Local Phone Companies and Libraries Split on Whether NTIA’s ‘BTOP’ Program Has Been Wasteful
Local phone companies complained the federal government’s program to build broadband to remote areas has been wasteful. The companies and others complained about millions of dollars in duplicative— and, in some cases, lavish—expenditures by BTOP grant recipients. In a separate report, the American Library Association said the broadband stimulus program has had a strong and positive impact on public libraries.
WSJ: Many Recipients of Lifeline Mobile Phone Subsidies Cannot Show Eligibility
The Wall Street Journal reported the FCC could not confirm whether some 41% of 6 million Lifeline subscribers were eligible to receive mobile phone subsidies. According to the Journal, the FCC spent $2.2 billion last year providing mobile phones to low-income Americans. Mobile phone carriers responsible for collecting eligibility data said many subscribers simply did not provide the data needed to confirm their eligibility to receive mobile phone subsidies.
Pew: Blacks and Hispanics Prefer Twitter/Instagram, Women Prefer Pinterest
The Pew Research Center released a report on demographic trends in social media. Among the findings, blacks and Hispanics are avid users of Twitter, and women prefer using Pinterest.
Univision and Disney Announce Fusion– New Channel for Latinos
Univision and ABC News, which is owned by Disney, announced it will premiere Fusion, an English-language news and entertainment channel targeting Latinos, this summer.
FCC: Broadband Service Providers Deliver Close to Advertised Speeds
The National Intelligence Agency concluded the United States is the target of a massive cyber-espionage campaign. The report identified China as the leading culprit most aggressively attempting to access computer systems of American institutions and exploit the data it uncovers for its own competitive advantage. Disclosures from the U.S. Department of Commerce and China’s customs administration reveal China has surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest trading nation with $3.87 trillion traded in goods in 2012, compared to $3.82 trillion traded during the same period for the U.S.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office released its cybersecurity report and recommendations. The Committee to Protect Journalists released a report stating cyberattacks against media companies and journalists are on the rise.
The European Union cut its €7 billion ($9.36 billion) fund for expanding access to broadband in Europe and assisting businesses in adopting cloud services. However, ZenithMedia reported Western Europe leads in new media adoption.
Gartner research reported global mobile phone sales fell in 2012.
Dealbook reported a significant rise in merger activity in 2013. Comcast perfected its ownership of NBC/Universal, buying GE’s 49% share for $16.7 billion. Charter Communications acquired Cablevision Systems’ Optimum West for $1.625 billion. Optimum West boasts approximately 304,000 customers in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana. Google Ventures has become the number 3 venture capital firm in the U.S.
As the market for e-books continued to grow in 2012, Amazon boasted the largest overall share of book sales with 27% at the end of September compared to its 21% share the previous year. Even with efforts to promote its Nook e-book tablet in stores, Barnes and Noble’s overall share of book sales fell to 16%, down from 17% in 2011.
ITIF released a report stating, contrary to conventional wisdom, the United States has made great strides in broadband deployment, performance, and price.
The White House launched Consumer.Data.gov to “empower Americans with the data and tools they need to make more informed choices in the marketplace.”
Boston Consulting Group reported consumers derive more value from online media relative to what they paid for it, than they do from offline media. The report looked at books, radio and music, U.S. newspapers and magazines, TV and movies, video games, international newspapers and magazines, and user-generated content and social networks.
AMC’s “The Walking Dead” returned a record audience for cable television programming, with 12.3 million total viewers for its February 10 midseason premiere, against competition from the Grammy Awards and CBS’ “Big Bang Theory.”