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

Sunday, September 20

Broadband Fact of the Week

By IIA

Fact of the Week

Approximately 136 million people in the U.S. watched online videos in July, a 14% increase from the year-earlier period, according to Nielsen Co.

Sam Schechner, “Cable Firm, Partners to Test TV on the Web,” Wall Street Journal. August 27, 2009.

More facts about online videos.

Friday, September 18

The Growth of Broadband

By Brad

Check this out. The BBC has put together a handy map showing the growth of broadband worldwide from 1999 (a mere four million subscribers) to 2009 (over 400 million).

Mid-Project Progress Report

By Bruce Mehlman

Blogband.gov is reporting that on September 29, the FCC will receive a four-hour progress report on the national broadband plan:

What do all those facts tell us about the status quo? What do the facts say about the distance between where we are and where we want to be? Who’s been in our shoes before and what can we learn from their experiences? What hurdles do we face, and how can we remove or navigate around them? What existing advantages can we benefit from, and how can we maximize them? What can we create or suggest that is new to improve broadband deployment, adoption, and usage, in light of national purposes, as envisioned by the Recovery Act? We’ll take a stab at these and other questions during the meeting.

Dept. of Major Blunders

By Brad

Fooling around with spyware is bad. Attempting to use spyware to harass a former flame is worse. And then there’s this:

A 38-year-old Avon Lake, Ohio, man is set to plead guilty to federal charges after spyware he allegedly meant to install on the computer of a woman he’d had a relationship with ended up infecting computers at Akron Children’s Hospital.

It gets even worse: For nine days the spyware sent more than 1,000 screen captures to the alleged perpetrator including such sensitive materials as diagnostic notes and even financial records of hospital employees. If convicted, the fool behind the spyware incident faces five years in prison.

Health Care Added You as a Friend on Facebook

By Brad

Count the White House’s proposed health care plan as one of the now 300 million Facebook users worldwide. Reports Read Write Web:

In an effort to personalize healthcare reform benefits, WhiteHouse.gov launched a “Reality Check” Facebook quiz application to rally for President Barack Obama’s widely disputed Health Insurance Reform Plan. While the application was only shared with Facebook users 6 hours ago, 350 people have already commented on everything from education, to war, to congressional travel records to general partisanship.

Thursday, September 17

Digital Bestseller

By Brad

In what could prove to be the start of a major shift for publishing — or, just as possible, a short-lived fluke — digital copies of Dan Brown’s (The Da Vinci Code) new novel The Lost Symbol are outselling the traditional hardcover versions on Amazon.

Fearing the Future

By Brad

Technology can be scary — especially to those who can’t quite understand it. First there was the town of Gastonbury, England, which protested against receiving a Wi-Fi network after some residents blamed it for dizziness, headaches, and other ailments. Now there’s the garlic farmer in Victoria Harbour, Nova Scotia, who is trying to stop the village from receiving high-speed Internet. Reports CBC News:

Lenny Levine, who has been planting and harvesting garlic by hand on his Annapolis Valley land since the 1970s, is afraid his organic crop could be irradiated if EastLink builds a microwave tower for wireless high-speed internet access a few hundred metres from his farm.

“I think over a period of time it will change the DNA of the garlic because it shakes up the molecules,” he said Tuesday.

It’s easy to laugh at people who fear technology — especially when their fears are based around changing the DNA of garlic — but their protests highlight the need for education when it comes to rolling out technology. Any country looking to bring broadband to all its citizens needs to be able to assure people that the Internet can be a secure, and truly beneficial, tool for their everyday lives. After all, what’s the point of providing access if people don’t want — or are scared to — use it?

Workshops on Tour

By Bruce Mehlman

Broadcasting & Cable is reporting that the first stop on the FCC’s traveling national broadband workshop tour will occur on Monday, September 21 in Austin, Texas. After that, it’s on to Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday, October 6.

More information about past and future broadband workshops can be found at broadband.gov.

Wednesday, September 16

On Defining Broadband

By Brad

IIA Co-Chairman Bruce Mehlman has a column up on Fierce Telecom on defining what broadband means:

The definition must be forward-looking. In addition to recognizing the importance of existing broadband devices, the definition of broadband must leave room for future applications. The FCC should remember that the applications that were mission critical in the past like e-mail, while still useful, are less vital now that we have other interactive technologies like video-conferencing. Therefore, broadband is most logically understood as the connectivity required for accessing, and making use of, certain cutting-edge applications, the list of which will certainly continue to evolve and expand over time.

Check out Bruce’s full column at Fierce Telecom.

Google Gov

By Brad

Computer World has news on Google’s latest move toward worldwide domination:

Google will offer cloud-computing services designed specifically for U.S. government agencies starting next year, the company announced Tuesday at the NASA Ames Research Center.

The services will give government agencies a way to purchase services such as Google Apps, by ensuring that they meet regulatory requirements, said Matthew Glotzbach, director of product management with Google enterprise.

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