Recently in the Internet Category

Last spring, the World Wide Web turned 25.  And in its relatively short lifespan, Internet access has become vital to modern life.  Numerous broadband-enabled devices have been developed, and high-speed connectivity now delivers opportunities to us that we could only imagine not long ago.  This connectivity is an important resource for small businesses, professionals, and entrepreneurs, as well as for families, students, and diverse communities. 

 

For women business owners, high speed Internet has enabled them to increase efficiency of business operations, improve customer service, reduce cost, and grow by reaching new customers and markets.  The most significant impact that high-speed connectivity has provided to women is flexibility, allowing them to start and grow their businesses regardless of whether they are working from an office, their home, or while on the go.

 

These advancements and innovations happened under a light-touch regulatory approach, which was wisely adopted and adhered to for many years.  This approach increased private investment in new technology and networks, allowed innovations to thrive, and helped increase high speed Internet adoption rates.  Unfortunately, we are now facing a radical change in course by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable.

 

Later this month, the FCC is expected to pass burdensome net neutrality rules created in the 1930s that reclassify the Internet as a public utility. This approach is guaranteed to slow investment into our country's networks and jeopardize high speed Internet adoption at a time when encouraging both is especially vital to the success of our economy, our small businesses, and our families.  Net neutrality must be preserved, but the proposed FCC rules will do more harm than good. They call for a drastically altered course, one that would sabotage the approach that has helped the Internet thrive from the beginning. 

 

Fortunately, there's another solution. Congress can design rules that will protect net neutrality and consumers.  By offering opportunities for bipartisanship, lawmakers can work together to eliminate real threats to the Internet and to establish clear legal guidelines for the FCC.  This solution can also ensure that we get the right level of regulation, more in line with the light-touch framework that has worked so well for the past few decades. 

 

A light-touch legislative solution that prohibits blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization while also protecting consumers and avoiding legal limbo, will lead to even more innovation and investment in our country's Internet infrastructure.  It will also ensure that that all Americans, such as the fastest growing segment of small businesses - women business owners - have access to high-quality Internet and the technology they need to continue to grow our economy.

Tell Congress We Need #NetLawNow!

Below is a piece by the Multicultural Media, Telecom & Internet Council (MMTC, formerly Minority Media and Telecommunications Council), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications and broadband industries, and closing the digital divide. MMTC is generally recognized as the nation's leading advocate for minority advancement in communications.

Bad Choices Can Make Today's Internet Tomorrow's Memory.  

Here's what is happening right now to your Internet:  On Thursday, February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the government's independent agency that oversees the media and telecommunications industries, is about to deliver a groundbreaking decision that will affect your Internet.

Consumers need to speak up because the FCC's actions can take away the benefits that we enjoy today and in the future.

Why Should YOU Care?

  • TODAY'S INTERNET GIVES YOU POWER. You choose from all kinds of plans and combinations, from low-cost pre-paid plans, all the way up to that family plan with the special music collection you like.  Tomorrow's Internet could have all of these programs eliminated under new FCC rules.
  • TODAY'S INTERNET GIVES YOU ACCESS. We all move around the Web, accessing movies, photos, emails, and whatever we want on our smartphones and tablets. Tomorrow's Internet could negatively impact where and how we use the Internet under new FCC rules.
  • TODAY'S INTERNET IS GETTING CHEAPER. Over the last few years, the price of broadband has been decreasing.  Tomorrow's Internet costs may increase and make it harder for some of us to pay. New, unnecessary taxes and fees on services could also open up from Thursday's FCC rules, hitting you and your family in the wallet.

Today's Internet is OPEN, and after Thursday, consumers won't get anything that they didn't have - except more rules, less choice, and the possibility of higher costs.

We are running out of time, and we need everyone to join in on the conversation!
Contact your Representative so we can all enjoy the benefits of the Internet today and tomorrow!

Tweet #NetLawNow and tell your Members of Congress that you want them to act now to keep the Internet open!


3 Undeniable Business Trends You Need to Embrace

Adaptability is the key ingredient of success for those looking to accomplish great things in today's business climate.   This is one of the key business trends highlighted by Huffington Post's blogger, Doug G. Sandler in his ARTICLE : 3 Undeniable Business Trends You Need To Embrace. We live in a business world that is moving faster than it ever has and adaptability seems to be the only acceptable policy for an entrepreneur, even though for many it will mean changing the status quo of how you operate, and for others - the newbie business owners - time and resources will need to be spent creating and improving their networks and key resources. Either case, you should embrace these three trends to make your own way towards success.


  1. The Internet is here to stay! The most successful businesses of tomorrow will be able to master technology but still provide a human touch as well. 

  2. Content is king.  Blogging, writing and sharing content with existing customers and potential customers is vital. Be an expert in your industry, stay connected to your market and provide content that is relevant, interesting and easy to read.

  3. Adapt or perish. You cannot ignore business trends or your business will be left behind.


Read more here.






Happy National Cyber Security Awareness Month! It may not sound as sexy or cool as National Ice Cream Month (July), or National Jazz Appreciation Month (April), but cyber security is just as, if not more, important. In fact, Cyber Security Awareness Month is the only national awareness month out of the aforementioned that is administered and promoted by the Department of Homeland Security. Sound important yet? It should. Although we all use the internet, few of us take the time to make sure our connections are secure, our information is safe and our assets are protected. Well, this month is the time to do it. 

The Department of Homeland Security, along with the National Cyber Security Alliance, has outlined a number of topics to consider this month. Among them is the secure development of IT products, critical infrastructure and the internet of things, cyber crime and law enforcement, and cyber security for small and medium sized business and entrepreneurs. For your convenience, the DHS has even outlined tips for insuring cyber security for small and medium sized businesses, as follows:
  • Use and regularly update anti-virus and anti-spyware software on all computers; automate patch deployments across your organization to protect against vulnerabilities. 
  • Secure your internet connection by using a firewall, encrypting information, and hiding your Wi-Fi network. 
  • Establish security practices and policies to protect sensitive information; educate employees about cyber threats and how to protect your organizations data and hold them accountable to the Internet security policies and procedures.
  • Require that employees use strong passwords and regularly change them.
  • Invest in data loss protection software for your network and use encryption technologies to protect data in transit.
  • Protect all pages on your public facing websites, not just the checkout and sign up pages. 
Although these tips are crucial, they are just the beginning. Small and medium sized businesses are especially vulnerable to cyber security threats, as they often lack the resources to build a comprehensive cyber security system, yet they store significant amounts of sensitive data. To learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and your organization, access the Stop.Think.Connect.Toolkit created especially for small businesses. 
Safely surf on! 

      As reported in a recent Press-Enterprise Blog (1/6/14) African Americans are less likely than whites to have broadband Internet access at home but are as likely to own smartphones.  A newly released Pew Research Center survey found few differences when household income was taken into account, suggesting that the differences between blacks and whites are largely because the median African American income is below that of whites. The poll found that 74 percent of whites had broadband access, compared with 62 percent of African Americans. But, for example, an identical 91 percent of blacks and whites with household incomes of $75,000 or greater had broadband access. Ninety-eight percent of people of both races in that income group use the Internet, but about 1 in 4 blacks and whites with household incomes below $30,000 do not use the Internet. Yet African-Americans aged 65 or older were significantly less likely to use the Internet than their white counterparts.  One of WIPP's Economic Blueprint Telecommunications Principles calls for broadband access being essential to small businesses.  WIPP believes broadband access at a reasonable cost principle is key for African American internet consumers.  It's a key component to obliterating the digital divide.

        I saw a very interesting Voice of America TECHtonics Blog WIPP entrepreneurs might be interested in.  Wi-Fi Solutions Fill Basic Gaps for Developing World  The blog speaks about bridging the gap for affordable internet access with Wi-Fi beaming balloons.  "Project Loon is a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space, designed to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps, and bring people back online after disasters," says Google on its Project Loon Website.  

 

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