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, September 10

The Cost of Keeping YouTube Running

By Brad

Via Multichannel News comes an estimation of how much YouTube will spend on bandwidth costs this year alone. The number: $300 million.

University of Online

By Brad

The Internet has revolutionized education. But over at Slate, writer Zephyr Teachout worries online college courses will one day lead to the end of traditional campuses:

Online classes are just cheaper to produce. Community colleges and for-profit “education” entrepreneurs are already experimenting with dorm-free, commute-free options. Distance-learning technology has just hit its stride after years of glitchy videoconferences—and will keep improving. Innovators have yet to tap the potential of the aggregator to change the way students earn a degree—much like the news business in 1999. And as major universities offer some core courses online, we’ll see a cultural shift toward acceptance of what is still, in some circles, a “Phoenix U” joke.

Teachout goes on to speculate that within 15 years, the majority of college credits will come through online courses, and that if universities don’t start adapting to the change now, they’ll run into the same problems the newspaper industry is facing.

Broadband Mapping Going Strong

By Bruce Mehlman

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has some good news to share about its broadband mapping project. From an NTIA press release:

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today that it has received applications representing all 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia to participate in NTIA’s State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program, which will assist NTIA in creating a national broadband map. This unprecedented initiative will provide consumers with better information on the broadband Internet services available to them and inform policymakers’ efforts to increase broadband availability nationwide.

“We are pleased with the unanimous response, which underscores the value of this program,” said NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling. “This initiative will ultimately help us improve the Nation’s level of broadband access and adoption, which is critical to our global competitiveness.”

Once the mapping is complete, the goal is to have a public display showing where broadband is available, what technology provides it, and more.

Wednesday, September 09

Measuring Online Viewers

By Brad

Though online television viewing still trails far behind traditional tube viewership, there are now enough people watching shows via computer that Nielsen — the long-standing TV ratings group — announced it will start measuring online viewership.

A Little Light Reading

By Brad

If you’re itching to read through all — or at least some — of the more than 10,000 comments filed on the national broadband plan, the FCC has updated its broadband blog with information on how to do it. Happy reading!

Our Exabyte Future

By Bruce Mehlman

The New York Times reports on a startling new study from United Kingdom research firm Coda. The study, “Mobile Broadband Traffic Across Regions 2009-2017,” predicts that in eight years mobile broadband users will be accessing enough video to total 1.8 exabytes of data — a month.

That’s over a quintillion bytes of data each and every month.

Tuesday, September 08

Protecting Privacy

By Brad

The Washington Post reports that in an effort to protect consumer privacy, House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet Chairman Rep. Rick Boucher [D-Va.] is drafting a bill to regulate online marketing and advertising.

Drafting a bill that works for both consumers and ad networks won’t be without challenges, but Rep. Boucher believes smart regulation can be arrived at:

While Congress has waded into Internet privacy issues before, this measure could break new ground, as the first major attempt to regulate a nascent but fast-growing industry that represents the future of advertising. Boucher insists his bill will benefit consumers and preserve the underlying economics of the Internet, which relies on advertising to keep so much online content free.

“Our goal is not to hinder online advertising,” he said. “This will make people more likely to trust electronic commerce and the Internet.”

Workshopping a National Broadband Plan

By Bruce Mehlman

This week’s national broadband plan workshop will cover “Broadband Consumer Context.” From

This workshop will examine the broader context of the consumer experience from the perspective of the benefits it confers to consumers, the risks that may be associated with the benefits, and the obligations broadband connectivity may impose on consumers and institutions in an environment of pervasive data sharing and availability.

The workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, September 9 at 1:30 pm EDT. As always, more information—including how to watch the workshop via streaming video—can be found on the national broadband plan website.

More Input Needed

By Bruce Mehlman

With the deadline for a final national broadband plan quickly approaching, the FCC continues to ask for public input. On Friday, the agency posted two public notices, one asking for ideas about smart grids, the other telework.

Broadband Fact of the Week


Fact of the Week

Today, there are 270 million mobile wireless customers — up from 100 million eight years ago. They used 2.2 trillion wireless minutes last year — 10 times as many as in 2000.

James K. Glassman, “Uncle Sam Should Leave Wireless Companies Alone,” July 16, 2009.

More facts about mobile wireless.

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