Sep 30

Why Are Some Tech Companies Silent on the Fate of Dreamers?

1President Donald Trump’s decision to end the program that blocked deportation of Dreamers – the young undocumented immigrants brought into the United States by their parents – drew an instant rebuke and fierce opposition from a broad swath of American business leaders who represent a diverse range of companies. Tech and communications companies have been particularly active. Many companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Verizon and AT&T all expressed their support, but Sprint and T-Mobile have been curiously silent. Why aren’t these two major wireless carriers standing with our Dreamers, many of whom are their customers — or even their employees?

Recipients of former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are commonly called “Dreamers,” but they’re not just dreamers, they’re doers. The roughly 780,000 young people who signed up for DACA are overwhelmingly either in school or the workforce. Almost three-quarters of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies in America have DACA recipients on their payrolls.

The ambitious young men and women in DACA are undoubtedly contributing to our economy and living the American dream, with 5 percent staring their own business, 16 percent buying a home, and 65 percent purchasing a vehicle. If they were to be deported, annual U.S. gross domestic product would take a $460 billion hit and Social Security and Medicare tax revenues would decrease by $24.6 billion.

All those statistics were referenced in an open letter to Trump and congressional leaders that was signed by AT&T and an incredibly long list of major U.S. businesses. Verizon, like many other tech companies, released an individual statement in support of DACA.

But nothing from Sprint and T-Mobile. Why are they not willing to speak out on such an important issue? Bolivian-born Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure is an immigrant himself. He didn’t learn English until the ninth grade and got his start in the wireless business delivering phones to clients from the trunk of his car. As the leader of the one of America’s top wireless providers, he is an inspiration to Latinos.

Then there’s T-Mobile CEO John Legere. To say the “un-carrier’s” un-CEO-like style is unique is an understatement. He’s unfiltered, loves attention, and has no problem getting into public feuds, including one with Trump after complaining about noise outside a Trump hotel window while living the life of luxury. But when it comes to DACA, Legere and his boisterous tweets have been nowhere to be found. Maybe his T-Mobile phone couldn’t find a signal.

It’s no secret that the tech industry in general, in spite of the flashy graphics and rhetoric you can find on most companies’ websites (including T-Mobile and Sprint), still lacks the diversity that characterizes the American workforce. Google’s problems with diversity made news again not long ago, and employment and leadership roles for African-Americans and Hispanics at Silicon Valley’s tech giants also lag far behind opportunities for whites and Asians.

But the lack of response to Trump’s DACA cancellation from T-Mobile and Sprint is likely all about preparing for a long-rumored merger at the expense of standing up for the value of Dreamers. It might indicate a willingness on the part of their leaders to put diversity to the side in favor of rebuilding shaky relationships with a President and an Administration who would ultimately decide the fate of the very lucrative merger should the two telecom giants move forward.

On- and off-again rumors about a potential merger have been swirling for a while. In essence, T-Mobile and Sprint leaders could be keeping a low profile on DACA because they don’t want to risk stirring up trouble with this president before their plans are a fait accompli. Not exactly examples in morale courage. Remember this in mind the next time you’re shopping for a new mobile phone plan.

This is probably the same reason some speculate a T-Mobile spokesperson said “We’re not talking about this issue right now,” in response to a question about Trump’s travel ban, another immigration policy many tech companies opposed.

Whether T-Mobile and Sprint decide to get on board or not, renewing protections for Dreamers should still be one of our nation’s top priorities. Of all the issues under the umbrella of immigration reform, none have more widespread, bipartisan support than allowing Dreamers to stay in the country they have always called home. DACA was a temporary fix; it is time for Congress to step up and create a permanent legislative solution for this hardworking, law-abiding group of young Americans.

This is not merely a policy debate for our group, our friends and our allies. Indeed, many Dreamers are members of our organization — and potentially the next generation of tech entrepreneurs. We wonder why Companies like T-Mobile and Sprint have done nothing to speak up against the move by the Trump administration to end DACA.

For the sake of our nation, @TechLatino urges leaders in Washington to stand up for the Dreamers.

 Jose A. Marquez is the national president, CEO, and founder of  @techlatinoThe National Association of  Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology, a National nonprofit organization that advocates on state and federal issues related to the role of Latinos in the technology sector.

Aug 29

TechLatino Guest Blogger: Jeremy Straub – Artificial intelligence cyber attacks are coming – but what does that mean?

 

ai

The next major cyberattack could involve artificial intelligence systems. It could even happen soon: At a recent cybersecurity conference, 62 industry professionals, out of the 100 questioned, said they thought the first AI-enhanced cyberattack could come in the next 12 months.

This doesn’t mean robots will be marching down Main Street. Rather, artificial intelligence will make existing cyberattack efforts – things like identity theft, denial-of-service attacks and password cracking – more powerful and more efficient. This is dangerous enough – this type of hacking can steal money, cause emotional harm and even injure or kill people. Larger attacks can cut power to hundreds of thousands of people, shut down hospitals and even affect national security.

As a scholar who has studied AI decision-making, I can tell you that interpreting human actions is still difficult for AI’s and that humans don’t really trust AI systems to make major decisions. So, unlike in the movies, the capabilities AI could bring to cyberattacks – and cyberdefense – are not likely to immediately involve computers choosing targets and attacking them on their own. People will still have to create attack AI systems, and launch them at particular targets. But nevertheless, adding AI to today’s cybercrime and cybersecurity world will escalate what is already a rapidly changing arms race between attackers and defenders.

Faster attacks

Beyond computers’ lack of need for food and sleep – needs that limit human hackers’ efforts, even when they work in teams – automation can make complex attacks much faster and more effective.

To date, the effects of automation have been limited. Very rudimentary AI-like capabilities have for decades given virus programs the ability to self-replicate, spreading from computer to computer without specific human instructions. In addition, programmers have used their skills to automate different elements of hacking efforts. Distributed attacks, for example, involve triggering a remote program on several computers or devices to overwhelm servers. The attack that shut down large sections of the internet in October 2016 used this type of approach. In some cases, common attacks are made available as a script that allows an unsophisticated user to choose a target and launch an attack against it.

AI, however, could help human cybercriminals customize attacks. Spearphishing attacks, for instance, require attackers to have personal information about prospective targets, details like where they bank or what medical insurance company they use. AI systems can help gather, organize and process large databases to connect identifying information, making this type of attack easier and faster to carry out. That reduced workload may drive thieves to launch lots of smaller attacks that go unnoticed for a long period of time – if detected at all – due to their more limited impact.

AI systems could even be used to pull information together from multiple sources to identify people who would be particularly vulnerable to attack. Someone who is hospitalized or in a nursing home, for example, might not notice money missing out of their account until long after the thief has gotten away.

Improved adaptation

AI-enabled attackers will also be much faster to react when they encounter resistance, or when cybersecurity experts fix weaknesses that had previously allowed entry by unauthorized users. The AI may be able to exploit another vulnerability, or start scanning for new ways into the system – without waiting for human instructions.

This could mean that human responders and defenders find themselves unable to keep up with the speed of incoming attacks. It may result in a programming and technological arms race, with defenders developing AI assistants to identify and protect against attacks – or perhaps even AI’s with retaliatory attack capabilities.

Avoiding the dangers

Operating autonomously could lead AI systems to attack a system it shouldn’t, or cause unexpected damage. For example, software started by an attacker intending only to steal money might decide to target a hospital computer in a way that causes human injury or death. The potential for unmanned aerial vehicles to operate autonomously has raised similar questions of the need for humans to make the decisions about targets.

The consequences and implications are significant, but most people won’t notice a big change when the first AI attack is unleashed. For most of those affected, the outcome will be the same as human-triggered attacks. But as we continue to fill our homes, factories, offices and roads with internet-connected robotic systems, the potential effects of an attack by artificial intelligence only grow.

 Assistant Professor of Computer Science, North Dakota State University    

Aug 29

TechLatino Congratulates Alejandra Y. Castillo as the New CEO of YMCA USA

alejandracastillospotlightYWCA USA today announced its board of directors has selected Alejandra Y. Castillo as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective September 18, 2017.

“This is the perfect time for Alejandra Castillo to become YWCA USA’s next CEO. We have selected a bold leader who will further our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women,” said Sylvia Hill Fields, YWCA USA national board chair. “Alejandra’s ability to navigate complex systems, develop public-private partnerships, and advocate for women and girls, especially those of color, is exactly what YWCA USA needs as we enter our next chapter of leading systemic social change.”

With over two decades of policy, legal and political experience in Washington, D.C., Castillo has dedicated her life to public service. She has been instrumental in driving key federal legislative and public policy initiatives focused on civil rights, economic development, children and family law, and health policy. In her most recent role as national director of the Minority Business Development Agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, she secured financing and capital of over $19 billion for businesses owned by people of color, creating or retaining over 33,000 jobs.

“I am honored to take the reins of such an iconic organization,” said Castillo. “YWCA has a long history of being at the forefront of racial justice and gender equity issues while working for institutional change. From leadership training, STEM education, and entrepreneurship to advocacy days on Capitol Hill and support for survivors of domestic violence, YWCA continues to change lives every day.”

“I have known Alejandra for quite some time and have seen her grow at every level of her career,” said Jose Marquez, CEO of TechLatino. ” We are very excited for both her and the YMCA as she will be instrumental in driving key initiatives and setting a foundation for YMCA to  go into the future.”

“Alejandra is a change agent. She has the expertise, vision and bold leadership skills needed to elevate YWCA’s voice in the national policy arena and strengthen our network of 215 associations to enhance the day-to-day services we provide women and girls  especially those of color  to regenerate families and communities, and enable individuals to achieve their hopes and dreams,” said Fields.

Castillo’s family immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic in the 1960s. She was born in the New York City borough of Queens and considers herself a true New Yorker, but she has also lived in TexasPortugal and the Dominican Republic. Castillo is fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese. She has been a Washington, D.C. resident for over two decades, where she has raised her two nieces who are now both enrolled in college.

Alejandra Y. Castillo’s bio and photo.

 

About YWCA USA
YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.

YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for more than 150 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights; empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls; and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more: www.ywca.org.

Contact: Cindy Hoffman  
202.524.5330 | choffman@ywca.org

Aug 21

TechLatino, Univision and Fusion TV announced The Creative Thread Foundation.

creative HHF

Through this foundation, they have brought together passionate, marquee talent to help us identify the next generation of content creators and build a pipeline of diverse talent that is representative of the diversity of our country. The announcement furthers the network’s commitment to delivering enriching content that authentically represents today’s America.

It is bringing together a cross-section of marquee talent—actors, filmmakers, academics, and musicians—to form the FUSION TV Creative Board (see video announcement here). The FUSION TV Creative Board will work to identify the next generation of creators and build a pipeline of diverse talent the network can tap into. Members of the Board will also play a role in FUSION TV’s content development process, helping to curate some of the best untold stories that connect with the passions and values of the country’s diverse youth. The announcement furthers the network’s commitment to delivering enriching content that authentically represents today’s America.

Founding members of the FUSION TV Creative Board collectively have been recognized with 7 Academy Awards, 5 Emmys and 25 Grammy Awards among other prestigious honors. Members include:

  • Viola Davis has won rave reviews for her intriguingly diverse roles and is the only black actor to have won an Academy Award, Emmy Award and Tony Award in an acting category – known as the Triple Crown of Acting. Viola and her husband Julius Tennon, who will join her on the board, formed JuVee productions. Through JuVee they are giving a voice for the voiceless through premium character-driven stories in film, television, theater and digital content across all spaces of narrative entertainment. “We at JuVee believe that every voice needs to be heard. Quality is our mantra. Inclusive is our reality,” said Tennon.
  • Ezra Edelman is an Oscar-winning documentary producer and director. He recently won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for directing “O.J.: Made in America,” which put a fresh and honest spotlight on the infamous case that divided America along racial lines. Edelman is the son of children’s rights activist Marian Wright Edelman and Georgetown University law professor Peter B. Edelman.
  • Jodie Foster is an Oscar-winning actress and filmmaker who has had a tremendous impact within the LGBT community. Throughout her incredible career Foster has won two Academy Awards, three BAFTA Awards, three Golden Globe Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award among other notable honors.
  • Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Chair) has repeatedly been recognized as one of the most influential African Americans in the country. He is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic and institution builder. Gates currently serves as a professor of African and African American studies at Harvard and is the founder and chairman of The Root, Fusion Media Group’s leading African American news and culture publication. Gates has produced more than 15 films and documentary series about African, Afro-Latino, and African American history including “Finding Your Roots” and the six-part PBS documentary series, “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross,” which he wrote, executive produced and hosted. “Many Rivers to Cross” was honored with an Emmy Award, Peabody Award, NAACP Image Award and an Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award.
  • Meryl Streep is one of the most recognized actresses in the world with 20 Academy Awards nominations, more than any other actor or actress. President Barack Obama awarded her the 2010 National Medal of Arts and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2017, when she was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes, Streep used her platform for a purpose, reminding the country that “when the powerful use their position to bully, we all lose.”
  • Residente (a.k.a. René Perez Joglar) is a Puerto Rican rapper, writer, producer and the co-founder of alternative rap duo ‘Calle 13’. He also is the recipient of a Nobel Peace Summit Award and 25 Latin Grammys – the most ever awarded to a Latin artist. Throughout his career Residente has been recognized for his social contributions. He has consistently defended education in Latin America and the rights of the natives and serves as the face of campaigns for UNICEF and Amnesty International.

“To start addressing the challenges the media industry faces when it comes to the diversity gap, we need to bring together people who are champions of genuine change. People who, in terms of diversity and access to the media, are committed to transforming what is, and are inspired by what could be,” said Gates, who will lead the Creative Board. “The individuals who have committed to serving on the FUSION TV Creative Board are unafraid to color outside the lines or think beyond the script, so together we have an incredible opportunity to find and affirm the next generation of creative talent who will truly represent today’s America. We hope the rest of the industry will support and join us in our efforts.”

A central part of FUSION TV’s mission is to provide resources and a platform to creators—those who span different ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, genders and religions—to tell authentic stories that represent the shared values and passions of America’s diverse youth.

“Whether we are talking about pop culture or politics, technology or sports, we are in the business of representing and amplifying the voices of multicultural communities in the United States. The group who will lead our Creative Board understands the need for greater diversity in media, often from firsthand experience, and are passionate about doing something about it,” said Daniel Eilemberg, President of FUSION TV. “We look forward to collaborating with them to ensure that the stories we tell on our network and platforms resonate with our audience because they are representative of who they are as individuals.”

“The need for greater diversity in media and entertainment is a must” said Jose Marquez, CEO of the Georgia Latino Film Alliance, “we must ensure that more of our communities of color are represented in front of and behind the camera. We must have platforms that will tell our stories and that of the next generations.”

Recognizing that it takes more than one company to move the dial, Univision, Fusion has put together an alliance of over 60 Corporations, like-minded companies and non-profits to join us in forming a 501(c)(3) dedicated to promoting diversity in media and entertainment and serving as an independent voice to educate policymakers on this important issue, while also amplifying the efforts of government leaders focused on diversity and inclusion. CBS Corporation // Central American Resource Center // Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights // Color of Change // Computer and Communications Industry Association // Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute // Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute // Disney // Eastmont Community Center // El Rey Network // Entravision Communications // Entertainment Software Association // Green 2.0 //GreenLatinos // Fusion Media Group // Fusion TV // The Georgia Latino Film Alliance // Hispanas Organized for Political Equality // Hispanic Heritage Foundation // Interactive Advertising Bureau // Latino Memphis // @techLatino: The National Association of Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology // Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law // Miami Dade College// Mi Familia Vota // Mnet America, Motion Picture Association of America // Multicultural Media // Telecom and Internet Council // National Action Network // National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education // National Association for the Advancement of Colored People // National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters // National Association of Broadcasters // National Association of Hispanic Journalists // National Association of Hispanic Publications // National Association of Latino Independent Producers // National Council of Asian Pacific Americans // National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts // National Hispanic Media Coalition // National Hispanic Medical Association // National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health // National Urban League // Native Public Media // Nielsen // Northwest Side Housing Center // Pandora // Para Los Niños // Scripps Networks Interactive // Solutions Project // Spotify // UnidosUS // United Farm Workers // Univision Communications Inc. // Urban Health Plan // U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute // Valle del Sol // Viacom // Lady Parts Justice // The Group

Aug 21

@TechLatino Joins Univision and Fusion TV Making a Ground-Breaking Announcement of The Creative Thread Foundation.

Univision and Fusion TV made a ground-breaking announcement on the launch of The Creative Thread Foundation. 

Through this foundation, they have brought together passionate, marquee talent to help us identify the next generation of content creators and build a pipeline of diverse talent that is representative of the diversity of our country. The announcement furthers the network’s commitment to delivering enriching content that authentically represents today’s America.

 

It is bringing together a cross-section of marquee talent—actors, filmmakers, academics, and musicians—to form the FUSION TV Creative Board (see video announcement here). The FUSION TV Creative Board will work to identify the next generation of creators and build a pipeline of diverse talent the network can tap into. Members of the Board will also play a role in FUSION TV’s content development process, helping to curate some of the best untold stories that connect with the passions and values of the country’s diverse youth. The announcement furthers the network’s commitment to delivering enriching content that authentically represents today’s America.

Founding members of the FUSION TV Creative Board collectively have been recognized with 7 Academy Awards, 5 Emmys and 25 Grammy Awards among other prestigious honors. Members include:

  • Viola Davis has won rave reviews for her intriguingly diverse roles and is the only black actor to have won an Academy Award, Emmy Award and Tony Award in an acting category – known as the Triple Crown of Acting. Viola and her husband Julius Tennon, who will join her on the board, formed JuVee productions. Through JuVee they are giving a voice for the voiceless through premium character-driven stories in film, television, theater and digital content across all spaces of narrative entertainment. “We at JuVee believe that every voice needs to be heard. Quality is our mantra. Inclusive is our reality,” said Tennon.
  • Ezra Edelman is an Oscar-winning documentary producer and director. He recently won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for directing “O.J.: Made in America,” which put a fresh and honest spotlight on the infamous case that divided America along racial lines. Edelman is the son of children’s rights activist Marian Wright Edelman and Georgetown University law professor Peter B. Edelman.
  • Jodie Foster is an Oscar-winning actress and filmmaker who has had a tremendous impact within the LGBT community. Throughout her incredible career Foster has won two Academy Awards, three BAFTA Awards, three Golden Globe Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award among other notable honors.
  • Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Chair) has repeatedly been recognized as one of the most influential African Americans in the country. He is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic and institution builder. Gates currently serves as a professor of African and African American studies at Harvard and is the founder and chairman of The Root, Fusion Media Group’s leading African American news and culture publication. Gates has produced more than 15 films and documentary series about African, Afro-Latino, and African American history including “Finding Your Roots” and the six-part PBS documentary series, “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross,” which he wrote, executive produced and hosted. “Many Rivers to Cross” was honored with an Emmy Award, Peabody Award, NAACP Image Award and an Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award.
  • Meryl Streep is one of the most recognized actresses in the world with 20 Academy Awards nominations, more than any other actor or actress. President Barack Obama awarded her the 2010 National Medal of Arts and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2017, when she was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes, Streep used her platform for a purpose, reminding the country that “when the powerful use their position to bully, we all lose.”
  • Residente (a.k.a. René Perez Joglar) is a Puerto Rican rapper, writer, producer and the co-founder of alternative rap duo ‘Calle 13’. He also is the recipient of a Nobel Peace Summit Award and 25 Latin Grammys – the most ever awarded to a Latin artist. Throughout his career Residente has been recognized for his social contributions. He has consistently defended education in Latin America and the rights of the natives and serves as the face of campaigns for UNICEF and Amnesty International.

“To start addressing the challenges the media industry faces when it comes to the diversity gap, we need to bring together people who are champions of genuine change. People who, in terms of diversity and access to the media, are committed to transforming what is, and are inspired by what could be,” said Gates, who will lead the Creative Board. “The individuals who have committed to serving on the FUSION TV Creative Board are unafraid to color outside the lines or think beyond the script, so together we have an incredible opportunity to find and affirm the next generation of creative talent who will truly represent today’s America. We hope the rest of the industry will support and join us in our efforts.”

A central part of FUSION TV’s mission is to provide resources and a platform to creators—those who span different ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, genders and religions—to tell authentic stories that represent the shared values and passions of America’s diverse youth.

 

“Whether we are talking about pop culture or politics, technology or sports, we are in the business of representing and amplifying the voices of multicultural communities in the United States. The group who will lead our Creative Board understands the need for greater diversity in media, often from firsthand experience, and are passionate about doing something about it,” said Daniel Eilemberg, President of FUSION TV. “We look forward to collaborating with them to ensure that the stories we tell on our network and platforms resonate with our audience because they are representative of who they are as individuals.”

“The need for greater diversity in media and entertainment is a must” said Jose Marquez, CEO of the Georgia Latino Film Alliance, “we must ensure that more of our communities of color are represented in front of and behind the camera. We must have platforms that will tell our stories and that of the next generations.”

Recognizing that it takes more than one company to move the dial, Univision, Fusion has put together an alliance of over 60 Corporations, like-minded companies and non-profits to join us in forming a 501(c)(3) dedicated to promoting diversity in media and entertainment and serving as an independent voice to educate policymakers on this important issue, while also amplifying the efforts of government leaders focused on diversity and inclusion. CBS Corporation // Central American Resource Center // Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights // Color of Change // Computer and Communications Industry Association // Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute // Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute // Disney // Eastmont Community Center // El Rey Network // Entravision Communications // Entertainment Software Association // Green 2.0 //GreenLatinos // Fusion Media Group // Fusion TV // The Georgia Latino Film Alliance // Hispanas Organized for Political Equality // Hispanic Heritage Foundation // Interactive Advertising Bureau // Latino Memphis // @techLatino: The National Association of Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology // Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law // Miami Dade College// Mi Familia Vota // Mnet America, Motion Picture Association of America // Multicultural Media // Telecom and Internet Council // National Action Network // National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education // National Association for the Advancement of Colored People // National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters // National Association of Broadcasters // National Association of Hispanic Journalists // National Association of Hispanic Publications // National Association of Latino Independent Producers // National Council of Asian Pacific Americans // National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts // National Hispanic Media Coalition // National Hispanic Medical Association // National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health // National Urban League // Native Public Media // Nielsen // Northwest Side Housing Center // Pandora // Para Los Niños // Scripps Networks Interactive // Solutions Project // Spotify // UnidosUS // United Farm Workers // Univision Communications Inc. // Urban Health Plan // U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute // Valle del Sol // Viacom // Lady Parts Justice // The Group

Aug 08

Americans’ Wireless Data Usage Continues to Skyrocket Report Says

CellLifestyleShotFromATT_0CTIA Annual Wireless Industry Survey

CTIA’s annual wireless industry survey develops industry-wide information drawn from operational member and non-member wireless service providers. It has been conducted since January 1985, originally as a cellular-only survey instrument, and now including PCS, ESMR, AWS and 700 MHz license holders. No break-out of results specific to spectrum bands or licenses is performed. Previously a semi-annual survey, it is now released annually.

The information solicited from the service providers includes: direct employment, number of cell sites, total service revenues, capital investment and other metrics.

The CTIA survey also develops information on the number of reported wireless subscriber units or “connections” for the responding systems, and an estimated total wireless connections figure (taking into account non-responding systems).

To preview the report look at the Annual Year-End 2016 Top-Line Survey Results.

wireless snapshot

The report is available for purchase. If you would like to purchase the report, it is available here, at a member or non-member price. Annual subscriptions are also available.

 

Key Mobile Trends in the United States
2015 2016
Subscriber Connections 377.9M 395.9M Up 4.8%
Smartphones 228.3M 261.9M Up 14.7%
Tablets 41.0M 47.9M Up 16.7%
Data Traffic 9.65T 13.72T Up 42.2%
SMS Traffic 1.89T 1.66T Down 12.1%
MMS Traffic 218.5B 277.9B Up 27.2%
Wireless Penetration 115.7% 120.6% Up 4.2%

 

Methodology

The Annual Wireless Industry Survey is completely voluntary and thus does not yield a 100 percent response rate from all service providers. However, the survey has an excellent response rate. For the December 31, 2016, installment of the survey, CTIA aggregated data from companies serving over 97 percent of all estimated wireless subscriber connections.

Because not all systems do respond, CTIA develops an estimate of total wireless connections. The estimate is developed by determining the identity and character of non-responding markets (e.g., RSA/MSA or equivalent-market designation, age of system, market population), and using surrogate penetration and growth rates applicable to similar, known systems to derive probable subscribership. These numbers are then summed with the reported subscriber connection numbers to reach the total estimated figures.

No carrier-specific or market-specific information is maintained as a result of the survey. All such information is aggregated by an independent accounting firm to a nationwide level. The underlying source material for the survey is then destroyed per confidentiality agreements.

Read the Wireless Snapshot 2017 [PDF]

 

Last Updated May 2017

Aug 08

We All Agree on the Need for a Balanced Spectrum Policy

spectrum

In an era of sharply divided views, it’s refreshing to see policymakers of all political stripes line up behind the idea that responding to this country’s mobile broadband needs requires the right balance of licensed and unlicensed spectrum.

At a recent Senate Commerce Hearing on FCC nominations, many participants recognized the need for additional spectrum to support growing demand for mobile broadband. Several specifically pointed out the need for a balance of licensed and unlicensed spectrum to ensure that diverse services and business models in the wireless space all continue to thrive. Chairman Pai noted that “there is no telling what innovators will pioneer” with unlicensed spectrum, while now-confirmed Commissioner Rosenworcel stated that “unlicensed spectrum powers our lives…and we’re going to need more of it.” Senator Hassan recognized the Commission’s good work in advancing a balanced spectrum policy, while Senator Gardner noted the importance of a mix of spectrum to continue economic progress.

The FCC is on the right path toward opening up new frequencies for licensed and unlicensed use. It just granted the first 600 MHz wireless licenses after the historic broadcast incentive auction. It is likely to consider in the near term modest changes to the 3.5 GHz rules that will support investment in both licensed and lightly-licensed networks. It is considering how best to balance the need for licensed and unlicensed millimeter wave spectrum in its Spectrum Frontiers proceeding. And, according to a recent blog by Commissioner O’Rielly, “there is a good chance the Commission will open the 5.9 GHz band for sharing between auto safety systems and unlicensed services.”

Chairman Pai has set an ambitious FCC agenda, and it’s important to ensure that these spectrum priorities, especially unlicensed spectrum priorities, don’t get lost in the shuffle. Companies continue to innovate and deploy in the unlicensed bands, and consumer demand for unlicensed services continues to grow. Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index predicts that in the United States, Fixed/Wi-Fi IP traffic will reach 34.0 Exabytes per month in 2021, up from 10.9 Exabytes per month in 2016, a more than three-fold increase.

To support growing demand and new innovations in the unlicensed space and follow through on its commitment to a balanced spectrum policy, the Commission should in the near-term:

                 Authorize unlicensed use of the 5.9 GHz band, which is critical to supporting Gigabit Wi-Fi

                Maintain its designation of 64-71 GHz for unlicensed use and consider additional high-frequency unlicensed spectrum designations

We look forward to working with the FCC on a balanced spectrum policy plan that will continue to support the growth of America’s broadband networks. To learn more about how spectrum policy can change the way we use the internet, see NCTA’s page on the future of Wi-Fi.

Aug 08

As seen in Diversity Inc. Google CEO Defends Employee’s Right to Express Unpopular Views, Condemns ‘Harmful’ Portions

sundar-pichai

CEO Sundar Pichai said “much of what was in” misogynistic memo from engineer “is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority … disagree,” but said language “advancing harmful gender stereotypes” was “not OK.” The employee reportedly has been fired. By Kaitlyn D’Onofrio / August 8, 2017

 

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has broken his silence regarding the misogynist memo penned by one of the company’s engineers, who had reportedly been fired, according to media outlets. According to Pichai, while the memo was harmful to the company’s women, the employee had every right to author it.

Related Story: Google Engineer’s Anti-Diversity Memo Displays Company’s Misogynist Culture

Top leaders at the company demonstrated their own worst practices by hiding behind a statement from their brand new head of diversity, who has only been on the job for a couple of weeks.

The engineer has been identified by media outlets as James Damore, who had worked for Google since 2013, according to the New York Times. Bloomberg reported that Damore had been fired, and the Times reported that Damore confirmed this in an email. Damore also reported to the Times that he is seeking legal action against Google.

Meanwhile, in a company memo titled “Our Words Matter,” Pichai’s first point is that employees may enjoy freedom of expression — no matter whom their words may harm.

“First, let me say that we strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it,” Pichai wrote.

At the same time, Pichai also acknowledged that the note not only violated the company’s code of conduct, it “clearly impacted” many of Google’s employees and also “advanc[ed] harmful stereotypes.”

Pichai went back and forth between defending Damore’s right to free speech while also indicating that his words do in fact matter when it comes to Google’s female employees:

“Our co-workers shouldn’t have to worry that each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting, they have to prove that they are not like the memo states, being ‘agreeable’ rather than ‘assertive,’ showing a ‘lower stress tolerance,’ or being ‘neurotic.’

“At the same time, there are co-workers who are questioning whether they can safely express their views in the workplace (especially those with a minority viewpoint).”

After giving employees the green light to “express themselves” in a way that could create a hostile work environment for certain employees, he then suggested staff members “make an effort over the coming days to reach out to those who might have different perspectives from your own.”

What Pichai does not address strongly enough is the consequences Damore’s words have on Google’s work environment.

Yonatan Zunger worked at Google as an engineer for 14 years and just left his position this month. Despite no longer working for the tech giant, Zunger on Aug. 5th penned a blog post of “the thing which I would have posted internally … because it’s relevant not just to Google, but to everyone else in tech.”

According to Zunger, the most serious issue with Damore’s diatribe is “the author does not appear to understand the consequences of what he wrote, either for others or himself.”

Directly addressing the writer of the manifesto (Damore had not been publicly identified at the time of Zunger’s blog post), Zunger wrote:

“What you just did was incredibly stupid and harmful. You just put out a manifesto inside the company arguing that some large fraction of your colleagues are at root not good enough to do their jobs, and that they’re only being kept in their jobs because of some political ideas. And worse than simply thinking these things or saying them in private, you’ve said them in a way that’s tried to legitimize this kind of thing across the company, causing other people to get up and say ‘wait, is that right?’”

Zunger continued by describing the “textbook hostile work environment” directly resulting from Damore’s post.

“And as for its impact on you: Do you understand that at this point, I could not in good conscience assign anyone to work with you? I certainly couldn’t assign any women to deal with this, a good number of the people you might have to work with may simply punch you in the face, and even if there were a group of like-minded individuals I could put you with, nobody would be able to collaborate with them. You have just created a textbook hostile workplace environment.”

While Pichai noted that Damore’s words were allegedly intended to open a discussion about different perspectives, Zunger rejected this notion, pointing out that this viewpoint would not — and should not — be welcome in most work environments.

“If you feel isolated by this, that your views are basically unwelcome in tech and can’t be spoken about… well, that’s a fair point. These views are fundamentally corrosive to any organization they show up in, drive people out, and I can’t think of any organization not specifically dedicated to those views that they would be welcome in. I’m afraid that’s likely to remain a serious problem for you for a long time to come. But our company is committed to maintaining a good environment for all of its people, and if one person is determined to thwart that, the solution is pretty clear.”

Erica Baker, also a former employee at Google, wrote a blog post as well, saying she was “disappointed but not surprised” to hear about the manifesto.

She called Damore’s actions “not entirely new behavior” when it comes to Google. But the fact that Damore felt comfortable enough to internally display his sexist views did strike Baker by surprise.

According to Baker, this point raised an important question: “why is the environment at Google such that racists and sexists feel supported and safe in sharing these views in the company?

“What about the company culture sends the message that sharing sexism and racism will be accepted?” Baker wrote. “What message and values have past words, actions and lack thereof sent to the employees at Google. What has shaped the culture thus far, to get to this point?”

Rajan Patel, currently a senior director at Google, posted on Twitter an email he sent to his team following the misogynist memo’s release. In his email he flatly says, “I wholly disagree with the intent and arguments made in that document.”

“And if you believe that there are intrinsic differences within gender, race, religion, sexuality, or other groups that make one a better human, then time will prove you wrong if history hasn’t already.”

Please read letter and tweet More

Aug 08

Google Engineer’s Anti-Diversity Memo Displays Company’s Misogynist Culture

“It’s not worth thinking about this as an isolated incident and instead a manifestation of what ails all of Silicon Valley.” says Jose Marquez, CEO of @Techlatino: the National Association of Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology. “We have been saying this all along.” 

googlesfuture

Update 8/5/17 6:39 PM: This post has been updated to note that Google has written a memo to its employees about the document. A link to the full contents of the document has also been added.

At least eight Google employees tweeted Friday about a document that was circulated within the company calling for replacing Google’s diversity initiatives with policies that encourage “ideological diversity” instead. The document, which is the personal opinion of one senior software engineer, was shared on a company mailing list but has since gone “internally viral,” according to a Google employee who spoke with Motherboard.

Motherboard has not viewed the full document, but a screenshot we reviewed shows it’s titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” [Update: Motherboard has published a full copy of the document.] Descriptions of its contents were tweeted publicly by Google employees, and it was described in detail to me by a Google employee, who requested anonymity because of the company’s notoriously strict confidentiality agreement. (A lawsuit against the company was filed in a San Francisco court last year over the company’s “spying program” to prevent leaks.) Saturday afternoon, Gizmodo published the full contents of the document.

READ MORE: Internal Reactions to Google Employee’s Manifesto Show Anti-Diversity Views Have Support

The person who wrote the document argued that the representation gap between men and women in software engineering persists because of biological differences between the two sexes, according to public tweets from Google employees. It also said Google should not offer programs for underrepresented racial or gender minorities, according to one of the employees I spoke to.

The 10-page Google Doc document was met with derision from a large majority of employees who saw and denounced its contents, according to the employee. But Jaana Dogan, a software engineer at Google, tweeted that some people at the company at least partially agreed with the author; one of our sources said the same (Dogan’s tweets have since been deleted). While the document itself contains the thoughts of just one Google employee, the context in which they were shared—Google is currently being investigated by the Department of Labor for its gender pay gap and Silicon Valley has been repeatedly exposed as a place that discriminates against women and people of color—as well as the private and public response from its workforce are important.

“The broader context of this is that this person is perhaps bolder than most of the people at Google who share his viewpoint—of thinking women are less qualified than men—to the point he was willing to publicly argue for it. But there are sadly more people like him,” the employee who described the document’s contents to me said.

Please Read Tweets

At Google, “I feel like there’s a lot of pushback from white dudes who genuinely feel like diversity is lowering the bar,” a former engineering employee who wished to remain anonymous because they had signed a non-disclosure agreement told Motherboard.

Motherboard has independently confirmed with multiple Google employees that the document is being widely shared among many of the company’s software engineering teams: “If I had to guess, almost every single woman in engineering has seen it,” the current employee told Motherboard; a separate current employee told me it was being actively read by many employees. At several points on Friday night, the document was inaccessible because too many people were attempting to view it concurrently. Google did not respond to two requests for comment. On Saturday afternoon, Google’s new Vice President of Diversity, Integrity & Governance Danielle Brown responded to the document in a statement sent to Google employees.

The document’s author also wrote that employees with conservative political beliefs are discriminated against at Google and lamented about how “leftist” ideology is harmful. They argue that the company should have a more “open” culture where their viewpoint would be welcomed. The document said that improving racial and gender diversity is less important than making sure conservatives feel comfortable expressing themselves at work.

While the vast majority of Google employees did not support the document’s arguments, some did. According to Dogan, who works on the company’s Go programming language, the document’s author was emboldened by some of the positive responses he got. “The author is now in contact with me explaining why he received *supportive* response,” she wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “If HR does nothing in this case, I will consider leaving this company for real for the first time in five years,” she wrote in a now-deleted threaded tweet.

“It’s not worth thinking about this as an isolated incident and instead a manifestation of what ails all of Silicon Valley,” the employee I spoke to who detailed the document’s contents told me.

Google is currently wrapped up in a dispute with the Department of Labor over what an agency official testified are “systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce.” Another official told The Guardian in April that it had discovered “compelling evidence of very significant discrimination against women in the most common positions at Google headquarters.”

 

 

Aug 08

Why Women Get to No. 2 but are Still Rarely Named CEO

MaryOnly about 6% of the Fortune 500 are led by women CEOs, and a persistent question — a half-century after the stirrings of the modern women’s movement — is why there are not more. Stubborn barriers impede the way even when when men in positions of power genuinely think they want to promote women to the top, per the NYT’s Susan Chira.

 

Worth reading to the end: In a long piece, Chira notably interviews only women either one step removed from the top, at No. 2, or who actually reached the pinnacle of their organization, including some of America’s most powerful businesswomen. The approach eliminates “a lot of the noise surrounding why aren’t there more women at the top. Because they are already at the top. It’s not that they supposedly weren’t ambitious,” says Jody Miller, the CEO of Business Talent Group, speaking to Axios.
Among Chira’s reveals:
  • After a woman reaches the C-suite, “the next rungs of the ladder depend … on prevailing in an environment where everyone is competing for a chance at the top job,” a rough-and-tumble game at which males don’t care much about who gets bruised. Male rivals will attack women executives, because, unlike other men, they often don’t kick back.
  • Ellen Kullman, the former CEO of DuPont, says, “We are never taught to fight for ourselves. I think we tend to be brought up thinking that life’s fair, that you thrive and deliver, and the rest will take care of itself. It actually does work for most of your career. It doesn’t work for that last couple of steps.”
  • Ultimately the dynamic is power, not gender: “When you are talking about a job as coveted and hard to get as CEO, the dynamics of power are as important as anything,” Miller tells Axios.

Many of the findings do not seem much changed from decades ago, among them:

  • “Women are often seen as dependable, less often as visionary.”
  • “Men remain threatened by assertive women.”
  • “Some women get discouraged and drop out along the way. And many are disproportionately penalized for stumbles.”

The gladiator ring: Recruiter Julie Daum says, “Ultimately at the top of an organization there are fewer and fewer spots, and if you can eliminate an entire class of people, it makes it easier.” And Sally Blount, dean at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, says, “I used to love the word ‘gravitas.’ I now think it’s male code for ‘not like us’ at the highest levels.”

Chira writes, “Many men … sincerely believe they want women to advance,” but then erect barriers preventing that outcome:

  • Some of the women “describe a culture in which men sometimes feel hesitant to give women honest but harsh feedback, which can be necessary for them to ascend, because they fear women may react emotionally.”
  • Dina Dublon, former CFO at JPMorgan Chase, “said male colleagues sometimes told her they were reluctant to have dinner or drinks with female subordinates — important bonding activities in the corporate world — because it might be seen as flirtatious.”

Older posts «