Category Archives: Politics

CALinnovates Lauds Senate Confirmation of Wheeler and O’Rielly to FCC

Encourages new FCC Chairman and Commissioner to tackle spectrum auctions and IP Trials

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 30, 2013 – CALinnovates today issued the following statements in light of the unanimous Senate approval of Tom Wheeler to be Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Michael O’Rielly for FCC Commissioner.

Executive Director Mike Montgomery said:

I’m delighted that Tom Wheeler has finally been confirmed as FCC Chairman. He’s a well-regarded tech veteran who takes the wheel at a critical time for the Commission.  His experience will no doubt serve him well. I also look forward to seeing the many talents of Commissioner Michael O’Rielly in action in his new position.

With California’s economy increasingly dependent upon the tech industry, I hope Wheeler and O’Rielly will apply new energy and focus on two critical issues: The transition to next-generation high-speed broadband networks, and freeing up more airwaves via open spectrum auctions that allow all carriers to bid equally and without restriction.  Both of these issues are essential to the ongoing health of our economy — not just in California, but nationwide. Quick work is vital if we are going to keep the app economy thriving.

Barbara O’Connor, Ph.D., a CALinnovates Advisory Board Member, Emeritus Professor on Communication at California State University, Sacramento and an Officer and Director of the California Emerging Technology Fund, says Wheeler is an expert at working with all government agencies to shape a coherent administration policy:

My experience in working with Tom Wheeler is that he is skilled at consensus-driven policymaking by working with all interested parties.  Chairman Wheeler has the opportunity to tackle great challenges, including expanded access to high-speed broadband.  Our country is fortunate to have him at the helm of the FCC.

CALinnovates Advisory Board Member Josh Becker, CEO of Lex Machina, applauds the Senate for approving the appointment of Wheeler:

Silicon Valley and the entire California technology community welcome the confirmation of Mr. Wheeler as Chairman of the FCC.  This is an important first step in moving the commission forward on a variety of issues that will ultimately lead to greater innovation and increased opportunities for all Americans.

About CALinnovates

CALinnovates serves as a bridge between the thriving and fast paced technology communities based in California and the slower moving but equally important public policy communities in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Our members include C-level executives, political leaders, entrepreneurs, techies and California consumers interested in keeping up with the latest in public policy and innovation.

Broadband + Education = Bright Future

There was some good news on the education front, courtesy of The White House:

“Today, President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to take the steps necessary to build high-speed digital connections to America’s schools and libraries, ensuring that 99 percent of American students can benefit from these advances in teaching and learning. He is further directing the federal government to make better use of existing funds to get this technology into classrooms, and into the hands of teachers trained on its advantages. And he is calling on businesses, states, districts, schools and communities to support his vision.”

The tl;dr read version: President Obama wants every student in America online. And he wants it to happen sooner rather than later.

Smart. Students today are better served by carrying a tablet rather than a backpack full of books, especially if they’re going to learn the skills they’ll need to play in the global economy and avoid future back pain.

But hitting the president’s mark will take more than words, especially with cities and school districts strapped for dough. Broadband networks don’t build themselves, which means continued private investment — and a regulatory environment that encourages it, both on the state and federal level — will be key.  Connecting 99% of students isn’t a moon shot, by any means, but it is a heavy lift. This means everyone, from government to business, needs to roll up their sleeves and work together to get it done.

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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Mike Montgomery: Two Internets may be reality after United Nations treaty

Back in 2000, George W. Bush was lambasted for butchering the English language by making up the word “Internets.” He may have unintentionally predicted the future of the Web, which, under its current governance structure, has played a vital role in creating this amazing and interconnected online world in which we live.

Unfortunately for everyone who enjoys the Internet as a free and open platform for innovation, communications and commerce, the rug may have been pulled out from underneath us. When the United Nations’ World Conference on International Telecommunications ended last week, the idea of two “Internets” became plausible.

Regardless of how well the current multi-stakeholder approach is working for most of us, conference participants charged forward with new regulations that should alarm every tech company, aspiring entrepreneur, Skype lover, blogger or Etsy shop owner in the world. In an 89-54 vote, the United States, Canada, most Western European countries and Japan came up short against the likes of China, Iran and Russia, countries not necessarily known for eagerness to enact sensible regulations on behalf of their citizenry. The vote approved the text of a treaty that would put the Internet on the road to reckless regulation in two short years.

Read the Full Article on the Silicon Valley Mercury News

Sticky WCIT: Is this the End of the Internet – Live Recording

On Tuesday, Novemeber 27, 2012 CALinnovates partnered with the Stanford Law School to bring together a panel of experts to discuss the upcoming World Conference on International Communications in Dubai next month. The panel included:

  • 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.

Larry Downes, long recognized expert in telecommunications policy served as the moderator.

You can watch the entire discussion below. And be sure to share it with friends and colleagues.

2012 is the Year of the Internet, Again, But Could it be its Last?

If you can believe it, the end of 2012 is fast approaching.  Some of us filled with glee; some of us filled with anxiety that the holidays and New Year are just around the corner.  But the end of 2012 is also bringing a critical issue to the forefront of the U.S. and global agenda: the future of the Internet.

Several events in Washington, D.C. over the past few weeks have caught our attention regarding the innovation economy, Internet regulatory policy, and the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) that all have tremendous economic and social implications globally, nationally, and in Silicon Valley.

With the elections (finally) over, tech and policy experts assembled at the Brookings Institution for “A First 100 Days Innovation Agenda for the Next Administration” focusing on how policymakers can encourage growth through innovation and entrepreneurship, ensure robust communications infrastructure, and protect our digital products and services.  The American Enterprise Institute’s and Mercatus Center’s star-studded tech panels discussed key issues, expectations and the U.S. position on the upcoming WCIT (pronounced “wicket”) conference.

Read the Full Post on Daily Kos

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]