mailing list archives
Re: Upcoming conference on "Broadband Census for America"
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sat, 9 Aug 2008 10:20:28 -0400
Begin forwarded message:
From: Brett Glass <brett () lariat net>
Date: August 8, 2008 11:17:06 PM EDT
To: "Drew Clark (Broadband Census)" <drew () broadbandcensus com>, dave () farber net
Subject: Re: [IP] Re: Upcoming conference on "Broadband Census for
At 11:25 AM 8/8/2008, Drew Clark (Broadband Census) wrote:
With respect to the issue data confidentiality, it's important to
separate out several issues here:
(1) The names of carriers and the locations in which they offer
services, by ZIP code.
(2) The number of subscribers that carriers have in a particular ZIP
The Form 477 of the Federal Communications Commission requires that
carriers submit both types of information to the FCC.
I agree that category (2) may well be confidential information. I do
not believe that category (1) can be considered confidential.
As a wireless ISP, I believe that the exact extent of my coverage is,
be, proprietary information. Competitors -- especially large ones --
of targeting consumers literally house by house, and certainly block
The web site that I run, http://BroadbandCensus.com, is an attempt
to combine information about broadband from various sources. In
addition to "crowdsourcing" data from internet users, we are
combining public information from the FCC's Form 477,
The FCC should not provide disaggregated information from Form 477, as
allow the sort of anticompetitive practices I've mentioned. If you are
of widespread broadband deployment, competition, and choice, you
should not attempt
to give large competitors tools with which to attack us.
It is important to note that Form 477 data released by the FCC does
_not_ include the names of the carriers.
No, but this can be inferred easily.
Who would benefit more from public disclosure about the locations,
technology types, promised speeds and prices: small carriers or big
carriers? I don't know.
Brett clearly feels that small carriers would suffer. I know of
others who disagree with him.
I would wager that they are large carriers.
With regard to the conference on September 26, 2008, that is being
sponsored by BroadbandCensus.com, Carnegie Mellon University, the
University of Texas at Austin's Robert S. Strauss Center, and the
Virginia Tech eCorridors Program, we plan to make the list of our
panel speakers available within the coming weeks. Although space on
the conference agenda is tight, the program committee is open to
The current agenda contains no one who is actually in the business of
Internet service. This is a terrific deficiency. If you do not involve
discussion is pointless because there is no one there who is actually
broadband. I would encourage you to add multiple ISPs -- not just one
just large ones -- to your agenda.
The goal of the conference, as stated on http://broadbandcensus.com/blog/?p=331
, is to "invite government officials, academic researchers and other
key stakeholders to a half-day conference on collecting and sharing
public data about high-speed internet access."
Are ISPs not "key stakeholders?"
With regard to issue of the Freedom of Information Act that Brett
It is correct that an organization for which I previously worked --
the Center for Public Integrity -- filed a lawsuit seeking the
disclosure of the Form 477 database. As the suit proceeding, the
Center dropped its request for data in category (2), and instead
sought the data in category (1).
The revelation of such data has no bearing on public integrity. Those
lawsuit should also contemplate what would happen if such data was
available. I, for one, would expect to find myself in the crosshairs
campaigns by Qwest, Bresnan Communications, third party DSL providers,
companies attempting national wireless rollouts (e.g. Clearwire).
Perhaps if you pushed as hard to outlaw anticompetitive tactics as you
obtain data which could (at the moment aid them), there would come a
we did not have to play our cards so close to our vest.
RSS Feed: https://www.listbox.com/member/archive/rss/247/
Powered by Listbox: http://www.listbox.com