USTELECOM Association News

Sept. 28 Economic Summit: America's Digital Infrastructure

USTelecom dailyLead® | Sep 23, 2016

As the nation faces a political transition, the time is ripe to consider economic policies that will ensure America's leadership in the deployment and adoption of cutting-edge digital infrastructure. On Sept. 28, 9 a.m. Eastern Daylight time, this Economic Summit will assemble leading economists from across the country to: identify the principal economic policy challenges facing the ongoing deployment of broadband technologies; discuss current policy developments that impact investment and digital infrastructure deployment; and offer recommendations for next-administration policies. Find out more.

Economists join to write letter on BDS

USTelecom dailyLead® | Sep 22, 2016

Seven economists from high-profile organizations and universities submitted a joint letter sharing their opinions which analyzed the Federal Communications Commission's 2013 Business Data Services data collection and weighed the merits of the proposed regulation of BDS. In this letter to the FCC, economists noted that both economic theory and past experience show that rate regulation imposes significant costs and typically obstructs innovation and acts as a disincentive to investment. These significant risks outweigh the benefits of rate regulation in technology markets that are not monopolies. Learn more.

Sept. 29 webcast: Creating Cyber Resilience in the Digital Frontier

USTelecom dailyLead® | Sep 21, 2016

The Digital Frontier has created many opportunities and conveniences, but has also fostered the growth of a robust cyber black market with professional cyber criminals that threaten the success of businesses of all sizes. Preventing all cyber breaches is unrealistic, so resilience must be the goal. On Thursday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight time, join Dynetics and USTelecom for a webcast that will explain three Key Risk Indicators that define your Cyber Risk Profile and demonstrate affordable means to achieve resilience in the Digital Frontier. Register today.

Business data services: A simple solution

USTelecom dailyLead® | Sep 20, 2016

The Federal Communications Commission is on the brink of deciding whether -- and how -- to regulate prices in the business data services market, after years of complaints from competitors that incumbent providers' prices for these services were too high. In a recent letter to the FCC, several senators from rural states said that it is critical to rely on actual data rather than responding to unsubstantiated claims of unfair pricing. Right now, incumbent BDS providers are not allowed to discount BDS prices in about one-third of the country. Prices could be lower in those areas if the FCC simply granted more flexibility to incumbent providers to lower their prices in all areas of the country. Learn more.

Joint letter to Senate committee criticizing FCC privacy rules

USTelecom dailyLead® | Sep 19, 2016

Eight telecom and internet organizations recently wrote a letter to the Senate Commerce Committee raising concern about the Federal Communications Commission's proposed broadband privacy rules. The rules deviate from the bipartisan privacy framework that has been successfully enforced by the Federal Trade Commission against ISPs and others throughout the Internet ecosystem for decades and that was endorsed by the Obama Administration after considerable examination, the letter said. Specifically, the rules do not distinguish between sensitive and non-sensitive data with regard to appropriate consumer choices. Learn more.

Mobile devices rely on home fixed broadband

USTelecom dailyLead® | Sep 15, 2016

No matter what the connected device -- PCs, mobile devices, gaming consoles or over-the-top boxes -- streaming movies, TV shows and all other forms of audio and video generate the largest share of traffic on a home's fixed broadband network. Referred to as "home roaming," this common practice of connecting to the home's Wi-Fi network helps make iOS and Android devices the most significant generator of traffic for fixed-access broadband services in North American homes. Learn more.

Protecting and promoting the open internet

USTelecom dailyLead® | Sep 14, 2016

USTelecom filed comments addressing the Federal Communications Commission's modified proposal concerning information collection procedures for broadband service providers. Even with revisions, the proposal continues to ignore comments initially submitted by interested parties, and the FCC's explanations fall far short of substantively addressing the underlying concerns. The FCC seems to grossly underestimate the burdens associated with these obligations. To comply with these requirements, broadband service providers will be required to invest significant time, resources and personnel. Learn more.

FCC's revised set-top box plan would stifle innovation

USTelecom dailyLead® | Sep 12, 2016

In response to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler's announcement of a revised plan for new set-top box rules, USTelecom President Walter McCormick said the plan still had several troubling elements, even with it moving in the right direction necessary for the marketplace. Wheeler's new plan would require video providers to offer free apps to subscribers that could replace current devices. However, McCormick questioned how the new plan would safeguard consumers' private information. While pay-TV providers are required by statute to protect consumers' information, they couldn't guarantee what would happen to the data if it's shared with third-party set-top box or app providers, said McCormick. Learn more.

Data consumption on rise with use of multiple devices

USTelecom dailyLead® | Sep 09, 2016

Connected devices and consumer electronics, such as laptop PCs, smartphones, tablets and smart TVs, are playing an increasingly significant role in shaping a new consumer lifestyle. As connected devices proliferate, Americans are consuming more media online. The average American adult online has more than four connected gadgets, and one-third of those adults have a smart, internet-connected TV, according to a 2016 Forrester Research survey. Among the 60,000 US adults surveyed, three out of four have smartphones and about half have tablets, 84% currently read content online and 80% watch TV, film or video via broadband connections. Learn more.

Music streaming triggers push for new royalty regulations

USTelecom dailyLead® | Sep 08, 2016

For the past two years, two of the largest licensing clearinghouses, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and Broadcast Music Inc., have been negotiating with the US Department of Justice to gain more control over fees for their artists' work that is shared with digital services. In June, the Justice Department decided not to update 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act guidelines and last month, it decided both clearinghouses must adopt a 100% licensing policy. With the new licensing agreements that allow any artist who has worked on a song to negotiate fees, royalty rates may fluctuate and some artists could be undercut by the best offer. Learn more.

Game-changing cable competition

USTelecom dailyLead® | Sep 07, 2016

Since 2014, cable business service units have invested an estimated $6 billion in capital, while competitive fiber providers have invested an estimated $9 billion. Cable companies are enjoying the fruits of their substantial infrastructure investment. Cable business revenues have grown from approximately $4 billion in 2009 to an estimated $14 billion in 2015. From "best efforts" broadband services at blazing fast speeds to the most sophisticated Ethernet services available, the cable industry is effectively targeting all segments of the business broadband marketplace. Learn more.

5 court rulings show why FCC privacy rules are legally unsound

USTelecom dailyLead® | Sep 06, 2016

Internet providers, Silicon Valley companies, advertisers and even the Federal Trade Commission have all provided feedback to the Federal Communications Commission about why its proposed privacy rules are problematic. It would simply impose needless restrictions on broadband providers without actually increasing online users' privacy. Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe recently provided another reason: the rules are likely to be overturned as unconstitutional. He identified five previous court cases that help show why the FCC's opt-in proposal is likely to be rejected by a federal appeals court. Learn more.

FCC must change course on privacy

USTelecom dailyLead® | Sep 02, 2016

Opposition to the Federal Communications Commission's proposed broadband privacy rules continues to grow. The recently filed "reply round" comments, new reports, expert submissions to the FCC and testimony before Congress all demonstrate a growing consensus that the FCC's proposed approach is flawed and a new course must be taken -- one that protects consumer data, encourages innovation and growth online, and provides consistent standards for all internet companies. The record before the FCC in its formal docket -- and the broader public debate -- establish a consensus that the agency's original approach to broadband privacy will harm consumers and undermine the internet economy. Learn more.

Musicians' controversy with digital streaming services

USTelecom dailyLead® | Sep 01, 2016

Digital music services like Spotify and Pandora may be favored by their listeners, yet for songwriters, singers and publishers, sharing their music with audio streaming services may not be such a sweet deal. In an open letter to Congress, more than 180 music creators expressed their concern for the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act not properly addressing technologically advanced systems like digital streaming and not allowing for a fair share of profits between the songwriters and music streaming services. Learn more.

Over-the-top video isn’t just for cord cutters

USTelecom dailyLead® | Aug 31, 2016

Cord cutters are not the prime movers of the over-the-top video market. In fact, they make up only 13% of the streaming video universe, according to a new study by J.D. Power. The study illustrates how broadband distribution of movies, TV shows and other video content has given people more options for home entertainment. But as the new data shows, the over-the-top video market is not an either-or proposition for consumers. Learn more.

Streaming boomed while TV sagged for NBC's Rio Olympics

USTelecom dailyLead® | Aug 30, 2016

Mark the Rio Olympics as the games where streaming came into its own as a viable alternative to traditional TV coverage. Viewers streamed 2.71 billion minutes of live Olympic coverage, nearly double the combined live minutes of the 2008 and 2012 games (1.48 billion). Digital viewers represented 7% of the total audience for the Rio games delivered by NBCU platforms to Olympic advertisers. On and the NBC Sports app, streamies -- or people who watched via the internet instead of cable or broadcast channels -- viewed a total of 3.3 billion minutes, including live coverage, event replays and highlights. Learn more.

Artificial intelligence: The rise of the smart machine

USTelecom dailyLead® | Aug 29, 2016

The development of a wide array of intelligent machine innovations also known as artificial Intelligence (AI) or smart machines is underway in labs across the nation, and has breathtaking potential for education, health care, business, finance and more. Several top universities are developing robotics projects as language-learning companions for children, companions to pediatric patients in hospitals as they face challenges, and to assist the handicapped. Robotic demonstrations are featuring everything from simple mechanical operations to more complex activities to self-driving vehicles. While some hail the advent of AI, others are more cautious, including Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and Space X. Learn more.

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