Mar 23

PROTECT NET NEUTRALITY BY MAKING IT THE LAW

or_942_net-neturality-1024x670The Internet is the fastest deploying technology in world history. It’s a 21st Century engine of innovation that provides an open platform for entrepreneurs, visionaries, and kids in their garages to follow their dreams. And it didn’t happen by accident.

The Internet works for Americans because government had wisely chosen to let the web grow and thrive without burdensome regulation that can increase consumer bills, choke progress and smother innovation. But instead of continuing this path of tremendous success, the FCC recently approved a massive regulatory regime that piles on thousands of new rules all in the name of preserving net neutrality. These rules, called Title II, aren’t necessary for net neutrality and they certainly aren’t going to increase competition or make the Internet faster, better or more innovative.

The FCC’s unnecessary action is legally questionable and will result in years of litigation and marketplace uncertainty. The good news is that Congress can act to deliver the permanent net neutrality protections that consumers are demanding.

 

 

The FCC recently approved a massive regulatory regime that piles on thousands of new rules onto the Internet all in the name of preserving net neutrality. These rules, called Title II, aren’t necessary for net neutrality and they certainly aren’t going to increase competition or make the Internet faster, better or more innovative.

That’s why we need Congress to pass a law and ensure that we get permanent net neutrality.

Take action at unitedforanopeninternet.com

Mar 14

A Message From CWA and NAACP: DISH Network Abuse of FCC Small and Minority Owned Business Rules

CWA-unfinishedFollowing is a statement by the Communications Workers of America on DISH Network’s tactics in the recent wireless spectrum auction that would cost the taxpayers more than $3 billion: 

The Communications Workers of America and the NAACP are challenging DISH Network’s manipulation of the Federal Communications Commission’s “small and minority-owned business rules” that enabled DISH to make $3.25 billion – at taxpayer expense – from the FCC’s recent wireless spectrum auction.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, CWA President Larry Cohen and the NAACP’s Hilary O. Shelton, Washington Bureau director and senior vice president for advocacy and policy, said the auction was clouded by DISH’s use of the small and minority-owned business rules and its bidding tactics. “We expect that the FCC will reject DISH’s attempt to qualify as a small business eligible for $3.25 billion in taxpayer subsidies,” they wrote.

Ironically, DISH has no wireless network or subscribers but came up the big winner in this auction. This outcome “raises fundamental questions about reserve set-asides and preferential programs” in the wireless spectrum auction. “We cannot afford another gamed auction, where the winning bidders use taxpayer subsidies and unfair advantages” to drive out companies with a proven track record of infrastructure investment that benefits U.S. consumers, they wrote.

DISH manipulated the FCC’s small business rules by incorporating two companies – Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless – while maintaining an 85 percent financial interest in both. This was clearly done to take advantage of the FCC’s “small and minority-owned business” bidding credit. DISH then made a joint bidding deal with these companies and the three began triple bidding for the nearly 4,000 available licenses. When DISH dropped out of the bidding, one of the two entities won the bid but it was DISH that won overall, paying just $10 billion for licenses worth $13.3 billion.

Read the letter: CWA, NAACP Letter to Chairman Wheeler

Contact: Candice Johnson, CWA Communications, 202-434-1168, cjohnson@cwa-union.org

Feb 27

LISTA Strongly Opposes the FCC Decision to Impose Outdated Regulations on the Internet


small listaLatinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association President and CEO Jose A. Marquez today issued the following statement regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to regulate broadband under Title II of the “Communications Act”:

LISTA is disheartened by the FCC’s decision to imposing burdensome and outdated regulations on the net. While we share the Commission’s goals of preserving an Open Internet and protecting consumers and innovators online, reclassifying the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act is a bridge too far.

The Clinton-era policies that intentionally avoided utility-style regulation have made the Internet a platform for prosperity for Latino and other underserved communities who depend upon online platforms as a vehicle to the American dream. The FCC’s decision subjects the entire ecosystem to a suffocating level of regulation for the first time, potentially posing a substantial burden on broadband companies and likely instigating a protracted legal process that will be costly in both time and money. Every dollar spent on adhering to new regulations or litigators in court is a dollar not spent on investment to improve speeds and services, especially to underprivileged communities like Latinos.

LISTA urges Congressional leaders to act quickly and advance a bipartisan legislative solution that bolsters the Open Internet and protects consumers without the risks to investment that accompany Title II regulation.” Through Congressional legislative action we can bring fair, new legislation which will include consumer protection while encouraging innovation and investment.    

#netlawnow 

     

Feb 21

LISTA Congratulates AT&T on Being Named #1 Telecom Globally in Fortune’s Ranking of Most Admired Companies

att_logo_sharingAT&T* was recognized by FORTUNE magazine as the Most Admired Telecommunications Company in the world in 2015. 

“Being recognized by FORTUNE as the number one telecom company is a testament to our 240,000 employees working hard every day to help customers mobilize their world with fast, highly secure connectivity to everything on the Internet – everywhere and on every device,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. 

Additionally, FORTUNE ranked AT&T #47 among all companies in all industries in its list of the Top 50 Most Admired companies in the world. 

FORTUNE’s Most Admired Companies lists are among the most highly respected indicators of corporate performance and reputation.

To identify the Most Admired Companies, FORTUNE and its partner, the Hay Group, survey top executives and directors from FORTUNE 1000 and Global 500 companies — along with financial analysts — to identify companies that have the strongest reputations both within their own industry and overall. Companies are rated on their ability to attract and retain talented people, quality of products and services, quality of management, innovation, social responsibility, use of corporate assets and long-term investment value.

Learn about AT&T’s commitment to excellence at att.com/CorporateAwards.

FORTUNE’s Most Admired Results: http://fortune.com/worlds-most-admired-companies/

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) helps millions of people and businesses around the globe stay connected through leading wireless, high-speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. We’re helping people mobilize their worlds with state-of-the-art communications, entertainment services and amazing innovations like connected cars and devices for homes, offices and points in between. Our U.S. wireless network offers customers the nation’s strongest LTE signal and the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network. We offer the best global wireless coverage*. We’re improving how our customers stay entertained and informed with AT&T U-verse® TV and High Speed Internet services. And businesses worldwide are serving their customers better with AT&T’s mobility and highly secure cloud solutions.

Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at http://about.att.com. Follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/att and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/att.

© 2015 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

Reliability and signal strength claims based on nationwide carriers’ LTE. Signal strength claim based ONLY on avg. LTE signal strength. LTE not available everywhere. Global coverage claim based on offering voice and data roaming in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier, and offering the most wireless smartphones and tablets that work in the most countries

 

Feb 19

Comcast Confirms Southeast HQ Expansion in Metro Atlanta; 300+ Jobs

comcast-Comcast will expand its Southeast headquarters in Gwinnett County, Gov.Nathan Deal confirmed Tuesday.

On Feb. 16, Atlanta Business first disclosed details of Tuesday’s announcement. In December, Atlanta Business Chronicle reported Comcastwould expand its Southeast headquarters.

Comcast, which employs more than 500 in Gwinnett, will add 150 jobs at its new Southeast headquarters in Peachtree Corners. The four-story, 88,000 square foot building will include a high-tech demonstration lab and a training center.

The Philadelphia-based media and technology company will also expand its Alpharetta call center, adding about 150 jobs.

“Our new regional headquarters in Peachtree Corners puts us in a larger, more contemporary environment, allowing us to better meet the needs of our customers across our service area,” Comcast Regional Senior Vice President Doug Guthrie said in a statement.

The Southern headquarters covers eight markets, including South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana , Arkansas Tennessee and Virginia.

“Atlanta is the largest market we serve in this region and a priority market for us,” Comcast spokesman Alex Horwitz said in December.

Comcast currently occupies about 90,000 square feet at Courtyards Drive in Norcross. An additional 27,000 square feet is being marketed for lease, according to commercial real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield.

Comcast employs more than 4,200 employees in Georgia, including 2,300 in metro Atlanta. Statewide employment has grown nearly 60 percent over the past five years.

In 2015, Comcast expects to hire “several hundred employees” around the Southeastern region, including in Atlanta, as it invests in new technology infrastructure and services, Horwitz said earlier. The new jobs include administrative employees, engineers, technicians and customer service and enterprise sales reps.

“Comcast continues to focus heavily on innovation in the Southeastern region — with a strong focus on Atlanta,” Horwitz said.

Read More Tech Flash 

http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/blog/atlantech/2015/02/gov-deal-said-to-announce-a-majorcomcast-expansion.html

Staff Writer-Atlanta Business Chronicle

Email  |  Twitter  |  Google+  |  LinkedIn

Feb 18

Antiquated 20th Century Rules Will Hinder Latino Growth in 21 Century HiTech Sector.

 

listalogoRecently, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced his plan to use antiquated, 20th Century telephone rules to help protect Internet openness in the 21st Century. The move puts at risk some of the crucial policy initiatives that Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association and organizations have championed for years: increasing broadband adoption and digital literacy in Latino households, promoting continued investment in broadband technologies and creating high-tech business

opportunities for Latino entrepreneurs in emerging fields like “Big Data and Health Technology” that rely on advanced broadband technology.

Hispanic households have been closing the Digital Divide in terms of home broadband adoption in recent years, and that’s a good sign. But now is not the time to put those gains in jeopardy by implementing policies that threaten to impact the price of broadband service, which for years has ranked among the most affordable in the developed world. By reclassifying Internet service as a utility-style telecommunications service, as Chairman Wheeler proposes, the FCC will be doing exactly that. For starters, reclassification threatens to force the cost of all future networks upgrades onto consumers, permitting online video giants like Netflix (companies with abysmal records on workforce diversity) to get consumer-subsidized bandwidth for their increasingly massive amounts of Web traffic. But more directly, as reclassification supporters as well as independent think tanks like the Progressive Policy Institute have agreed, the FCC’s proposal could subject broadband customers to a whole host of new regulatory fees on their monthly bills, costing us billions of dollars every year. For families that spent the last few years pinching every penny, this is a rate hike they can do without.

Reclassification also calls into question the future of investment in broadband networks. The NAACP reports that Internet Service Providers account for more than 80% of all Internet sector investments, and these companies also hire three times as many Latino employees as companies like Facebook and LinkedIn. But according to a recent American Enterprise Institute/Sonecon study, reclassification could lead to as much as a $45 billion reduction in broadband investment over the next five years. This would be a stunning reversal considering that Internet Service Providers have been among the top investors in America, flooding $70 billion each year into networks and equipment and, admirably, $250 billion during the Great Recession while other industries hoarded their cash. President Obama even praised the industry for this leadership in a 2013 report.

Finally, the opportunities for Latino entrepreneurs in the new markets that the Internet has enabled are a direct result of these investments. If reclassification stymies that investment then the Internet’s robust foundation for new services and products begins to wither. Imagine where we would be without the broadband investment that has enabled the “App Economy” that has made wealthy entrepreneurs of people willing to learn to code and created 750,000 jobs since 2007?

Protecting the Internet as an open environment for communication, collaboration and commerce is the noblest of tech policy goals. How we achieve that goal is equally important, however, and I fear that the FCC’s proposal has taken us two steps backward.

 

 

 

Feb 13

TechLatino: Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association Announces Emerging Tech Leaders Summit..

small listaTheir 6th Annual Emerging Tech Leadership Summit Series Kickoff and National TechLatino Achievers Award.

TechLatino: Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association (LISTA) announced today the LISTA 8th Annual Emerging Technology Leadership Summit Series Kickoff and National Latino Technology Achievers Awards will be hosted in Sacramento California by the LISTA NorCal TechLatino Council. 

LISTA’s 8th Annual Emerging Technology Leadership Summit Series and National Latino Technology Achievers Awards will take place in Sacramento Ca, on March 31st and April 1st at the Magnificent Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel and will feature notable guest speakers, such as Secretary of State the honorable Alex Padilla and California State CIO Carlos Ramos, and other government and procurement officials. The summit will host expert panels on tech trends, leadership, diversity and inclusion, security, social media, education, startups cultivation and business expo throughout the day.

Jose Marquez, National President of LISTA, stated, “As we continue to address the issues of diversity and inclusion and the lack of Latinas in Technology into the forefront, we are proud to have Secretary of State Padilla and State CIO Ramos join us for our LISTA 8th Annual Emerging Technology Leadership Summit Series Kickoff in Sacramento and be awarded LISTA Government Beacon awards at our National TechLatino Achievers Award. Their leadership in diversity and inclusion, business, technology and community advocacy has been right on.” 

Now in its 16th year, LISTA’s commitment to the Latino community is unparalleled and unwavering. It is through organizations like LISTA, that change can truly happen,” said Mr. Jorge Avila, President of LISTA NorCal TechLatino Council. “The summit this year will bring another layer to LISTA’s empowerment activities; the summit will deliver new and thought provoking ideas to our community and our country.

The Emerging Technology Leadership Summit series will feature workshops and panel discussions which will focus on CIO Panel, Doing Business with California, Diversity and Inclusion, Digital divide, Cultural Competence, The Bottom line, Brand Building and relationship strengthening, through the use of social media and strategic leadership in high technology where is the Latino community going in Silicon Valley?

11th Annual National TechLatino Achievers Awards

Latinas Tech Leaders Power Luncheon – 2013

ETLS  Power Luncheon – 2014

The Nominations are in and the committee has casted their votes, the anxiety has begun…who will be LISTA’s National Chief Executive, Chief Information Officer, Chief Diversity Officer and the National Latino Technology Achievers of the year 2015.

LISTA will recognize an important group of Latino Technology Leaders/Business Trendsetters who have shown through their commitment to excellence that the American Dream is still alive for the Latino community in the United States. These awards are given to individuals who have demonstrated by their actions, a commitment to the empowerment of the Latino community and for the strides they have made to further their careers.

These awards honor and recognize Technology professionals, who happen to be Latino for their exemplary efforts, commitment and dedication to Corporate America and the Latino Community. Over 500 attendees are expected including technology professionals leaders of businesses, corporate America and government officials.

“We look forward to a great event as we celebrate Latino Technology excellence across America, said Jose A Marquez-Leon.”  

                                                                                    ###

 

What: LISTA 8th Annual Emerging Technology Leadership Summit and National TechLatino Achievers Award

Where: The Magnificent Melia Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel 1230 J Street, 13th and J Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

When: March 31st and April 1st 2015

For more information visit: https://www.listaemergingtechleaderssummit.splashthat.com

Register Today: https://www.listaemergingtechleaderssummit.splashthat.com

About TechLatino: Latino in Information Sciences and Technology Association (LISTA) (www.a-lista.org ) is a 501c3 that promotes the utilization of the technology sectors for the empowerment of the Latino community. We are an organization that is committed to bringing various elements of Technology under one central hub to facilitate our partners, members and the community with the leverage and education they need to succeed in a highly advanced technologically driven society.

Follow the Conversation on Twitter #Techlatino or @lista1

For Sponsorship and Ticket information:

Contact:  Yvette Moise

VP, Membership and Corporate Relations

770-765-3478

info@a-lista.org

Feb 05

LISTA Statement on FCC Chair’s Net Neutrality Proposal

Net Neutrality will harm hispanic This week FCC Chairman Wheeler proposed to heavy handedly regulate the internet as a Title 2 public utility. This proposal could have a spoiler effect by threatening the growth of Latino small tech businesses that rely on the internet.  

“TechLatino: Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association (LISTA)  believes the FCC’s decision to vote on Title II regulations is entirely the wrong approach to maintaining an open Internet.  These antiquated and burdensome rules will discourage much needed investment in broadband and lead to years of legal battles and frozen investment in Internet networks.  In order for the Hispanic community, especially Latino and Latina small businesses in the tech industry, as well as consumers everywhere to continue benefiting from all that today’s Internet has to offer, we need light-touch regulations that will help spark innovation and expand high quality broadband services to every corner of the country.”

Feb 03

FCC won’t release Open Internet Details Ahead of Feb. 26 Vote.

maxresdefaultThe Federal Communications Commission will not publicly release Internet regulations before they are voted on later this month. 

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler on Monday formally denied a request from congressional Republicans to release the text of those net neutrality rules when they are circulated among the commissioners later this week. 

Releasing the draft rules early “runs contrary” to past FCC procedure under Democratic and Republican leadership, Wheeler asserted. 

“If decades of precedent are to be changed, the there must be an opportunity for thoughtful review in the lead up to any change,” Wheeler wrote in the letter to Republicans. 

The letter was addressed to Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.), House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and House Communications and Technology subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.). 

GOP leaders had pressed Wheeler to release the rules early, noting the increased public attention surrounding them. They specifically cited an existing FCC rule that would permit the early release. 

Wheeler is expected to circulate the rules among commissioners on Thursday, with a vote scheduled for Feb. 26. The FCC typically releases the broad details of orders early, but does not unveil the exact text until after a vote. The chairman described it as commonplace for federal agencies. 

He related the process to an appeals court deliberation, where judges are able to discuss the proposal in confidence before making a final decision. 

The text of the order is expected to be hundreds of pages. But the FCC is expected to release a fact sheet on Thursday and also brief reporters on the details of the plans.  

In his letter, Wheeler asserted the yearlong net neutrality rulemaking process has been one of the most transparent to date. He cited the numerous roundtables, the hundreds of meetings and the nearly 4 million public comments on the issue. 

The rules are expected to reclassify broadband Internet under regulations governing traditional telephones. The strict regulations are meant to enforce rules that would prevent Internet service providers from interfering with traffic to any website.

The rules are also expected to ban service providers from negotiating deals with websites for faster service in exchange for a fee. 

President Obama and other advocates have called for the reclassification, but Republicans and service providers have cautioned that the change could slow innovation by subjecting the Internet to an outdated regulatory framework.

By Mario Trujillo

Jan 20

Building on the Legacy of Dr. King with Tech. As seen on Kapor Center Blog

doug-menuez_mitch-kapor-e1417721435945As our country celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. King, we are reminded of the work he and his fellow organizers did to advance social justice in their time. From civil rights to poverty, Dr. King led the charge to address the inequalities that plagued our nation. Half a century later, we face our own battles for social justice. While few possess the ability to inspire as King did, many have embraced his mantle of advocacy through the use of tech.

The adoption of social media technology has changed the way communities organize.  During the 1950s and 60s, organizers like Dr. King, Bayard Rustin, Diane Nash, Dolores Huerta, Larry Itliong and Caesar Chavez spent weeks and months to connect with the hundreds of thousands of activists around the country to effect change.  Today, social media tools allow organizers to reach millions of people around the world — nearly instantaneously — to deliver a uniform message of advocacy.  Moreover, this new platform allows activists to bypass traditional media outlets, which have often been accused of overlooking social justice issues for underrepresented communities.  From Troy Davis and Renisha McBride to Michael Brown and Eric Garner, we have seen the ability of social media to quickly raise awareness of an issue on a grand scale, organize communities for direct actions and influence key decision makers.

However, it is critical to note that social media is a tool to enhance social justice organizing, not a replacement for it. Social media lacks the personal influence honed by trained organizers.  Additionally, as the technology has evolved so has the bar needed to reach critical mass.  Given the relative ease of “liking” a post or retweeting, the numbers needed to influence those in power has increased exponentially.

Fortunately, organizers have become adept at using these new tools in their efforts. A decade ago, both Voto Latino and Color of Change were  founded with a focus on online organizing and activism. Additionally, the DREAMer movement has demonstrated immense success with social media. By reviving strategies and tactics of the past and merging them with tech tools, this coalition of youth immigrant activists led a movement that reshaped national immigration policy.

In addition to serving as a tool for organizing, tech has also helped to directly minimize exploitation. The app Pigeonly provides a low-cost alternative to exceptionally expensive phone calls, ensuring that low-income family members can afford to stay in touch with their incarcerated loved ones. And thanks to the ubiquity of cameras on smartphones,  apps like Five-0, created by three teenagers, and the ACLU’s Stop & Frisk Watch can serve as an instant reporting tools to document potential police abuses, so that police are more accountable for their interactions with the community.

As important as the tech itself, new tech training programs for underrepresented communities have the potential to become a tool to address income and employment inequality.  Research indicates that jobs in tech are some of the best paying in the country. Unfortunately, diversity in the tech arena is minimal, leaving people from underrepresented communities out of the tech pipeline.  That is why groups like the Level Playing Field Institute and Code for Progress have created programs to teach the next generation from these communities the skills they need to succeed in the thrive in the global tech ecosystem.

Dr. King created an unshakable foundation for social justice that we all stand firmly on.  Today we honor his legacy by building on his efforts with the assistance of tech so that we can one day see his dream become a reality.

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