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.

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

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

NYC Broadband Advisory Committee Public Hearing in Staten Island

Its been quite some time since the last Broadband Advisory Committee Meeting, but the final meeting, taking place in Staten Island, has finally been scheduled. We hope to see many of you on Thursday, March 5, 2009 from 11am-3pm @ CUNY College of Staten Island (Building 1P):

Broadband Committee holds Public Meeting on Staten Island’s Broadband Connectivity

WHO: New York City Council Member Gale A. Brewer, the Broadband Advisory Committee, Staten Island public school students, CUNY College of Staten Island professors and their classes, parents, nonprofit leaders, small business owners and senior centers
WHEN: Thursday, March 5, 2008, 11am-3pm
WHERE: CUNY College of Staten Island (Building 1P)
Recital Hall, The Center for the Arts
2800 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10314
BLOG: http://nycbroadband.blogspot.com/ 

Coming on the heels of successful public hearings in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens where hundreds of people attended, the New York City Broadband Advisory Committee will hear from policy experts, Staten Island residents and business people in a Public Meeting of the Broadband Advisory Committee in Staten Island. During this official hearing on the borough’s Broadband status, the City Council seeks to answer the following questions: How important is affordable Broadband to businesses and to under–served communities? How will high–speed Internet connections improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers and their families?

“New York is the most dynamic city in the world. But when it comes to the Internet, we’re working to catch up to other jurisdictions,” said Council Member Brewer, Chair of the New York City Council’s Committee on Technology in Government. Brewer sponsored Local Law 126, which created the NYC Broadband Advisory Committee. “I am excited to work with the Mayor’s Office in making New York a place where you don’t have to pay to go slow. We need affordable high–speed Internet connections to bring in jobs, help schools, and make the city safer.”

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project in May 2008 Survey, 32% of American households are still not using the Internet at all and “those with less education, those with lower household incomes, and Americans age 65 and older are less likely to have embraced broadband than those who are younger and have higher socio–economic status.” Seeking to address these same imbalances, Broadband Advisory Committee Chairperson, Shaun Belle, and CEO of Mount Hope Housing Company said, “Understanding the challenges to Broadband connectivity for the average New Yorker is a primary focus of the Broadband Advisory Committee; exploring and potentially implementing solutions to address these challenges will be the basis of our future planning.”

Andrew Rasiej, an Advisory Committee Member and the Founder of the Personal Democracy Forum and MOUSE said, “These hearings are critical to focusing broad political attention and building consensus for the need to guarantee all New Yorkers an opportunity to participate in the 21st Century economy.” As of February 2009, President Obama’s stimulus plan includes $7 billion in broadband infrastructure development to ensure the American economy is competitive in the long run.

The New York Broadband Advisory Committee was created by Local Law 126, a bill sponsored by Council Member Gale Brewer. The purpose of the Committee is to advise the Mayor and the City Council on how to bring affordable high–speed Internet connection to all New York City residents, nonprofit organizations and businesses. The public hearing in Staten Island is the final in a series of five being convened in every borough. The Committee will compile their recommendations to the Mayor at the conclusion of this hearing.

NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL TECHNOLOGY IN GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Council Member Gale A. Brewer, Chair, Manhattan, District 6
Council Member Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn, District 39
Council Member Letitia James, Brooklyn, District 35
Council Member Oliver Koppell, Bronx, District 11
Council Member James Sanders, Jr., Brooklyn, District 31

BROADBAND ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Mayoral Representatives

Shaun M. Belle — Broadband Advisory Committee Chair, President and CEO, Mount Hope Housing Company
Mitchel Ahlbaum — General Counsel and Deputy Commissioner for Telecommunications Services, DoITT
Thomas A. Dunne — Vice President of Government Relations, Fordham University, Former Vice President of Public Affairs at Verizon
Avi Duvdevani — Chief Information Officer/Deputy General Manager, NYCHA
John J. Gilbert III — Executive Vice President/ Chief Operating Officer, Rudin Management Company
Howard Szarfarc — President, Time Warner Cable of New York and New Jersey
Anthony Townsend — Research Director, Institute for the Future

City Council Representatives

David Birdsell — Dean, Graduate School of Public Affairs, Baruch College, City University of New York
Neil Pariser — Senior Vice President, South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp.
Andrew Rasiej — Founder of MOUSE, Former candidate for Public Advocate of New York City
Jose Rodriguez — President and Founder, Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network
David Wicks — Founding Partner, Alwyn Group, Former Cablevision executive, Wall Street investment banker
Elisabeth Stock — President and Co–Founder, Computers for Youth
Nicholas Thompson — Senior Editor, WIRED Magazine

For more information or to testify please contact Kunal Malhotra with the Office of Council Member Gale A. Brewer at 212-788-6975 or Kunal.Malhotra@council.nyc.gov

CITI's 25th Anniversary Celebration Invite and Discount Code for NYCwireless Members

Eli Noam, the Director of the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) emailed me an invite to CITI’s 25th Anniversary Celebration and Conference. All NYCwireless members can attend this great celebration at a discount! We’ll be there, and hope you can be also.

See below for the invitation and discount code.

We would be pleased if the members of NYCwireless could attend a 25th anniversary celebration of Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI). CITI is a research center at Columbia Business School that has published over 70 books, written more than thousand articles, and hosted over 200 conferences, bringing together illustrious speakers and accomplished alumni to explore the wonderfully dynamic fields of Telecom and Electronic Mass Media.

Our 25th anniversary celebration will begin with a Gala Dinner on Thursday, October 30th. Speakers include Vint Cerf of Google, the man who is credited as being the “father” of the Internet. Also, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, who used to be on our board, and Washington’s foremost communications lawyer, Richard Wiley. The following day, Friday, October 31st, CITI will host a full day conference, The Next Generation of Communication: The Dawning of the Ultra-Broadband Era. This conference will explore the next generation of broadband– personal ultra-broadband (connections above 1Gbps, hundreds of times faster than most of today’s broadband) — and the vast changes in mass media, consumer electronics, and ICT that this technology will drive. (For more information on these events go to http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/citi/events/summit2008)

As a token of our appreciation for your assistance in circulating this announcement, we would like to offer your members of a 10% discount off the regular admission price to the gala and conference. Please feel free to send the attached PDF as an email announcement to your associates and provide them with discount code NYCWLS10 so that they can get the discount when registering. Please use the following link to register eRSVP.

With Kind Regards,

Eli M. Noam
Professor of Finance and Economics
Director, Columbia Institute for Tele-Information

CITI 25th Anniversary Celebration and Conference Details (pdf)