FCC upgrades E-Rate program. The FCC voted Thursday to upgrade and modernize the portion of the Universal Service Fund dedicated to providing high-speed broadband access to schools, libraries and other community anchor institutions. Thursday's order would allow schools to take advantage of unused fiber optic networks to speed up their broadband connection to the consternation of ISPs, which fear schools may emerge as competitors in providing the public access to the Web. Another proposal under consideration by the FCC would allow those schools to provide communities with Web access after the students have left for the day. http://bit.ly/bnKTRu
No net neutrality on FCC's October agenda.
The Federal Communications Commission's agenda for October does not
include any mention of net neutrality, confirmation the Commission is
unlikely to take action before the November mid-term elections. The
FCC's tentative agenda for the October 14 open meeting includes three
items dealing with bill shock for wireless customers, a Mobility Fund to
support private investment in wireless services to underserved areas
and video navigation devices used with cable services. Noticeably absent
is a vote on the FCC's controversial proposal to reclassify broadband
as a telecom service. http://bit.ly/adCbvS
White House considering expanding Pentagon role in cybersecurity. The Washington Post reports the White House is considering asking for additional authority for the military in protecting civilian computer networks, according to testimony from Gen. Keith Alexander on Thursday. Alexander told the House Armed Services Committee that Cyber Command currently has no role in protecting domestic private sector networks, but that could change as the White House decides how best to split responsibilities between the Pentagon, DHS and the FBI. http://bit.ly/caUdXZ
Scheduled. Today is the start of the Activism + Media + Politics conference in Washington. Speakers from government, industry and media will gather to discuss how technology is changing the way people meet, govern and gather information.
Watercooler. If you weren't able to access Facebook on Thursday afternoon, you weren't alone. The site experienced its worst outage in over four years Thursday thanks to a flaw in its database software. Facebook apologized for the two and a half hour downtime and posted a lengthy explanation of the error online. http://bit.ly/du1SvV