Monday, August 31, 2009

FCC Requests Additional Nominations By September 30, 2009 For Membership On The Technological Advisory Council

            On April 8, 2009, the Commission issued a public notice soliciting nominations for the Technical Advisory Council (TAC) and nominations were received in response to this notice.  Concurrent with the establishment of the TAC, the Commission was charged by Congress to develop a plan that seeks to ensure that people of the United States have access to broadband capability.  In support of this and related efforts, the Commission is now seeking additional nominations to the TAC to ensure that its membership best serves the needs of the Commission.


            The Commission will accept nominations for the Council through September 30, 2009.  Nominations previously submitted remain in consideration.  The Commission, at its discretion, may consider nominations received after this date, but consideration of late submissions is not guaranteed.  Individuals may apply for, or nominate another individual for, membership on the Council.  Each nomination or application must include:


a.       the name and title of the applicant or nominee and a description of the interest the applicant or nominee will represent;

b.      the applicant's or nominee's mail address, e-mail address, telephone number, and facsimile number (where available);

c.       reasons why the applicant or nominee should be appointed to the Council; and

d.      the basis for determining the applicant or nominee has achieved peer recognition as a technical expert.


            Further details on the TAC are provided in the April 8, 2009, public notice available at


Nominations and applications should be sent to Walter Johnston, Chief, Electromagnetic Compatibility Division, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW, Room 7-C324, Washington, DC 20554 or e-mail and please include "TAC nomination" in the subject line.


8/31/09 FCC Requests Additional Nominations by September 30, 2009 for Membership on the Technological Advisory Council Public Notice: Word | Acrobat


- FCC -

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Friday, August 28, 2009

OnGuard Online

OnGuard Online "provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information." Check out the games from OnGuard Online: Auction Action :: Beware of Spyware :: Friend Finder :: ID Theft Faceoff :: Invasion of the Wireless Hackers :: Invest Quest :: Online Lineup :: Phishing Scams :: Spam Scan Slam :: The Case of the Cyber Criminal -- Also check out the Phishing videos. (Be sure to scroll down the page)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

[FCC] RFC Comment Sought on Defining "Broadband"

In this public notice PDF, we seek tailored comment on defining “broadband” for purposes of the Commission’s development of a National Broadband Plan (Plan) pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), and for related purposes.1

The Recovery Act directs the Commission to create a national broadband plan by February 17, 2010, that seeks to ensure that every American has access to broadband capability and establishes clear benchmarks for meeting that goal.2 To this end, on April 8, 2009, the Commission initiated a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking comment on the approach to developing this Plan, key terms of the statute, and a number of specific policy goals.3 The Recovery Act also provides that the Rural Utilities Service of the Department of Agriculture (RUS) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the Department of Commerce (NTIA) distribute grants and loans for broadband. The RUS and NTIA have provided guidance to potential applicants which included a definition of “broadband.”4 In addition, the Commission has begun holding a series of staff workshops “to promote an open dialogue between the FCC and key constituents on matters important to the National Broadband Plan.”5 In light of the record received in response to the National Broadband Plan NOI and the discussions at the workshops that have been held to date, we recognize that we must seek additional, focused comment on certain specific topics.

In this first Public Notice, we seek tailored comment on a fundamental question—how the Plan should interpret the term “broadband” as used in the Recovery Act, recognizing that our interpretation of the term as used in that statute may inform our interpretation of the term in other contexts.6 In particular, the Recovery Act requires the Commission to develop a “national broadband plan” that seeks to ensure “access to broadband capability” for the entire United States.7 An understanding of what constitutes “broadband” thus is essential to evaluating the extent to which “broadband capability” is available, and informs the evaluation of particular policy approaches intended to ensure access to broadband capability. The National Broadband Plan NOI observed that “broadband can be defined in myriad ways,” and sought comment on possible approaches.8 We now seek more targeted comment on three aspects of this issue: (1) the general form, characteristics, and performance indicators that should be included in a definition of broadband; (2) the thresholds that should be assigned to these performance indicators today; and (3) how the definition should be reevaluated over time.

1. Form, Characteristics, and Performance Indicators. Much of the discussion of any proposal to define “broadband” tends to center on download and upload throughput.9 Download and upload throughput are important, but neither is precise or diverse enough to describe broadband satisfactorily.10 For example, advertised throughput rates generally differ from actual rates, are not uniformly measured, and have different constraints over different technologies.11 In addition, it is unclear what the end points of the connection are over which throughput is measured or whether the performance of the end points is reflected in the stated throughput. Moreover, there are network characteristics – such as latency, reliability, and mobility – that are relevant for certain applications but not others. Accordingly, we seek comment on:

a. the form that a definition of broadband should take;

b. whether to develop a single definition, or multiple definitions;

c. whether an application-based approach to defining broadband would work, and how such an approach could be expressed in terms of performance indicators;

d. the key characteristics and specific performance indicators that should be used to define broadband;

e. what segment(s) of the network each performance indicator should measure, such as the local access link to the end user, or an end-to-end path;

f. how factors such as latency, jitter, traffic loading, diurnal patterns, reliability, and mobility should specifically be taken into account;

g. whether different performance indicators or definitions should be developed based on technological or other distinctions, such as mobility or the provision of the service over a wired or wireless network;

h. the feasibility and verifiability of measuring different performance indicators.

2. Thresholds. After identifying key characteristics and performance indicators, a definition of broadband must identify acceptable thresholds – typically minimums.12 Accordingly, we seek comment on:

a. what minimum thresholds should be assigned to the performance indicators;

b. the minimum thresholds necessary for broad classes of applications to function properly;

c. whether we should adopt multiple, escalating tiers of minimum thresholds.

3. Updates. The Internet and broadband networks have been characterized by rapid evolution and change. While a static set of objectively measured thresholds may be useful to compare networks at a given time, or over time, a static definition will fail to address changing needs and habits.13 Accordingly, we seek comment on:

a. what ongoing process should be put in place to update the definition, particularly the threshold levels;

b. how often should such updates should occur;

c. what criteria should be used to adjust thresholds over time;

d. how modifications over time to the definition will affect the Commission’s ability to collect and publish meaningful data on broadband deployment and adoption.

This matter shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission’s ex parte rules. See 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200, 1.1206. Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentations must contain summaries of the substance of the presentations and not merely a listing of the subjects discussed. More than a one- or two-sentence description of the views and arguments presented generally is required. See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1206(b). Other rules pertaining to oral and written ex parte presentations in permit-but-disclose proceedings are set forth in section 1.1206(b) of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. § 1.1206(b).

All comments should refer to GN Docket Nos. 09-47, 09-51, and 09-137. Please title comments and reply comments responsive to this Notice as “Comments (or Reply Comments) – NBP Public Notice #1.” Further, we strongly encourage parties to develop responses to this Notice that adhere to the organization and structure of the questions in this Notice.

Comments may be filed using (1) the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), (2) the Federal Government’s eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies.14 Comments filed through the ECFS can be sent as an electronic file via the Internet to or the Federal eRulemaking Portal: Generally, only one copy of an electronic submission must be filed. In completing the transmittal screen, commenters should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and the applicable docket or rulemaking number. Parties may also submit an electronic comment by Internet e-mail. To get filing instructions for e-mail comments, commenters should send an e-mail to, and should include the following words in the body of the message, “get form.” A sample form and directions will be sent in reply. Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each filing.


For further information about this Public Notice, please contact Ian Dillner at (202) 418-1191.

- FCC -

1 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Pub. L. No. 111-5, 123 Stat. 115 (2009) (Recovery Act); see also Inquiry Concerning the Deployment of Advanced Telecommunications Capability to All Americans in a Reasonable and Timely Fashion, and Possible Steps to Accelerate Such Deployment Pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as Amended by the Broadband Data Improvement Act, A National Broadband Plan for Our Future, GN Docket Nos. 09-137, 09-51, Notice of Inquiry, FCC 09-65 (rel. Aug. 7, 2009); Comment Sought on International Comparison and Consumer Survey Requirements in the Broadband Data Improvement Act, GN Docket No. 09-47, Public Notice, 24 FCC Rcd 3908 (2009).

2 Recovery Act § 6001(k).

3 See generally A National Broadband Plan for Our Future, GN Docket No. 09-51, Notice of Inquiry, 24 FCC Rcd 4342 (2009) (National Broadband Plan NOI).

4 See Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Broadband Initiatives Program; Broadband Technology Opportunities Program; Notice, 74 Fed. Reg. 33104 (July 9, 2009) (BIP-BTOP NOFA); Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program, Notice, 74 Fed. Reg. 32545 (July 8, 2009).

5 Workshops, (last visited July 28, 2009); The FCC and Broadband: The Next 230 Days at 10-13, (July 2, 2009).

6 See Broadband Data Improvement Act, Pub. L. No. 110-385, 122 Stat. 4096 (2008) (BDIA), codified at 47 U.S.C. § 1301 et. seq.

7 Recovery Act § 6001(k)(2).

8 National Broadband Plan NOI, 24 FCC Rcd at paras. 15-23.

9 See, e.g., International Broadband Electric Communications Comments at 2; MI Public Service Comm’n Comments at 1; National Consumers League Comments at 1–2; Progress & Freedom Foundation Comments at 7.

10 See, e.g., Robert Pepper, Presentation at the FCC Broadband Workshops: International Lessons (Aug. 18, 2009), See also, e.g., AT&T Comments at 20; Cisco Comments at 10–13; Native Public Media & Native Congress of American Indians Joint Comments at 7; WISPA Comments at 7.

11 See, e.g., NASUCA Comments at 19 (describing a way to measure “actual speed”); AdTran, Defining Broadband Speeds: An Analysis of Required Capacity in Network Access Architectures, White Paper, (describing constraints on different last mile network technologies) and Defining Broadband: Network Latency and Application Performance, White Paper, attached to Letter from Stephen L. Goodman, Counsel for ADTRAN, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 09-51 (filed June 23, 2009).

12 For example, NTIA and RUS, using an advertised throughput metric, identified a minimum threshold of 768 kbps for the definition of broadband and used a minimum of 3 Mbps to identify “underserved” areas. See BIP-BTOP NOFA at 74 Fed. Reg. 33108-09.

13 See, e.g., CDMA Development Group at 6; Independent Telephone & Telecommunications Alliance Comments at 8; KM Broadcasting Comments at 3; TDS Telecommunications Corporation Comments at 5; Western Telecommunications Alliance Comments at 12–14.

14 See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 Fed. Reg. 24121 (1998).

15 Filers should follow the instructions provided on the Federal eRulemaking Portal website for submitting comments.

DA 09-1842 Released: August 20, 2009



GN Docket Nos. 09-47, 09-51, 09-137

Comment Date: August 31, 2009

Reply Comment Date: September 8, 2009

Commission Seeks Targeted Comments on Defining Broadband.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

Monday, August 17, 2009

[FTC] Extra! Extra! FTC Announces Revised Schedule for Workshop: "From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?"

The Federal Trade Commission today announced December 1 and 2, 2009, as the dates on which it will begin a series of workshops titled "From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?" The workshops previously were scheduled to begin on September 15, 2009.

The workshops will bring competition, consumer protection, and First Amendment perspectives to bear on the financial, technological, and other challenges facing the news industry as consumers increasingly turn to the Internet for free news and information, advertisers increasingly move their ads onto online sites and reduce advertising buys as a result of the recession, and news organizations struggle with large debt that was taken on when times were better.

Several large daily newspapers across the country have declared bankruptcy in the past year, and others have imposed significant cuts in staff and other expenditures to lower their costs dramatically, although some smaller community newspapers may continue to have local monopolies. News magazines also have seen significant drop-offs in advertising revenues, despite relatively stable circulation numbers. Broadcast television news and radio news broadcasts have lost audience shares over the past decade, while cable and Internet audiences have grown. The news media and the practice of journalism are in transition, as evidenced by multiple innovative models for journalism that have emerged in the past few years.

The workshops will consider a wide range of issues, including: the economics of journalism and how those economics are playing out on the Internet and in print; the wide variety of new business and non-profit models for journalism online; factors relevant to the new economic realities for news organizations, such as behavioral and other targeted online advertising, online news aggregators, and bloggers; and the variety of governmental policies – including antitrust, copyright, and tax policy – that have been raised as possible means of finding new ways for journalism to thrive. Witnesses will include journalists and other representatives of news organizations, privacy experts, direct marketers, online advertisers, academics, new media representatives (such as bloggers and local news Web sites), and consumer advocates. An agenda for the December 1 and 2, 2009, workshops will be circulated at a later time.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

Office of Public Affairs
Susan DeSanti
Director, Office of Policy Planning

[FCC] FCC Announces Senior Technologists in Development of Natl Broadband Plan

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission has named a team of senior technologists who will help lead the effort by the Federal Communications Commission to develop a National Broadband Plan.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 directed the FCC to submit a National Broadband Plan to Congress by February 17, 2010 that addresses broadband deployment, adoption, affordability, and the use of broadband to advance solutions to national priorities, including health care, education, energy efficiency, public safety, job creation, investment, and others. The senior technologists helping develop this plan are:

Stagg Newman, Chief Technologist. Dr. Newman was a Principal with Pisgah Comm Consulting, providing telecommunications technical and regulatory expertise. He was Chief Technology Officer and a founder of Frontline Wireless, which was formed to bid for nationwide spectrum licenses in the 700 MHz auction. He was a senior telecommunications expert for McKinsey and Company, where he analyzed the strategic interplay of technology, business and competitive forces. Prior to that, he served as the FCC’s Chief Technologist. He also worked at Bellcore, where he was Vice President, Network Access Technology, Applied Research, the Pacific Telesis Group, and Bell Laboratories. He earned a Ph.D. and M.S. in Mathematics from Cornell University, and a B.S. in Mathematics from Davidson College, where he was salutatorian.

Byron J. Neal, Chief Engineer. Mr. Neal is an engineer and manager with over 15 years of network engineering experience in the telecom industry. He was Director of Syniverse Technologies; Vice President, Network Engineering, for Trinsic Communications; Regional Manager, Customer Engineering, for 2nd Century Communications; Network Design Manager for Intermedia Communications, and Telecommunications Engineer for Transglobal Communications. He earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the West Virginia University Institute of Technology.

Julius Knapp, Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology, FCC. Mr. Knapp has been with the FCC for 35 years. He became Chief of OET in 2006, having previously served as the Deputy Chief since 2002. Mr. Knapp has held a variety of management positions in OET, including Chief of the FCC Laboratory. He has been involved in facilitating the introduction of a wide variety of radio services and technologies, including advanced wireless services, mobile satellite services, 3650 MHz broadband services, and many others. He has also been instrumental in adoption of the FCC’s provisions for unlicensed technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Ultra-Wideband, power line communications and TV White Space devices. Mr. Knapp received a Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the City College of New York in 1974. He was the 2001 recipient of the Eugene C. Bowler award for exceptional professionalism and dedication to public service and received the FCC’s Silver and Gold medal awards for distinguished service at the Commission

Rashmi Doshi, Chief, Laboratory Division, Office of Engineering and Technology, FCC. Dr. Doshi is currently the Chief of the Laboratory Division in the Office of Engineering and Technology. He is responsible for managing the FCC’s laboratory staff in leading the evaluation of new technologies and the development of measurement procedures for RF compliance in support of the major policy initiatives at the FCC. He also manages the FCC’s Equipment Authorization program, including the oversight of the Telecommunications Certification Bodies in the US and related conformity assessment programs. Mr. Doshi has worked in the telecommunications industry for over 30 years, which included working as Executive Director for Verizon (Bell Atlantic, NYNEX) and various engineering positions at Nortel and British Telecom Research Center. He has been involved in the development of network technologies for voice, data and multi-media services. Mr. Doshi holds a B.Sc. degree from University of London and a Ph.D. in Electronics from University of Southampton, England. He was the recipient of the FCC’s 2008 Gold Medal award for distinguished service at the Commission.

Jeff Goldthorp, Chief, Communications Systems Analysis Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, FCC. Mr. Goldthorp leads a technical staff in the analysis of communications systems reliability and security, including the collection and analysis of communications network outage data, establishing statistically meaningful portraits of communications network reliability, and working with industry to facilitate improvements to reliability and security. In times of disaster, Mr. Goldthorp's Division collects and analyzes data that is used to establish more accurate assessments of the condition of communications infrastructure in affected areas. He began his career in 1984 as an electrical engineer with Bell Communications Research, which subsequently became Telcordia Technologies. At Telcordia, Mr. Goldthorp earned a patent for a DSP-based near-end crosstalk simulator that is in use today in Telcordia's laboratories and was General Manager of Network Access Engineering Services. Mr. Goldthorp earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University.

Walter Johnston, Chief, Electromagnetic Compatibility Division, Office of Engineering and Technology, FCC. Mr. Johnston is responsible for the evaluation of new technologies and services. He has served as CTO for several companies focused on data and VoIP services. He has held senior positions in Telcordia and was VP at BellAtlantic/NYNEX (Verizon) where he was responsible for the development of new broadband data services, including the company’s first Internet service offering. He managed the trial of one of the original regional Internets that were connected to the NSFNET, the initial backbone of the modern Internet. He also established one of the largest trial broadband networks, a statewide facility connecting research organizations throughout New York State. He began his career with Bell Laboratories where he was responsible for design and development of a number of systems used for remote operations of the telephone network. He has a B.S./EE and an M.S./CS both from Polytechnic Institute of New York.

Ronald T. Repasi, Deputy Chief of the Office of Engineering and Technology, FCC. Mr. Repasi has also served as the Satellite Engineering Branch Chief in the FCC’s International Bureau, where he resolved orbit and spectrum sharing issues between competing satellite systems and managed the satellite network licensing process. Mr. Repasi previously served for several years as the Commission’s Liaison to the Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC) and has represented the Commission as a delegate or spokesperson in various national and international committees, including two International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conferences and related Study Groups. Mr. Repasi holds a BSEE degree in electronics engineering from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.


More information about the National Broadband Plan can be found at

FCC Announces Senior Technologists in Development of National Broadband Plan.
News Release: Word | Acrobat