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

Friday, July 24

Lessons From Lafayette

By Brad

Geoff Daily of App-Rising noticed something on a recent trip to Lafayette, Louisiana: the city is arguably becoming the most wired city in America.

Thursday, July 23

Letter of Concern

By Brad

Recently, San Jose CIO Steve Ferguson complained that the government’s definitions of “un-served” and “underserverd” under the broadband stimulus guidelines risked leaving urban areas out in the cold.

Now, as GigaOm reports, a handful of consumer groups—including the Consumers Union and the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisers, among others—have sent a letter to NTIA administrator Larry Strickling voicing concern that the initial grants and loans won’t address improving speed and prices for urban areas:

The group’s full letter is available here.

Download Your Way Onto the Bestseller List

By Brad

As Amazon’s portable e-reader, the Kindle, continues to grow in popularity, it’s starting to affect all aspects of the publishing industry. For example: USA Today’s announcement that starting today week they’ll be including Kindle titles in their bestseller list.

Bridging the Divide

By Bruce Mehlman

While most discussion around bridging the “digital divide” revolves around bringing high-speed Internet to homes where it’s currently unavailable, an encouraging new report from the Pew Research Center (via the New York Times) finds that the bridge is, in fact, being built through mobile Internet:

The survey, conducted in April by interviewing 2,253 Americans, found that while accessing the Internet via a mobile phone was increasing, the swell was reflected most sharply among African-Americans.

“The typical early adopter of a dozen years ago was a white guy in his mid- to late thirties,” said John Horrigan, associate director of the Pew Internet Project and principal author on the report. “Now you see the cutting edge in mobile Internet being populated by younger people of color.”

The report found that nearly half of all African-Americans and English-speaking Hispanics (the study did not include a Spanish-language option) were using mobile phones or other hand-held devices to surf the Web and send e-mail messages. By comparison, just 28 percent of white Americans reported ever going online using a mobile device.

Wednesday, July 22

IIA Video: Bringing Broadband to Low Income Communities

By IIA

Howie Hodges, Senior VP of Business Development for One Economy Corporation, discusses his work in bringing broadband to low income communities.

Boosting the Economy Through Broadband

By Bruce Mehlman

Cisco’s High Tech Policy blog points to a World Bank report released earlier this month on broadband’s impact on economies. Among the findings:

A 10-point increase in broadband connections translates into a 1.3-point increase in economic growth.

Mobile networks, now 4 billion connections strong, rule data distribution.

The vast majority of new mobile customers will be found in developing countries over the next few years.

Right now, only portions of the World Bank report are available online. But there’s also a data tool available so you can experiment with crafting your own reports.

Bringing Take-Backs to the Internet

By Brad

Ever post something online during a heated moment and immediately regret it? Worried that flame war you took part in when you were younger will come back to haunt you during job interviews?

Up until now, the immortal nature of data on the Internet has been both a blessing and a curse. On the upside, information always remains at hand. On the downside… well, information always remains at hand. But now, as Read Write Web reports, researchers at the University of Washington are working on a way for you to “take back” that unadvisable missive or blog post you fired off without thinking. They’re calling it Vanish:

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Vanish is that it’s capable of erasing messages posted practically anywhere on the web. For example, the system is able to erase messages from any web-based email system like Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo, instant messaging chats, or even social networking sites like MySpace or Facebook.

To accomplish this, the messages sent with Vanish are encrypted with a secret key, never revealed to the end user. The key is then divided into dozens of pieces and sent out over peer-to-peer (P2P) networks - the same ones where music and movie files are traded every day. Because file-sharing systems are in a state of constant change, the various key parts eventually become inaccessible. Once enough of them are lost, the message can no longer be decrypted and read.

Right now Vanish is still in beta, which means you can try it out for yourself.

Intelligence in the “Cloud”

By Brad

Information Week reports that the National Security Agency is embracing cloud computing:

The system, currently in testing, will be geographically distributed in data centers around the country, and it will hold “essentially every kind of data there is,” said Randy Garrett, director of technology for NSA’s integrated intelligence program, at a cloud computing symposium last week at the National Defense University’s Information Resources Management College.
 
The system will house streaming data, unstructured text, large files, and other forms of intelligence data. Analysts will be able to add metadata and tags that, among other things, designate how securely information is to be handled and how widely it gets disseminated. For end users, the system will come with search, discovery, collaboration, correlation, and analysis tools.

The new system, once up and running, is expected to help solve a long-standing problem for U.S. intelligence efforts—namely, a lack of sharing between separate intelligence agencies.

Tuesday, July 21

China No Longer Shocking

By Brad

Just how seriously does China take Internet addiction? So seriously that they’ve been using shock therapy on teenagers in attempts to break excessive online habits. Egads.

Thankfully, as China Daily recently reported, this absurd practice of scrambling adolescent brains has been brought to an end:

The Ministry of Health has ordered a halt to a controversial electroshock treatment intended to help treat Internet addiction in teenagers, the Beijing News reported on Tuesday.

The Ministry said the therapy, which was administered by a clinic in Linyi, Shandong province, has not been proven to be safe.

Kong Lingzhong, editor of a domestic Internet addiction-themed portal told the Beijing News that there was still fierce debate over whether electroshock therapy was appropriate for young internet addicts.

We have no clue whether this freaky treatment has side-effects,” Kong said.

Global Broadband Boom

By Brad

A new report from Parks Associates finds that worldwide broadband adoption could potentially reach 650 million households within the next four years, and that the Asia-Pacific market will lead the charge with close to 50% of the global market share.

The report also cautions that service providers will have to continue investing heavily in their networks in order to keep up with the growing flood of online video and social networking applications.

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