Posted on

Nationwide Emergency Test – October 3rd

Ridgewood Emergency Services members and Ridgewood Police Clear Storm Drains

photo courtesy of Boyd Loving

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Glen Rock NJ, the Glen Rock Police Department reminds everyone that on October 3rd, 2018, the Federal Emergency and Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) beginning at 2:18 p.m. ET. The test will assess how ready the distribution channels are in case a national message needs sending and determine whether improvements are needed.

Continue reading Nationwide Emergency Test – October 3rd

Posted on

Weather, Federal Emergency Management Agency and Federal Communications Commission“Be Smart: Alerts and Warnings” guide

valleyEmergency_theridgewoodblog

December 31,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Paramus NJ, we picked this up form the Paramus Office of Emergency Management . You may not be near a TV or radio to find out when severe weather is approaching. Learn the different ways you can get alerts and warnings by using the “Be Smart: Alerts and Warnings” guide.

Receiving timely information about weather conditions or other emergency events can make all the difference in knowing when to take action to be safe. Local police and fire departments, emergency managers, the National Weather Service (NWS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and private industry are working together to make sure you can receive alerts and warnings quickly through several different technologies no matter where you are–at home, at school, at work, or in the community. For those with access and functional needs, many messages are TTY/TDD compatible and many devices have accessible accommodations. Review this fact sheet to make sure you will receive critical information as soon as possible so you can take action to be safe. Be sure to share this information with your family, friends, and colleagues. And remember to keep extra batteries for your mobile phone or radio in a safe place or consider purchasing other back-up power supplies such as a car, solar-powered, or hand crank charger.

link: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1440448868597-c0112a8bd0aa1c4a62ed44ba68b24d3f/Alerts_and_Warnings_508_20150824.pdf

 

Posted on

No Neutral Ground: The Problem of Net Neutrality

Optical-Fibers01_Web(2)

December 14,2017

by Brian Dellinger

On November 21, the Federal Communications Commission announced plans to revisit its Obama-era internet regulations. It seems likely that the resulting vote will repeal the policies often referred to as net neutrality. The name is, perhaps, misleading; to support net neutrality is to support placing the internet more fully under government supervision. The related political debate often divides traditional allies with arguments for free expression pitted against defenses of small government.

To understand net neutrality, one must see its position in technical history. Traditionally, internet service providers (ISPs), such as Comcast and Verizon, have guaranteed their customers a certain quantity of bandwidth – that is, a certain amount of data per unit of time. It was assumed that even a voracious user would rarely use his maximum bandwidth, and services were priced under this assumption. ISPs also de facto allowed customers to access whatever websites they wished; while there was no legal protection for this behavior, technical complexities made discrimination by website infeasible. The result was a largely open web: anyone with a blog could potentially reach millions.
In the early 2000s, the situation changed. Technological innovations enabled providers to determine which site a user visited and so potentially to restrict access. In principle, an ISP could now sell “packages” of websites, in a fashion resembling cable television: “basic internet” for news and Facebook, say, or “premium internet” for those who wanted more. These years also saw the rising popularity of streaming video services like Netflix and YouTube. Users now binge-watched videos, consuming their maximum available bandwidth for hours at a stretch. Such trends increased costs for the ISPs, leading them to investigate new responses: restricted access to high-usage sites, artificially slow downloads, and so on.

Net neutrality stands in opposition to these changes. Broadly, under net neutrality, the government requires ISPs to treat all web traffic in the same way: no limiting access, no reducing speed. Since 2005, the FCC has several times established net neutrality regulations; inevitably, the courts struck down such rules on the grounds that the FCC lacked the authority to regulate ISPs. In response, in 2015 the FCC redefined broadband internet as a telecommunications service, placing it under FCC jurisdiction, and promptly passed net neutrality rules. With the political shift of the 2016 elections, new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai began rolling back these regulations – hence the upcoming vote.
Both sides of the debate have merit. Concerns that ISPs might slow targeted websites are not idle speculation; Comcast did precisely thatto Netflix in 2014. Indeed, Comcast and others have done little to engender public trust in their behavior. Comcast had pledged for years not to “prioritize Internet traffic or create paid fast lanes.” That pledge disappeared from its website less than a day after Pai announced policy changes.

It is also true that the meritocratic nature of the internet – its enabling of anyone to win a following through quality work – has been one of its most notable virtues. A world of “basic internet,” in which new entrants might be simply unreachable, would reduce its value as a platform for new ideas.

Despite these fair concerns, arguments against the FCC rollback seem insufficient. It is difficult to deny that price incentives have drastically shifted over the last decade; if streaming video is generating much of the ISPs’ expenses, it makes intuitive sense that providers might demand Netflix share those costs, or might price service by total consumption rather than maximum bandwidth. Nor are the corporations supporting net neutrality any more trustworthy than the ISPs. Setting Netflix aside, supporters such as Google and Facebook seek to block ISPs from trading in users’ private information – a trade on which these companies themselves depend. For them, net neutrality eliminates the competition.

Other objections rely too heavily on speculation. While a “fast lane” internet would be a marked shift, the brief history of the web is one of constant change. Indeed, the rise of mobile browsing, which often limits the user to app-specific websites and now constitutes a majority of all web usage, may produce a greater alteration than that net neutrality would prevent.

Further, the internet is historically the result of market activity rather than top-down regulations. If one approves of its remarkable evolution to this point, it seems peculiar to assert that this is the moment to freeze it through government action. Given how few accurately predicted that evolution, it seems hubristic to assert how it will change next. Perhaps, as the ISPs argue, the increased revenue from a non-neutral internet would enable the expansion of broadband networks, ending regional monopolies of service providers. Such a change might ultimately produce a faster, more accessible internet – or it might not, but the experiment seems worth the risk.

Finally, whatever one’s feelings on net neutrality, the 2015 rules should be seen for what they are: a staggering expansion of bureaucratic power, by decree of the bureaucracy itself. The result is an ugly patchwork of overlapping authority between the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission, with ISPs disfavored over similar services. This reclassification can never be a stable solution; it will always be vulnerable to precisely the kind of unilateral repeal currently occurring. If the public supports net neutrality, then let it be defended through the proper channel: by laws, and not bureaucratic fiat.

Dr. Brian Dellinger is an assistant professor of computer science at Grove City College. His research interests are artificial intelligence and models of consciousness.

Posted on

How the U.S. can win the digital future

ajit-pai-titleII-net-neutrality-secret-viaTwitter

June 22,2017
By AJIT PAI

This week, the White House is hosting a series of meetings between leaders of our economy’s technology sector and administration officials. Dubbed “Tech Week,” these events provide a forum to focus on a critical question: What public sector policies will best spur private sector innovation?

Getting the answer right is vital for our nation’s economic future. Technological innovation opens the door to new industries and platforms, creating jobs and economic growth. The sharing economy, for example, has already given rise to more than a dozen billion-dollar companies, like Airbnb and Lyft. Technology firms currently account for America’s (and the world’s) five most valuable companies.

In order for us to expand prosperity and extend economic opportunity to more Americans, we must remain on the cutting edge. This means that government at all levels must focus on removing barriers to innovation and ensuring that technological advances aren’t strangled by bureaucratic red tape

That’s exactly what we’ve been doing at the Federal Communications Commission this year.

For starters, we’re taking aggressive action to speed the roll-out of next-generation wireless networks. Commonly known as 5G, these new networks promise speeds markedly faster than today’s mobile networks (think about getting gigabit speeds on your smartphone). 5G also promises new applications that will be critical to the development of the “Internet of Things” — that is, a future in which virtually any device can be or is connected to a network. With billions more connected devices, ranging from your car to your appliances, the Internet of Things will impact everything from supply chains to worker productivity. It has the potential to create trillions of dollars in economic value over the next decade.

But to get to the 5G future that will make the Internet of Things fully possible, we’ll need much more infrastructure than what today’s networks demand. 5G will require companies to deploy hundreds of thousands of small cells (operating at lower power), and many more miles of fiber to carry all of the traffic. That’s why the FCC is working on modernizing the rules for that kind of infrastructure. We shouldn’t apply burdensome rules designed for 100-foot towers to small cells the size of a pizza box. If America is to lead the world in 5G, we need to modernize our regulations so that infrastructure can be deployed promptly and at scale.

Another FCC priority has been making the agency more agile and responsive. Bureaucratic inertia can be poison to innovation. That’s why, if an innovator asks the FCC to approve a new technology or service, we’ll make a decision within one year (light-speed by government standards). Federal law already requires the FCC to meet that timeline, but that rule has largely been ignored since its adoption decades ago. Under this administration, those seeking to innovate will no longer need to wait indefinitely for an answer.

Speaking of new technologies, one area where we’re moving quickly is the introduction of the next-generation television standard. This new technical standard is the first one to marry the advantages of broadcasting and the Internet.

Imagine if television stations could offer 4K video, immersive audio, better accessibility features for Americans with disabilities, localized and advanced emergency alerts, and reception on mobile devices.

All of this could be made possible by next-generation television. Our goal is to approve this new standard by the end of the year so that television broadcasters can begin to use it on a voluntary, market-driven basis.

Thanks in part to the administration’s pro-growth policies, there is reason to be optimistic about the state of our economy. Unemployment is at a 16-year low. The stock market is hitting record highs. And, just last week, the Federal Reserve upgraded its forecast for economic growth for 2017.

But we can’t afford to rest on our laurels. To continue creating jobs and growing our economy, we must ensure that regulation and inertia don’t stand in the way of innovation. We’re doing our part at the FCC to make sure that government promotes, rather than inhibits, the technologies of the future.

Ajit Pai is chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

Posted on

FCC Chairman Pai: ‘We Need an Open and Free Internet for the 21st Century’

FCC Chairman Pai

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that an open and free internet is vital for America in the 21st century.

During a speech at the Newseum on Wednesday, Pai said he plans to roll back the net-neutrality regulations and to restore the light-touch regulatory system established by President Bill Clinton and Congressional Republicans by the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

Net neutrality passed under former Democrat Tom Wheeler’s FCC in 2010. The rule, known as the Open Internet Order, reclassified the internet as a public monopoly. Critics chided the rule, stating that it would diminish the freedom of the internet. Proponents argue that the regulations prevent Internet service providers from discriminating against content providers.

Chairman Pai said during his speech that the internet prospered before net neutrality was enacted. Pai said, “The internet is the greatest free market success in American history.”

Breitbart News asked the FCC chief why he thinks that net neutrality is a problem, and why we must eliminate the rule. He said:

Number one there was no problem to solve, the internet wasn’t broken in 2015. In that situation, it doesn’t seem me that preemptive market-wide regulation is necessary. Number two, even if there was a problem, this wasn’t the right solution to adopt. These Title II regulations were inspired during the Great Depression to regulate Ma Bell which was a telephone monopoly. And the broadband market we have is very different from the telephone market of 1934. So, it seems to me that if you have 4,462 internet service providers and if a few of them are behaving in a way that is anticompetitive or otherwise bad for consumer welfare then you take targeted action to deal with that. You don’t declare the entire market anticompetitive and treat everyone as if they are a monopolist.

Going forward we are going to propose eliminating that Title II classification and figure out the right way forward. The bottom line is, everyone agrees on the principles of a free and open internet what we disagree with is how many regulations are needed to preserve the internet.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/04/28/exclusive-fcc-chairman-pai-need-open-free-internet-21st-century/