FCC Teases National Broadband Plan

fcc-logo

The Federal Communications Commission is due to deliver its National Broadband Plan to Congress March 17, including details of proposals for how the FCC feels broadband Internet access can be used to spur job creation, improve healthcare, help the U.S. move towards energy independence, and improve public safety. Now, the Commission has released a 56-page preliminary report (PDF) that covers some of these issues…and hints at some of what the FCC might put before Congress.

First on the list, given the current economic climate, is job creation and creating economic opportunity. The FCC sees a national broadband infrastructure as a powerful way to delivery job training and placement services using a “scalable online platform, with public-private partnerships providing technical information and other training to small and disadvantaged businesses so they aren’t left out of the digital revolution. In the area of health case, the FCC wants to use broadband technology to enable easier sharing of health records and information, as well as real-time tasks like monitoring patients’ vital signs: the FCC believes that by removing burdensome regulations and barriers, broadband technology could help save as much as $700 billion over th next 15 to 25 years. Of course, broader availability of medical records also has substantial privacy implications.

The FCC also envisions a nationwide wireless network for law enforcement and first responders so “officers and first responders from many jurisdictions can work together as one smart, fluid team.” The preliminary report also recommends improving broadband access for primary and secondary schools to improve online learning opportunities and communication. Finally, the FCC sees a national broadband network as an energy saver: if integrated into a smart grid, the network could help reduce energy consumption and production of greenhouse gasses; and, of course, if consumers had access to power utilization information from a smart grid, they could make smarter conservation decisions on their own.

The FCC’s deadline for the National Broadband Plan is March 17.

Mobile

Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.
Music

Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Computing

Google is giving its G Suite web apps new touches of visual improvements

Your G Suite applications will soon have a different look. Several of the web apps are getting updated with subtle visual improvements inspired by Google's Material Design guidelines. 
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Computing

Hackers are scoring with ransomware that attacks its previous victims

Computer viruses are always evolving. In a new one, dubbed "Ryuk," hackers are targeting PCs with ransomware that scours an infected network in order to pinpoint and attack and enterprises with big money.
Computing

An update to Microsoft To-Do will help you keep up with your resolutions

If you're looking to stay productive in 2019, you might want to check out the freshly updated Microsoft To-Do app, now with additional integration with the Windows 10 Start Menu and more.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

Could the next Microsoft HoloLens be announced at MWC 2019?

After not having a presence at Mobile World Congress for three years, Microsoft is now sending out media invites for a press conference on February 24 during the annual event in Barcelona. Could a next-generation HoloLens be on the way?
Computing

Microsoft to separate Cortana from search with the next version of Windows 10

Changes are on the way for two key features in Windows 10. A separation of Windows 10 search and Cortana will allow Microsoft to more often innovate on each of the features independently.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Computing

Convert your PDFs into convenient Word documents with Adobe or a free option

PDF files are great, but few document types are as malleable as those specific to Microsoft Word. Here's how to convert a PDF file into a Word document, whether you prefer to use Adobe's software suite or a freemium alternative.
Computing

Nvidia’s next midrange card might be a GTX 1660 Ti, rumors suggest

Nvidia may be working on a non-RTX Turing graphics card called the 1660 Ti. Rumors suggest it will have around 20 percent fewer CUDA cores than the RTX 2060 and will lack ray tracing support.