Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ready for RuMBA? Broadband Bill of Rights

RuMBA Launches American Broadband Bill of Rights - Yahoo! Finance: "The Rural Mobile Broadband Alliance (RuMBA USA) was launched to assist rural community residents, carriers and equipment makers in raising awareness of the benefits of rural mobile broadband, and to encourage the most responsible use of stimulus package funds, thus maximizing the positive impact of broadband on the lives of ordinary Americans. RuMBA USA will disseminate statistics on the impact on employment, social, economic, educational, health care and business opportunities arising from proposed stimulus package spending on rural mobile broadband. Visit www.rumbausa.com for more information and to join the Alliance."

America's Broadband Access Gap: A rural and sub/urban divide

A recent US Department of Agriculture study confirms the disparity in Broadband access between rural America and urban and suburban areas, with rural communities less likely to have access to high speed Internet.

Read the report (.pdf format) here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

April deadlines loom for Windows XP support

April deadlines loom for Windows XP, Office 2003 product support:

"Microsoft is ending mainstream (free) support for Windows XP Home and Professional, as well as for its Office 2003 suite, on April 14, 2009. It also is “retiring” Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1), meaning it will no longer provide support for that four-year-old release.

Microsoft is offering paid, extended support for XP Professional users (who also have Software Assurance licensing contracts) until April 8, 2014. It also will provide paid, extended support for Office 2003 through August 4, 2012."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Broadband Stimulus Details (So Far)

Risk factor could affect broadband stimulus payouts - CNET News:

"The departments of Commerce and Agriculture have a combined $7.2 billion from the stimulus package to dole out for broadband deployment and expect to receive more than 10,000 applications for funding."

And here's a link to the actual legislation. It's 407 pages, but see Title VI specifically.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lobbyists, public interest groups square off over broadband stimulus rules

Lobbyists, public interest groups square off over broadband stimulus rules - FierceTelecom:

"Policy wonks and telecom lobbyists are squaring off in a battle royal over which strings will be attached to broadband stimulus money. The fights aren't seen as a one-time battle, as the precedents set for USDA and NTIA funds are expected to be embraced for larger broadband spending of tens to hundreds of billions of dollars by Congress in the future."

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Broadband Stimulus Papers

The federal economic stimulus bill includes $7.2 billion in grants, loans and loan guarantees to extend broadband Internet to underserved rural areas. There is a good article on the rural aspect here:

Rural areas hope stimulus package includes funds for broadband - JSOnline

Providing true broadband (i.e. fiber optic, cable, DSL, or WiMax but NOT satellite) to rural America would be the single greenest, most productive thing the government could do with the stimulus money. The increased potential for telecommuting alone could save huge amounts of fossil fuel consumption. Not to mention the community benefits of social network, local news coverage, online forums, etc. And the education benefits. Many children in rural America can't use the Internet at home like kids in urban and suburban aras, thus putting them at a big disadvantage.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Why the FCC is Wrong About Broadband

According to this article, the Federal Communications Commission:

1. Assumes that if one house in a ZIP code has broadband access from a certain provider, then everyone in that area has the same access.

2. Defines high-speed Internet as anything that's slightly faster than a basic dial-up connection, including satellite service.

Well, as to item 2, the FCC is obviously has not read my previous post which explains why this is wrong, in so many ways.

I will soon explain why the FCC is wrong-headed on item 1 as well (although it should be obvious to anyone who has spent an hour or "out in the country").