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Telco Stimulus Package: Australian Case Study

Most developed nations are now revisiting their telecoms policies with a view to using telecoms infrastructure as a tool to revive the economy. And when exploring this it quickly becomes clear that open networks are necessary if we are to achieve the economic benefits that the digital economy has to offer. The multiplier effect of open infrastructure is obvious. It stimulates developments in healthcare, education, energy, media and Internet -- this in stark contrast to the closed (vertically-integrated) networks that are currently operated by most incumbent telcos around the world. more»

Benkler Analyzes Broadband in Stimulus Bills

Yochai Benkler has done a close reading of the broadband portions of both House and Senate stimulus bills. Nice work. To summarize Yochai's summary: House: $6 Billion, split between Commerce and Agriculture Depts., requires adherence to FCC's Four Internet Principles (the Martin FCC Version); Senate: $9 Billion, via Commerce Department's NTIA, requires less specific "interconnection and nondiscrimination." How much broadband can a Billion buy? more»

An Interview With Richard Whitt, Google's Washington Telecom and Media Counsel

I recently had the opportunity to interview, Richard Whitt, Google's Washington Telecom and Media Counsel, who will be one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming Emerging Communications Conference (eComm 2009) being held on March 3-5 at the San Francisco Airport Marriott. The following is the transcript of our phone conversation and the audio recording of the interview. more»

Extra Details on the Measurement Lab Launch

Well if you've been following tech news today, you probably already know -- after month (years, really) of work, the MeasurementLab.net (M-Lab) initiative has now officially launched. Given how many people have been working on this project, I'm amazed it didn't leak. Having just launched, I've been stunned by the immediate outpouring of interest — not only did it peg our servers, taking a couple of the research tools momentarily offline, but my inbox has been entirely flooded by correspondences. more»

Obama's Tech Stimulus Plan: Health IT, Broadband, and Smart Grid

Steve Lohr has a nice piece in the New York Times ('Technology Gets a Piece of Stimulus,' 26 Jan 2009, p. C1) this morning about the role that technology and innovation will play in the economic recovery (aka stimulus) bill supported by the Obama Administration. In the past, health IT deployment has been approached as an engineering problem: what computers have to be part of which networks exchanging which types of data? This loses sight of the purpose of electronic medical records... more»

With the New US CTO, Why Not a New OCA: Office of Connectivity Advocacy

We need a positive strategy for assuring connectivity. Instead of trying to fix telecom we should be working to take advantage of what we have and build vital, even if mundane applications like telemedicine and broaden our access to information while empowering communities. By realizing the value in our existing infrastructure and encouraging the creativity we can provide immediate benefits to our economy and our safety. We need a "Connectivity Strategy" with a champion... more»

Carriers Are Trying to Take Back Control of the Home Network

With all the focus on neutrality in the provider networks we must not lose sight of what is happening in our own homes. As with some of the efforts to make the networks work better (as measured in the providers' paternalistic) view, their attempt to retake the home is about serving us better by reducing the operators' costs. "Better" is of course in terms of the operator's own measures. It's not quite the same as in 1995 when providers opposed home networks and want to charge us for each machine... more»

Julius Genachowski, FCC, and White Spaces: The Good and Not So Good News

Julius Genachowski, Obama's nominee to head the FCC, is a friend of Fred Wilson. Fred gives ten reasons why he likes the nominee on his blog. Genachowski was a top technology advisor to Obama during his campaign and reportedly advised the campaign on its superb use of the Internet. He is also a supporter of "net neutrality" although the devil is in the details on that issue. Even though the nominee is a lawyer, he has business experience as a VC, as an Internet executive, and as a board member of various Internet companies -- all good reasons to be hopeful about this very important policy post. That's the good news. The bad news from several days ago... more»

Why Government Investment in Broadband Is Justified Now

Bobbie Johnson, technology correspondent for The Guardian, was kind enough to quote me along with Vint Cerf (nice to be in good company) on the importance of building an online economy and an online government. Vint said: "You know how they say opportunity lies on the edge of chaos? Maybe that's going to be true here too." So far our telecommunications infrastructure has largely been privately built and financed. Why should that change now? It's unusual for government to do anything as well as the private sector. more»

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2008

Here is a list of the most viewed news and blog postings that were featured on CircleID in 2008... Best wishes for 2009 and Happy New Year from all of us here at CircleID. more»