Friday, June 12
IIA has released its recommendation to the FCC on keys to an effective National Broadband Strategy. Among the recommendations:
• Focus on what we know while we learn what we need to know. We know roughly 10 million households lack any broadband options, and connecting them requires billions of dollars. By contrast, policy makers need greater qualitative information on why many Americans are choosing not to subscribe to broadband where it is available. The National Broadband Strategy should embrace new innovative programs, but not rush decisions that will benefit from the broadband mapping currently underway.
• Tap local knowledge. States and localities have much to offer to the broadband discussion. Federal officials should work closely with Mayors, Governors and community leaders, seeking every opportunity to empower those on the ground who are closest to the challenges and most creative in customizing answers.
• Enable Entrepreneurs and Plan for Major Innovations. Federal investments in broadband should never lock communities or the market into specific technologies or standards. While government planners should reflect previous experience, such as the benefits of connecting libraries and community technology centers, they should also enable game-changing technologies to transform the landscape.
• Implement sustainable solutions. We must take care to avoid new entitlement programs, connecting communities and individuals with broadband offerings that they can never afford to maintain. Government investments that lack sustainable funding are not sound investments in our future. Similarly, federal regulations to direct one-time grants should complement, not imperil, the $60-$80 billion annually invested by private actors in the telecommunications marketplace.
Read the full IIA NOI statement (pdf).
Thursday, June 11
A new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, has released some numbers showing the Internet’s effect not just in advertising revenue, but in jobs:
Interactive advertising is responsible for $300 billion of economic activity in the U.S., according to a new study released today by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). The advertising-supported Internet represents 2.1% of the total U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). It directly employs more than 1.2 million Americans with above-average wages in jobs that did not exist two decades ago, and another 1.9 million people work to support those with directly Internet-related jobs. A total of 3.1 million Americans are employed thanks to the interactive ecosystem.
Check out the IAB’s full report.
In today’s edition of The Hill, Jason Brennan, a partner in Stream Strategies and an IIA Broadband Ambassador, has an op-ed on how it’s absolutely critical that the $7 billion in Federal funds set aside for broadband be used wisely:
Whether it’s in rural areas or big metro areas, the benefits of access to high-performance, affordable broadband to small businesses are often overlooked. Big businesses can count on multiple providers competing to offer them the best deal on broadband connections. Small businesses like mine don’t get that kind of built-in advantage, and yet small businesses have long been America’s prime engine of job growth.
That’s not about to change in the current economic climate, so the nation in general has a vested interest in seeing small businesses get the best broadband available. Broadband access is the potential great leveler. It gives small businesses access to the sophisticated online services and data bases that let us compete with much bigger companies, not just in the U.S. but overseas as well. Competitiveness like that creates profits and jobs.
Read the whole thing.
China, known for its strict Internet rules, recently ordered every PC in the country have screening software installed in order to protect citizens from unseemly—and political—content. But via the BBC comes word that the mandated software may, in fact, put computers at risk:
The Chinese government has mandated that all computers in the country must have the screening software installed.
It is intended to filter out offensive material from the net.
The Chinese government said that the Green Dam Youth Escort software, as it is known, was intended to push forward the “healthy development of the internet” and “effectively manage harmful material for the public and prevent it from being spread.”
“We found a series of software flaws,” explained Isaac Mao, a blogger and social entrepreneur in China, as well as a research fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
Among the flaws is the fact that communication between the software and the developer’s servers is not encrypted, meaning a hacker could easily install code that would essentially allow them to seize control of almost every computer in China.
France’s controversial “Three Strikes” law, which would cut Internet access to online pirates, has been struck down by the country’s highest court. And as Read Write Web reports, the decision makes a surprising—and probably groundbreaking—claim: Internet access is a “fundamental human right.”
No doubt the rest of the world is watching closely.
Wednesday, June 10
Over at App-Rising, Geoff Daily offers his list of the “top ten applications for bettering healthcare through broadband.” Check it out.
Daily concludes his list with this word of caution:
In terms of what we need from next-generation broadband networks to enable all these applications to establish themselves and evolve the answers simple: we need everyone to have access to the best broadband. We need broadband networks with limitless capacity so as demands increase so can the supply needed to support them. We need broadband networks that we can rely on to always work. We need broadband networks with low latency to enable as close to real-time delivery as possible.
And while the benefits of next-generation broadband to how we administer medical care are profound, they’re only the tip of the iceberg.
As the Obama administration aims to reform health care and bring broadband to every person in America, the two issues can easily become one.
Forbes has an interesting profile of Ovidui-Ionut Nicola-Roman, a 23-year-old online “phishing” scammer who in March became the first foreigner extradited to the United States for cybercriminal activity:
The dismantling of the phishing scheme involving Nicola-Roman is an example of American law enforcement’s increasingly cozy relationship with foreign cybercrime investigations. Along with the 23-year-old Nicola-Roman, authorities arrested 37 other members of that cybercriminal ring last May. Those globally dispersed defendants were based in countries stretching from the U.S. to Romania to Pakistan.
Nicola-Roman has been sentenced to 50 months in prison. But with a reported 5 million Americans still being scammed online each year, he’s just a drop in the global cybercrime bucket.
Online video content has proved hard to fully track. YouTube has been especially tough to nail down, since Google traditionally keeps numbers quiet. Recently, ComScore released data stating YouTube streams total somewhere around 7 billion videos per month in the U.S. alone, or close to 225 million streams a day.
That’s a lot of video passing through the pipes. But according to TechCrunch, YouTube’s global streams are even more startling:
[T]he real number of streams/day, we’ve now confirmed with a source at Google, is above 1.2 billion/day worldwide. That matches what we’ve heard from other sources. That pretty much means everyone on the Internet, on average, is watching one YouTube video per day.
TechCrunch estimates that the total number of videos being streamed online around the world is now close to 80 billion a month. Think about that: 80 billion videos being streamed over networks each and every month. That’s 960 billion videos a year.
Those numbers aren’t going to go down; they are only going to increase. As the Federal government crafts a national broadband strategy, it is essential that they and we consider the Nets’ rapid evolution to a video platform.
Tuesday, June 09
The Wall Street Journal reports that Cisco Systems is warning that Internet traffic is set to explode by five times the current amount within the next five years. The reason: Internet video.
By 2013, Cisco expect Internet traffic—in this case a broad category that includes delivery of content to televisions and mobile phones—to reach about 56 exabytes per month, up from about nine exabytes per month in 2008. (For those who don’t speak geek, an exabyte is the technical way of saying an insanely large amount of data; there’s a no-doubt apocryphal story on Wikipedia that a study once found that all the words spoken in all of history would only make up about five exabytes.)
In a move to cut spending, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is phasing out school textbooks and embracing online education. Reports the BBC:
From the beginning of the next school year in August, maths and science students in California’s high schools will have access to online texts that have passed an academic standards review.
The governor says digital textbooks can be updated easily - so learning keeps pace with progress.
You can learn more about online education in the IIA Broadband Fact Book.