USTELECOM Association News

COPPA 2015: Enforcing children's privacy

USTelecom dailyLead® | Jan 23, 2015

To keep pace with consumers' access and use of the Internet today through broadband, smartphones and apps, the Federal Trade Commission updated its Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, in 2013 to help ensure the privacy and protection of children. While few actions have been taken by the FTC since that time against companies violating COPPA's updated rules, greater enforcement is expected in 2015. To meet this goal, the agency plans to increase its oversight and improve its monitoring of online sites as well as social media platforms, with additional help from states and advocacy groups. Learn more.

Social media user engagement surges

USTelecom dailyLead® | Jan 22, 2015

In 2014, 52% of adults reported using two or more social media sites, marking a 10% increase compared with 2013, according to a recent Pew Research Internet Project study. While the number of adults who access one social site is on the decline, the report found that Facebook remains the most popular with 79% of single social network users. In addition, 56% of those ages 65 and older are now Facebook users, compared with 45% in late 2013 and 35% in 2012; and 70% of users engage with the site daily, compared to 49% on Instagram, 36% on Twitter, 17% on Pinterest and 13% on LinkedIn. Learn more.

IoT driving global broadband connectivity & speeds

USTelecom dailyLead® | Jan 21, 2015

Increasing connection speeds and broadband adoption across fixed and mobile networks are accelerating Internet usage and traffic worldwide, according to the third quarter 2014 "State of the Internet" report by Akamai Technologies. Data from the report shows global broadband adoption rates increasing 12% from the third quarter of 2013, with South Korea displaying the highest level at 96%. Six of the top 10 countries saw increases in global average connection speeds, with all top 10 remaining well above the 10 Mbps "high broadband" threshold. In addition, the top 10 countries/regions experienced significant increases in average peak connection speeds compared to the previous year, with Uruguay leading the group at 58.6 Mbps -- a year-over-year change of 334%, while the top 10 U.S. states fell within the range of the top 10 countries in average and peak connection speeds. See more key findings from the report.

An expanded government role could harm consumers

USTelecom dailyLead® | Jan 20, 2015

Tonight, President Barack Obama will deliver his sixth annual State of the Union address. The speech will cover a wide range of issues facing the U.S. today, including Open Internet, broadband access and cybersecurity. USTelecom is concerned that an expanded government role would burden consumers with new costs, and citizens with new taxes, when the private sector is risking its own capital to meet demand. "If the Administration wishes to accelerate investment further, it should focus on the need for eliminating uneconomic regulation, removing barriers to deployment, and reforming federal taxation," USTelecom president Walter McCormick says. Read more.

Title II Threatens Internet Ecosystem

USTelecom dailyLead® | Jan 19, 2015

Broadband Internet access providers (BIAs) have every reason to be concerned if they are reclassified as common carriers by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under Title II of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, according to Anna-Maria Kovacs, visiting senior policy scholar at Georgetown University Center for Business & Public Policy. BIAs are expected to spend more than $110 billion this year on a combination of network infrastructure and spectrum, but as a target for reclassification, they could see a definitive devaluation of this investment, Kovacs says in her new economic paper, "Regulatory Uncertainty: The FCC's Open-Internet Docket." There would be economic consequences for edge providers as well. Content delivery networks, peering and transit providers, and various platforms for sharing talk, text, videos or other communications would also be at risk. Read more.

Advancing understanding of technology

USTelecom dailyLead® | Jan 16, 2015

Through agreements with education providers, USTelecom offers courses designed to advance the careers of broadband professionals through better understanding of technology and business practices -- at a 10% discount rate. Opportunities include training in fiber optics, classes in Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and courses in Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC). Instructors are subject matter experts with vast experience in their field. Learn more.

Landline use declines at work & home

USTelecom dailyLead® | Jan 15, 2015

In a recent report, the Pew Research Center found that 35% of employees say landline phones are "very important" to their work. However, based on national trends, by the end of 2015, the number of traditional landlines in service, including both residential and business lines, is projected to fall to 28% of its peak level for the year 2000. See more.

The best approach for an open Internet

USTelecom dailyLead® | Jan 14, 2015

The Federal Communications Commission has announced it would make a decision in late February on proposed changes to Internet regulations. USTelecom fully supports an open Internet, but has urged the FCC to reject proposals to impose burdensome Title II regulation on communications services, noting that the Internet ecosystem is "flourishing" under the current Title I regime. The light-touch regulatory approach has been a major factor in the explosion of innovation and investment in the Internet marketplace, leading to such success stories as eBay, Google, Amazon, Skype and huge increases in Internet infrastructure. See more.

BYOD gains momentum

USTelecom dailyLead® | Jan 13, 2015

Bring Your Own Device is becoming a more popular practice in the workplace. As of November 2014, 74% of companies of all sizes reported having implemented or said they are planning to allow employees to bring personal devices, such as smartphones, iPads and laptops, to work to access company information and applications, according to a new report by Tech Pro Research. Among companies ranging in size from 50 to 249 employees, 71% of respondents said the practice is currently allowed in their offices. Earlier data published in February 2013 showed only 44% of organizations allowed BYOD. Learn more.

The rise of smart home tech

USTelecom dailyLead® | Jan 12, 2015

Consumers are rapidly embracing smart home adoption, with development in this area expected to grow considerably, from 1.9 billion marketplace devices in 2014 to 9 billion by 2018, according to a recent study by iControl Networks. Data from its 2014 State of the Smart Home report also found that nearly 60% of U.S. broadband households have some level of interest in benefits enabled by smart home products. Similarly, a new survey by the Internet of Things Consortium shows nearly two-thirds of respondents are "moderately or extremely interested" in adopting new smart home solutions. Read more.

Watch on-demand: State of the Internet

USTelecom dailyLead® | Jan 09, 2015

The Internet has been the subject of much public interest and debate over the past several months as the Federal Communications Commission considers changing the way it is currently regulated. This free webinar highlighting Akamai Technologies' quarterly State of the Internet report takes a look at what recent data reveals about broadband connectivity, mobile usage, attack traffic and Internet disruptions. Watch now on-demand.

Telehealth: Increasing services, decreasing costs

USTelecom dailyLead® | Jan 08, 2015

Vigorous investment and significant growth in telehealth throughout 2014 is signaling good news for patients across the nation as another new year begins. Not only are telehealth services raising millions in capital to expand their video consultation offerings with medical professionals, but recent analysis projects double-digit growth through 2020. In addition, virtual health could dramatically reduce doctor visits by as much as 93% with a total savings of $103 per visit for patients. Read more.

Apps to realize resolutions

USTelecom dailyLead® | Jan 07, 2015

The toasts are done, the ball has dropped and now the work of realizing resolutions begins as another new year commences. While these endeavors may seem daunting at first, technology is providing some assistance. From fitness and health to language and personal finance, there are a number of applications available to help people achieve their personal goals for 2015. Learn more.

Technology's impact on U.S. workforce

USTelecom dailyLead® | Jan 06, 2015

What impact does technology have on America's workforce? A recent Pew Research Center survey found that 51% of office-based workers report the Internet, email and cell phones have increased flexibility in terms of the hours they work, while 46% credit the Internet with making them more productive. Additionally, 51% of survey respondents said the Internet has expanded the number of people they communicate with outside their company. See more survey findings.

Gigabit: What consumers need to know

USTelecom dailyLead® | Jan 05, 2015

Broadband service providers, both big and small, are now offering unprecedented Internet speeds and increased bandwidth. However, a new joint study conducted by Pivot Group and Telecompetitor indicates that a majority of consumers are unaware of the value of gigabit offerings. Out of the 800 survey respondents, 87% said they had not heard of gigabit broadband service; only 32% knew the speed of their current Internet service; and 54% were not aware that gigabit service is faster than megabit. Read more.

Webinar on-demand: Migration to Modern Networks

USTelecom dailyLead® | Jan 02, 2015

As the nation continues the transition to Internet Protocol networks and services, more households are choosing to "cut the cord" and subscribe only to wireless service, while households that subscribe to a switched-access service provided by an ILEC are declining. Based on national trends, by the end of 2015 the number of traditional landlines in service, including both residential and business lines, is projected to fall to 28% of its peak level for the year 2000, while the portion of telephone households at the national level using only wireless phones for voice service is projected to surpass 50%. Learn more about the migration from single-purpose legacy networks to converged broadband and mobile networks in this free hour-long webinar. Watch now on-demand.

Digital Gifts Beyond the Holidays

USTelecom dailyLead® | Dec 31, 2014

While the holiday season is coming to an end, those seeking the perfect gift still have an array of digital options to consider. For music lovers, there are monthly subscriptions available from Spotify, Rdio and Xbox Music. Book aficionados may enjoy the unlimited ebook streaming service from Oyster Books or a subscription to Next Issue, which connects users with more than 140 magazines digitally. And for those movie and gaming enthusiasts, an Amazon Prime membership provides movie and television streaming and e-books, while a subscription to Hulu Plus offers access to extensive TV and movie options. Read more.

Social Media Year in Review

USTelecom dailyLead® | Dec 30, 2014

Throughout the year, social media growth continued unabated. Facebook reached 1.35 billion monthly active users, while Instagram reached 300 million, surpassing Twitter's 284 million users. Additionally, Pinterest sharing grew 24 percent via mobile devices. With so many people participating and posting via social media, which topics engaged the greatest interest in 2014? Find out what issues garnered the most attention according to reports from Facebook, Twitter and other analysis. Read more.

Harnessing Big Data to Detect Fraud

USTelecom dailyLead® | Dec 29, 2014

Detecting fraud can be difficult, especially if it involves culling through numerous documents and materials. Big data, on the other hand, can more cohesively gather information from an array of sources to identify potential fraudulent activity without the burden of disparate paperwork. With this in mind, numerous organizations, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the international insurance and financial services organization American International Group, and states, are increasingly utilizing data analytics technologies to identify tax fraud. Learn more.

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