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, August 13

Taking a Pass

By Bruce Mehlman

Qwest Communications has announced it will not be applying for the first round of federal stimulus grants. Reports Denver Business Journal:

Denver-based Qwest (NYSE: Q), the nation’s third-largest local phone company, sat out the first round and appears to have joined the ranks of telecoms that would like to see the rules changed for future rounds of the broadband stimulus program.

“We continue to support the use of program proceeds to facilitate the deployment of broadband services to unserved consumers,” said Steve Davis, Qwest’s senior VP for public policy, in a written statement. “However, upon evaluation of the funding opportunity and the various requirements for participation, we were unable to make the business case for filing an application for more rural opportunities.”

Today in History

By Brad

28 years ago today, a little gadget called the IBM 5150 PC made its debut. By the very next year, the personal computer had gone from a toy for hobbyists and geeks to the major force in business—so much so that in 1982, Time magazine declared the computer was “Man of the Year.”

Happy birthday, mighty 5150. Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Pushing Deadlines

By Brad

Tomorrow was the deadline for sending proposals to the NTIA for the initial round of federal stimulus grants. But due to the sheer number of proposals—and the overwhelming strain they’re causing on NTIA/RUS servers—the deadline is being extended to Thursday, August 20 at 5 pm Eastern.

Wednesday, August 12

Workshopping a National Broadband Plan

By Brad

Here are the schedule and speakers for tomorrow’s national broadband plan workshop (all times Eastern):

9:30 a.m.

FCC Participants

Julius Knapp, moderator
Walter Johnston
Stagg Newmann
Robert Curtis

Panel 1:  Mobile Broadband

Dr. Victor Frost, Program Director, Network Technologies, National Science Foundation
Bill St. Arnaud, CRO Canarie
Adam Drobot, CTO Telcordia
Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Evangelist, Google
John T. Chapman, Chief CMTS Architect, Cisco
Henning Schulzrinne, Professor, Columbia University
Paul Misener, VP Global Public Policy, Amazon

Panel 2:  Fixed Broadband Technologies

David Burstein, Editor, DSL Prime
Dr. Paul Henry, Broadband Wireless Systems Research Division, AT&T
Mark DePietro, VP Strategy/Business Development, Broadband Home Solutions, Motorola
Marc Goldburg, CTO, Assia (DSL)
Jason Livingood, Exec. Director ,Internet Engineering, Comcast
David Young, Vice President, Verizon
Geoff Burke, Senior Director, Corporate Marketing, Calix
Stuart Lipoff, President, IP Action Partners

1:30 p.m.

FCC Participants:
Julius Knapp, moderator
Rashmi Doshi
Ron Repasi
Stagg Newmann
Robert Curtis
NTIA (Invited)

Panel 1: Mobile Broadband

Kristin Rinne, Senior VP Architecture and Planning, AT&T
Sten Andersson, Head of Wireless Networks Solutions, Ericsson
Barry West, President - International, Clearwire
Scott Corson, Vice President of Engineering, Qualcomm Flarion Technologies
Milo Medin, CTO, M2Z
Tom Anderson, Head of Architecture for Mobility, Office of CTO, Alcatel-Lucent

Panel 2: Rural Broadband

Mark D. Dankberg, CEO, ViaSat
Jim O’Connor, Director, CPE Engineering and Planning, Open Range Communications
Richard Keith, Senior Director of Strategy, Motorola
Vanu Bose, President and CEO, Vanu Inc.
P. Kelley Dunne, CEO, Digital Bridge
Mark A. McHenry, Ph.D, President and CTO, Shared Spectrum Company
Brett Glass, CEO,

More information on the workshop, including how to participate from afar, is available at the FCC’s national broadband plan site.

Roadblocks for National Broadband

By Brad

During today’s FCC broadband workshop, Craig Moffett — VP and Senior Analyst for Sanford Bernstein Research (and IIA Broadband Ambassador) — addressed some of the key roadblocks to making nationwide broadband a reality.

Regarding the issue of broadband adoption — and how to get people without broadband excited about having it — Moffett looked beyond geography and noted some key differences between the United States and Western Europe, including a wider income distribution, and the number of U.S. homes currently living below the poverty line. Often overlooked, according to Moffett, is the unfortunate number of people in the U.S. who are illiterate — higher than most other OECD countries — which is largely contributing to slower broadband adoption. The good news is that, although the Internet is still primarily an experience of the written word, Moffett believes that as it becomes more entertainment oriented, adoption rates may climb.

Another roadblock Moffett mentioned was the cost structure of the network — specifically related to high-bandwidth applications and the wireless web. Because carriers are unable to charge enough make up for the cost of their capital investments and a limited capacity on the wireless spectrum, Moffett expects usage caps to be coming to wireless networks, and that for the immediate future at least, wirelines will continue to be the Internet workhorses rather than wireless. This will in turn affect how app designers operate, as the market isn’t yet sufficient for deploying advanced, bandwidth-intensive apps.

We’ll soon have a video interview with Craig Moffett about his remarks to the FCC. And if you missed today’s national broadband workshop, a transcript and video archive of the meeting is available at the FCC’s national broadband plan site.

Tuesday, August 11

Workshopping a National Broadband Plan

By Brad

The FCC’s national broadband workshops continue to roll on.

This week’s workshop, focusing on wired deployment, unserved and underserved areas, and fixed broadband, is happening this Wednesday and Thursday in Washington D.C.

For a list of workshop participants and information on watching the event online, visit the FCC’s broadand plan site. We’ll also have reports from the workshop tomorrow and Thursday.

IIA Video: Broadband Usage and Distribution


John Horrigan, Associate Director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, discusses Pew’s research on broadband usage and distribution in America. Broadband adoption has increased in 2009 because people now see broadband as a must have utility, a valuable healthcare tool, and a conduit for economic opportunity even in lean times.

Monday, August 10

Today in Innovation

By Brad

A woman in New York has become the first person in the world to receive an Internet-connected pacemaker. Via the Register:

The device contains a radio transmitter which connects to receiving equipment in New Yorker Carol Kasyjanski’s home, using a very low-power signal around 400MHz, to report on the condition of her heart. Any problems are instantly reported to the doctor, and regular checkups can be done by remotely interrogating the home home-based equipment - the pacemaker itself doesn’t have an IP address, fun as that would be.

Interesting sidenote: the spectrum 402-405MHz has been dedicated for use by medical devices, so expect more innovations such as this one in the immediate future.

The Necessity of Broadband

By Brad

Jonathan Orszag, co-author of the groundbreaking study “The Substantial Consumer Benefits of Broadband Connectivity for U.S. Households,” has penned an op-ed for Multichannel News on how broadband is now a necessity for all Americans. Check it out.

Broadband Fact of the Week


Fact of the Week

Using a remote monitoring system with high-resolution video and real time data on patient vitals, one doctor is able to treat multiple patients in the ICU at once. Using this type of medicine at Johns Hopkins “cut ICU deaths by 50% and saved 90 lives annually.

Fuhr, Joseph P. Jr. Broadband Services: Economic and Environmental Benefits. American Consumer Institute. October 2007.

More facts about broadband and health care.

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