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

Monday, December 21

Defining Speed

By Bruce Mehlman

With 58 days to go before the FCC presents its national broadband plan, Rep. Rick Boucher [D-Va] has megabit speed on the mind. Reports Media Post:

As the Federal Communications Commission readies its national broadband plan, a leading lawmaker is urging the agency to aim to ensure that the vast majority of U.S. residents have speedy connections.

The commission should explicitly endorse a goal for minimum broadband speeds of at least 50 megabits downstream and 20 megabits upstream for 80 percent of the population by 2015,” Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) wrote last week in a letter to the FCC. “Without committing to such ambitious, but achievable, levels of speed and service, the promises of telemedicine, distance learning and telecommuting may remain a far-off dream rather than a near-term reality.”

Rep. Boucher’s full letter to the FCC is available here.

Hot Spot Wheels

By Brad

Ford has become the latest car company to dabble in broadband-enabled vehicles. From an official press release:

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) will turn vehicles into rolling WiFi hot spots when it introduces the second generation of its popular SYNC(®) in-car connectivity system next year.

Inserting an owner’s compatible USB mobile broadband modem - sometimes called an “air card” - into SYNC’s USB port will produce a secure wireless connection that will be broadcast throughout the vehicle, allowing passengers with WiFi-enabled mobile devices to access the Internet anywhere the broadband modem receives connectivity.

“While you’re driving to grandma’s house, your spouse can be finishing the holiday shopping and the kids can be chatting with friends and updating their Facebook profiles,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. “And you’re not paying for yet another mobile subscription or piece of hardware because Ford will let you use technology you already have.”

Friday, December 18

IIA Video: Smart Grid Technology in New Mexico and California

By IIA

Tom Bowles and Phillip Mezey discuss smart grid technology in New Mexico and California at Gridweek.

Thursday, December 17

Big Report, Even Bigger Future for Mobile Internet

By Brad

Financial firm Morgan Stanley has released a mammoth 400 + page report on the future of smartphones and mobile Internet. Telephony digs through the numbers:

Among the highlights: Mobile IP traffic will grow 66 times by 2013, a 130% compound annual growth rate. The report also found that smartphones will out-ship the global netbook and notebook market by 2010 and the overall global PC market by 2013. Morgan Stanley said it expects Apple to continue to change how consumers use their devices, driving them toward data and away from voice. The iPhone and iPod Touch still only represent a small chunk of global smartphone use — about 17%, but they are already responsible for 65% of all mobile Internet use.

If you have some time on your hands, here’s a link to the full Morgan Stanley report.

Grants Beginning to Arrive

By Bruce Mehlman

Vice President Biden is in Georgia today, where he’s expected to announce that $182 million in broadband grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be awarded to 18 projects.

While this is a great step toward the goal of nationwide broadband access, much more needs to be done — and soon. As GigaOm points out, this latest batch of grants will mean only 3% of the broadband stimulus has been allocated, with less than a year to go until the process is scheduled to be completed.

The Cloud of Music

By Brad

Apple’s iTunes marketplace revolutionized the music industry. And now, as the New York Times reports, the company may be sparking another revolution:

With its deal this month to buy the Web music service Lala, Apple may be pointing the way to the future of music.

In this future, the digital music files on people’s computers could join vinyl records, cassette tapes and CDs in the dusty vault of fading music formats.

Instead, music fans will use their always-online computers and smartphones to visit a vast Internet jukebox, where Gregorian chants, Lady Gaga tracks and the several centuries of music in between are instantly available.

The Need for Smart Networks

By Brad

Over at App-Rising, Geoff Daily has a smart piece on the need for smart networks and net neutrality:

While I don’t disagree with the notion that we need to be encouraging the deployment of more open bandwidth, I don’t understand why we’d want to prevent innovation from happening within the network, why we’d rule out the possible benefits of smart networks over stupid networks. Why can’t there be a fast lane created for performance-sensitive applications that was open to everyone equally?

Don’t get me wrong, the advent of smart networks raises a host of questions about fairness, privacy, competition, and beyond. But I’ve come to think that this militant attitude towards opposing smart networks is actually the Achilles’ heel of the net neutrality movement.

I just don’t think its credible to suggest that we should be preventing innovation from happening anywhere on the Internet. I’m not even sure we can say that innovation at the edge is more important than innovation in the network. The point is that we shouldn’t be limiting ourselves.

Check out the whole thing.

Wednesday, December 16

IIA Video: Matt Rogers Speaks at Grid Week

By IIA

Matt Rogers, Senior Advisor at the United States Department of Energy, talks about the role of broadband in job creation and economic revitalization.

Monday, December 14

More Symposium Coverage

By Bruce Mehlman

Both Broadband Breakfast and Richard Prince of the Black College Wire have rundowns of last week’s Broadband Symposium on access for all Americans.

Schools & Libraries

By Brad

So far, efforts to put together a national broadband plan have mainly focused on bringing access to every home in America. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation worries that this risks leaving institutions in dire need of access behind. From Ars Technica:

The foundation tied to the Microsoft fortune has told the Federal Communications Commission that the government should spend more money on high-speed Internet upgrades for public libraries and schools. The FCC should make it easier to apply, too.

A growing number of schools and public libraries cannot afford connectivity upgrades because of the inability to pay for one-time only installation, equipment and transport costs,” the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation warned the Commission on Wednesday. No big surprise that Gates is active in this area. Microsoft’s general focus when it comes to broadband stimulus questions is that resources should go to “anchor institutions”—libraries, schools, and hospitals.

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