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

Monday, June 22

Passwords Kept Private in Bozeman

By Brad

Last week, news made the rounds that the city of Bozeman, Montana was requesting passwords to social networking sites from potential employees. This, naturally, led to complaints about privacy rights being violated.

What a difference a weekend—and a lot of Internet noise—makes. Today, the city announced that it will no longer require job applicants to cough up their passwords.

Symposium Overview

By IIA

The Internet Innovation Alliance held its biannual Symposium at the Newseum in Washington, DC on June 17, 2009. The Symposium, "Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus," featured Governor Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and NBA All-Star and tech advocate Chris Bosh. For a full list of speakers and panelists, as well as event video, please visit IIA's Symposium webpage.

The Symposium highlighted the importance of broadband adoption, with two panels and three keynotes offering in-depth discussions regarding the barriers and benefits of adoption as well as policy recommendations.

Our first speaker, John Horrigan from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, gave an overview of Pew's latest study on broadband adoption. He highlighted the results of Pew's April 2009 survey, which shows that Americans are increasing their adoption of high-speed Internet despite the economic recession. For more information and to see full results of the study, please click here.

We had two panels devoted to broadband adoption; the first focused on reaching Americans in rural areas, and panelists discussed the economic implications of the broadband stimulus, the need for widespread broadband deployment and adoption to facilitate distance learning and eHealth initiatives. The second panel was devoted to making broadband affordable for all Americans, and panelists explored ways to get minority communities connected and increasing digital literacy. To watch video coverage of these panel discussions, please visit IIA's Symposium webpage.


 
 

Friday, June 19

IIA in the News

By IIA

Minnesota Farm Guide edition:

Broadband access can offer job opportunities, economic development and improved quality of life.

One group helping to lead efforts for universal broadband is the U.S. Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA).

Based in Washington, D.C., IIA is a non-profit organization guided by the principle that any family or business without broadband access is at a disadvantage to those who do have broadband.
 
“There is going to be a lot of talk about broadband in the next one or two years. An integral part of that discussion is what’s happening in rural America - how do we get up to the speed they need to lead a broadband life?” said Larry Irving, co-chair of the U.S. Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA).

Check out the full interview.

Watch a Video to Learn More

By Brad

Get ready for a new flood of online video content. Via Read Write Web:

Wikipedia, the free web-based encyclopedia used worldwide, will be adding video to their online repository in a matter of months. When the new system launches, you’ll find a new button labeled “Add Media” on Wikipedia articles. Upon clicking this, you’ll be prompted to search through three online repositories for relevant videos which can be added to the article. You can even select particular portions of the video instead of embedding the entire clip.

Inching Ever Closer to a FCC Commish

By Brad

Yesterday, the Senate Commerce Committee voted 24-1 to make President Obama’s pick of Julius Genachowski the next chairman of the F.C.C. The Republican pick, former FCC chairman Robert McDowell, was also approved.

Up next for the nominees: the full Senate.

Passwords, Please

By Brad

With more and more people participating in social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, employers have gradually started to take note. But now the city of Bozeman, Montana is taking things a step further by nipping social media problems in the bud during the interview process:

Applying for a job with the City of Bozeman? You may be asked to provide more personal information than you expected.

That was the case for one person who applied for employment with the City. The anonymous viewer emailed the news station recently to express concern with a component of the city’s background check policy, which states that to be considered for a job applicants must provide log-in information and passwords for social network sites in which they participate.

As people continue to participate online—sharing personal information in the process—expect more companies to start altering their hiring practices.

Today in Censorship

By Brad

China continues to “protect” its citizens from Internet content deemed unhealthy. Reports Ars Technica:

An impatient Chinese government has begun blocking some results from Google China Friday, just one day after the country’s Internet watchdog group criticized Google for “disseminating pornographic and vulgar information.” The blocks were instituted by China’s national office for Internet pornography crackdown and targeted at search results that contained unsavory content. The office also apparently asked Google to stop searching foreign sites.

Oddly, only Chinese language sites were affected by government blocking.

Thursday, June 18

Tweets from the Symposium

By Brad

Here are some of the many twitter updates made during yesterday’s Broadband Symposium using the #iia hash:

You too can follow IIA on twitter at twitter.com/IIABroadband.

Symposium Coverage Roundup

By IIA

Yesterday’s Broadband Symposium —featuring such speakers as West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, NBA All-Star Chris Bosh, and rural broadband success story Becky Collins (aka “Granny B”)—was a big success. Many thanks to everyone involved, from planning to participating to Twittering during the event.

If you missed the Symposium, video is available here. And here’s some of the media coverage of the event:

From Network World

The broadband forum came as two U.S. agencies, the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), get ready to distribute US$7.2 billion for broadband deployment beginning later this year. The IIA pushes for broadband to continue to be a top priority in the U.S. government.

Several speakers at the broadband forum, including professional basketball player Chris Bosh and West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, made their cases for why universal broadband availability is important in the U.S.

From the West Virginia Gazette:

As money from the federal economic stimulus package arrives in West Virginia, Gov. Joe Manchin is making high-speed Internet access a priority across the state.

“If you come to me for water and sewer money, you better be putting wire in that ditch,” Manchin said Wednesday in Washington after accepting an award from the Internet Innovation Alliance, a group that seeks to increase broadband Internet access in the U.S. “I’m not going to be digging that ditch up twice.”

From Broadband Census:

The effort to increase broadband adoption has mainly focused on increasing broadband access and availability to drive demand, this may not be enough to increase broadband adoption.

That was the message that non-profit representatives and a consulting firm agreed upon in a panel discussion, titled “Making Broadband Affordable for All Americans,” and hosted by the Internet Innovation Alliance at the Washington Newseum on Wednesday.

Broadband Growing, But a Digital Divide Remains

By Brad

A new report from the Pew Research Center finds that despite the current economic environment, broadband adoption is still growing:

Some 63% of adult Americans have broadband internet connections at home, according to the April 2009 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. This figure compares with 55% recorded a year earlier and the eight percentage point increase translates into a 15% growth rate from May 2008 to May 2009. The growth rate is comparable to those recorded in the past three years.

Good news, as is the report’s findings that broadband adoption increased among seniors and low-income households. Unfortunately, among African Americans, the report also finds that broadband adoption remained nearly stagnant for the second year in a row.

 

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