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

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.

Friday, August 07

Worries From West Virginia

By Brad

Officials in West Virginia—which ranks near the bottom of states with access to broadband—are expressing concerns that the state may be left out in the cold when it comes to stimulus dollars. Much like the concerns from urban area officials, West Virginia’s problems stem from a definition in the broadband stimulus guidelines. The Charleston Daily Mail reports:

Dave Armentrout, chief operating officer of telecommunications provider FiberNet, is concerned that West Virginia may miss out on the $7.2 billion in federal stimulus money aimed at deploying broadband in rural and remote areas across the nation.

The way “remote area” has been defined by the federal agencies overseeing the program has eliminated most of West Virginia, “which we all know is ridiculous because West Virginia ranks in the top 47 or 48 states un-served by broadband,” Armentrout said.

When it comes to broadband grants, words indeed matter. Hopefully the NTIA will address the issues soon.

Online Conflicts

By Brad

That collective Internet freakout you heard yesterday was the sound of people worldwide realizing many of their favorite social networking sites were experiencing major technical difficulties—difficulties stemming from hackers targeting just one individual. CNet reports:

A Georgian blogger with accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, and Google’s Blogger and YouTube was targeted in a denial-of-service attack that led to the sitewide outage at Twitter and problems at the other sites on Thursday, according to a Facebook executive.

The blogger, who uses the account name “Cyxymu,” (the name of a town in the Republic of Georgia) had accounts on all of the different sites that were attacked at the same time, Max Kelly, chief security officer at Facebook, told CNET News.

Whether the attack had something to do with the long-brewing conflict between Georgia and Russia in unknown. But this certainly wouldn’t be the first time the conflict between the two nations spread online.

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

By Brad

Given the current winterly economic climate, businesses looking to cut costs are turning to videoconferencing more than ever. Thankfully, the technology is making the switch from travel to monitors easier than ever:

Plagued by fuzzy images, out-of-sync lips and bulky equipment, videoconferencing has a spotty track record. But now, the technology has matured to the point where it’s often more practical—and affordable—to move digital bits instead of bodies.

Accenture figures it saved more than $25,000 in travel costs by holding just one recent virtual meeting. The firm has 36 videoconferencing rooms spread across its locations and plans to install 14 more this fall. The move will save millions of dollars and hours of tiring travel for its workers.

“It’s a big win for me at home,” said Borerro, a mother of two who lives in Leonia. “I’m definitely planning more telepresence meetings in the area I lead.”

You can learn more about the benefits of videoconferencing and telework in the IIA Broadband Fact Book.

Thursday, August 06

FCC Staffing Up

By Bruce Mehlman

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has announced the senior staff members who will help craft America’s National Broadband Plan. From the FCC press release:

“A brilliant team of senior staff has been assembled who possess the deep and wide-ranging expertise necessary to assess the nation’s broadband needs and help bring high speed, affordable broadband to all Americans,” Chairman Genachowski said. “I am grateful that these individuals have already proven their commitment to this daunting task by agreeing to work under the pressing deadline of delivering a plan to Congress by Feb. 17, 2010. Developing the National Broadband Plan will require enormous effort on the part of dozens of current FCC staff who will be enlisted to contribute their talents, ideas, and insights for this initiative. And I am delighted by the decision of so manyof others to set aside their successful ventures in the private sector to also join in serving the public interest. Broadband is our generation’s major infrastructure challenge and it is a top priorityto craft a National Broadband Plan that will unlock opportunity, foster innovation and investment, and improve the lives of all Americans.”

Read the full FCC press release (PDF).

Download Your Daily (For a Price)

By Brad

As traditional journalism models continue to crumble, giants in the industry are scrambling to make up lost revenue. Now one of the biggest giants of all, Rupert Murdoch—owner of the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications—is declaring the era of free online reading is coming to an end. Reports Business Spectator:

News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch told analysts in a conference call after News Corp released its full-year results that the traditional newspaper business model has to change.

“The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive methods of distribution,” Mr Murdoch said.

But it has not made content free. Accordingly we intend to charge for all our news websites,” he said.

The Wall Street Journal already charges users to read online content, but while the paper may seem like a good blueprint moving forward, there’s a catch. People are okay paying to read the WSJ online because it’s been that way since the beginning. Convincing readers to start paying for content they’ve traditionally received for free is a whole different ball game.

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