Posts Taged broadband

DC Adds Ultra fast Network To Bridge Digital Divide

The district of DC is dvided in terms of it’s access to broadband services. Some areas are at 97% connectivity while others are barely at 30%

Those divisions exist even in the world of bits and bytes, unfortunately, with access to broadband services reaching 97 percent in Ward 3 while barely hitting the 40 percent mark in some communities east of the Anacostia River.

That is about the change. The mayor recently announced a citywide ultra fast broadband network.

“Funded by a $17 million federal grant, city officials hope that the 170-mile network known as DC-CAN will increase internet use in under-served communities and bring down costs for all District residents.”

The goals is allow groups and business to use this high speed network to offer wireless services to those who need it the most and increase internet use overall. Let’s hope other cities see the importance of this and follow this model.

To Create an ‘Ecosystem’ for Minority Entrepreneurs We need to make sure There is Access to Even Before We Focus on Capital

My response to the following article on Entrepreneur.com “Creating an Ecosystem for Minority Entrepreneurs

Why I Challenge Critics of the Latest Black in America Documentary

The Internet Opens the Door to College Learning for all of us.

If you have always wanted the chance to audit classes from the top schools in the country. Now is your chance. Several top schools have offered classes for anyone to view free online. This is just another example of all the things at our disposal online. Share this with a friend tonight so that we can continue to close the divide. See more here. http://mashable.com/2011/11/11/free-online-education/

In the Broadband Battle Who Fights for Rural America?

Everyday i read more tweets, articles and posts from people speaking out against the AT&T /T-mobile claiming higher prices and other constraints to competition but at the same time i see Sprint get the Iphone4s and be in a position to compete with any other carrier. But as these small wins are won on either side i feel like there is one area that is being neglected, Rural America. They don’t represent Big gains for anymore but the lack of access puts them at a huge disadvantage. Who is fighting for their needs? who is making sure they have the access they need to create jobs, expand educational opportunities, and improve public safety and health care. Broadband will give small businesses in rural areas a pathway to participation in the global economy and provides the framework for long-term economic growth and stability for years to come.

We need to make sure the focus is shifted to advocate for rural America. If they are left behind we all will suffer.

Congressman Clyburn Goes HIgh Tech To Deliver His Message

U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn believes that any plan to attack the debt and deficits will  not work unless it includes ways to create jobs. And while the points of his message were worth hearing as always  but it was the method he used that really caught my eye.

On Thursday he conducted a Virtual town hall on the site Politic365.com where he addressed  topics such as broadband access, job creation, the Bush tax cuts and medicare to name a few. These topics were in repsonse to questions he received via email or phone during the town hall. This kind of access to elected officials is usually hard to come but in this lengthy session people were allowed to hear his thoughts on all the major issues.  I hope that other members of our government take his lead on this innovate way of staying connected to pulse of their constituents.  you can hear the town hall here. And you can see highlights of some of his answers below.

  • On the need to expand adoption of broadband Internet access: “I’m convinced that our young people competing for jobs in the future will be competing in a global basis.”
  • On high-tech jobs: “I think that training, training and training must be done…. I don’t think we put enough focus on training people for jobs of the future.”
  • On the Bush tax breaks and correcting tax loopholes: “I really believe in shared sacrifice. I believe we’ve allowed too much to get out of kilter…. The fact of the matter is those tax breaks were unfairly tilted toward the wealthy. Everybody knows that. There is no denying it. … I think tax breaks need to be fair.… I don’t believe that closing a loophole is a tax increase.”
  • On Medicare: “We extended the life of Medicare by 14 years. We did so by cutting $500 billion out of Medicare on the provider side, so that we could pile that money back into Medicare on the benefits side. So nobody got their benefits cut, but it got misrepresented in the media. It was used against us in the campaign last year — ‘$500 billion Medicare cuts’ — and a lot of people went crazy.… The Ryan budget passed by the Republicans will continue big tax cuts for wealthy people while at the same time will turn Medicare program into some kind of a voucher that will cost Medicare recipients an additional $6,000 over a year.… That’s the kind of stuff we’ve got to guard against.”
  • On disrespect in politics: “We’ve allowed the discourse in our society to become too course. We’ve allowed our treatment of each other to become too harsh. I just think that this treatment, that so many people are vicious toward President Obama, is beyond the pale…. I don’t know anything in politics that will allow you to disrespect somebody. I can have differences with people in politics, but you don’t have to disrespect.”
  • On spending on infrastructure to help the economy: “I hope that this time around the president will make that a big part of his jobs program, to do these big infrastructure projects that will not only provide jobs in the short term but will have long-term benefits to communities.”

Western Mass Launches Plan to Deliver Broadband Across The Great Divide

In Western Mass a program called MassBroadband 123 is launching with the goals of delivering high speed Broadband to 120 cities and towns and help to ed the states geographical digital divide. The pubic-private project will not only provide many people (largely in rural areas) with the access of broadband they deserve. It will also provide work for hundreds of people. My hope is that more states will follow suit. You can read more about it here.

Bloomberg, Arrington Want More Opportunity for Immigrant Entrepreneurs, but What About Homegrown Talent?

According to TechCrunch’s Mike Harrington, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called for immigration reform that favors creating greater opportunities for immigrants because of their job creating potential here in the United States. Harrington reports:

The Mayor proposed green cards for graduates with advanced degrees in essential
fields; a new visa for entrepreneurs with investors ready to invest capital in
their job-creating idea; more temporary and permanent visas for highly skilled
workers…The Mayor also announced the results of a study conducted by the
Partnership for a New American Economy – a bipartisan group of business
leaders and mayors from across the country – that found more than 40 percent
of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or the children of
immigrants and those companies employ more than 10 million people worldwide
and have combined revenues of $4.2 trillion.

I agree that immigration is an important issue that ought to be addressed in the most civil and proactive way possible. But at the same time we’re promoting greater opportunity for foreign nationals, we should also be supporting homegrown talent. There are thousands of entrepreneurs here in the states that are ready to take their ideas to market, but perhaps lack sufficient capital or infrastructural support to make their businesses a reality.

It’s great to encourage people from other countries to come to the U.S. in the hopes that they’ll create more job-rendering opportunities for Americans. It’s even better toempower Americans to be job-creators themselves. That spirit of American innovation is something that stands as the hallmark of our national identity. Sure, our kids need to increase proficiencies in science, math, technology and engineering – the key fields that will be fueling our 21st century economy – but creativity, ingenuity, those are skills that cannot be taught, and they must be fostered in order for people to flourish.

Harrington says what many of us already know: immigrants fuel the Silicon Valley ecosystem. Instead of continuing to perpetuate an increasingly one-sided equation,especially when America’s GDP is increasingly reliant on the success of the tech sector,isn’t it time we begin investing in our own citizens here at home just as much, if not more so, than we do in people from other countries?

Facebook Changing the Way We Share Information

TechCrunch recently reported that Facebook accounts for 38% of all sharing online. The article, which summarized results from a ShareThis study quantifying how we share information online, confirmed what many of us have known for a while – social networking has irrevocably changed the way we interact with information and each other.  While raw data is impressive, the implications of how we share information are even more profound.  There are a couple of interesting points to be made about how social networking has changed the way we share information:

1)    The type of information we share is often insular and highly filtered.  Though social networking can connect us to millions of people and a wide array of subject matter, we seem to self-select online, focusing on receiving and sharing highly targeted information.  Although our universe technically gets bigger by the day, in reality, social sharing allows our worldview to stay pretty controlled, and even shrink.

2)    People we know become validators of information. When we receive information from shared links and other interactions across the social web, we tend to place the greatest weight on the information that’s shared with us from people we know. No longer do raw facts stand alone to justify our beliefs, but the person from whom we gather and receive information is just as, if not more so, important to our value of that information.

Needless to say, as social networking continues to evolve, our real life interactions with one another will likely continue to change as well.  Despite the boom over the past several years, we’re just at the beginning of the social media revolution

The Digital Divide Is A Real Issue, Not Just a Phrase To Use To Get Attention.

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There are alot of people that will tell you that the digital divide is over. That everyone has access to broadband and wireless and the playing field is equal.  I can tell you and show you data from multiple sources to prove that is not the case. Minorities have adopted and have access to the internet at much lower levels than our mainstream counterparts. As internet and wireless technology become bigger parts of mainstream society it becomes more difficult for people to recognize the divide and the gap widens for those are who not connected , which is made up heavily of African Americans and Hispanics.

With all that in mind it’s frustrating to me to see people use the word digital divide to attract attention to agendas that will do nothing to improve the actual divide. I recently read this article that talks about a conference put on by FreePress and it stated that the panel focused on the digital divide. Well my first pause was that the picture of the panelists did not seem to represent the people the divide is affecting. But i decided to let that go and continue to read. The article quickly showed me that all they talked about is how people need to become more educated on media policy and specifically AT&T ‘s policies ( which is all freepress seems to ever talk about).  This is another example a group using a word that has emotion impact to us that care about this issue, to push their own agenda. So can someone let freepress know that if you not going to do anything to help really solve the issue, at least do not use the phrase out of context for your benefit. We have enough challenges to solving the problem already! Also if you any of think I’m exaggerating then read for yourself here.