Saturday, January 31, 2009

Thinking Aloud

Are you shovel ready? Isn't everyone? Everyone I talk to sure thinks they are. I, alone, have about 12 shovels in my garage. (don't ask, they seem to multiply in weird ways I haven't begun to understand.)

Who should be the recipient of the newfound broadband largess in the US? With over $6B in the probable queue for distribution to the underserved, everybody and their brother seems to believe that their projects are worthy of funding.

The folks who really really deserve to benefit from this funding -- those in isolated or expensive-to-serve areas -- are not the ones who have high paid lobbyists scouring the influential in Washington, D.C. These folks may have some mom-and-pop-style Internet provider who could really benefit the local community.

Let's make sure the funds have the possibility to be awarded to the truly underserved. In my mind, it will be vitally important for those applying for the grants to PROVE, beyond a reasonable doubt, that they intend to really serve the underserved by providing factual data showing a) why the communities proposed are underserved and b) that the communities proposed to be served want their services.

Let's make sure that this doesn't end up as a "scrap heap of embarrassing government boondoggles." See an invigorating take on the stimulus at the Washington Post

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Using broadband for environmental sustainability

Award winning papers from our friends down under showing how broadband can be use to achieve environmental stability. Three papers are at this link and 5 more will be available in the Feb. Journal.

Here's a little taste for you: one paper did an analysis of the environmental impact of fibre-versus-copper access networks. It shows that in a year of usage, someone on an FTTN/DSL service costs the environment 190 kg CO2 emissions versus 109 kg for a user on a FTTH(PON) connection.

Measurement Lab

"Measurement Lab is a partnership of the Open Technology Institute, the PlanetLab Consortium, Google Inc., and academic researchers"

You can go there and figure out how your Internet connection is working, including if your provider is doing weird stuff in the background to mess with your packets. Goodness.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Broadband Fact Book

The folks at the Internet Innovation Alliance created a broadband fact book. It contains, according to them, "everything you ever needed to know about broadband." [I'm laughing out loud. What a claim. But, I suspect there is a fair amount of good stuff.]

Monday, January 26, 2009

Job Search Sites Flourish on American Soil

From MarketingVOX: The Voice of Online Marketing

"As job losses mount in the US economy, growth to online job search sites grew 51% to 18.8 million visitors. This makes job search the fastest-growing content site category in '08. "

Lack of Internet 'Costing Families £70 a Month'

In today's economy, pointing out that broadband allows people to be smarter shoppers and save more money is a good demand generator. I also like the like the term "non-liners" as a good description of those who want to get online but are held back by ICT literacy, fear or financial issues.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rural Broadband Musical Chairs

Watch as the cablecos dump the low revenue rural areas.

Economic Stimulus, HIT and Telemedicine: Infrastructure Build-out, Establishing a HIT Workforce, and Community Development” - Video

Video of Economic Stimulus, HIT and Telemedicine: Infrastructure Build-out, Establishing a HIT Workforce, and Community Development presentation. HIT = health information technology.

Broadband Stimulus Video

From New America Foundation

Building a 21st Century Broadband Superhighway

New America publication.

A Concrete Build-out Plan to Bring High-Speed Fiber to Every Community [utilizing the federal highway system]

Skype Phone

Skype phones let you use broadband with Skype, but you don't really need a computer.

Verizon Broadband Phone

Rumored for Feb. 2009

AT&T HomeManager

AT&T's wireline broadband telephone. $299

Needs both a landline and a broadband connection to work.

Features from their website.

Fully portable seven-inch color touch screen — use the provided "pen" stylus or your finger to navigate
Cordless handset with crisp two-inch color screen and speakerphone
Call log to view missed, dialed and received calls — just touch the number to place a call, and easily save names and numbers to your address book.
Your choice of either standard or visual voicemail. Visual voicemail conveniently displays a list of your voice messages so you can touch them and listen in the order you choose.
Up to five separate address books for storing and synching all your contact information with your wireless phone from AT&T. Assign a photograph to each entry, and the photo will appear when that person calls.
Display your favorite photos on the touch screen — it can act as a digital picture frame!
Easy access to Web-based information like:
Sports scores
Yellow Pages
Lottery number