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Blog Posts by George Krebs

Chairman’s PLAN Remarks

by George Krebs, New Media
May 11, 2011

Chairman Genachowski at PLAN launch

Chairman Julius Genachoswki spoke at the World Trade Center site in New York City yesterday to kick off PLAN (Personal Localized Alerting Network). Joining him were New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, and a handful of executives from the nation’s largest wireless providers. This is a momentous launch for emergency alerting and we’re proud that New York City will take the lead in being one of the first cities up and running.

An excerpt from the Chairman’s remarks is below.

Communications technology - and in particular mobile broadband - has the potential to revolutionize emergency response and save lives.

We've got a lot of work to do to reach our goals, but today we take an important step.

One shortcoming that was exposed on 9/11 is that emergency authorities didn't have the ability to send alerts with vital instructions to people's mobile phones - nor the ability to break through network congestion.

Today, we announce that that's about to change.

The Personal Localized Alerting Network - what we call PLAN - is a new technology and service that will turn your mobile device into an emergency alert device with potentially life-saving messages when public safety is threatened.

Read the Chairman’s full remarks.

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Chairman Genachowski: The Clock is Ticking

by George Krebs, New Media
March 16, 2011

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This morning Chairman Genachowski spoke on spectrum, consumers and America’s small businesses, delivering the keynote address as part of the Mobile Future Forum. He called attention to the growth of broadband in America, the looming spectrum crisis and our solution of voluntary, market-based incentive auctions to free up that spectrum. He emphasized that “we must act” to set the pace for 21st century technology and said, “there’s no other choice than for the U.S. to lead.”

Given the theme, the event was held at Voxiva, a mobile based information solutions firm recently named one of the most innovative companies in the world. Peter Rysavy of Rysavy Research released a report prior to the Chairman’s talk entitled The Spectrum Imperative: Mobile Broadband Spectrum and its impacts for U.S. Consumers and the Economy. Here's an excerpt from the Chairman's speech:

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:228:]]To some, it was a surprise that the Broadband Plan included major sections on mobile broadband. At the time, many assumed that broadband was what you got when you connected your computer to the modem plugged into your wall.…Mobile broadband is being adopted faster than any computing platform in history. The number of smartphones and tablets being sold now exceeds the number of PCs. The Mobile Future report released this morning puts a fine point on this. According to their report, quote, “The clock is ticking, with rising demand and rapidly closing the gap with existing supply. The consequences of inaction are severe, widespread and wholly negative for consumers and the U.S. economy."

The point deserves emphasis: the clock is ticking on our mobile future. Demand for spectrum is rapidly outstripping supply. The networks we have today won’t be able to handle consumer and business needs.

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Digital Learning in the 21st Century

by George Krebs
March 8, 2011

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:234:height=102,width=70]]From Des Moines to Charlottesville school districts across the country are making sure there is a laptop in the hands of every high school student. California’s e-textbook initiative augurs the nationwide rise of digital course materials. Teachers now use web videos to reinforce the quadratic formula or impart a civics lesson. Technology is moving forward. Our classrooms and our curriculum need to catch up.

We’re joining with the New York City Department of Education tomorrow morning for an event on digital learning in the 21st century. We’ll speak on the promise of wireless and present a roundtable on the future of K – 12 education, as America begins to employ digital learning solutions. This includes the adoption of digital textbooks and the possibilities of wireless technology to enhance learning in the classroom. Wednesday’s event will explore both the benefits and the obstacles to this shift. The event will take place tomorrow, March 9 from 10:30am to 12:15pm at the NYC iSchool at 131 6th Avenue, at Dominick Street.

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Sharing the stage with Chairman Genachowski at the roundtable is a handful of the nation’s standouts in education, from both the public and private sectors. This includes Sharon Greenberger, COO of the NYC Department of Education; Alisa Berger, Principal of NYC iSchool, our host; Matthew Small, Chief Business Officer at Blackbord; and other luminaries.

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Genachowski, FCC Staff Take In CES 2011

by George Krebs
January 10, 2011

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:234:height=102,width=70]]Tablets and TVs; gadgets and tech-integrated vehicles; tech-enhanced musical instruments and heavily promoted headphones; innovative toys, energy efficient designs and wireless enabled products of all sorts. Sunday concluded a busy span of stunning technology pageantry in Las Vegas. Thousands of booths were set up and over 100,00 interested device enthusiasts arrived from all over the world for the Consumer Electronics Show , known more commonly as CES (or in this ever expanding, 140-character world, #CES).

Chairman Genachowski, all four Commissioners, and a retinue of FCC staff converged on the convention floor. They got a look at technology – from a wide range of companies – on the horizon and a sense of what's upcoming in the innovation space. Many of the exhibits in sight shouted wireless and they shouted mobile.

On Friday, day two, the Chairman gave a speech on the need for expanded spectrum offerings and then sat down to chat with the host of the event, CEA CEO Gary Shapiro. This is what the Chairman said:

"As evidenced by the trade show floor, the consumer electronics industry is going wireless, and the future success of this industry and our innovation future depends on whether our government acts quickly to unleash more spectrum -- the oxygen that sustains our mobile devices.

We're in the early stages of a mobile revolution that is sparking an explosion in wireless traffic.  Without action, demand for spectrum will soon outstrip supply.

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Announcing Generation Mobile, Featuring Jane Lynch

by George Krebs
December 9, 2010

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(Photo credit: LG Text Ed)

You can find them in the most innocent settings. The dinner table, the classroom, during evening homework hour or an otherwise quiet family walk. Clicking, clacking, beeping, buzzing and whirring. This maneuvering marauder? Mobile phones equipped with text messaging. These devices are exploding in use among the current generation and teens seem programmed to use them constantly.

A happy medium exists. Commonsense and responsible use of technology is within reach. To many parents the mobile culture is unfamiliar. We're hosting a Generation Mobile forum next Tuesday bringing together teens, parents, educators and experts. During this event we'll do our best to help parents navigate these challenging issues.

We'll discuss cyberbullying, sexting, over use, privacy, and texting-while-driving. The Pew Internet and American Life project will present their findings from a landmark study, "Kids and Mobile Phones."

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Preserving a Free and Open Internet [video]

by George Krebs
December 2, 2010

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:234:height=102,width=70]]In his clarion call yesterday morning Chairman Julius Genachowski laid out a proposal for basic rules of the road to preserve the open Internet as a platform for innovation, investment, job creation, competition, and free expression.

These rules rest on three basic tenets:

  1. Americans have the freedom to access lawful content on the Internet, without discrimination
  2. Consumers have the right to basic information about your broadband service
  3. The Internet will remain a level playing field.

This proposal is deeply rooted in history. The grounding ideas were first articulated by Republican Chairmen Powell and Martin and, in 2005, endorsed in a unanimous FCC policy statement. Chairman Genachowski cited the many months of hard work leading up to this moment – hard work across government, industry and broadband providers – and the substantial response received from the engaged public.

(This is cross-posted on the Open Internet Blog. Please leave comments there.)

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9-1-1's Next Frontier

by George Krebs
November 23, 2010

This morning Chairman Genachowski, Public Safety Bureau Chief Jamie Barnett and a collection of FCC staff visited a state-of-the-art response facility at the Arlington County Emergency Communications Center in Arlington, Virginia. Following the vision laid out in the National Broadband Plan, the event marks the announcement of steps to revolutionize America’s 9-1-1 system by harnessing the potential of text, photo, and video in emergencies.

Our communications needs are increasingly reliant on mobile devices. In fact, 70% of 9-1-1 calls originate from mobile phones and users rely regularly on texts and multimedia messages. While a subsequent evolution of our 9-1-1 system seems a natural -- and obvious -- step for digitally aware citizen, our current 9-1-1 system doesn’t utilize the superb, possibly life-saving potential within our existing mobile devices. With videos, pictures, texts -- and other untold mobile innovations surely on the horrizon -- next-generation 9-1-1 will position public safety officials a step ahead with critical real-time, on-the-ground information.

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Our Innovation Infrastructure: Opportunities and Challenges

by George Krebs
November 16, 2010

Earlier today, Chairman Genachowski spoke at the annaul meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners in Atlanta. In concert with the conference's "Keeping the Focus" theme, the Chairman spoke to the primary focus of the FCC: the economy and jobs. We're serving this mission through harnessing the opportunities of communications technology and putting an emphasis on innovation.

Read Chairman Genachowski's full speech.

(This is cross-posted on Blogband. Please leave comments there.)

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Join us for the Spectrum Summit

by George Krebs
October 20, 2010

By John Leibovitz

At last week's Commission meeting, Chairman Genachowski announced that the FCC will be hosting a Spectrum Summit to bring together creative thinkers to solve the looming spectrum crunch and ensure enough airwaves are available for Americans' growing appetite for mobile broadband.

The Summit is now here — it kicks off at 10 am tomorrow (Thursday) — and will be carried live at FCC.gov/Live.  And we're very pleased that C-SPAN has agreed to join us as well.  You'll be able to find video archives there and in the FCC's video archive on the web.

It promises to be an interesting day.  Mobile broadband demand is growing at an astounding rate, and we're bringing together some the key players in industry, government, academia, and the investment community to discuss how we can best help spectrum supply keep up.

Check out the agenda here, and tune in tomorrow!

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Announcing FCC.gov/developer at the Gov 2.0 Summit

by George Krebs
September 10, 2010

The annual Gov 2.0 Summit wrapped up this week. Among the many roll outs, innovations, and talks from across government, Managing Director Steve VanRoekel and Chairman Julius Genachowski took the stage to announce the launch of fcc.gov/developer. At launch the page currently features an initial sweep of developer APIs including the Consumer Broadband Test, Census Block Conversions, and License View.

If you didn't catch the speech on Tuesday, we've posted it below.

As a bonus, this compelling keynote by Carl Malamud, The Currents of Our Time, marked one of the high points of the week. He's an open government evangelist who spoke forcefully about the need to use government as a highly functioning platform.

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