Category Archives: Issues

Another View: Take a careful approach in regulating the Internet

In a recent opinion piece (“FCC must restore Internet neutrality” – Viewpoints, Jan. 16), the author relies on incomplete information to reach a conclusion that should concern everyone with a stake in the continued success of California’s innovation economy.

The U.S. broadband market is one of the most dynamically competitive markets in the world. It is hardly broken, and comparing the United States to that of a finite geographical area – such as Stockholm – paints an immensely inaccurate picture.

As of 2011, 94 percent of Americans had a choice of providers offering 3 megabits per second or more. Since then, Google has helped launch a fiber ground war; private communications infrastructure investment in the United States topped $50 billion per year. According to one recent report, in 2013 the United States ranked eighth globally in average connection speed. That’s ahead of Sweden.

I’m frankly surprised the author ignored mobile broadband entirely, as if it doesn’t exist. Yet, mobile connection speeds in the United States are now 75 percent faster than the European Union average. Cisco forecasts that average mobile connection speeds in the United States will continue to rise, far outpacing Western Europe. We’re on the right track.

What’s really alarming is the author’s suggestion that the nation’s long-standing Internet policy should be scrapped. At issue: a recent federal court of appeals decision overturning the Federal Communication Commission’s 2010 net neutrality rule.

In its decision, the court stated that the FCC overstepped its boundaries by attempting to regulate the Internet. Doomsayers now claim that the Internet will suffer because there is no regulation in place to “protect” it, notwithstanding that the Internet had been doing just fine before 2010.

There’s no need to panic. It’s clear the reasonable middle will prevail and find a sensible, market-driven policy solution. And there’s no evidence of actual threats to Internet openness on the horizon.

Finally, the author’s suggestion that the appeals court ruling should cause the FCC to try to regulate the Internet under rules that date back to 1934 would be a huge mistake, not only for continued investment in broadband infrastructure, but to the very innovation economy that has been thriving in California.

The Internet is an evolving and phenomenally successful engine of innovation and economic growth in California and the nation. It remains so precisely because our government has wisely taken a careful approach to its regulation. California’s success is evidence that this approach works.

Read the full article on The Sacramento Bee

Mike Montgomery: President Obama’s State of the Union Address Should Offer Hope for the New Economy

Today, speechwriters in the West Wing will put the finishing touches on President Obama’s State of the Union address. The State of the Union provides every President an unparalleled opportunity to showcase his policy priorities. And the opportunity is never more valuable than in an inaugural year, when it can set the tone for the next four. This year I hope the President speaks to the digital economy and, specifically, California’s burgeoning tech sector.

In my dream scenario, the President’s speech will sketch a blueprint for building a stronger future for America. To me that means focusing some policies on Silicon Valley and San Francisco, still the headquarters of the new economy, a fact that Washington seems to forget from time-to-time. Tech-friendly policy initiatives will directly benefit the new economy, California, and the U.S. Take these, for example:

Give the app economy a boost. As consumers and businesses use more and more data, California’s burgeoning app economy could use a digital infrastructure upgrade, which could be accomplished by moving to all-IP networks across the country. A new Brookings Institution book by Robert Litan and Hal Singer, The Need for Speed: A New Framework for Telecommunications Policy for the 21st Century, offers a potential roadmap for a regulatory re-think that could help expedite the delivery of broadband to consumers and keep the new economy humming. Meanwhile, the federal government, under President Obama’s leadership, needs to speed the reallocation of underutilized spectrum, the invisible radio waves over which our connected devices communicate. If our telecommunications infrastructure clogs up like our freeways at rush hour, either because of inadequate spectrum or insufficient private investment, then our app economy will suffer.

Read the Full Article on the Daily Kos

CALinnovates and California-Based Tech Groups Ask FCC to Speed Modernization of Nation’s Communications Networks

CALinnovates and California-Based Tech Groups Ask FCC to Speed Modernization of Nation’s Communications Networks

Comment supports petition seeking national conversation on speeding up transition to all-IP based networks with beta trials to measure consumer benefits

 

SAN FRANCISCO – CALinnovates, a tech advocacy organization, along with eight other California-based tech groups-Alphabird, Appallicious,At The Pool, Avetta, ,iSideWith, Lex Machina, MySocialCloud, and the Silicon Valley Italian Executive Council–have jointly filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expressing support for a petition currently pending at the Commission.

The petition, submitted last year by AT&T, asks the FCC to work with the private sector to begin geographically-limited beta tests to examine the complex technical and policy issues associated with the transition away from existing legacy voice networks to modern IP-based networks. The guidelines provided in the petition propose a framework that will allow the private sector and the government to address the operational, technical and policy issues related to the transition to new IP-based networks in an open and transparent process.

“Startups in-and-around Silicon Valley need reliable, forward-looking high-speed networks to deliver for our customers,” said Chase Norlin, CEO of Alphabird. “Supporting the rapid development of communications infrastructure will allow us to maintain a free and open Internet, encourage private investment, and support innovation and free flowing ideas.”

“Existing regulations mandate continued investment in outdated, 20th century networks that consumers are using less and less,” said CALinnovates Executive Director Mike Montgomery. “Old school networks can’t offer the infrastructure needed for seamless communication of voice, data, video, and Internet applications among various devices.”

Montgomery continued, “This petition is a first step in determining how the FCC and the private sector can work together to upgrade the country’s communications infrastructure beyond the limited capabilities of networks designed for voice-only communication. The new communications ecosystem no longer operates solely through telephone companies. This filing is about updating a regulatory environment that promotes access to new technologies, protects consumers, and enhances our economic productivity.”

“The beta trials deploying IP-enabled networks will help accelerate the evolution of technology and drive increased connectivity and innovation, while fostering immense capital investment,” said Montgomery. “Investing in stronger and faster IP networks will provide substantial benefits to consumers and businesses nationwide ranging from job creation to greater access to education, healthcare, training, and public safety.”

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Contact: Mike Montgomery
mike@calinnovates.org
415-494-8626

 

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CALinnovates to Host “Sticky WCIT: Is This the End of the Internet?”

**MEDIA ADVISORY**
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, November 19, 2012

Contact: Mike Montgomery

mike@calinnovates.org

415-494-8626

CALinnovates to Host “Sticky WCIT: Is This the End of the Internet?”
Panel will discuss the upcoming global United Nations conference that will consider proposals threatening Internet freedom and Silicon Valley’s prosperity
PALO ALTO, Ca. – In December, the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) will be held in Dubai to consider international rules governing the Internet.
At the conference, certain nations may advocate for International governance of Internet services and infrastructure that, if adopted, would result in international regulations that require compliance by member nations. On Tuesday, November 27, a distinguished panel of experts will convene at Stanford Law School for “Sticky WCIT: Is This the End of the Internet?” The panel will discuss the impact this global UN conference could have on innovative freedom that has been central to the Internet’s evolution, to economic gains for nations worldwide and to Silicon Valley’s prosperity.

Date/Time: Tuesday, November 27, 2012

12:45 p.m. -2:00 p.m.

Location: Stanford Law School

Room 190

F.I.R. Hall Classroom Building

Crown Quadrangle

Palo Alto, CA 94305

Participants: Mike Montgomery, Executive Director, CALinnovates (introduction)

Larry Downes, Author and Forbes Contributor (moderator)

Ambassador David Gross, former U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, U.S. Department of State

Larry Irving, The Irving Group; Former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA)

Patrick Ryan, Policy Counsel, Open Internet, Google, Inc.

For more information about the event, please visit the CALinnovates website: http://www.calinnovates.org/events/


About CALinnovates

CALinnovates serves as a bridge between the thriving and fast paced technology community based in California and the slower moving but equally important public policy community in Sacramento and Washington, DC.

  • CALinnovates brings together stakeholders in the technology and startup communities with government leaders to ensure a careful and considered approach in policies impacting the dynamic high-tech sector. Positive impacts would be an environment encouraging growth, investment, competition and result in more choices and access to the benefits of new technology for people in California.
  • CALinnovates also works to educate the public on the latest innovations and uses of technology.

CALinnovates’ members include C-level executives, political leaders, entrepreneurs, techies and the average Californian who is interested in keeping up with the latest gadgets and innovations.

$14 Billion Additional Investment in Broadband Networks Means Big Things for Consumers and Innovators

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Contact: Mike Montgomery
mike@calinnovates.org
415-494-8626

 

$14 Billion Additional Investment in Broadband Networks Means Big Things for Consumers and Innovators

CALinnovates’ new infographic says evolving consumer behavior demands private sector investment to expand communications infrastructure and support tech innovation

 

SAN FRANCISCO – California’s economic recovery will be bolstered by a recent announcement that AT&T plans to invest an additional $14 billion to expand and enhance its wired and wireless Internet Protocol (IP) broadband networks.  For Californians looking for expanded access to the benefits of the Internet, this development signals great optimism for the future of communications, according to CALinnovates, a San Francisco-based high-tech advocacy group.

According to their 3-year investment plan, 300 million people will be covered by AT&T 4G LTE by the end of 2014, and millions more will have access to next-generation wireline IP broadband networks.  CALinnovates Executive Director Mike Montgomery stated, “Connecting virtually everyone in the U.S. with high-speed Internet is a long stride in the right direction toward meeting the goal of President Obama’s National Broadband Plan.  And we know that high-speed Internet connections, both wired and wireless, create the kind of jobs we urgently need right now.”

“Consumers, entrepreneurs and people everywhere are clamoring for more connectivity and faster speeds.  It takes this kind of multi-billion dollar private sector investment to give people the high-speed connections they want and need,” said Montgomery.  “Investment is the linchpin to staying ahead of the massive growth in consumer demand for speed, data capacity and devices and apps that are now central to our lives.”

A new CALinnovates infographic on its website documents how consumers are driving the market that is revolutionizing communications and creating skyrocketing demand for new technology that can handle more data than ever before.  In describing the infographic, Montgomery said, “Consumers today want to be connected everywhere in every way possible.  But, we can’t take for granted the robust high-speed networks that are necessary to carry the innovations that are driving the economy and improving our lives.  Those networks require mega investments to keep them growing and improving.”

“Continued investment to build the communications infrastructure of the future is what will keep the U.S. and Silicon Valley ahead of the innovation curve,” he said.

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A New Era in Communications: Evolution of Consumer Habits [INFOGRAPHIC]