March 22, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- In announcing he was stepping down, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski on Friday touted the agency's efforts to expand high-speed Internet access during his nearly four-year tenure. "I'll always be proud of what we've done technology to harness technology to advance the American dream for the 21st century," Genachowski told FCC employees in a gathering in the commission's meeting room. He said he would step down "in the coming weeks" and thanked the agency's staff for getting "big things done for our country.
March 22, 2013 |
Julius Genachowski, who will step down as head of the Federal Communications Commission within the next few weeks, leaves behind a mixed bag of accomplishments and disappointments. He had made expansion of broadband Internet access one of his priorities. We moved forward on that front, but not far enough. He also aimed to expand available wireless spectrum for smartphones and tablets and the like. That hasn't come very far either. As for pushing for cable subscribers to pay only for the channels they want, rather than pay for fat bundles of channels they never watch, Genachowski was largely silent.
January 22, 2013 |
Google Fiber, the Internet search giant's super-fast Internet experiment in Kansas City, Mo., that operates at a speed 100 times faster than a typical broadband connection, could be coming to a city near you. During Google's fourth-quarter earnings call, Google Chief Executive Larry Page and Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette made it clear Google Fiber is not a "hobby" for the company. "It's been great to see the success there with the initial roll-out," Page said. He cautioned: "We are still in the very early stages of it. " But he emphasized: "We are excited about the possibilities there.
November 7, 2012 |
AT&T said it will invest $14 billion over the next three years improving and expanding its wireless and broadband infrastructure. The Texas-based company said $8 billion will be used to improve its wireless network. AT&T said it plans to expand its 4G LTE high-speed Internet wireless network to cover 300 million people by the end of 2014. That's an improvement over the company's current plan, which would expand the network to cover 250 million people by the end of next year. The latest plan, which AT&T calls Project Velocity IP, dedicates the remaining $6 billion to improving the company's fiber-optic, broadband networks.
October 25, 2012
This week Microsoft is set to release an operating system for computers, tablets and smartphones that will put a vast amount of music at users' fingertips, free of charge - with the music industry's blessing. XBox Music, a service integrated into Windows 8, is just the latest in a series of music-related initiatives by the software giant, and its record hasn't been good (seen any Zune music players lately?). Nevertheless, XBox Music could be a turning point in the music industry's fitful adaptation to the broadband era. The new, advertiser-supported service will let users play songs on demand from an online jukebox, create customized webcasts based on the music of their favorite artists and buy MP3s from an online store stocked with an enormous selection of tracks - in short, a combination of Spotify, Pandora and Apple's iTunes.
September 27, 2012 |
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled an ambitious plan to establish the city as a hub for ultra-fast Internet service and provide free Internet access in public spaces. The city kicked off its Chicago Broadband Challenge by turning on free Wi-Fi in Millennium Park on Monday. "Chicago will be one of the most connected cities in the world," Emanuel said. "The establishment of a world-class broadband network in Chicago will create thousands of jobs and dramatically improve educational opportunities, economic development, healthcare services and general quality of life throughout the city.
June 27, 2012 |
A top Netflix executive and the chief lobbyist for the cable television industry took shots at each other Wednesday morning during a congressional hearing on the future of video. At issue is whether caps on broadband data usage can be used by broadband providers as a means to hinder online programming services which could be seen as a competitor to traditional broadcast and cable channels. In particular, Netflix has raised concerns that cable and broadband giant Comcast Corp.
June 13, 2012 |
A wide-ranging government probe into the pay-television industry could ultimately lead to dramatic changes in the way consumers receive video content on their television sets as well as on tablets and mobile phones. The Department of Justice has started looking into business practices of Comcast Corp. and other pay-TV operators to determine whether they are engaging in practices that could derail or hold back emerging competition from such broadband distributors as Netflix Inc. "The future of online competition for cable is being decided right now, and it is crucial that government agencies responsible for protecting the public interest" investigate, said Harold Feld, legal director of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge.
May 30, 2012 |
Verizon announced plans to introduce next month a new Internet service that will double the download speeds of its current top service, which is already the fastest mass-scale service in the country. The company will also more than double the speeds of most of its current plans while also introducing another tier of service. At the new top speed, consumers could download a two-hour HD video in less than two and a half minutes, according to the company, which announced its plans Wednesday.
May 23, 2012 |
Gigabit Squared, a start-up based in Ohio, announced it would bring gigabit broadband speeds to six communities across the country through a new program that has secured $200 million in funding. The Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program will be in partnership with Gig.U, a group of more than 30 research universities across the country, and will bring the select communities Internet speeds "from 100 to 1,000 times faster than what Americans have today," according to a statement released Wednesday. "To see Gigabit Squared emerge so strongly today proves that yes, America needs an upgrade; and that yes, there are innovators and investors willing to step up to get it done,” said Blair Levin, executive director of Gig.U.