Dave on the Internet Society and action for the poor (For the record)

​​The Internet Society has a $30M/year subsidy from .org registrations. It can and should be the world’s leading advocate for a great Internet for everyone. I’m on the ISOC-NY Board and sent this note.


I- and I believe many of you – believe bringing down the cost of access is crucial to bringing the Internet to everyone. As things change in the Internet Society, I think we should look at how we can influence decisions that directly affect the cost of access.

In the U.S., Trump’s FCC wants to severely cut back on Lifeline, the program to connect the poor. Commissioners Copps & Tristani will lead a

Speakout to Save Lifeline  Wed., Sept. 26, at 10 a.m. EDT at FCC headquarters, 445 12th St. SW, Washington, D.C. I hope Andrew encourages Internet Society employees to attend, making up their work later on.
In India, the telcos are trying to undermine the local efforts to connect to the remarkable BharatNet. BharatNet has brought fiber to literally hundreds of thousands of villages and hundreds of millions of people. This is by far the most important effort in the world to bring the Internet to the rural poor. ISOC, especially our Indian chapters, should be leading the effort to make sure BharatNet delivers robust Internet affordable to all. (Details on both below.)

Articulating “high order principles” is not enough unless they are applied to practice. At the U.S. State Department ITAC, where I am a member, vague “High order principles” are a euphemism for positions that sound good hiding the U.S. opposition to anything opposed by the U.S. companies. ISOC can do better by focusing on concrete proposals. (Reasonable royalties, exposing cartel-like pricing on transports and backhaul, …)

The “DC Consensus” tactic of “incentives” generally fails. Half of the U.S. has only one decent broadband choice; in the rest, the telcos only offer service that was obsolete a decade ago. (Verizon in Manhattan only offers me 3 megabits in 2018.) Verizon’s cheapest Internet in Fios territory is $75 or so. In France, you can buy fiber optic triple play for less than half that. The U.S. rural coverage is among the worst in the developed world.

The Internet Society has a $30M/year subsidy from .org registrations. We can and should be the world’s leading advocate for a great Internet for everyone.

Dave Burstein

Lifeline Advocates to Rally Outside FCC Headquarters in Protest of Pai’s Plan to Gut Essential Program

12:02 PM (6 hours ago)

to daveb

September 25, 2018


Contact: Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838

Lifeline Advocates to Rally Outside FCC Headquarters in Protest of Pai’s Plan to Gut Essential Program

WASHINGTON — Representatives from social-justice and digital-rights groups will rally outside Federal Communications Commission headquarters on Wednesday to protest the agency’s plan to gut the Lifeline program that subsidizes internet and telephone services for millions of people living below the poverty line.

The groups, including the Center for Media Justice, Common Cause, Free Press Action Fund, the National Consumer Law Center, the National Hispanic Media Coalition and the Open Technology Institute, will be joined by Lifeline subscribers who will speak to the importance of affordable access — and against FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s efforts to severely limit their ability to benefit from the subsidy program.

Pai’s attack on Lifeline is one of several agency actions that disproportionately harm low-income communities while concentrating media power in the hands of a few wealthy companies. His FCC has also failed to defend reforms to exorbitant prison phone-call rates, blocked opportunities for communities to build their own broadband networks and repealed Net Neutrality protections that safeguarded free expression and choice online.

What: Speakout to Save Lifeline
When: Wed., Sept. 26, at 10 a.m. EDT
Where: FCC headquarters, 445 12th St. SW, Washington, D.C.
Who: Activists, advocates and others united against attacks on the most vulnerable in our society
Press RSVP: Timothy Karr at tkarr@freepress.net

Confirmed speakers include former FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Gloria Tristani, George Alvarenga of Shelter House, Cheryl Leanza of the United Church of Christ, OC, Inc., Sarah Morris of the Open Technology Institute, Francella Ochillo of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Jesse Rabinowitz of Miriam’s Kitchen, Carmen Scurato and Joseph Torres of Free Press Action Fund, Erin Shields of the Center for Media Justice, Aja Taylor of Bread for the City, and Monica Thammarath of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance.

Free Press Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization fighting for people’s rights to connect and communicate. Free Press Action Fund does not support or oppose any candidate for public office.

300,000,000 connections at stake in rural India

Published: 08 July 2018625,000 villages are being connected with fiber by the remarkable Bharatnet, on track to complete in 2019. One to five Wi-Fi hotspots in each area (GP) will offer services including banking and e-gov for eight cents (U.S.) per day to $1.50/month. These “Common services centres” will often be run by “Village level entrepreneurs,” perhaps as many as 100,000.

DOT’s goal is 500,000 deployed in 2018 under a light licensing procedure. 43,000 are already in place and 300,000 more on the way. Some will be solar-powered.

This is the largest Internet access program on earth, originally conceived by Sam Pitroda in the government of  Dr. Mammohan Singh. It is a credit to the government building it.* Telcos are also connecting; Bharti has 30,000 cells planned. Reliance Jio, now with 4G to 96% of Indians, will raise that to 99%. Jio has better coverage than most of the major Europeans, all state of the art 4G LTE.

The big four telcos now are demanding a delay and a huge increase in costs.

“Establishing public WiFi networks without licence will be illegal being in violation of the Indian Telegraph Act 1885.”

More https://www.fastnet.news/index.php/8-fnn/708-300m-connections-at-stake-in-rural-india

Editor, http://Fastnet.news http://wirelessone.news gfastnews.com

Author with Jennie Bourne  DSL (Wiley) and Web Video: Making It Great, Getting It Noticed (Peachpit)

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