Thursday, May 28, 2009

FCC Releases Report on Broadband Strategy for Rural America

The FCC released a report entitled "Bringing Broadband to Rural America" that identifies common problems affecting rural broadband, including technological challenges, lack of data, and high network costs. Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael J. Copps described the report as a starting point for the development of policies to deliver broadband to rural areas and restore economic growth and opportunity for Americans residing and working in those areas.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) established several broadband initiatives with $7.2 billion in funding. This includes $4.7 billion in funding for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in consultation with the FCC. The purposes of BTOP is to provide access to broadband in unserved areas, improve broadband access for both underserved areas and public safety agencies, and provide broadband education, training and support.

The Recovery Act also provided an additional $2.5 billion in funding for the Broadband Investment Program administered by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the USDA. This program is designed to support the expansion of broadband service in rural areas through financing and grants to projects that provide access to high speed service and facilitate economic development in locations without sufficient access to such service.

Alcatel-Lucent Sets Goal of 50% Carbon Emission Cut by 2020

Alcatel-Lucent released its 2008 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report and set a goal of its carbon emissions in half by 2020. Among its targets, the company also aims to improve the functional energy efficiency of key products by at least 20% by 2010 compared with 2008. The 62-page report highlights actions taken in five areas:

  • Reducing the impact of Alcatel-Lucent products on the environment and enabling the deployment of eco-sustainable networks for its service providers and enterprise customers

  • Minimizing the company's carbon footprint and improving its overall environmental, health and safety performance for more efficient and eco-sustainable operations

  • Fostering a corporate culture that opens up opportunities for employees

  • Working with suppliers to create a socially responsible supply chain

  • Becoming involved in the communities where Alcatel-Lucent employees and customers live and work

Spain's Iberbanda Selects Alvarion to Expand WiMAX Network

Iberbanda, Spain's leading WiMAX carrier partially owned by Telefonica, has selected Alvarion to expand the current WiMAX network at 3.5GHz in Catalonia. The expansion results from a tender won by Iberbanda to supply WiMAX services to the Government of Catalonia.

White House Focuses on CyberSecurity

President Barack Obama announced plans to personally select and appoint a White House Cybersecurity Coordinator to drive new policies to better protect the nation's information infrastructure. Shortly after taking office, Obama directed the National Security Council and Homeland Security Council to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the federal government's efforts in cybersecurity. The 60-day review outlines a range of actions that the federal government should pursue. Key elements of the plan to secure America's information and communications networks include:

  • Cybersecurity will be designated as one of the Obama administration's key management priorities.

  • To ensure a coordinated approach across government, appoint a new Cybersecurity Coordinator, who will work closely with the White House Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra, and the Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra.

  • The White House cybersecurity coordinator will work with all the key players -- including state and local governments and the private sector -- to ensure an organized and unified response to future cyber incidents.

  • Strengthen the public/private partnerships. The Obama administration will not dictate security standards for private companies. The policy will not include monitoring private sector networks or Internet traffic.

  • Continue to invest in the cutting-edge research and development necessary for the innovation and discovery

  • Begin a national campaign to promote cybersecurity awareness and digital literacy.

"From now on, our digital infrastructure -- the networks and computers we depend on every day -- will be treated as they should be: as a strategic national asset. Protecting this infrastructure will be a national security priority. We will ensure that these networks are secure, trustworthy and resilient. We will deter, prevent, detect, and defend against attacks and recover quickly from any disruptions or damage.

"To give these efforts the high-level focus and attention they deserve -- and as part of the new, single National Security Staff announced this week -- I'm creating a new office here at the White House that will be led by the Cybersecurity Coordinator. Because of the critical importance of this work, I will personally select this official. I'll depend on this official in all matters relating to cybersecurity, and this official will have my full support and regular access to me as we confront these challenges," stated President Barack Obama.

I.T.U. Approves Two Specs for Fixed-Mobile Convergence

ITU has given first stage approval (consent) to two new standards on fixed-mobile convergence (FMC). Operators offering FMC will be able to provide both services with a single phone, switching between networks on an ad hoc basis.

Experts say that the standards are an important step in the ongoing study and development of next generation network (NGN) mobility support and FMC service and network capabilities.

Recommendation ITU-T Y.2018 describes a mobility management and control framework and architecture for NGN. The architecture supports IP-based mobility for user devices in the NGN transport stratum. Y.2018 defines a new component called MMCF (Mobility Management and Control Functions) which includes support for handling mobile location management and handover decision and control as well as the interaction with other existing NGN functional components such as NACF (Network and Attachment Control Functions), RACF (Resource and Admission Control Functions), service control functions and transport functions.

Recommendation ITU-T Y.2808 describes principles, service and network capabilities, and architectures for IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) based FMC. The Recommendation describes a network architecture that uses IMS to provide the same set of services to user terminals regardless of the use of fixed or mobile access network technologies, and ensures service continuity when the point of attachment of the terminal changes between different access network technologies.

NVIDIA And Supermicro Demo GPU-Based Rack Server with 12X Performance

NVIDIA and Supermicro introduced a new class of server that combines massively parallel NVIDIA Tesla GPUs with multi-core CPUs in a single 1U rack-mount server. The companies said their configuration delivers 12 times the performance of a traditional quad-core CPU-based 1U server. In addition, the GPU can be tied directly into the remote monitoring capabilities of the server for significantly improved system level management.

EXFO Launches Portable 100 Gbps Ethernet Tester

EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering introduced a portable 100 Gbps and 40 Gbps Ethernet tester in a single module. Housed in the company's recently introduced next-generation FTB-500 platform, the FTB-85100G Packet Blazer is a rugged, portable 100 Gbps Ethernet testing solution offering powerful layer 1/2/3 traffic generation and analysis features to stress and validate network elements and network services against demanding corner cases.
The FTB-85100G supports multiple transceiver interfaces (CFP, CXP and QSFP), ensuring maximum flexibility to cover all possible equipment and network designs for high-speed transport alternatives. Users can also generate and analyze 100 Gbps and 40 Gbps line rate Ethernet and IP packets, as well as perform comprehensive EtherBERT tests, all via an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI). With its complete range of test features, the FTB-85100G can execute multilayer testing to rapidly validate physical-layer characteristics and accurately benchmark Ethernet/IP performance of equipment and high-speed packet transport networks.