Few Gleanings from my perusing the Internet.
Senators Introduce Bill to Block States from Blocking Public Broadband – A trio of Democratic Senators has developed a new bill called the Community Broadband Act that is designed to overturn existing state laws that ban or restrict cities and towns from building their own broadband networks. The bill was jointly developed by Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Edward Markey (D-MA) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO). This proposed legislation emerges after President Obama sent a letter to the FCC to help it overturn 19 existing laws that make it challenging for municipalities to offer competitive Internet services even if the local incumbent telco and cable operator won’t offer higher speed services themselves.
Amazon Prime Now Tops Netflix in U.S. Subscribers – Amazon.com now has 40 million U.S. members for its Amazon Prime subscription service, up about 50 percent from a year ago, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated Tuesday. Amazon Prime offers free two-day shipping on millions of items, a video-on-demand service that competes with Netflix, and other benefits. Amazon Prime costs $99 a year. If the estimate of 40 million subscribers is accurate, Amazon Prime now has more U.S. subscribers than Netflix, which reported 39.1 million domestic members as of the end of December.
FCC Redefines Broadband Speeds as 25 Mbps Downloads, 3 Mbps Uploads – The FCC has changed its definition of broadband, after commissioners voted 3-2 in favor. The previous definition of 4 Mbps download, 1 Mbps upload minimum speeds have been increased to 25 Mbps down, 3 Mbps up, a move that pushes higher the proportion of households in the United States declared to be incapable of receiving broadband Internet access. Under the old definition, only 6.3 percent of homes had no access to broadband. The FCC now claims that 17 percent of the U.S. population now cannot access a broadband connection based on the new terms. The rules are mostly likely to cause problems for DSL providers, which have many miles of old copper wires that will now need some kind of upgrade to provide 25 Mbps services to the home.
Sources: Los Angeles Times, online; FierceWireless; Huffington Post. Investor’s Business Daily, online.The New York Times, online; Washington Post, online; Bloomberg; CNET; FierceTelecom; Computerworld, online; PC World,online; Ars Technica; Boy Genius Report; Electronista; Engadget; Gigaom; Gizmodo; Re/code; SlashGear; The Verge.
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