Worker adjusting the wireless access point outside my window.
Featured Tag: Wireless
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
There's a spectrum auction around the bend and maybe we'll get lucky
The FCC will be auctioning off old TV spectrum in 2008 and they are hard at work today creating a set of rules for the auction. Past spectrum auctions are dominated by really big companies with lots of money (and lobbyists) and this auction will be no different except there's a new kid on the block named Google. And Google thinks the FCC should require openness:
- Open applications: consumers should be able to download and utilize any software applications, content, or services they desire;
- Open devices: consumers should be able to utilize a handheld communications device with whatever wireless network they prefer;
- Open services: third parties (resellers) should be able to acquire wireless services from a 700 MHz licensee on a wholesale basis, based on reasonably nondiscriminatory commercial terms; and
- Open networks: third parties (like internet service providers) should be able to interconnect at a technically feasible point in a 700 MHz licensee's wireless network.
Yesterday the FCC voted to require 1 and 2. Sad not to have 3 which would have really opened up the spectrum but any openness is welcome. Of course, enforcement of the openness will be another issue.
Washington Post has a good article about the whole situation, Susan Crawford reports on the decision, and Paul Kapustka at GigaOm has a good summary of what happened yesterday.
Given that AT&T is happy about the decision (see the Kapustka link), it may be (as Susan Crawford feels) unenforceable.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Twittering Senator Durbin
Twittering Senator Durbin's conversation at the OpenLeft blog. (But the real thing is more interesting.)
Senator Durbin live blogs broadband policy
Tonight and the rest of the week, Illinois Senator Richard Durbin will be engaging in conversations at the OpenLeft blog about US broadband policy starting at 6 p.m. CST (that's tonight's time check the schedule for other nights). Check here for details and instructions on getting an account.
Here's a summary of each night's discussions:
Day 1, Tuesday July 24, will feature a live-blog with the Senator
where we'll be looking to lay out the big picture: how should we
think about broadband policy? How should we be looking at it
differently? What should the key principles for a national broadband
strategy be? It's a big-picture night and an opportunity for folks to
say what they're concerned about, as well as how they think the
Internet (and broadband overall) should operate in the future.
Day 2, Wednesday July 25, will focus on net neutrality and other 'how
the Web works' issues, but indeed, net neutrality will take center
stage. Organizers are hoping we find new frames, new insights, and
new directions for this debate.
Day 3, Thursday, July 26, is going to be about municipal
infrastructure with an emphasis on the use of the public airwaves to
provide broadband. We'll talk iPhone politics, spectrum auctions, and
discuss models for municipal broadband and their implications.
Day 4, Friday, July 27, is going to be more about practicalities in
regards to the provision of infrastructure itself: public/private
partnerships, projects like UTOPIA and Fiber for the Future, Connect
Kentucky, and USF/USDA reform.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Do you know where your Princess Phone is?
David Weinberger has written a lovely essay about liberating the Internet. (This is not a net neutrality piece although he does mention that.)
Main point: Let's not watch the AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and the rest of the incumbent gang upgrade our Internet to Cable TV 2.0 (with some slight variations).
Call your congressperson today and convince them "...that our economy, democracy and culture are too important to leave in the hands of companies that have demonstrated their willingness to lie to continue in their position of power. The Internet belongs to us as surely as the airwaves do."
Couple of quotes to whet your appetite...
Who could blame the incumbent carriers? They came into this with a business model that served them well for decades. And changing their business model isn't like changing their minds. Their business model is a vast technical infrastructure that cost of billions of dollars to build. It's an organizational structure that brings a comfortable living to tens of thousands of people ... and outrageous livings to a handful of senior executives. It's a political structure staffed by hundreds of lobbyists who have become bosom buddies with People of Influence. The business model is embodied in skyscrapers financed by its own profits.
Our democracy flourishes when all ideas can get an equal hearing. The carriers would rather double dip, charging you to connect to the Net, and charging the popular sites for connecting to their users. The result: Big, rich sites will pay to work better than those offering ideas and services out of the mainstream. Big voices will pay to sound better than our voices.That last point about double dipping is the really insidious part of this business, at least in my opinion. Aunt Peggy up in Coleraine, Minnesota won't even know what's going on behind the curtain. The "Big, rich sites" will fill her screen really fast and the backwater sites (like mine) will be very slow in downloading. Where do you think she will spend her time, all other things being equal?
Susan Crawford blogs David's essay and adds some other links of note.
David Weinberger discusses his new book Everything is Miscellaneous with Phil Windley on Technometria.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Internet radio won't be here Monday
Update. Long live Internet radio.
In what could be seen as one of the first major shifts towards corporatizing the Internet, the Copyright Royalty Board will begin imposing onerous fees on Internet radio stations beginning Sunday.
Shaken Internet Radio Stations Face Specter of New Fees Sunday - washingtonpost.com
Sunday, April 22, 2007
The LCG Feed on the right
I started a class blog for the course I'm taking at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs (U of Minnesota). The blog is titled LCG which stands for Leadership for the Common Good.
The LCG blog is a class blog with multiple authors. I invited anyone who is taking the class and there are nine (of twenty-five students) listed as authors although not all have posted.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Josh Breitbart's keys to healthy process
Joshua Breitbart has posted his testimony to the New York City Broadband Advisory Committee. He lists some keys to a healthy process for city's seeking a broadband solution:
- Sustain open participation beyond the initial public hearing stage, through the entire process and continuing even a solution is implemented.
- Promote horizontal relationships among stakeholders rather than hub-and-spoke relationships that all connect to this committee or to any one person or organization.
- Unite stakeholders around shared technology rather than dividing them into tiers.
- Incorporate existing human resources wherever possible to avoid redundancy and to build on existing relationships.
- Be open with whatever information you gather: publish documents, test results, and regular updates on an accessible website and make them readily available to people without Internet access.
So far here in Minneapolis, we don't rate highly in relation to these points. The process has been relatively closed.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
International Summit for Community Wireless Networks
The Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network (CUWiN) and the Center for Community Informatics (CCI) will host the International Summit for Community Wireless Networks from May 18-20, 2007 at Loyola College in Columbia, Maryland.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Conversations & Policy at Policy Soup
Nice read at David Curle's Minn Policy Soup about a recent talk by David Lankes. Links to Lankes' audio and slides too.
"Documents, the things that we have been conditioned to think of as "information," are really only weak echoes of the conversations that created them."
Ooh. I like that quote.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
FTC looks at broadband connectivity
The FTC Broadband Connectivity Competition Policy Workshop was on Feb. 13 and 14. Gigi Sohn and David Isenberg voice opinions about the proceedings. Webcasts available.
Feb. 28 is the deadline for comments.