Tuesday, September 29
IIA is pleased to welcome its newest Ambassador: Dr. Joseph P. Fuhr, PhD.
Dr. Fuhr is a widely read and well respected expert in a number of areas which combine economics and issues facing society. His specific areas of inquiry include antitrust, health economics, pharmacoeconomics, and telecommunications.
Dr. Fuhr’s work in the areas of health economics and pharmacoeconomics is especially timely as the government and industry are using broadband as a significant tool in helping to control the spread of the H1N1 virus. In fact, an essay co-written by Dr. Fuhr for Disease Management, “Comparative Effectiveness of Total Population versus Disease Specific Neural Network Models in Predicting Medical Costs,” is particularly timely during this flu season, especially in helping to determine patterns of seasonal flu as they overlap with, or are replaced by, swine flu.
Telemedicine is a major area of interest for those involved in expanding access to and acceptance of broadband. Physicians working out of smaller health facilities have the ability, through broadband, of consulting with specialists working out of major facilities hundreds or thousands of miles away.
As a Professor of Economics at Widener University, Dr. Fuhr brings to the Internet Innovation Alliance an academic rigor which is crucial to every stakeholder in the issues surrounding broadband in America. We welcome his voice and intellect to the IIA as we continue to work with private companies, advocacy organizations, and the federal government to bring broadband into every home and business in the United States.
Monday, September 28
The Rural Health Care Pilot Program provides funding for the construction of state or regional broadband networks and for the advancement telecommunications and information services provided over those networks for health care providers. 67 projects, serving 6,000 health care facilities, in 42 states are eligible for the program.
Copps, Michael J. “Bringing Broadband to Rural America.” Federal Communications Commission. Washington, D.C. May 22, 2009.
More facts about broadband and health care.
Over at the FCC’s Blogband site, Blair Levin of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative foresees assertions that the commission hasn’t heard from enough of the major players in the industry. Writes Levin:
If we’re going to be criticized now (which we undoubtedly will be) the numbers suggest we may be in danger of the critique that we haven’t heard from enough industry giants. So far, academics have comprised over 13 percent of all participants at the workshops, followed by consumer and public interest groups (9.3%). The largest industry group was equipment makers, comprising a little over 8% of the participants, followed by alternative wireless services at nearly 6 %.
With smart phones exploding in popularity, service providers are finding that success has its challenges. Namely, the amount of spectrum available now and into the future. Reports Ars Technica:
Mobile carriers in the US have been telling the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for months that they’re in a bad way—450MHz of total spectrum just isn’t enough to keep up with consumer demand for wireless services. As the companies explained in various FCC filings over the summer, the current strain on their networks is caused by a veritable data tsunami that has swept the country in the last few years, and they want the government to make more spectrum available to solve the problem.
The FCC is certainly aware of the issue — and are asking for public comment on spectrum as part of their efforts to put together a national broadband plan. But allocating new spectrum is a long and complicated process, and with smart phone adoption showing no sign of slowing down, time is definitely of the essence.
Apple has released some staggering new numbers about its application store for iPhone and iPod touch. There are now 85,000 different apps available, with an average of 6.3 million of them downloaded each and every day. The total number of apps downloaded since the app store was launched? More than two billion.
Friday, September 25
Nielsen has some new numbers on social networking use in the United States, and it turns out that use of services like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter has tripled — that’s right, tripled — since 2008.
As Read Write Web reports, this influx of users is changing the face of online advertising:
While for consumers, hitting up Facebook for a daily dose of socializing is just par for the course nowadays, this change in consumer behavior has had dramatic impact on the online advertising industry. Where before, advertisers were somewhat wary of social media properties, they’re now spending more than ever for prominent spots on social networking sites. Even as companies decreased their overall ad expenditures, they increased their spend on top social networks and blogs - up 119% from last year. ($108 million in August 2009 up from $49 million in August 2008). And when broken down by category, the increases are even more dramatic. The entertainment industry, for example, has increased spending by 812% year-over-year on social network sites and the travel industry increased spending by 364%.
Next week is the 60th anniversary of communist rule in China, and to celebrate the nation’s government is once again cracking down on Internet use, reports the New York Times.
With the debate over net neutrality gearing up here in the States, it’s good to remember that despite whatever complaints Americans have about the Internet, it could be much, much worse.
A new list from the group MessageLabs ranks America’s most spammed states. Number one is Idaho, which managed to jump a staggering 43 spots in only a year due to a “resilient and aggressive botnet market.”
In second place is Kentucky, with New Jersey ranking third.
Via Reuters, the FCC has penciled in October 22 as the date for formally proposing new net neutrality rules.
The debate is sure to be contentious, with both sides already taking their cases to the media. Stay tuned…
Thursday, September 24
GigaOm points to a new call for comments from the FCC:
The Federal Communications Commission has opened a separate request for comments on the use and allocation of spectrum to go more in-depth on issues raised as part of its National Broadband Plan. The agency will seek comments through Oct. 23, “on the sufficiency of current spectrum allocations in spectrum bands, including but not limited to the prime spectrum bands below 3.7 GHz.”
With demand for spectrum skyrocketing due to the spread of mobile broadband, the new call for comments make sense. The FCC’s full request is available here (PDF).