Bruce P. Mehlman
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.
Thursday, March 25
Instead, the FCC should take a less intrusive, less rigid approach that will still allow it to deal with any real anticompetitive abuses that cause consumer harm. While it is highly unlikely that such abuses will occur in a marketplace in which consumers generally have a choice of Internet providers, there nevertheless is a properly delimited role for the FCC to play in policing and remedying any anticompetitive acts.
Rather than adopting broad-brush regulations that place ISP practices that may benefit consumers off limits, the FCC could adopt a simple rule prohibiting ISPs from engaging in practices that constitute an abuse of significant and non-transitory market power that harm consumers. A market-oriented rule like this would provide the FCC with a principled basis for adjudicating allegations that ISPs are acting anti-competitively and causing consumer harm. Using traditional antitrust-like jurisprudence that incorporates rigorous economic analysis, the Commission would focus on specific allegations of consumer harm in the context of the particular marketplace situation.
Wednesday, March 24
The U.S. began the 2000’s with fewer than five million residential broadband lines and zero mobile broadband. We begin the new decade with 71 million residential lines and 300 million portable and mobile broadband devices. In all, consumer bandwidth grew almost 15,000%.
Even a thriving Internet, however, cannot escape Washington’s eager eye. As the Federal Communications Commission contemplates new “network neutrality” regulation and even a return to “Title II” telephone regulation, we have to wonder where growth will come from in the 2010’s.
The Washington Post reports on an innovative idea to help rebuild Haiti’s infrastructure following the country’s devastating earthquake in January:
John Stanton, founder of Voice Stream and former chief executive of T-Mobile USA, wants the Haitian government to forget about rebuilding its copper wire communications network. Instead, he thinks Haiti should go mobile.
“Necessity is the mother of invention,” Stanton said.
Stanton pitched the idea at the CTIA trade show in Las Vegas, and announced that his company Trilogy would be willing to contribute as much as $100 million to the effort.
Later in the Post article, a familiar name offers some insight:
Experts say any project to rebuild infrastructure in the nation should be open to competition. That would include laying down fiber for a stronger backbone to connect calls. Dozens of new cellphone towers would be raised to support traffic that will grow as Internet use takes off.
“It can be a fantastic opportunity, but all over the world there is also a push to have a mix of wireless and fixed-wire networks supporting broadband and communications,” said Bruce Mehlman, co-president of the Internet Innovation Alliance and former assistant secretary of commerce for technology policy. “And you must make sure that this doesn’t preclude any competition.”
Anyone who has spent time fragging fellow players in Halo or Call of Duty knows that, for the most part, Microsoft’s popular online service Xbox Live is dominated by males — usually potty-mouthed, immature males. And now, in true American fashion, the lack of female players has inspired a new enterprise. IGN reports:
What if you could pay a bit of cash to play Modern Warfare with an attractive girl? Or maybe relax with a casual game of checkers while you video chat with said female? A new social service launching tomorrow, March 23, called GameCrush is hoping there are gamers out there willing to pay for the opportunity to play with girls.
How big is mobile Internet becoming? According to Ericsson, very big:
Mobile data surpassed voice on a global basis during December of 2009, Ericsson announced today at the CTIA Wireless 2010 convention in Las Vegas. This finding is based on Ericsson measurements from live networks covering all regions of the world.
Ericsson’s findings show that data traffic globally grew 280% during each of the last two years, and is forecast to double annually over the next five years. The crossover occurred at approximately 140,000 Terabytes per month in both voice and data traffic. The data traffic increase is contributing to revenue growth for operators when more and more consumers use data traffic generating devices such as Smartphones and PCs. During the same period, Ericsson measurements show that traffic in 3G networks surpassed that of 2G networks.
While such a milestone is impressive, GigaOm wonders if the increased use of mobile broadband will lead to trouble down the road:
[T]hat data traffic was generated by an estimated 400 million smartphones set against 4.6 billion mobile subscribers making voice calls. What happens when everyone has a smartphone?
Tuesday, March 23
[T]his plan has a real-world focus. Probably the best parts of the report deal with the specific ways broadband will improve our lives. The plan has clear, almost futuristic detail on what broadband means for us. Start with jobs and economic growth - probably the single most important issue in the country now. Today’s entrepreneurs can’t grow an effective business and generate jobs without high-speed Internet access, which offers low barriers to entry. But the plan also covers online education to help the unemployed or underemployed, improved energy efficiency and better healthcare at less cost.
On that last point, a nursing home can cost $200 a day. But a wireless health monitoring system for someone living independently costs half that much per month. Do the math.
Read Navarrow Wright’s full op-ed at Huffington Post.
Minority-owned small businesses are growing four times faster than all U.S. firms, accounting for over 50% of the 2 million businesses started in the U.S.
Matt Warner, “Opportunities For Disadvantaged Businesses,” Blogband. October 6, 2009.
Monday, March 22
IIA Co-Chair David Sutphen speaks about the the specifics of digital literacy and the digital divide.
Every 60 seconds, more than 24 hours of video content is now submitted to YouTube. Seriously.