhere that Net Neutrality could have prohibited important business and technical innovations, from the exclusive handset arrangement that spawned the iPhone to the content delivery networks (CDNs) that enabled YouTube.
Regardless of one?s view of long-term effects, however, there is little chance Net Neutrality regulations could improve the near-term jobs picture. There is, on the other hand, a substantial possibility for harm. Net Neutrality could substantially reduce the willingness of service providers to invest in new wired and wireless networks. And it could do so immediately. Any capital expenditure reductions would directly affect tens of thousands of workers who build and maintain these networks. Capex reductions would also ripple through the whole network equipment and software value chain, starting with large companies like Cisco, Juniper, Corning, and Qualcomm; then damaging the prospects of hundreds of smaller suppliers in the high-end semiconductor and software sectors.
For more, check out Swanson’s report for Entropy Economics on net neutrality and jobs.
Today’s Washington Post has an interesting read on how the U.S. can win — or at least better defend itself during — a “cyberwar.”
What is the right strategy for this most modern of wars? Look to history. During the Cold War, when the United States faced an existential threat from the Soviet Union, we relied on deterrence to protect ourselves from nuclear attack. Later, as the East-West stalemate ended and nuclear weapons proliferated, some argued that preemption made more sense in an age of global terrorism.
The cyber-war mirrors the nuclear challenge in terms of the potential economic and psychological effects. So, should our strategy be deterrence or preemption? The answer: both. Depending on the nature of the threat, we can deploy aspects of either approach to defend America in cyberspace.
Read the whole thing, as they say.
As part of its presentation to Congress of a national broadband plan, the FCC has announced it will recommend a federal grant program of $6 billion to build a wireless public safety network. An addition $6-$10 billion will also be proposed in order to operate it.
Thursday, February 25
Yesterday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski revealed that as part of its impending national broadband plan, television broadcasters would be asked to volunteer some of their spectrum. From Ars Technica:
The FCC’s boss has to maneuver somewhat gingerly around this issue. The broadcasting industry has given a distinctly cold reception to wireless and consumer device maker proposals for ways that television license holders could dramatically reconfigure their high altitude, high power transmission systems to free up as much as 180 MHz of spectrum. Now the FCC and NTIA are talking about 500 MHz.
So Genachowski emphasized that this would be a “voluntary program.”
With the unprecedented adoption of mobile Internet in recent years, America is facing what Genachowski himself has called a “looming spectrum crisis.” Wireless carriers agree. Which means if broadcasters refuse to volunteer spectrum for wireless use, the fight could quickly turn heated. Stay tuned…
The New York Times looks at the positive effect the Internet is having on television:
The Nielsen Company, which measures television viewership and Web traffic, noticed this month that one in seven people who were watching the Super Bowl and the Olympics opening ceremony were surfing the Web at the same time.
“The Internet is our friend, not our enemy,” said Leslie Moonves, chief executive of the CBS Corporation, which broadcast both the Super Bowl and the Grammy Awards this year. “People want to be attached to each other.”
Seeking to capitalize on the online water-cooler effect, NBC showed the Golden Globes live on both coasts for the first time this year, and the network reportedly wants to do the same for the Emmy Awards this fall, so the entire country can watch (and chat online) simultaneously.