Tag Archives: Telecom

Share Your Network–Join New Open Wireless Movement

New Project Promotes Shared Open Wi-Fi with Tips and How-Tos

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and a coalition of nine other groups launched the Open Wireless Movement today–a new project to promote a landscape of shared, wireless Internet.

The Open Wireless Movement site at openwireless.org gives users of all kinds technological and legal information around opening up a wireless network, including how-to guides and responses to common myths. The site includes specialized information for households, small businesses, developers, and Internet Service Providers. The Open Wireless Movement coalition is also working to develop router technology making it easier for people to open their networks without losing quality of Internet access or compromising security.

“We envision a world where sharing one’s Internet connection is the norm,” said EFF Activist Adi Kamdar. “A world of open wireless would encourage privacy, promote innovation, and largely benefit the public good. And everyone–users, businesses, developers, and Internet service providers–can get involved.”

The Open Wireless Coalition consists of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Free Press, Internet Archive, NYCwireless, the Open Garden Foundation, OpenITP, the Open Spectrum Alliance, the Open Technology Institute, and the Personal Telco Project.

Why No One Should Talk To or Read Anything from the Heartland Institute

I had a very interesting email exchange today with Thomas Cheplick, a reporter at the Heartland Institute. For those of you paying attention over the past few years to the Telecom sector, you’ll remember The Heartland Institute as a Sock Puppet Organization that “that call themselves independent but have ties among each other and to the industries about which they are stating they have an objective opinion.”

Apparently, Mr. Cheplick is writing an “article” on the recently announced Miami Beach Free Wi-Fi network. We are certainly in favor of local city governments trying to help local residents and provide a valuable utility, especially when it is used to enable city workers and public safety services to get roaming internet access to better do their jobs and to save the city and taxpayers money.

But Mr. Cheplick’s bias against any such initiative, as well as the bias of his employer, shows through clearly in his initial email requesting NYCwireless comment. He even goes so far as to outright lie about the reasons behind the closure of other Muni-Wi-Fi networks (hint: it has something to do with the fact that the providers of such networks, such as Earthlink and MetroFi, either exited or went out of business). It seems clear to me that whatever Mr. Cheplick writes, its going to be heavily one sided, with a strong slant towards supporting big business and a big slant away from wanting to help local residents help themselves. Something to be aware of in case you come across Mr. Cheplick’s “article”.

Interestingly, I’ve met many conservatives and liberals alike that are big supporters of people and small local governments helping themselves. Its a mystery to me why anyone (unless you are an executive as a large Telco or Cableco) would be against people becoming self-sufficient. But then again, I don’t have an agenda paid for by an incumbent big business.

And yes, Mr. Cheplick, you are correct that “off-the-record” can be a two way street. So perhaps you’ll think twice about being naughty around the holidays. Hopefully, this public post will nicely match the lump of coal that was surely left in your stocking this year.

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Community Broadband Hearing at Columbia University on Dec. 11

UPDATE: This is a Community Broadband Hearing by Columbia University, not an FCC Field Hearing. Sorry for the confusion!

Friend Bruce Lincoln, Entrepreneur in Residence at Columbia Engineering’s Center for Technology, Innovation & Community Engagement, sent us an invite for a Community Broadband Hearing taking place next Friday, December 11 at Columbia. I’m planning to attend, and suggest those of you that fill the different roles outlined below attend as well.

If you are planning on attending, leave a comment so we can find you!

It is important that members of the local community have an opportunity to participate in the National Broadband Planning process which is currently underway in Washington.

Toward that end, I invite you to participate in an FCC Field Hearing on Friday, December 11, 2009 at Columbia University in New York. The meeting will be held in Davis Auditorium from 8:45 am until noon.

The field hearing will bring together policymakers, elected officials, not-for-profit organizations, small businesses, anchor institutions, public agencies, broadband providers, foundations, community-based organizations and community leaders, academicians, and researchers. Together we will share thoughts on how collectively we can ensure all New Yorkers have access to broadband and the educational, economic and social opportunities it can provide.

I hope you will be able to attend as a representative of your organization or constituency. To fully understand the importance of broadband access from all points of view, your participation is vital. The agenda includes a “community visioning session” where you will have an opportunity to share your thoughts, ideas, and concerns with the group.

You can confirm your attendance via e-mail to bl2317@columbia.edu.

Agenda

Friday, December 11, 2009
Davis Auditorium, Columbia University
8 am-noon

8:00 Registration and Breakfast
8:45 Welcome (Bruce Lincoln, Columbia Engineering)
8:50 Opening Remarks (Dean, Feniosky Pena-Mora, Columbia Engineering)
9:00 “An Overview of the New York State Broadband Vision and Strategy” (Edward Reinfurt, Executive Director, New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation, NYSTAR)
9:30 “Vision of New York City’s Broadband Future” (Gale Brewer, Chair, Committee on Technology and Government, New York City Council)
9:40 Short Break
9:45 Practitioners Panel Session
10:15 Audience Q&A
10:30 Community Visioning Session
11:30 Wrap-up
12:00 Adjournment

Video of Has Divestiture Worked? A 25th Anniversary Assessment of the Break Up of AT&T now online

This is a little late, but the video of the presentations for the “Has Divestiture Worked? A 25th Anniversary Assessment of the Break Up of AT&T” event at which I presented is now available online.

The embedded video is from session 3, and the discussion about NYCwireless happens between 25:00 and 38:00.

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/KUmZs9IEQV4&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0

Thanks to ISOC for getting these videos online!

Event: Has Divestiture Worked? A 25th Anniversary Assessment of the Break Up of AT&T

This announcement comes from our friend Bruce Kushnick, who’s one of the people putting on this excellent event. “Divestiture” and “Structural Separation” is something that NYCwireless has been fighting for almost since we started, since Verizon and AT&T’s vertically-integrated monopolies make it very hard for us to do some of the work that we do (and sometimes impossible). We hope lots of you come to the event, even if just to learn about what this stuff is all about!

DATE: FRIDAY, MARCH 6th, 2009 TIME: 6PM-9PM
LOCATION: New York University, Warren Weaver Hall (251 Mercer), Room 109
PRICE:  ADMISSION IS FREE. (RSVP requested, rsvp@bway.net )

In 1984, AT&T, then the largest company in the U.S., was broken up because of the monopoly controls “Ma Bell” had over telecommunications. Known as “Divestiture”, we have reached the 25th anniversary of the AT&T breakup and it is time to look carefully and critically at the deregulation of telecommunications to evaluate the effectiveness of this important economic policy.

Open Infrastructure Alliance, (OIA) together with the Internet Society, (ISOC) New York chapter, is convening a series of panels to dialog on the deregulation of the telecommunications industry. Among the key issues to be considered are:

  • Has divestiture worked? A careful examination of the consequences of divestiture and deregulation over the last 25 years.
  • America is ranked 15th in the world in broadband. What role does America’s closed broadband networks (e.g., Verizon’s FiOS and AT&T’s U-Verse) play in such a ranking? Do closed networks fulfill last mile requirements of the Telecom Act of 1996?
  • The Obama administration and Congress have put together a massive economic stimulus package, including broadband infrastructure projects. Does this new legislation address the major issues or are other steps necessary?

The dialogue will assess whether deregulation has helped or harmed America’s digital future. What role should a new, reconstituted FCC play? What policies and programs are needed to make America #1 again in technology, broadband and the Internet?

Confirmed Speakers: (More to Come)

  • Tom Allibone, LTC Consulting
  • Jonathan Askin, Esq, Brooklyn Law School
  • Dave Burstein, DSL Prime
  • Frank A. Coluccio, Cirrant Partners Inc
  • Mark Cooper, Consumer Federation of America
  • Alex Goldman, ISP Planet
  • Fred Goldstein, Ionary Consulting
  • Bruce Kushnick, New Networks Institute
  • Dean Landsman, Landsman Communications Group
  • Scott McCollough, Esq.
  • Joe Plotkin, Bway.net
  • David Rosen, Consultant

Market:

  • A 25 year analysis of the Age of the Bell companies.
  • How did America become 15th in the world in broadband?
  • What is the role of the cable and phone companies?
  • What happened to the price of phone service?
  • Is wireless overtaking wireline services?

Regulation:

  • Has deregulation helped or harmed the America’s digital future?
  • How do we deal with corporate controls over the FCC, or should we scrap the FCC?
  • How do we fund and create open, ubiquitous, high-speed networks?
  • What should happen next with wireless services?
  • What is the status of competition today, and what needs to be changed for the future?
  • What applications are going to drive the next generation?
  • Is it time for another divestiture or other regulatory changes?

For More Information:
Joe Plotkin
T: 646-502-9796
E: bwayjoe@bway.net
Internet Society, NY Chapter
E: president@isoc-ny.org