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Paul Merrell

Comcast-NBC: Internet issues bog down Comcast-NBC merger - - 1 views

  • One company is the nation's biggest cable TV provider. The other owns a TV network, several popular cable channels and a movie studio.But when it comes to the $30-billion merger of Comcast Corp. and NBC Universal, the regulators and lawmakers who will decide the fate of the deal aren't focusing on the big screen or the small screen. They're looking at the Internet.Welcome to a media marriage, circa 2010.
Paul Merrell

VoIP-4D Primer - - Building Voice Infrastructure in Developing Regions - 0 views

  • The "VoIP-4D Primer" is a free guide available in four major languages. The work is an effort to disseminate the use of telephony over the Internet in developing regions. The 40-page guide targets both technical and non-technical readers. The first part presents the essentials of telephony over the Internet. For those interested in the more technical details, hands-on guidelines and configuration files are included in the second part. The examples provide essential background to build your own low-cost telephony system.
Paul Merrell

EU considers spending €1 billion for satellite broadband technology - Interna... - 0 views

  • The €200 billion economic rescue plan being considered this week by European Union leaders includes a proposal to spend €1 billion on bringing high-speed Internet access to rural areas. The proposal is likely to pit the Continent's telecommunications operators against satellite companies, which say they are uniquely suited to expand the broadband, or high-speed, network to underserved parts of Eastern Europe and the Alps by the end of 2010.
  • But support for the plan by EU government leaders, who begin a two-day meeting to consider the rescue plan Thursday is not assured. The money would come from unspent funds in the current EU budget, which under EU rules normally revert back to member countries. Germany, which contributes the most to the EU budget and stands to get the largest refund if the project is rejected, opposes the expenditure.
  • Across the EU, 21.7 percent of residents had broadband Internet access in July, according to the commission; 107.6 million received service from a telephone DSL line or a cable television connection and 130,592 via satellite. Only 6 percent of EU residents on average received broadband via mobile phones.
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  • Until now, Baugh said, satellite broadband had been hindered by the relatively high cost of the hardware consumers needed to gain access to the service. But recent advances have lowered the cost to roughly €400, including installation, from several thousand euros a few years ago. At about €30 a month, service packages are comparable to those of DSL and cable.
    A billion Euros is chicken feed compared to other portions of the E.U. economic stimulus initiatives in the works that respond to the major recession under way. Still, this could be a significant foot in the door for satellite broadband in the E.U., perhaps enough to build out the infrastructure enough for a more serious challenge to cable and telephony broadband. But I wonder if there would be enough redundancy enabled by only a billion Euros to gracefully handle a satellite's death if it has far more broadband users.
Paul Merrell

Editorial - Mr. Obama's Internet Agenda - - 0 views

  • President-elect Barack Obama recently announced an ambitious plan to build up the nation’s Internet infrastructure as part of his proposed economic stimulus package.
  • The United States has long been the world leader in technology, but when it comes to the Internet, it is fast falling behind. America now ranks 15th in the world in access to high-speed Internet connections. A cornerstone of Mr. Obama’s agenda is promoting universal, affordable high-speed Internet.
  • In a speech this month about his economic stimulus plan, he said that he intends to ensure that every child has a chance to get online and that he would use some of the stimulus money to connect libraries and schools.
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  • Mr. Obama has also been a strong supporter of “network neutrality,” the principle that Internet service providers should not be able to discriminate against any of the information that they carry.
  • “This is the Eisenhower Interstate highway moment for the Internet,” argues Ben Scott, policy director of the media reform group Free Press.
    Whether this is in fact an Eisenhower Interstate Highway moment for the Internet will depend mightily on the long-term spending commitment to infrastructure construction, maintenance, and improvement. The Interstate Highway system was a Cold War initiative under Eisenhower to develop a comprehensive and expansive national highway freeway system, heavily underwritten by Defense Department spending reflected in its design. E.g., highways capable of serving not only for rapid transport of military supplies, but also as aircraft landing fields, "rest stops" to provide the core for troop garrisons in the event of an invasion, etc. In other words, to achieve lasting benefits, Congress will need to be brought on board. The extent to which such funding will be spent on "bail-out" temporary rescues of failing companies rather than fueling economic growth will be another major factor.
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