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Genachowski, FCC Staff Take In CES 2011

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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Open Internet Apps Challenge

by Steven VanRoekel, Managing Director
January 5, 2011

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:92:height=106,width=70]]For months, we've been hearing from a committed community of citizens that care deeply about preserving the foundational principles of the Internet.

Many of the same people have been involved with the FCC over the last few months through our FCC.gov Developer community. Now that the FCC has released the Open Internet order, we're calling on that developer community to help us meet a new challenge.

The Open Internet Apps Challenge, released by the FCC, asks this community — particularly the researchers and developers — to help build the strongest safeguards possible to preserve these principles and innovate online.

This is an opportunity for the FCC to tap talent in a variety of fields — technology development, research, monitoring, and more — to build a powerful toolkit that protects and informs consumers. These software tools could, for example, detect whether a broadband provider is interfering with DNS responses, application packet headers, or content.

The winners of this challenge will have their work widely seen and used. We think that there a number of interesting opportunities in this challenge, particularly for researchers with deep experience in highly-technical and specified fields of industry and academia.

We've called on the FCC Developer community before, like the Open Developer Day we hosted in October, and this challenge presents a new opportunity for the agency to partner with innovators and researchers working towards important goals.

Check out all the details for the Open Internet Apps Challenge at Challenge.gov.

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Solutions to Stop Use of Contraband Cell Phones by Prisoners

January 3, 2011

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A few weeks ago a cell phone was found in Charles Manson's California prison cell. Corcoran, California Prison authorities confirmed that Manson had been in contact with people outside the prison walls, and for some time. Just last month, Georgia inmates are reported to have used them to coordinate a work strike across a number of the state's prisons.

A cell phone these days is apparently something the average American cannot live without. And, it seems, neither can the nation's inmates. This is a major public safety concern. Today, prisons across the nation are reportedly confiscating thousands of cell phones from inmates, yet this contraband is still being used by inmates daily.

Cell phones in the hands of prisoners present a serious threat to public safety. Despite federal and some state laws prohibiting their possession, today, thousands of prisoners nationwide are in possession of contraband cell phones and are conducting illegal enterprises despite serving time for other crimes. An inmate's illegal activity may involve discussions with fellow criminals outside the prison walls about drug trafficking, money laundering or intimidating witnesses — or worse, plotting their murders. This is a national problem that has been of concern for state and local law enforcement and department of corrections officials for sometime. And, it's a problem the FCC is committed to help solve.

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The Broadband Economy: A New Land of Opportunity

by Julius Genachowski, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
January 1, 2011
The role that high-speed Internet plays in peoples' lives, in our quest for knowledge, in our economy and in our democracy exceeds even the wildest dreams that people had 15 years ago.

 

 

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Connecting America: Removing Barriers

by Jamal Mazrui, Deputy Director, Accessibility and Innovation Initiative
January 1, 2011

Spectrum: Supply and Demand

by Ruth Milkman, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
January 1, 2011

Broadband: Jobs and Innovation

by Sharon Gillett, Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau
January 1, 2011

Public Safety: Safe and Secure

by Jamie Barnett, Chief, Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau
January 1, 2011

Consumers: Technology is Personal

by Joel Gurin, Chief, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
January 1, 2011

Critical Infrastructure Protection Month

December 22, 2010

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On December 3 of this year, the President issued a Proclamation that December is Critical Infrastructure Protection Month. In the Proclamation, President Obama said, "[M]y Administration is committed to delivering the necessary information, tools, and resources to areas where critical infrastructure exists in order to maintain and enhance its security and resilience." This effort is a central focus for the Commission's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. The Bureau's mission is to ensure public safety and homeland security by advancing state-of-the-art communications that are accessible, reliable, resilient, and secure, in coordination with public and private partners. As part of the nation's national security protection programs, the Bureau is a key contributor in protecting communications facilities that are a critical component of the nation's infrastructure.

There are several critical infrastructure sectors and each sector has an Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC). As part of our responsibilities in critical infrastructure protection, we support the Communications ISAC by providing subject matter expert liaison staff. The mission of the Communications ISAC is to facilitate voluntary collaboration and information sharing among government and industry in support of Executive Order 12472 and the national critical infrastructure protection goals of Presidential Decision Directive 63. The intent is to gather information on vulnerabilities, threats, intrusions, and anomalies from multiple sources in order to perform analysis with the goal of averting or mitigating impact upon the telecommunications infrastructure.

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