Friday, April 24, 2009

FirstMileUS Twibe

Are we there yet? Another social networking thingy. Not sure what you do in a Twibe, but let's figure it out together.

Just started a Twibe. Visit to join.

Ten Things You Need to Understand About Broadband

Just posted a four page piece called Ten Things You Need to Understand About Broadband. Read the whole thing at FirstMile.US or cheat with just reading the ten things here...
  1. Open infrastructure is an essential building block to universal broadband.
  2. Broadband Adoption = Access + Applications + Affordability + Accessibility + Assistance
  3. There are many different roadblocks to adoption in “underserved” communities.
  4. At least five factors must be measured to understand why an expensive-to-serve area has no or sparse broadband.
  5. Urban communities have the most nonadopters.
  6. Public-good “Grand Challenge” applications are the killer apps for government.
  7. Subsidized middle-mile fiber combined with community connection points will catalyze first mile deployments in expensive-to-serve areas.
  8. Successful programs that create new adoption must be feted and scientifically analyzed so we can replicate success.
  9. Mapping is a-good-thing, but empirical data is better.
  10. Sustained local leadership has the biggest and most dramatic effect on creating broadband demand, creating a community broadband spirit and attracting the attention of communications providers.

ARRA Broadband Game and the Players

I love this post. Truly. Lev does a great job at framing ARRA broadband game and its players. Read it.

First Public Library Internet-only Radio Station

Check out the first public library to offer an Internet-only radio station. Radio LPL is produced by Liverpool Public Library in Liverpool, New York. Tune in for selections from the library's collection of music recordings. They feature classical, jazz, popular, folk, musicals, new age, soundtracks, and local artists.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

FirstMile.US Appoints National Broadband Leaders Lassner and Nelson to Board

FirstMile.US, a nonprofit focused on providing tools and training needed to drive broadband demand and increase broadband deployment, today announced the appointment of two new board members and the election of its first board chair. Steven Corbató, an existing board member, was elected as the Chairman of the Board. David Lassner and Michael Nelson were elected to the board. They join current board members Vinton Cerf, Susan Estrada, Dewayne Hendricks and Lynn St. Amour.

"These appointments exponentially increase FirstMile.US’s strength, brain-trust, and ability to deliver," said Susan Estrada, FirstMile.US president. “Under the leadership of Steve, the board members will help drive our strategic vision to increase the reach of our tools and training -- helping drive big broadband demand and deployment in the United States.”

"For the last four years, FirstMile.US’s grassroots efforts have been focused on tackling the persistent last mile problem,” said Steven Corbató, who directs cyberinfrastructure strategy at the University of Utah and is a former network and technology leader at Internet2. “FirstMile.US is a driving force in spotlighting and linking local initiatives with an eye towards the critical end goal of ubiquitous national broadband. I'm honored to be elected chair at this tipping point for our nation’s broadband strategy and implementation."

Lassner is the statewide University of Hawaii's first Chief Information Officer, past Chair of the Pacific Telecommunications Council and current Chair of the Hawaii Broadband Task Force. "As an island state, Hawaii presents some unique challenges in both first and middle mile connectivity,” commented David. “I look forward to learning and sharing more with FirstMile.US as we work to advance the broadband capabilities of communities throughout our nation to improve health care, education, public safety, civic engagement and economic development for all."

“In my twenty years in the Washington D.C. -- in the Senate, at the White House, at IBM, and now at Georgetown University -- I think we've never been at a more critical time in the evolution of America's Internet infrastructure,” said Michael Nelson. “I'm glad to be able to help FirstMile.US shape the debate at this inflection point in the development of ubiquitous, real broadband across the country.”

About FirstMile.US

FirstMile.US is a nationally-focused non-profit. Our goal: Big Broadband Everywhere. Our method: educating, advocating and focusing on the power and promise of big broadband until the FirstMile.US vision—that every member of the American public has access to affordable, big broadband—is achieved.

Implementing sustainable technology to monitor the integrity of the nation's bridges

An interesting broadband application where the University of Miami is using sensor networks to monitor the integrity of bridges.

"With the Federal Highway Administration estimating that more than 70,000 of the nation's bridges are structurally deficient, the system Nanni and his team develop could be used as a national model for monitoring the structural integrity of bridges nationwide and alerting bridge owners to potential dangers."

Jon Stewart, Muppet Scat and Broadband

In the April 14th, 2009 Daily Show, Jon Stewart suggests that watchers do a Google search for "Muppet scat" and see what comes up. The "Muppet scat" search was the top most searched term on April 14th and 5th most searched term on Google on April 15. (you can see the suggestion at 4:50 into the video.)

Maybe between Oprah and Jon Stewart, a broadband demand campaign can be devised for getting people online. After all, it's better than being left out.

Friday, April 10, 2009

FirstMile.US ARRA Comments Available

We filed our ARRA comments today at the NTIA. Phew! We've also put the comments on our own website in a downloadable PDF. Our specific recommendations include:
  1. Clarification of the nationwide definition for unserved and underserved is urgent.
  2. A definition for unserved and underserved definition for communities with no/low access to broadband is needed.
  3. A definition for unserved and underserved definition for high population urban communities with low adoption of broadband is needed.
  4. Definition and characterization of public-good “grand challenge” applications are required.
  5. Strong interagency coordination to support the nation’s grand challenges is required.
  6. NTIA and RUS should maximize the opportunity to create new broadband access through middle mile and community connection points
  7. Replicable programs that create new adoption, workforce development and new applications are necessary.
  8. Mapping
  • Verifiable, reliable data sources must be utilized
  • Grand challenge institutions should be mapped.
  • Standardized GIS schema must be created at a national level.
  • The mapping must include more data than the combined upload/download speeds.
  • Broadband services should be mapped.
  • The factors that affect adoption should be mapped.
  • The federal government, state institutions, tribal governments and local leaders should work together to determine the variety of geographical areas needed to understand the true nature of broadband deployment.
  • All federally-owned, state-owned and tribal-owned lands and buildings should be mapped.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Top 10 Community-based Organization Websites

Pew Internet and American Life Project

These guys have a lot of data. So, whilst we try to solve the problems of the US with broadband, we should probably put this link at the top of our list for grappling with many of the issues that face us. Why start from scratch when these guys have done a lot of the homework and prep for us?

Let's Just Copy the Aussies

You probably know the FCC had some sort of FCC-official-shindig today where they were talking about a national broadband plan. Here's the Word press release:

I say, why waste a whole lot of time on lobbyists trolling around the FCC. Let's just copy what the Aussies are doing and get on with deployment. I mean, don't we all know that Australia has a lot of the same issues we have here with deployment: geography, lots of rural areas, monopolistic incumbents, etc.? And, just look, they came up with a solution ahead of us.

Here's an analysis of the Aussie broadband plan from my friend, Paul Budde.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Social Networking Grows 93%; Communication Becomes Entertainment

The folks at Marketing Vox report:

Social networking among US broadband users has grown an impressive 93% since 2006, and has increased the amount of time people spend communicating online 18%, to 32% of total online time, according to a new report from Netpop Research, LLC that delves into social networking trends and habits, reports MarketingCharts.

The research estimates that 105 million American broadband users (76%) now contribute to social media. 92% of the 243 million broadband consumers in [China] (224 million) ages 13+ contribute to social media. This is compared with only 76% of the American broadband population.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Steven Levy's Interview with Vint Cerf

Audio of Tech Policy Central Meetup Featuring Dr. Vint Cerf, VP and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google and Steven Levy, Senior Writer at Wired Magazine. This was recorded on March 25, 2009 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View CA.

Check out the discussion between Dewayne Hendricks and Vint -- about 2/3 of the way in -- about the stimulus. We totally support the notion of middle mile and community connection points!