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The Progress Of The National Broadband Stimulus

April 6th, 2016

The National Broadband stimulus was developed for those communities identified to be at a disadvantage where it came to internet service. Funded by grants for the last three years, the stimulus is dedicated to the upgrading of existing networks, along with public internet access improvement and the creation of new networks. The stimulus has received over three billion dollars since it was created, but the numbers are showing that less progress has been made than initially suspected. There is fast development of broadband structure occurring, but the national internet speed goals were not being met by approximately 97% of United States counties.

Fiber optic connections were also enjoying rapid growth, but the high costs to install fiber lines remained the same. Those in rural areas are reporting that their connections are as much as twenty five percent slower than the speeds that users in urban areas experience. This is alarming, as the many benefits of having access, including more opportunities for assistance in times of emergency and more outlets for finding work and enhancing education are also not available to these rural communities. It was determined that the future path of the broadband stimulus desperately needs clarification in order to see a higher number of internet connections occur.

An FCC pilot program which brought heath care providers together to create networks for industry professionals was wildly successful. Research revealed that, when there is a reliable internet infrastructure in place that those in health care will take advantage of it and connect area facilities. It also revealed that those professionals in areas without internet service were able to receive the needed connection from service providers who were persuaded to engage in network expansion. Many benefits have resulted from this program, including a lower cost to patients as a result of access to telemedicine being available.

Gig.U Initiative Still Going Strong

September 27th, 2013

The private sector, which stepped in to save the day with Gig.U, is still going strong. The initiative, which stands for University Community Next Generation Innovation Project, was spear-headed by a group of several universities and included collaboration from top ISPs.

The project is not for the masses but was created to and still does target new technology businesses to start up near universities so that they may too tap into the world-class broadband infrastructure.  Community members are loving the 1 Gbps they are getting from internet service providers. And new businesses are now able to compete globally and tap into the vast, young talent pool from the nearby campuses.

 

Universities, And Their High Speed Internet Offers

August 23rd, 2013

Many major universities in this country have become very interested in getting high speed Internet access and then also making it available to their surrounding communities. But why are these colleges interested in sharing their connections? One proven theory is that certain businesses work well when they are located close to large institutes of learning.

This is especially true with high-tech businesses, which benefit most often from the faster Internet connections. To this end, some schools are designing infrastructure that will allow for connection speeds that may be up to one thousand times faster than anything residential providers can currently offer. It is hoped that the availability of these super-high speed connections will attract technical businesses that will set up shop near university and college campuses. But the residents of the community can also count themselves lucky to be living so near to a source of high speed internet connectivity.

News Reports Say That The NSA Overstepped Its Authority With Internet Service Providers In Portland Oregon, Others

August 20th, 2013

If there was any question with regard to the legality of tactics used by the NSA in its surveillance efforts over the past few years, an answer may now have been provided. According to documents leaked by analyst-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden, the NSA had overstepped its legal authority and broken privacy rules thousands of times since being given new powers by the government just five years ago. Among the infractions are large numbers of unauthorized surveillance of American citizens or those targets of foreign intelligence currently living in the United States. The information is interesting, given the fact that the NSA recently stated that it doesn’t engage in surveillance on American residents.

The leaked information reveals that these many security and privacy breaches occurred both intentionally and inadvertently, and covered a wide range of violations, from significant violations of the law to mistakes leading to the unintended interception of communication. But whether the invasions into internet service providers in Portland Oregon users and others were intended or not, it placed the privacy of millions of Americans at risk. And unfortunately, the news gets worse, as it appears that the number of these kinds of incidents increased in 2012s first quarter, and have seen increases in the last three years.

 

Amount Of Internet Surveyed By The NSA Is Much Larger Than It Appears

August 13th, 2013

Although a memo was released last week by the NSA with the goal of shedding light on its operations and reducing fear amongst the public, some are saying that the organization is covering much more ground that it appears to be on the surface. In the memo, the NSA stated that the amount of traffic examined by its analysts accounts for 0.00004% of all the internet traffic in the world, or about one dime’s worth of space on a basketball court. But closer inspection has revealed that that dime’s worth of space actually accounts for much more – about 29.21 petabytes more – than NSA numbers would have us believe.

29 petabytes per day is roughly equivalent to almost 3 terabits per second. To put the numbers in perspective, search engine giant Google only processes 20 petabytes of internet data per day. That’s quite a frightening amount of data, considering that the NSA memo used harmless -sounding terms like ‘touch’ , ‘select’ and ‘look at’ when describing how the seemingly small amount of data it accessed was being handled. When just one packet of IP data was captured an analyzed, it was found to contain a lot of data, including where the user is surfing from, what they are searching for and the last web address they visited.

Even The Best Internet Provider In My Area Isn’t Safe From Attack

April 17th, 2013

There’s bad news coming out of the internet security front; In the last quarter alone, the average amount of bandwidth used in DDoS attacks had grown eight-fold. In addition, the average duration of attacks grew from last year’s 28.5 hours to 34.5 hours. The fact that DDoS attacks are not only getting more powerful, but meaner have even the best internet provider in my area wondering how to weather the next attack.

This may be more of a challenge to do in the coming quarters, as new techniques for attack were also noted by observers. These techniques go beyond the flooding of sites with traffic using botnets. Instead, attackers are using web servers, which offer more bandwidth. If that weren’t frightening enough, it appears that attackers are being well-financed, perhaps by criminal organizations who also possess the resources needed for such large-scale attacks.

Technology Being Tested Which Monitors Student Learning Via Internet Providers

April 10th, 2013

Nine universities are currently taking part in a study which tracks students’ progress as they move through digital textbooks. CourseSmart, the company which created the technology and the digital textbooks, provides learning institutions with early signs of course engagement or disinterest, which could indicate early drop outs. Millions of students now use the company’s digital materials to learn via internet providers.

Information from the textbooks can be individually packaged for each professor, giving them the key data they need to alter the way in which material is presented. Currently, over three million students and teachers are using CourseSmart textbooks. This fall marks when the program will be most broadly introduced to date, with such institutions taking part as Texas A&M University – San Antonio, Clemson and Central Carolina College.

Law Of Physics Only Thing To Stop Air Fiber Cables From Moving At Complete Light Speed

March 27th, 2013

U.K. researchers have announced the creation of fiber cables that can reach 99.7% the speed of light with their data transfer. But that’s not all; the cables also allegedly take care of the latency most often complained about with the technology found in standard fiber cables. Interestingly, data which travels through traditional fiber optic cables doesn’t actually move at the speed of light, which is measured in a vacuum. The glass of fiber optic cable means that the data actually travels 30% slower than light speed.

But when the glass is removed from fiber optic cable, something interesting is left: hollow-core photonic-bandgap fibre, which is largely air, but still allows light to follow the cable’s path. Although the data loss using this cable is impressively low at 3.5 dB per kilometre, it remains too high for long-range applications.

 

Google Reader’s End Sparks Protests From Users Of Internet Service Providers In Columbus Ohio

March 20th, 2013

A convenient service that allowed millions to view blogs via RSS feed recently announced that it would be shutting down this summer. And users of internet service providers in Columbus Ohio and other ISPs do not want to let it go without a fight. Many users used the Twitterverse to vent their displeasure and request alternative readers. Other companies who relied on Google Reader for product production appeared to be devastated by the announcement.

In addition to protesting via social media, a petition was started which received over 50,000 signatures in just a few hours. But this doesn’t appear to be convincing Google to reverse its position. The company’s reason for shutting down its Reader service was, according to a statement, due to a decline in the usage of the service. The company also mentioned that it’s putting more of its resources into fewer products.

Health Weekend Hackathon Yields First-Person Autism Simulation Demo

March 5th, 2013

One weekend and three developers have resulted in the creation of “Auti-Sim“, a computer simulation demo that puts you right in the middle of an autistic experience. Auti-Sim communicates what it’s like to be in a playground full of active children on a sunny day. And the experience is anything but pleasant. Sensory overload quickly takes center stage in the simulation video, with the scene becoming fuzzy, voices becoming too loud and assaults seeming to come from every direction.

Although many with the condition have thanked the developer team for their efforts in creating such a realistic representation of the autistic experience, others have criticized the simulation, saying it’s nothing like their experience. Others have taken offense to the creation having the ‘sim’ attached to its name, as though it were a game. But the developer team’s leader says that even criticism creates conversation. The team will soon be developing the simulation into a more involved game that includes  new locations and more interaction.

Broadband Expansion – Funds Earmarked By Federal Government

August 31st, 2011

Today nearly one American out of ten does not have access to a high-speed Internet connection.  In fact a recent study reported that there are 19,000,000 Americans living in rural communities that are forced to utilize Internet speeds slower than 3 Mbps.  The reason for this is not difficult to understand. Installing the infrastructure for broadband access is expensive.  Many communities have so few residents that companies cannot cost-justify the expense.  Also, many rural areas are made up of terrain that is foreboding when it comes to laying wire. The long distances that lines must be run are also a prohibitive factor.  Because high-speed broadband is considered necessary for business and education, the Federal government has earmarked over $100,000,000 to expand broadband to the rural areas of 16 different states.