Director of Scenario Planning, FCC’s Omnibus Broadband Initiative talks about how you plan for an unknown future.
Peter Bowen is Applications Director of the FCC’s Omnibus Strategy Initiative. He studies the applications people do and will use on broadband, and what speeds and properties they will thus require of broadband.
Yochai Benkler talks about the report the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society (disclosure: Where I’m a senior researcher) did for the Broadband strategy initiative.
Brett Glass runs a Wireless ISP (WISP) in Laramie, Wyoming that spreads across some wide open spaces. To compete, he argues, he needs the government to regulate the right aspects and to keep its hands off everything else. (He believes Net Neutrality is unnecessary and will hurt the ability of small ISPs to compete.)
I interviewed him when he came to Berkman to give a talk. (My liveblogging of his talk is here.)
Steve Rosenberg, Manager of Infrastructure for the FCC’s Omnibus Broadband Initiative, talks about understanding the gaps in broadband coverage, and what it would take financially to close those gaps. He oversees the creation of the model.
Rough question summary:
1:18 Q: You map this by geography, and what else?
1:58 Q: It sounds like the first recourse when you discover a gap is to see if the current infrastructure can cover the gap?
3:14 Q: Let me put this most cynically way possible. We could recast this as you saying that you’re identifying the infrastructure providers who have failed to cover the gaps, and then rewarding them by enabling them to do that which they did not find economically viable or socially important enough to do. It sounds like this works against introducing new forms of infrastructure.
6:44 Q: You say the current infrastructure providers haven’t failed, it just wasn’t profitable. The cynical response is that it wasn’t profitable enough, so they red-lined…They somehow first managed to provide access to communities that could pay the most. So the social aim of providing broadband access was sacrificed…
9:24 Q: Does your data correlate access to density and not to socio-economic properties?
10:33 Q: Are you seeing any other clustering of data around the gaps…?
12:00 Q: Your mapping is separate from the somewhat controversial project that the NTIA is doing, right?
13:50 Q: Where is your data coming from?
15:25 Q: Since some of the controversy revolves around the reliability of mapping data provided by the infrastructure providers, what sort of commercial data sources are you using, and how wary are you about the data coming from the infrastructure providers themselves?
18:36 Q: Another way to mitigate the dangers would be to make the data public before the report comes out.
19:47 Q: If you posted relatively dirty data, announcing it as not fully reliable, might generate such interesting contrasting analyses that might in the open government sort of way might affect your analysis. Any way to bug you on this?
21:40 Q: But you then run the risk of people going to the now-published data and coming back with different results than you did…
22:40 Q: The open gov’t response is that publishing the data in the rawest form possible enables people to do their own models based upon their assumptions. It would enable the broad community of all people, commercial to non-commercial, to make their own models and raise assumptions that you might have missed…
23:40 Q: Let’s talk about the financial modeling you’re doing…
26:50 Q: It sounds incredibly difficult. How many people do you have working on this?
27:50 Q: Will this model have value after the report is done and outside of the FCC?
Nick Sinai is Dir. of Energy and Environment for the FCC’s Broadband Strategy plan. He talks about how the requirements of the Smart Grid will affect the plan. How smart will the grid be? How much bandwidth is required to support it? Who will build it? Will the Smart Grid be based on Internet protocols to ensure interoperability? Will it use the broadband infrastructure or the existing information infrastructure created by the electric companies? Should the energy industry be disrupted (in the good sense)?
Paul Brigner, Executive Director of Internet and Technology Policy at Verizon, says what he would tell the Broadband Strategy Initiative: Build on our this country’s current success providing access to the Internet. Do no harm (= beware of Net Neutrality). And question the research that shows that America has fallen behind other countries in the ubiquity, price, and speed of broadband.
Esme Vos founded MuniWireless.com. Here she talks about the benefits of competition among access providers, and what we’ve learned from countries that have enforced a structural separation between those companies that provide access to the Internet and those that provide content and services over the Internet
The FCC has issued a three-page public notice asking for comments — in light of the upcoming national broadband strategy — on “whether to issue a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) relating to the appropriate policy framework to facilitate and respond to the market-led transition in technology and services, from the circuit switched PSTN system to an IP-based communications world.”
In identifying the appropriate areas of inquiry, we seek to understand which policies and regulatory structures may facilitate, and which may hinder, the efficient migration to an all IP world. In addition, we seek to identify and understand what aspects of traditional policy frameworks are important to consider, address, and possibly modify in an effort to protect the public interest in an all-IP world. For example, one line of questioning that a Notice of Inquiry may pursue is how to continue ensuring appropriate protections for and assistance to people with disabilities in the transition to an IP-based communications world. Another could focus on the role of carrier of last resort obligations. In this Public Notice, we seek comment on what policy areas should be understood in considering how best to prepare for the transition from the circuit-switched to the IP-based communications world.
Note the word “facillitate” in the first quote.
Elliot Noss, of Tucows, draws some lessons from Canada’s experience for the US Broadband Initiative. (About 10 mins)