COMMUNICATIONS DAILY—2 FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012 “Five ISPs now routinely deliver nearly one hundred percent or greater of the speed advertised tothe consumer even during time periods when bandwidth demand is at its peak,” the report said. That aver-age download speed during peak usage periods are near 100 percent means consumers today “are experi-encing performance more closely aligned with what is advertised than they experienced one year ago,” itsaid. These improvements were driven by improvements in network performance, not by downward ad-justments to the speed tiers offered, the report said. ISPs more consistently deliver advertised speeds. In 2011, wide variances existed between top andbottom performers in terms of meeting advertised speeds. This year saw a 15 percent reduction in thestandard deviation for download speed across DSL, cable and fiber — meaning ISPs are “doing a betterjob of delivering what they promise their customers today than they did a year ago,” the report said. TheFCC took some credit, saying “there is evidence that our August 2011 Report helped prompt thesechanges, and had a substantial impact on both the industry and consumer broadband experience.” There is still a fairly large difference in delivered speeds over different technologies. During“peak consumer usage hours” — defined as weekdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. — DSL-based servicesdelivered download speeds at 84 percent of advertised speeds, cable-based services delivered 99 percentand fiber-to-the-home services delivered 117 percent. Fiber to the home networks "are out-performingother access technologies, giving consumers consistently higher speed broadband service with lower la-tency,” the Fiber-to-the-Home Council said. “So much for the ‘conventional wisdom’ that cable broad-band performance suffers during peak periods because the network is shared among many customers,”NCTA said (http://xrl.us/bnhgt3). By ISP, average peak download speeds varied from a high of 120 percent of that advertised to alow of 77 percent. This is a “dramatic” improvement from last year, when Cablevision delivered 54 per-cent of advertised speed, the report said. The report “demonstrates our commitment to delivering morethan 100 percent of the speeds we advertise to our broadband customers,” the company said. The com-pany said it spent $140 million on recent upgrades to its broadband network. Genachowski commendedCablevision at the FCC meeting as “one of this year’s best performers.” Verizon said the findings “reaffirm the results from the 2011 report, which found that FiOS pro-vides blazing-fast and sustained upstream and downstream speeds even during peak usage periods.”AT&T said the report “demonstrates that consumers continue to get the broadband Internet access speedsthey are paying for, that the speeds offered to consumers are increasing and that consumers are moving tothese faster broadband speed tiers. Overall, it is abundantly clear that American consumers are gettinghigh-quality broadband services from their Internet Service Providers.” Questions Remain The New America Foundation isn’t so optimistic on U.S. broadband services compared to the restof the world. Its Open Technology Institute released a study Thursday comparing high-speed Internet of-ferings in 22 cities around the world by price, download and upload speed, bundled services, and othermetrics, and found that American consumers lag (http://xrl.us/bnhgng). “The Internet download speedWashington DC residents can get for roughly $35 would be over 20 times faster in Hong Kong for aroundthe same price,” NAF said. “And when ranked for their ‘Triple Play’ packages — Internet, phone, andTV bundles — Washington, DC comes out way behind other European and Asian cities. For example,residents of Paris pay the equivalent of $35 a month for basic cable TV, phone service, and Internet with
FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012 COMMUNICATIONS DAILY—3download speeds up to 100 mbps.” The U.S. needs to re-examine its current policies, and rather than fo-cus on spectrum auctions and the promise of wireless broadband, “policymakers need to address the lackof competition in most of the U.S. and how policies can enable new competitors to enter the marketplace,”the report said. Genachowski said the higher price point for lower broadband speeds compared to densely popu-lated countries around the world is “an issue that we need to continue to make progress on in the US.”But “the gap is closing,” and the FCC is continuing to promote competition “using all the different toolswe have,” Genachowski said in response to our question at a news conference. He pointed out areaswhere the U.S. leads, such as the widescale deployment of 4G LTE services, and mobile innovation, lead-ing the world in the apps economy, he said. As the commission continues monitoring Internet speeds and other metrics, commissioners and of-ficials from the Office of Engineering and Technology repeatedly promise a commitment to openness andtransparency. But dozens of prominent engineers and academics wrote to Genachowski Wednesday toexpress concern over a proposal they said would “replace the Measurement Lab server infrastructure withclosed infrastructure,” run by the participating ISPs whose own speeds are being measured in the commis-sions broadband transmission tests (http://bit.ly/Q8cn9J). "We strongly oppose any decision by the FCCto run a closed measurement program," said the letter whose signers included Internet pioneer Vint Cerf ofGoogle and NAF Vice President Sascha Meinrath. "For the scientific process to work, measurement datamust be openly available as well as access to methodologies, and explicit cataloging of assumptions is es-sential if results are to be confirmed and replicated. A switch from an open to a closed infrastructuremakes this process impossible or, at best, questionable." FCC officials rejected the assertion they want to “replace” M-Lab’s servers. “That statement isfalse,” said Chief Technology Officer Henning Schulzrinne. “We’re not considering replacement of theM-Lab infrastructure. We have enjoyed working with them.” The proposal would add redundancy by in-stalling more servers so it becomes easier to detect anomalies, Schulzrinne said: There have been“discussions to enhance — but not replace.” The proposal would change the way “whiteboxes” test collected data, said a copy of the plan weobtained thats from participants in the FCCs test. Whiteboxes now test their data against an “off-net”pool of servers — servers that measure packets traveling across the public Internet, that are providedsolely by M-Lab — and an “on-net” pool, provided solely by the ISP, which measures data that has notyet left the network and gone onto the public Internet. The proposal would allow the off-net pool of serv-ers be either the “best research platform server,” run by M-Lab or some other entity, or “best ‘public’ ISP-provided server.” This would shift the measurement away from M-Lab’s open platform to measurement servers con-trolled by the ISPs themselves, said NAFs Ben Lennett, a representative of the lab. Redundancy and thecollection of more data “makes sense at a high level, but we have offered to integrate the ISPs’ donatedservers” into the M-Lab infrastructure, and ISPs havent taken the offer, he said. “The question is reallyabout the credibility of the measurement.” M-Lab is completely open with how it runs its servers, but“there’s no indication that that is going to be the case with ISP-controlled servers,” Lennett said. WalterJohnston, chief of the FCC Electromagnetic Compatibility Division, told us any data collected by ISPs aspart of the official commission broadband speed test would be made public, and it would be clear whogathered the data. — Matthew S. Schwartz
FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012 COMMUNICATIONS DAILY—5pleting the final step." Trials and demonstrations have taken place of white spaces technology across theworld, he said: Many of the companies active in the white spaces so far say "they certainly are interestedin the white spaces model for the TV bands, but they see a great deal of promise in expanding this model,whether it be licensed or unlicensed, to other spectrum." McDowell said hes pushed for the use of the TV white spaces since he became a commissioner sixyears ago, and FCC work had gotten underway four years before that. Rollout of mobile devices in the whitespaces is "at least" several years away given the reshuffling of the TV band tied to the upcoming incentive auc-tion of broadcast spectrum, he said. "It’s hard for chip designers to design those chips right now." "It looks like we’re at a point where we have little or no federal spectrum going to auction in thenear term," McDowell said. "The incentive auctions, as we implement that law, that’ll take some time. Inthe meantime it’s very appropriate for us to talk about imaginative ways to squeeze more efficient out ofthe airwaves." McDowell said the U.S. had hit a cul-de-sac rather than a dead end in getting more spec-trum online for broadband since "we’ll be able to find our way out at some point." "All of this is great news for those Americans who live in sparsely populated rural communitiesand low-income urban areas," Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said of the report. "To date, licensed com-munications companies, have not developed profitable business plans to serve these areas, so the success-ful development of TV white space databases and devices, gives us hope that these underserved communi-ties, will be moving closer to enjoying the affordable advanced communications services, that the vast ma-jority of Americans, already enjoy." — Howard BuskirkUnacceptable 911 Problems Extended Beyond Virginia Following June Derecho 911 calling problems were widespread in the wake of the derecho that hit the Midwest and EastCoast June 29, Public Safety Bureau Chief David Turetsky said in a report Thursday at the FCC meeting.The agency sought comment on communications breakdowns Wednesday (CD July 19 p15). Turetskysaid 911 problems hit parts of country beyond the already well-publicized incidents in northern Virginia.Chairman Julius Genachowski said the FCC will revisit the issue of backup power for telecom facilities. "For communications networks there was good news and bad news," Turetsky said. "The good newsis that in many areas communications services held up very well and in most areas where they did not, resto-ration of service proceeded at pace. But that was not nearly the case everywhere. ... Some isolated 911 fa-cilities were hit especially hard." The FCC has found there were "isolated breakdowns" in Ohio, Kentucky,Indiana and Pennsylvania as well as "systemic failures" in northern Virginia and West Virginia. "A significant number of public safety answering points, or PSAPs, couldnt receive and properlydispatch E911 calls at all," Turetsky said. "Once some connectivity was restored, many PSAPs were par-tially down for several days. The seriousness and impact of these PSAP outages and impairments is illus-trated clearly by what happened throughout much of northern Virginia." In Fairfax County, outages af-fected both primary and backup facilities, he said. "The result was that the PSAP serving most of the 1.1million people of Fairfax County couldnt receive any 911 calls for several hours. Even after arrange-
COMMUNICATIONS DAILY—6 FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012ments for rerouting 911 calls finally were made, 911 service was significantly degraded for days." WestVirginia experienced "serious problems with even more PSAPs knocked out of service completely than innorthern Virginia," he said. The FCC got involved as soon as the storm was over, monitoring problems closely, Turetsky said.It granted an emergency special temporary authority so a utility could use certain frequencies to assist inpower restoration in Ohio on Saturday, he said. The FCC also issued a set of consumer tips for communi-cating during an emergency. The Public Safety Bureau also launched an inquiry. "Our focus is to learnall the facts and circumstances of the outages and disruptions in service, including the causes," Turetskysaid. "Those not only include the PSAPs, but also cell sites, interconnection switches and other facilitiesthat prevented consumers from using wireless and wired and broadband communications to reach emer-gency providers at a time when consumers were more likely than ever to need to do so. Our goal is simple— to use this information to make people safer." The bureau is also examining its own processes and howit collects information, he said. "There’s no question that things went wrong, during and after the derecho," Genachowski said.Problems "were significant," he said. "They resulted in 911 going dark in a number of different places,much longer than it should." Wednesday’s public notice mentioned the possibility of the FCC again im-posing backup power rules (http://xrl.us/bnhcmq). "Backup power is one the things that we’ll look up inthe course of this investigation and the inquiry," Genachowski said. The FCC embraced a backup powerrequirement for wireless facilities following Hurricane Katrina, and then retrenched, withdrawing the rulesin the face of disapproval by the Office of Management and Budget (CD Dec 2/08 p1) and a challenge bycarriers in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. "The public probably doesnt know, but we do have 24/7 operation," said Commissioner RobertMcDowell. "The scope and the damage caused by the derecho was simply overwhelming." While up-wards of 2.5 million in the greater Washington, D.C., area lost access to 911 service "the exact cause orcauses" remain unknown, he said. "That is unacceptable, but youre on it," McDowell said. "We must doall that we can to ensure that such a widespread outage never happens again. Not only must be preparedfor unforeseen natural phenomena, but being the capital of the United States we must be prepared for po-tential terrorist attacks as well and having a hardened and reliable 911 system is absolutely critical to thepublic interest." Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said she visited the Fairfax County PSAP this week. "Thehead of Fairfax Countys Department of Public Safety Communications described an eerie quiet in the af-termath of the storm, as the calls into 911 quickly and implausibly ceased," she said. "This put lives atdanger. It put our safety at risk and it deserves our attention." Commissioner Ajit Pai said the storm"exposed a very serious set of issues that deserves the commissions attention." He asked that the reportbe concluded quickly. "While the FCC already receives information about service outages through our mandatory Net-work Outage Reporting System (NORS) and voluntary Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS),given the extent of the outages last month, it is appropriate to learn more about the impact of the storm onemergency and 911 communications networks," said Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. "I also appreciatethat the public notice asks questions related to whether Next Generation 911 tools and technologies, couldhave improved the reliability of communications networks."
FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012 COMMUNICATIONS DAILY—7 The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials commended the FCC for quicklyseeking public comment on the recent local 911 changes caused by the derecho. "APCO is pleased to seethe Commission seek public comment on the recent local 9-1-1 outages, and looks forward to partneringwith the FCC and other stakeholders to address the critical questions raised, which will ultimately helpprevent future outages from occurring," First Vice President Terry Hall said in a statement. Hall and theincoming APCO president met with Genachowski, Clyburn, staff of the other commissioners, and Turet-sky Wednesday to discuss the outages. — Howard BuskirkDHS Should Lead Lawmakers Working on Cybersecurity Contingency Plan Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, is working with lawmakers on a contingency plan in case the Sen-ate fails to produce a cybersecurity bill this month, the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus co-chairmansaid during an event hosted by the American Foreign Policy Council. Its "highly likely" that Senate Ma-jority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., plans to bring cybersecurity legislation to the floor for debate betweennow and the August recess, his spokesman told us separately, "but we still have to get through the out-sourcing and Bush tax cut bills first." If the Senate fails to agree upon a comprehensive cybersecurity bill next week, McCaul said he hasa meeting scheduled with several House and Senate lawmakers to discuss a way forward. McCaul plansto recommend to Senate lawmakers that they consider the four House cybersecurity bills as standalonebills, he said without specifying when the meeting will be or who will attend. In April, House lawmakerspassed four cybersecurity bills during its so-called cyberweek: the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protec-tion Act (HR-3523), the Federal Information Security Amendments Act (HR-4257), the Cybersecurity En-hancement Act (HR-2096), and the Advancing Americas Networking and Information Technology Re-search and Development Act (HR-3834). McCaul expressed his concern that the Senate Cybersecurity Act (S-2105) places undue mandatesand regulations on the private sector. "The one thing I learned from the [Stop Online Piracy Act] debate isdont tread on the Internet," he said. Instead cybersecurity legislation should harden federal networks, in-crease educational awareness of cybersecurity, secure the U.S. IT supply chain and increase informationsharing between the public and private sector, McCaul said. Cybersecurity legislation should authorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take onthe lead role if domestic networks came under a cyberattack, McCaul said. "With the NSA, you dontwant to militarize [the Web], thats why DHS as a civilian agency is more appropriate as the lead role do-mestically," he said. "I think its better to do what we are doing in terms of sharing that cyberthreat infor-mation with the private sector through NSA and having DHS working with the NSA and DOD together." McCaul said he was "very disappointed" that House leaders shelved the House Homeland SecurityCommittees cybersecurity bill, the Promoting and Enhancing Cybersecurity and Information Sharing Ef-fectiveness Act (HR-3624). The bill, which was authored by Committee Chairman Dan Lungren, R-Calif., was dropped from consideration despite undergoing major revisions intended to make the bill morepalatable to critics in industry (CD April 19 p8). The bill "should have gotten more buy-in from stake-holders" because it would have codified into law the existing authorities granted by the executive branch,McCaul said. — Bryce Baschuk
COMMUNICATIONS DAILY—8 FRIDAY, JULY 20, 20128.6 Times Cash Flow Recent Media M&A Shows Debt Markets Strong, Business Good, Executives Say A series of larger-than-normal transactions involving broadcast and cable assets reveal a healthymarket for raising debt and some faith that the media sector is healthy and profitable, said executives wespoke to Thursday. The last few days have seen deals disclosed involving media assets valued at morethan $8 billion. They included several transactions that involved the former Clear Channel TV stationgroup, Atlantic Broadband’s acquisition by a Canadian cable operator and Suddenlink’s $6.6 billion ac-quisition by BC Partners and CCP Investment Board. “It’s definitely the strength of the debt markets that’s driving this activity,” said Gillis Cashman,managing partner at venture capital firm M/C Partners and chairman of cable operator Baja Broadband.“Cable is a very consolidated industry, so it’s unique to see deals of this size, especially on the sameday. But there are still a number of smaller regional guys out there, and this will probably spur someactivity as well." Multiples are high — the $6.6 billion price for Suddenlink represents a valuation of 8.6 times itsestimated 2012 cash flow, the company said. Not all smaller operators are interested in selling out. “It’salways interesting, as an independent operator, to go back to my income statement and say ‘What’s mycash flow times eight?’” said Bob Gessner, president of Massillon Cable, and vice chairman of the Ameri-can Cable Association. “But we’re having a good time, we’re profitable, we provide great jobs for ouremployees and our community appreciates that. I’m not going to get that by swapping stock with TimeWarner or Comcast,” he said. “I hope, and I think, that there are other people who feel that way.” Valuations may vary from company to company, said Levi Maaia, vice present of Full ChannelTV, a cable operator in Rhode Island with several thousand subscribers. “The days of running a for-mula are sort of over,” he said. “Each cable company looks different than its cousin." Each of those"systems look very different, their expenses are different, their technology offerings are different,"Maaia said. "Trying to lump them all in and say ‘well they’re all cable operators,’ probably isn’t thewisest move financially.” The deals also show the value of cable systems, particularly in regions where theres less competi-tion, Cashman said. “The video product has been under a lot of pressure, and content costs continue to goup,” he said. “But going forward if you do have that unique broadband pipe into the home, I see that op-portunity on the high speed data side ... far outweighing the risks on the video side,” when combined withthe opportunity to sell more products to small and medium-sized businesses, he said. Beyond the cable transactions, a series of TV station deals were announced Thursday, primarilyinvolving the former Clear Channel TV group now operated by Newport TV. Sinclair agreed to buy six ofNewport’s stations for about $412.5 million, the buyer said. It expects to finance the deal with cash onhand and through a bank loan, or issuing bonds, it said. “The Newport Acquisition is consistent with ourfocus on adding ‘big four’ affiliates in mid-sized markets and strengthening our in-market position,” saidSinclair CEO David Smith. Sinclair agreed to buy Bay TV, the owner of WTTA-TV Tampa Bay, Fla., for$40 million. It agreed to sell KMYS-TV San Antonio and WSTR-TV Cincinnati to Deerfield Media, sub-ject to Fox TV Stations’ purchase option on WSTR-TV, Sinclair said.
FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012 COMMUNICATIONS DAILY—9 Nexstar and Mission Broadcasting said separately they raised $645 million to fund their purchaseof 12 Newport stations and refinance some debt. About $285.5 million of the financing will pay for thestations and Newport’s Inergize Digital business. “The Newport transaction is a transformational eventfor Nexstar,” its CEO Perry Sook said. “The acquisition significantly expands our revenue and operatingbase with stations where we can quickly apply our operating and management disciplines to meaningfullyimprove their performance.” — Josh WeinSize Matters Telecom Playing Field Tilts Against Small Business, MMTC Panelists Say Challenges remain for women- and minority-owned businesses that seek to compete in telecom,but the larger carriers have expressed a desire for partnership and inclusion as supplier and procurementdiversity have become stated goals for many executives, industry executives and lawyers said lateWednesday. Several speakers at the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council conference de-bated the best ways to create a competitive telecom market. “I don’t agree you should let the players play,” said lawyer Jenell Trigg of Lerman Senter. Thesituation allows minorities and women to be “pushed to the sidelines," she said. Trigg broke down the2008 $19-billion spectrum Auction 73, in which 84 percent of licenses went to AT&T and Verizon Wire-less and 2.6 percent went to minority- and women-owned businesses. Those results lack the "robust op-portunity" such auctions need, she said. The implications give a new meaning to “white spaces in thespectrum,” Trigg said. New market entrants need better incentives and the FCC, which has “not recog-nized the need or importance” of women- and minority-owned businesses, has not done enough, Triggsaid. “We are not owners in this space.” The agency has adjusted auction rules on too short a notice inthe past and “the reality is we need time,” she said. Scale and scope matter, replied Verizon’s Jesse Crawford, a manager of supplier diversity. “Wehave to have players who can compete,” he said, despite saying he agreed “wholeheartedly” with Trigg’smessage. Smaller businesses can’t compete “longevity-wise,” he said. Crawford offered an extendedcomparison about baseball and the inability of a Little League youth to ascend to Major League Baseballwhere “unbridled enthusiasm” doesn’t guarantee salvation. “I would submit that baseball is not spec-trum,” Trigg replied. The nature and influence of size — and what it can do, for better and for worse —became a touchstone of the MMTC discussion. “The reality is these industries are so consolidated,” saidTrigg, “that women- and minority-owned businesses are far and few between.” Ronald Johnson, MMTCtreasurer, said the council has “historically addressed precisely these issues” and earlier that afternoon haddefended the FCC’s commitment to diversity (CD July 19 p9). The commission held a workshop on sup-plier diversity for small businesses owned by minorities and women last week (CD June 14 p9). The underlying concern turned to partnerships and the nature of them between telcos like Verizon,AT&T and Sprint Nextel and smaller suppliers and contractors. Verizon wants a “collaborative effort,”Crawford said. “We don’t write a check and step away.” Verizon features a Premier Supplier Academy,started in 2011, that offers these mentorship and education components, Crawford explained. “The key termfor most suppliers to keep in mind is mutually beneficial relationships." Verizon first established a supplierdiversity program in 1984 and said it bought $4 billion from diverse suppliers in 2011 (http://xrl.us/bnhgap).
COMMUNICATIONS DAILY—10 FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012Verizon’s top Washington executive noted in an earlier MMTC panel that the company’s commitment todiversity makes financial sense (CD July 19 p9). Partnerships have to develop where “small business can beowners in spectrum division,” Trigg said. Certification is often helpful to forming these partnerships, panelists said. They mentioned theU.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) certification (http://xrl.us/bnhgff) for small businesses ownedand controlled at least 51 percent by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. “Certificationis something that gets you in the door,” said Joset Wright, president of the National Minority Supplier De-velopment Council. Wright praised telcos as potential partners: “They all put their money where mouthis and walk the walk.” Suppliers who want to work with Sprint need patience, said Strategic Sourcing Di-rector Marvin Motley. “Narrow your focus,” he advised those who want to work with the carrier. Certifi-cation provides “definitely an advantage” in working with Sprint and means it doesn’t need to “worryabout financial solvency” as much, Motley said, who added his company likes suppliers who are “ready tomove with us.” Verizon sees certification as “definitely an advantage” and a force that adds “validity”and eases the telcos reporting and tracking requirements, said Crawford. Measurement is also key to including minorities and women in the supply chain, some panelistssaid. “That which gets measured gets done,” said Wright, who encouraged goals, plans and processes aspart of a broader mission of “intentional inclusion” that reflects the demographics of a given community.One concern is not enforcing rules, said Wright, who said there’s “more enforcement on the private sidethan the public sector side” and suggested “punishment for those that do not comply” with regulations.Trigg countered that she prefers incentives and the carrot over the stick, partly because there are fewerconstitutional issues potentially at play. The FCC "needs to step up,” Trigg said. She spoke of the FCCsrequired submission of triennial reports, outlined in Section 257 of the Communications Act (http://xrl.us/bnhf5w). These reports have been “woefully late and woefully inadequate in some ways,” Trigg said.“There should be more vigorous reports.” — John HendelInternet, Business ModelsManagement Teams and Lenders Important for New and Legacy Media Businesses Management teams and lenders are important components of new and legacy media businesses asthey seek to create business models, said panelists at a Minority Media and Telecommunications Councilconference. The Internet’s business opportunities have raised the question of “how to create a new busi-ness plan in a world in which [traditional media’s] function can now be bypassed,” said Anna-MariaKovacs, a senior policy scholar at Georgetown University. The online world’s disintermediation and abil-ity to bypass traditional media has “substantially changed the business plans and the risk profiles of thelegacy world,” she said. “The most important thing is team,” said Hank Torbert, managing partner at investment firmAvondale Ventures. “Everyone has to uniquely understand how to add value to the opportunity.” Manag-ing Director David Meier of Gladstone Cos. said businesses “need to have a diverse management teamthat has functional expertise across different categories.” Torbert said the team should include a finan-cially focused CEO. Meier and Torbert recommended financial advisers. “Sometimes you need help, you need exper-tise,” Meier said. Businesses, whether legacy or new media, should consider the perspective of their
FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012 COMMUNICATIONS DAILY—11audience when seeking funding: A senior lender examines the stability and history of a business while amezzanine lender looks for growth, Meier said. Businesses should consider financing from local banks,he said. “The key issue for anyone who is looking for funding is to figure out which of these routes [legacyor new media] do you want to take, and figure out what your business model is,” Kovacs said. Meier saiddisintermediation resulting from the Internet has created a “challenge for lenders like myself because wefocus on revenue and looking to established businesses.” He said the history of a business — its demon-strated ability to generate revenue and stable cash flow — is more important than whether it uses new ortraditional media. Business plans should also consider a variety of media options, Torbert said. “Don’t fall in lovewith projects that are ‘me too.’” Businesses shouldn’t pursue social media, digital layout, and mobile appaggregation simply because everyone else is doing it, he said. “There are many different types of opportu-nities in media now and telecom, and I don’t want people to ... get caught in the sexy part of it." “Thereare other businesses that are out there that make a lot of sense,” he said, mentioning telecom services com-panies. — Courtney Crandell Comm Daily® Notebook FCC commissioners heard a presentation Thursday on the FCC’s use of next-generation mapping."The breakthrough with maps is that it allows users to visualize data — making complex mountains ofdata accessible, understandable, and actionable," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. He mentionedin particular the National Broadband Map, which the commission developed in coordination with theNTIA. "The map identifies what services and what speeds are available in each community — informa-tion that is useful to consumers, policy makers, as well as businesses and entrepreneurs," he said. "It’s thefirst of its kind, just the beginning, and holds tremendous promise." —— Bandwidth in rural areas is "important," said Jonathan Adelstein, RUS administrator. Businessesare using the Internet in new and innovative ways to expand and grow, he said Thursday at a MinorityMedia and Telecom Council event in Washington. The private sector plays an important role in helpingRUS and the FCC to meet the demand for bandwidth, he added. In terms of broadband, RUS has made a“major outreach push for diversity in both businesses that we fund as well as in the areas that are servedby our awards,” he said. The agency awards about $8 billion a year in loans and grants, he said. “We pro-vide affordable financing for capital-intensive projects ... and engineering standards, careful scrutiny andoversight to make sure those funds go where they belong.” About 25 of the awards granted through theRecovery Act went to minority and tribal organizations, he said. NTIA is preparing to roll out the FirstResponder Network Authority, or FirstNet, said Anna Gomez, NTIA deputy administrator. She said sheexpects opportunities to arrive for network security and maintenance professionals, software developersand other professionals when the system is fully operational, she said. Applications development is goingto be very exciting in the public safety field, she said. For FirstNet, NTIA will establish a 15-memberboard that consists of the Department of Homeland Security secretary, the director of the Office of Man-agement and Budget and 12 members appointed by the Commerce Department secretary, and it will en-sure geographical, regional, rural and urban representation on the board, she said: A public safety advi-sory committee will meet with tribal, regional, state and local jurisdictions to discuss provisions like theplacement of towers and the assignment of priority to local users, she added. — KL
COMMUNICATIONS DAILY—12 FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012 Correction: A comment made by Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Administrator Jonathan Adelsteinabout needing "visibility" for projects funded by RUS loans was incorrectly attributed to FCC ChairmanJulius Genachowski (CD July 19 p2). —— The first meeting of the Advisory Committee for the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conferencewill be at 9 a.m. Aug. 9 at FCC headquarters. “The WRC-15 Advisory Committee’s objective is to pro-vide the FCC with advice, technical support and recommended proposals for the WRC-15,” the FCC saidin a notice (http://xrl.us/bnhfqk). “At its initial meeting, the WRC-15 Advisory Committee will considerformation of its Informal Working Groups (IWGs), assignment of WRC-15 agenda items to the IWGs,scheduling and other organizational matters.” The FCC has also established a WRC-15 website atwww.fcc.gov/wrc-15. Capitol Hill Nearly a dozen telecommunications and technology groups urged lawmakers Thursday to requirethe Department of Justice and FCC to increase transparency in their consideration of the proposed Veri-zon/SpectrumCo transaction. The groups told lawmakers in a letter that they should be "very concerned"about the competitive impact of the proposed deal and particularly alarmed that theres no transparency inthe dealings for the FCC and interested parties to properly review these "unprecedented agreements." Theletter was sent to House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., Ranking Mem-ber Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., House Competition Subcommittee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., RankingMember Mel Watt, D-N.C., and members of the House Commerce and Judiciary committees. The letterwas signed by Access Humboldt, the Center for Rural Strategies, the Computer & Communications Indus-try Association, the Eastern Rural Telecom Association, the Independent Telephone and Telecommunica-tions Alliance, the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association, Public Knowledge, the RuralBroadband Alliance, the Rural Independent Competitive Alliance, the Rural Telecommunications Group,and the Western Telecommunications Alliance. —— House lawmakers slammed the Chinese government for facilitating infringement and theft of U.S.intellectual property online, during a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing Thursday. The Chinese govern-ment has "approved and coordinated" theft of U.S. IP and the American government has been "cowardly"in confronting the threat, said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. "Weve been played for suckers over theyears, weve been played as fools" as the Chinese government has only become more "brazen in their theftof wealth that should be going to our people." Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., urgedthe executive branch to negotiate enforceable agreements with foreign governments that will curb IP theftsuch as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The trade agreement would require parties — which includethe U.S., Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Peru, Malaysia and Vietnam — to ensure theyhave effective enforcement procedures against online trademark, copyright and other rights infringements.Ranking Member Howard Berman, D-Calif., said the U.S. has an opportunity to successfully negotiate theTPP, which he called an "ambitious agreement" with Asian countries to protect U.S. IP. "It is critical thatthis agreement reflect and prioritize the contribution of the U.S. IP industries to the U.S. economy by in-cluding strong protections for IP and robust enforcement provisions," he said. Heritage Foundation SeniorResearch Fellow Derek Scissors agreed that the TPP offers a "great possibility" for curbing Chinese IPtheft and urged lawmakers to pursue other lines of attack as well. "There are ways for the U.S. to changeits laws to make it more difficult and uncomfortable" for Chinese infringers, he said. David Hirschmann,president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerces Global Intellectual Property Center, said its crucial to focus
FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012 COMMUNICATIONS DAILY—13on the Web where stolen U.S. IP is primarily being distributed. "One thing we can do is to begin to workwith the world to find pro-Internet freedom rule of law approaches to address distribution on the Internet,"he said. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., havepreviously denounced the TPP as a threat to Internet freedom, and Wyden introduced a bill in May to clar-ify the Office of the U.S. Trade Representatives duty to share trade agreement information with all mem-bers of Congress (CD June 12 p6). Wireline With less than a week before price-cap carriers must indicate whether they will accept millions ofdollars in subsidies for broadband buildout, the FCC clarified rules on how to calculate the amount of sup-port a carrier must return for failing to meet deployment obligations (http://xrl.us/bnhfsr). Carriers thatcant meet their obligation must return "$775 multiplied by the number of locations to which the carrierwas required to deploy to but did not," a Wireline Bureau order said Thursday. It said accepting fundingdoesnt mean a carrier is "binding itself to deploy only in those areas, nor is it committing to deploy toevery unserved location in those areas." Carriers must accept the funding by July 24. Wireless FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said Thursday the FCC must establish a "clear timeline"for pending spectrum auctions. Rosenworcel also said more must be done to provide incentives for fed-eral agencies to embrace giving up spectrum for commercial use. "While past efforts to reclaim spectrumfrom federal users have involved the stick, I think going forward we should explore the carrot," she said."Today, the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act provides funding to federal users for relocationwhen their airwaves are reallocated for commercial use. It also now provides upfront funding for plan-ning. What is missing is a series of incentives. What if we were to financially reward federal authoritiesfor efficient use of their spectrum resource? What if they were able to reclaim a portion of the revenuefrom the subsequent re-auction of their airwaves? Would they make smarter choices about their missionsand the resources they need to accomplish them? It’s an idea worth exploring." —— The FCC approved a fourth order on reconsideration on rules for the USF Mobility Fund, whichsaid “if a petition for reconsideration simply repeats arguments that were previously considered and re-jected in the proceeding, it will not likely warrant reconsideration.” The order (http://xrl.us/bnhfr8) af-firmed the FCC’s earlier adoption of a reverse auction mechanism. But the commission turned down sev-eral requests for changes, including requests that the FCC: restrict or prohibit Tier I carriers from receiv-ing Mobility Fund Phase I support; hold applications for eligible telecom carrier status in abeyance pend-ing completion of the auction and then automatically qualify any winning bidder as an ETC; and deem acarrier to be a Lifeline-only ETC to be eligible to participate in the Mobility Fund without first obtaininggeneral ETC status. The FCC also rejected “for purposes of the auction of Mobility Fund Phase I support,arguments that the Commission provide for bidding preferences to small or rural entities and extend eligi-bility for the Tribal lands bidding credit to entities that are not Tribally-owned or controlled.” —— Early reviews for the Verizon Wireless shared data plan have been “great,” said Verizon Commu-nications Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo, during the companys quarterly financial call with ana-
COMMUNICATIONS DAILY—14 FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012lysts. He noted that customer adoption of the new “Share Everything” plans, available since June 28, hasmet expectations. “We are seeing a wide variety of customers and family share accounts opting into ShareEverything, including existing smartphone customers with unlimited data plans,” Shammo said during aninvestor call Thursday. Subscribers get unlimited voice minutes and text under the new plans, but pay fora shared pool of data for up to 10 mobile devices. Public interest groups have criticized Verizon’s plans,as well as the similar “Mobile Share” plans AT&T announced Wednesday. The company had recordwireless profits in the quarter, but saw weak results from its wireline products. Shammo also said Verizonis confident its AWS spectrum license purchase will clear FCC and Justice Department approval — andthat the deal will be completed this summer. The company is “ready to go” with the "auction" of its 700MHz A and B spectrum licenses on the secondary market once the AWS purchase is completed, Shammosaid. — JP —— The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials released Recommended Best Practicesfor PSAPs When Processing Vehicle Telematics Calls from Telematics Service Providers (TSPs). Thepublic safety answering point document revises best practices released by the APCO Telematics Taskforcein 2009. “It offers clear guidelines for PSAP personnel in the handling of vehicle telematics and Ad-vanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) calls from TSPs and updates the information the telematicsoperator is expected to provide,” APCO said. “It also contains updated TSP contact information, escala-tion procedures and a glossary of terms that clarifies new in-vehicle technologies. It does not define localresponse procedures or protocols, allowing each agency to establish appropriate call handling and dispatchpolicies.” APCO also announced approval of the Vehicular Emergency Data Set (VEDS) for transmissionof critical vehicle crash data to PSAPs. APCO developed VEDS in combination with the National Emer-gency Number Association. State Telecom Activities Ohio will be revisiting the details of its Lifeline service thanks to two recent applications, the OhioPublic Utilities Commission unanimously confirmed in its meeting Wednesday. TracFone Wireless andVirgin Mobile USA had both applied on June 22 for a rehearing of the commission’s May 23 finding andorder, which “established certain requirements for the provision of Lifeline service, including those neces-sitated by the Federal Communications Commissions (FCCs) Report and Order in In the Matter of Life-line and Link Up Reform and Modernization, Lifeline and Link Up, Federal-State Joint Board on Univer-sal Service, Advancing Broadband Availability Through Digital Literacy Training,” the commission said(http://xrl.us/bnhfj9). It judges that TracFone and Virgin Mobile have “sufficient reason” to question itsruling and now promises “further consideration,” the commission said. In its June 22 objection, VirginMobile called the Ohio commission’s Lifeline order “unreasonable and unlawful,” “contrary to the publicinterest in that it is discriminatory and anti-competitive with respect to prepaid Lifeline service providers,”and in requesting a rehearing, added it hopes the commission “reverse its finding that reimbursement fromUSAC to prepaid wireless Lifeline providers is includable for purposes of calculating the 9-1-1 assess-ment” and “reverse its order directing the remittance of 9-1-1 fees that would have been collected retroac-tively to the date of ETC designation” (http://xrl.us/bnhfma). In its application for a rehearing, TracFoneasserts “non-billed, free Lifeline services are not prepaid services and Ohio law imposes no such 911 feeremittance obligations on non-billed free Lifeline services where there is no available mechanism for col-lecting such fees from qualified low-income consumers of such non-billed free services,” and said onesubset of ETCs, wireless resellers, shouldn’t be singled out for a retroactive obligation for fees that could-n’t have been collected.
FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012 COMMUNICATIONS DAILY—15 Several carriers received approval for interconnection agreement amendments in Idaho Thursday.A total of seven applications were approved, and the companies included CenturyLink QC, MetropolitanTelecommunications of Idaho, Frontier Communications Northwest, Entelegent Solutions, Bullseye Tele-com, Ernest Communications, Trans National Communications International, OneEighty Networks andClarks Electronics. “The amendments to the Interconnection Agreement are consistent with the publicinterest, convenience and necessity and do not discriminate” and are “consistent with the pro-competitivepolicies of this Commission, the Idaho Legislature, and the federal Telecommunications Act,” the com-mission said in its final order approving the interconnection agreement amendments (http://xrl.us/bnhfqe). International Telecom There has been a big push for a compromise draft proposal on exceptions and limitations for visu-ally impaired and blind people at the World Intellectual Property Organization meeting in Geneva. India,China, Switzerland, the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Group and, for the first time, Australiaclearly supported a full-fledged treaty and asked for conclusion of the preparatory work during the 24thStanding Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) that runs through Wednesday. "Furtherconvergence in delegations discussions were possible and a balanced and flexible text was within reach,"the European Union said. The U.S. delegation rejected allusions that a linkage could be made between thevisually impaired media treaty and the broadcasting treaty. The Brazilian delegate had warned against ef-forts to link the WIPO efforts on the human rights-oriented print disabilities and the broadcasting treaty.A linkage had led to the failure of earlier SCCR work. "A linkage between the print disabilities effort andan effort for business affairs would be unprincipled, it would be unethical, and the United States will nothave any part of it," the U.S. delegate said. Telecom Notes The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service should step in to help in Verizon’s ongoing con-tract negotiations with its employees, said the Communications Workers of America and InternationalBrotherhood of Electrical Workers, in a statement Thursday. The parties have struggled to establish acontract for more than a year as “Verizon management continues to insist on drastic cuts in benefits andemployment security” and demonstrates "greed" and creates delays "not only bad for workers, it’s bad forconsumers and bad for our communities," the unions said. CWA held protests in several cities earlier thissummer to underscore the problem (CD June 25 p13). Verizon declined to comment on the unions’ re-quest to the service, a federal government agency. Broadcast Arbitron said the Media Rating Council (MRC) accredited the ratings from its Portable People Me-ter device in five markets: Los Angeles, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Baltimore, Riverside-San Ber-nardino, Calif., and San Antonio. Riverside-San Bernardino and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater areseeing their accreditation restored, after it had been withdrawn by MRC in January, Arbitron said. Sepa-rately, the company said Q2 revenue increased 9.1 percent from a year earlier to $104.4 million and profitincreased 31 percent to $10 million.
COMMUNICATIONS DAILY—16 FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012 Cable Cable operators shouldn’t be allowed to encrypt their basic service tier without offering “a compa-rable successor to ClearQAM,” attorneys for Boxee told FCC Media Bureau officials during a recent tele-conference, an ex parte notice shows (http://xrl.us/bnhgkr). Beyond the proposal Boxee and Comcast pre-sented to the agency last month (CD June 29 p8), they discussed “’cloud based’ methods for delivery ofcontent by cable operators,” the notice said. On its own, a hardware solution “would not be a sufficientlong-term replacement” for ClearQAM, “although one could form an interim solution, as suggested in theBoxee and Comcast proposal,” the notice said. —— Time Warner Cable petitioned the FCC to be let out of local rate regulation in 18 Wisconsin com-munities (http://xrl.us/bnhgmh). The cable operator said it’s subject to competition from AT&T’s U-verseservice in those areas and therefore meets the local exchange carrier test for determining that it is subjectto effective competition. Mass Media Notes A group of pay-TV providers pointed the finger at broadcasters for retransmission consentblackouts, hours after NAB criticized three of the coalitions members for being involved in mostretrans disputes this year (CD July 19 p21). "NAB’s offering sympathy for viewers currently sub-ject to blacked-out programming on Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Dish is dishonest at best," theAmerican Television Alliance said in a news release late Wednesday (http://xrl.us/bnhfqc). "It isthe broadcasters, the so-called stewards of the public airwaves, that use outdated government rulesto yank their signals from consumers." The coalition didnt dispute that the three multichannelvideo programming distributors were involved in three-quarters of TV service disruptions in 2012,an NAB spokesman said. "Only 0.3 percent of America’s 5,851 pay TV companies have ever beeninvolved in a loss of broadcast TV service," he said. "This suggests a concerted effort by three ofthe largest pay TV companies to manufacture a crisis that does not really exist, rather than competein the marketplace." —— Dish Network and West Virginia Media reached a deal that returned four TV stations to the Dishprogramming lineup. WBOY (NBC, ABC) Clarksburg, WVNS (Fox, CBS) Bluefield, WTRF (CBS, Fox,ABC) Wheeling and CBS affiliate WOWK Charleston confirmed the deal on their websites. The stationswent dark for Dish customers July 1 (CD July 3 p14). —— A carriage agreement is expected to be reached between Viacom and DirecTV given the profit theprogrammer would lose without carriage on that DBS provider, Evercore Partners wrote investors Thurs-day. DirecTV wants to offer the programming “as long as DTV can procure it at a fair price,” they said.The analysts estimate the subscriber loss breakeven point at 1.15 million subscribers. The potential dam-age to DirecTV’s premium position in the market from not carrying the programming is more difficult toquantify, they said. In the highly unlikely event that Viacom were to lose DirecTV permanently, “bothsides would have less leverage in future negotiations,” they added. This Friday marks day 10 of thestalled carriage agreement, which left DirecTV customers without Comedy Central, TVLand, MTV andother Viacom channels (CD July 12 p10).
FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012 COMMUNICATIONS DAILY—17 Satellite The FCC International Bureau adopted changes Thursday to the earth stations on board vessels(ESV) rules, in a second order on reconsideration (http://xrl.us/bnhf8k). The bureau’s actionsstemmed from Boeing and ViaSat petitions, the bureau said. Its revisions will provide greater opera-tional flexibility for ESVs “while continuing to ensure that the FSS operators are protected fromharmful interference in the C- and Ku-bands,” the order said. It said the aggregate power-density rulewill allow ESVs with variable power, co-frequency systems “to operate their individual transmitterssimultaneously while using varying off-axis equivalent isotropically radiated power-density levels in-stead of requiring each transmitter within the system to use the same EIRP-density." The order re-quires variable power ESV systems to operate 1 decibel below the off-axis EIRP-density limits “toprotect fixed satellite services from harmful interference.” Other rule changes involve renumberingthe rules “to incorporate the variable power ESV provisions ... and incorporating the new requirementto file coordination notifications electronically” on the bureau filing and reporting system, the ordersaid. It said the agency doesn’t expect a substantial number of small entities to be directly impactedby the rule changes. —— Dish Network lost 10,000 net subscribers in Q2, besting some analysts’ projections of a loss of119,000, Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker said in a research note. Dish added 665,000 gross subscrib-ers, bettering analyst estimates of 577,000, she said. Monthly churn was 1.6 percent, against forecasts of1.65 percent, Ryvicker said. Wells Fargo is projecting a 1 percent increase in average revenue per user,she said. Dish made the disclosures in SEC filing for a senior note debt offering, the size and pricing ofwhich wasn’t disclosed. The money raised will be used for "corporate purposes," Dish said. —— A decision on the proposal that would allow Dish Network to deploy a terrestrial service couldcome sooner than some telecom industry professionals expected. A notice of proposed rulemaking on al-lowing terrestrial use of 2 GHz wireless spectrum was introduced this year (CD March 22 p4). It soundslike the FCC’s final draft of the NPRM may be ready to go, Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker said in aresearch note recounting a Wells Fargo wireless symposium. “We believe that the September timeframeas suggested in several trade reports may actually be correct.” Many speakers at the symposium suggestedthat the higher band spectrum has significant value, she said. This spectrum “provides capacity to com-plement the coverage that many of the wireless carriers currently have through their lower band spectrum,such as the 700 MHz.” Symposium speakers also suggested that a potential purchase of Dish by AT&T isunlikely to occur in the near term “although this could be the ultimate scenario down the line,” she said.In terms of Dish Chairman Charlie Ergens strategy, it’s likely that Dish partners with various parties in-side and outside the wireless ecosystem “to ensure a better place in both the pay-TV and wireless indus-tries,” she added. — KL Communications Personals Paul Sands retires at years end as president and general manager of Hearst Televisions WPTZPlattsburgh, N.Y., and WNNE Hartford, Vt., being replaced by Kyle Grimes ... Lobbyist registrations:Motorola Solutions, Barbour Griffith and Rogers, effective June 10 ... Virginia state governments Centerfor Innovative Technology, Franklin Partnership, effective July 1 ... Spectrum Solutions Co., US Strate-gies, effective July 2.