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A Simple Plan: Broadband and the FCC

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Last February, the US Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to "stimulate" the troubled economy. The bill also allocated $7.2 billion to expand broadband access in communities across the country and mandated that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) produce a plan to ensure broadband access for all Americans. After more than 1 year of studies, discussions, and working groups, the FCC submitted its National Broadband Plan to Congress. The 376-page envisions a future where broadband is essential to the very fabric of the country. The plan lists several primary goals, the first of which is to provide 100 million households with access to speeds of at least 100Mbps by 2020. The FCC's plan offers several suggestions that would affect libraries, including setting minimum access goals for schools and libraries, channeling funds to help libraries improve internal networking arrangements, and updating the E-Rate system.

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                                                                                                                                                                                     July/August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                         Vol. 27 | Issue 7




        News
        Briefs                  Location, Location, (Geospatial) Location
                                by NANCY DAVIS KHO     |                  rating geospatial data with other                 for extracting and fusing geospa-          saying ‘Holy cow! We can use maps
                                                                          data could achieve. Andre Doumitt,                tial data sets, says, “Google Earth        like that?’”
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                                T
                                         he declassification of the       CEO of Geosemble Technologies,                    was the electromagnetic pulse that             We can, and we will do more of it.
        New Publishers
                                         government’s Global Po-          which provides automatic techniques               shook everyone up. People were             Gartner anticipates that by the end
                          3
                                         sitioning System (GPS) in                                                                                                     of 2011, more than 75% of devices
                                1983 cracked open the door to com-                                                                                                     shipped in mature markets will in-
                                mercial development of geolocation                                                                                                     clude a GPS that will enable infor-
                                data. But it’s only been in the past                                                                                                   mation providers to pinpoint the
        Accessible              few years, with the rise of the social                                                                                                 user’s location at any given time.
        Archives Signs          web and mobile technology, that                                                                                                        According to Gartner’s March 2010
        Ex Libris Deal          the business possibilities around                                                                                                      forecast titled “Mobile Devices,
                          3     geospatial data have blown that                                                                                                        Worldwide, 2003–2014, 1Q10 Up-
                                door off its hinges.                                                                                                                   date,” mobile phone sales will return
                                   Simply put, geolocation data                                                                                                        to growth in 2010, after remaining
                                locates a person, a computer, or a                                                                                                     flat in 2009. Much of that growth
        LYRASIS Joins           point of interest on a map. It is gen-                                                                                                 will come from smartphones, with
        Loan Voucher            erally determined through GPS, IP                                                                                                      year-over-year growth projected to
        Program                 address, Wi-Fi network location, cell                                                                                                  reach 43%. Those projections, taken
                          4     phone location, or self-reporting via                                                                                                  together, point out just how critical
                                location-based services (LBS).                                                                                                         it will be for information providers
                                   The rollout of Google Earth in
                                June 2005 provided the first mass
                                market glimpse of what incorpo-           Geosemble’s GeoXray web app enables users to filter an area view by content type.                         (continued on page 44)
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                          4

                                A Simple Plan:        Digital

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Inside
        Twitter Shuts
        Door to Outside
                                Broadband and the FCC Annotation:
        Advertisers
                          6
                                by KURT SCHILLER   |                         The bill also allocated $7.2 bil-
                                                                          lion to expand broadband access in
                                                                                                                            Not There Yet
                                   L ast February, the U.S. Con-          communities across the country and                by JILL O’NEILL    |
                                gress passed the American Recov-          mandated that the Federal Commu-
                                ery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)           nications Commission (FCC) pro-                      People are usually quite forth-
        NewsMakers              of 2009 to “stimulate” the troubled       duce a plan to ensure broadband                   coming with their opinions about
                         21     economy. The ARRA, more common-           access for all Americans. After more              anyone who highlights excerpts in
                                ly known as “the stimulus plan,”          than 1 year of studies, discussions,              their books or writes comments in
                                laid out nearly $800 billion in tax       and working groups, the FCC sub-                  the margins. There are some who
                                cuts, infrastructure improvement          mitted its National Broadband Plan                actually encourage the practice,
                                programs, and provisions to target                                                          suggesting that leaving such “foot-          News and
                                rising unemployment.                                     (continued on page 42)             prints” of their reactions to what
                                                                                                                            they read represents a useful                updates from
                                                                                                                            legacy. There are still others who
                                                                                                                            frown upon the practice because it           conferences
                                                                                                                            may render a pristine book much
                                                                                                                            less usable for future readers.
            
								
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