aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, August 16, 2007
FCC Opposes Plan For Free Broadband
The Federal Communications Commission is seeking to shut the door on a plan by a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to offer free wireless broadband Internet service nearly everywhere in the U.S., the chief executive of the group said.
M2Z Networks Inc. issued a statement in which it said it would take the FCC to court in an attempt to force the agency to conduct a thorough analysis of the plan before it determined whether it would back it.
The Menlo Park, Calif., company has proposed taking 25 megahertz of spectrum that is currently vacant and using it to build a wireless broadband Internet network to provide free service to 95% of Americans within a decade.
In addition to the backing of well-known Silicon Valley venture capitalists who count among their earlier investments Amazon.com Inc., Netscape, Google Inc., social-networking site MySpace and TiVO Inc., the plan has the backing of a number of prominent lawmakers. [...]
According to John Muleta, a former head of the FCC’s wireless bureau and now chief executive of M2Z, the group was informed last week by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s office that Mr. Martin had circulated a proposed decision to the other four commissioners that would deny M2Z’s plan. An official in another commissioners’ office confirmed that Mr. Martin had circulated a letter suggesting the plan be declined.
Joost American ‘Broadband’ problem
I want to cancel cable and get my TV on the web. Joost could be a model but still lacks the programming I want. But that’s not the biggest obstacle Joost’s success:
The fundamental problem that Joost faces is the fact that the broadband available to North American households simply isn’t fast enough for them to provide image quality comparable to digital cable or satellite, much less high-definition video. [...]
My concern is that with DSL provider AT&T moving into IPTV, and cable Internet providers already delivering video, what little competition there is in America for consumer broadband providers, any incentive to increase speeds (especially the upstream bandwidth) could hit a wall of corporate self-interest. After all, why should companies like Comcast offer the kind of high speed broadband enjoyed in Europe and Asia when it would simply enable companies like Joost to compete with the company’s own digital video offerings?
Even if there is a significant increase in network speed, without any guarantees of network neutrality, Internet providers could simply charge Joost and other independent IPTV upstarts for the bandwidth rights to stream video of comparable quality to their own digital video offerings. And guess who that cost would get passed on to? That would be you. So while Joost has a lot of potential on other continents, the cards are stacked against the company here in the USA.
Gay marriage poll: As goes New Jersey…
...so goes the nation? Newsday:
Twice as many New Jerseyans “would be fine” with allowing gay couples to marry as would be upset if lawmakers enacted a marriage equality law, according to a new poll.
The Zogby survey of 803 New Jersey voters was commissioned by the gay rights group Garden State Equality to mark the six-month anniversary of New Jersey’s civil unions law on Sunday.
By 63% to 31%, New Jersey voters say they’d be fine with the state legislature upgrading civil unions to marriage equality.
By 72% to 21%, New Jersey voters say state legislators would be in no electoral danger if they enacted marriage equality.
By 61% to 29%, New Jersey voters say they expect the state to enact marriage equality within just a couple of years.
Zogby asked the baseline question - do you favor marriage equality versus civil unions - in two ways. Results are 48% to 45% for marriage equalityin one question, 48% to 30% in another.
And a significant 35% of respondents said they would be less likely to dobusiness with a company that denies equal benefits to gay employees. 20% said “much less likely.Ã¢â‚¬Â�