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SHLB Summarizes February BTOP/BIP Hearing
The SHLB Coalition has provided a nice summary of the February 27 hearing of the House Communications and the Internet Subcommittee. At what SHLB describes as a "contentious" hearing, although both the BTOP and BIP programs "took some hits" there does not "appear to be any plans for legislation to stop the programs."
EDUCAUSE and Internet2 Partner for Fall 2013 E-content Pilot
Internet2 and EDUCAUSE invite your institution to participate in the Fall 2013 E-Content Pilot involving platforms and providers of electronic textbooks (etexts) and other digital learning resources (econtent). The pilot is the latest opportunity for the higher education community to explore, evaluate, and advance the transition from traditional media models to electronic platforms. We’ve expanded earlier efforts to offer new packages with more publishers, tiers, and options — all provided under community friendly terms with no long-term commitments or purchase agreements.
Testimony on the Sequestration's Impact on Research and Students
Hunter Rawlings, president of the Association of American Universities, testified this morning at the Senate Budget Committee hearing on "The Impact of Federal Investments on People, Communities, and Long-Term Economic Growth." In her opening comments, Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) pointed out that, despite the need to face the challenge of the nation's current debt and deficit, it is still critical to make those investments that make our country stronger, including the "need to ensure our students receive an education that offers them the opportunities they deserve, and ensures our nation has a skilled workforce for the 21st century."
State of the Net 2013
The 9th Annual State of the Net Conference took place in Washington, D.C. on January 22-23, 2013. The conference, which is planned by the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee (ICAC), is "the largest information technology policy conference in the U.S. and the only one with over 50 percent Congressional staff and government policymakers in attendance." Video and audio for much of the conference are now available, including of the opening keynote addresses; break-out sessions on issues such as big data, telecom and cloud policy, first sale, broadband, and cybersecurity; and the second-day panel, “Restoring America to Economic Greatness Through Sound Internet Policy.” For more information, visit the event agenda at: http://www.netcaucus.org/conference/2013/agenda.shtml
Sequestration and the Re-launch of "Science Works for U.S." Website
Last week, APLU, AAU and The Science Coalition officially re-launched the website www.ScienceWorksForUS.org. This joint project aims to help demonstrate the "tremendous impact that federally funded university-based scientific research has on the nation and on the lives of all Americans."
The site has been reworked in order to address the impact that sequestration will have on federally funded university research, and to demonstrate the importance of this research to society at large. The site is meant to serve as a resource for media, policymakers, and R&D stakeholders, and includes state profiles that show the projected amount by which sequestration will reduce federal funding for academic research and development for universities.
Rodney Petersen Joins Internet Education Foundation Board
The Internet Education Foundation recently announced two new members of its board of directors, Rodney Petersen, Managing Director of the EDUCAUSE Washington Office and a Senior Government Relations Officer, and Daniel J. Weitzner, who is rejoining the board "after an impressive stint at NTIA and the White House." As stated in the IEF press release, "Petersen and Weitzner will contribute to the diverse group of board members of IEF, the NGO that runs the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee (ICAC), The State of the Net Conferences and GetNetWise."
John Windhausen Receives 2012 Broadband Award
Last week the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors awarded John Windhausen as NATOA’s 2012 Community Broadband Hero of the Year. Windhausen was honored for his “long-time heroic advocacy for more, bigger broadband in America, and for ably advocating on behalf of the needs of schools, health care, and libraries in broadband.” Windhausen is President of Telepoly Consulting and regularly works with EDUCAUSE Policy on matters of networking and telecommunications.
Chicago's Gigabit Challenge and Universities
Last week the city of Chicago announced a Broadband Challenge to upgrade the city’s broadband infrastructure to gigabit speeds and to improve service to underserved and disadvantaged areas of the city in recognition that an advanced digital infrastructure is “critical to supporting Chicago’s long-term growth, job creation, global competitiveness, and overall quality of life.” The Broadband Challenge is encouraging the public to submit ideas on how Chicago could use a faster broadband service and how and where the city should make these infrastructure improvements. The website includes a link to a formal Request for Information (RFI) that “that seeks to engage private companies, universities, and other organizations to accomplish 3 main goals”:
Policy, Advocacy, and Higher Ed IT Engagement
EDUCAUSE Policy recently asked other higher education associations, “What is the best way for higher education IT staff to engage in federal policy issues?” We heard from a number of people that a good way to start is to find out if your campus or association has a government relations office or staff person, and sit down with them to find out ways to get involved locally. Other ways to engage include simply being informed about the issue and help to inform colleagues across campus. An easy way to keep informed is by regularly communicating with federal relations staff and by being involved with national associations such as EDUCAUSE—easily done through relevant discussion lists or by signing onto e-mail policy updates (e.g., Policy Digest).
White House Releases Mobile App
As further evidence that people are using their mobile devices more and more to access information, the White House announced earlier this week a new, free mobile app. Where in 2010 only "5 percent of visitors used a mobile device to access WhiteHouse.gov," in 2012 that number has tripled, to 15%, and the application will provide ready access to breaking alerts, live video streams, photos, news, speeches, and press releases. It is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices at www.whitehouse.gov/mobile.