Internet “broadband” availability, redux. “carrier’s lying about coverage”


Bridging the digital divide is the Federal Communications Commission’s top priority, and accurate broadband deployment data are critical to this mission. As part of the Commission’s ongoing effort to reform universal service funding of mobile wireless services and focus subsidies on unserved areas rather than on areas that already have service, the Commission unanimously adopted a new data collection of 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband coverage maps and a challenge process to determine areas eligible for support in the Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) auction. The largest mobile providers supported both this data collection and the challenge process. After mobile providers submitted coverage maps to the Commission and during the challenge process, some parties raised concerns regarding the accuracy of the maps submitted by providers. Based on these parties’ complaints and its own review of the record, staff became concerned that maps submitted by Verizon, U.S. Cellular, and T-Mobile overstated their coverage and thus were not accurate reflections of actual coverage.

2. Mobile providers are responsible for submitting accurate coverage maps in accordance with the Commission’s rules and orders. In response to these concerns and based upon a preliminary staff review of the challenger data, on December 7, 2018, the Commission launched an investigation into whether one or more major mobile providers violated the requirements of the one-time collection of coverage data. The investigation was led by the Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force in coordination with the Office of Economics and Analytics, Enforcement Bureau, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Wireline Competition Bureau, and the Office of Engineering and Technology. Commission staff initially requested information directly from several providers in order to understand providers’ mapping processes, and later issued subpoenas to Verizon and U.S. Cellular.

During the window to file challenges in the MF-II challenge process, 21 challengers submitted 20.8 million speed tests across 37 states.39 Of these submitted tests, the Challenge Portal validated approximately 20.5 million speed tests and these tests were thus considered to be valid challenges.40 Challengers then certified almost 19.8 million valid tests by the close of the challenge window. Approximately 4 million speed tests fell outside of the reported 4G LTE coverage area for the provider tested—leaving approximately 15.9 million tests within areas reported as covered.41

$400 Billion broadband scandal.

Taxpayers have repeatedly subsidized telecommunication companies, to no avail.

Moses: “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”; Steve Kerr –

Exodus 3 and 4, spoken in a recent church service, is timely:

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”


Exodus 4:

Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”

Can Steve Kerr and the NBA do better on China?

Ethan Strauss:

China, estimated to account for 15 percent of league revenue, which corresponds directly to player salaries. China, where the superstars annually flock to in the offseason for extensive sneaker sale tours. China, which hosts annual NBA preseason games, whether they televise them or not. China, where the last FIBA championship was held last month. Nobody in the NBA knows a thing about the place, somehow. It’s like all anyone affiliated with league remembers about China is how to cash its checks.


Many people, mostly on the political right, are having fun with the predicament Kerr now finds himself in, given past statements like the one above. They do have a point, even if many of the people jeering care more about scoring that point than making it. Kerr has said that free speech is important, but cannot bring himself to defend Morey’s? He won’t get deeply into why he refuses, even though we can guess. Is this hypocritical? Probably. It’s perhaps understandable hypocrisy under the circumstances. Maybe he wants to ensure the safety of the players returning from China. Maybe it’s about protecting the Warriors’ interests.

Let’s say it is hypocrisy. Now what? A lot of social media discussion feeds off the hunt of hypocrisy as an end game. The way it’s played is that you capture your out-group’s hypocrisy for the pleasure of your in-group. The unstated goal of the hunt is to rob your foe of moral authority, in hopes that nobody will ever listen to them ever again.

Nobody really wins the hypocrisy game, other than clout seekers. Kerr will continue to speak and if people agree with what he’s saying, they’re likely to resonate to it. Merely mocking Kerr and the other NBA figures for their silence doesn’t often convey a sense of how certain matters should be handled.

On this, I have some ideas. Of course, I’m just some guy, not a high-level international diplomat, and not an NBA accountant who grasps the true impact of what happens when and if the $1.5 billion Tencent contract gets ripped to shreds.

My personal preference is for the NBA to break from its relationship with China and end an immense moral compromise that has seeped into the domestic sphere. That’s not exactly realistic, though, so I’ll try my best at making some productive suggestions within the current parameters. I mostly make them because I’m disappointed in how people within the NBA, people whom I have respect and admiration for, are handling this admittedly difficult situation.

Epic Electronic Medical Record Implementation: $100,000,000 for Stanford Hospital in 2005

Marc Andreessen and Jorge Conde podcast 25 minutes:

I don’t remember exactly probably a hundred (million) to Epic or something like that. And then I’d say 300 we went out for integration bids. And this is where I almost started crying. It was Perot systems, Ross Perot systems, which was the follow-up (to EDS). Ross Perot’s company, which is now owned by Dell.

And so yes, it’s a 400 million dollar project, Perot systems. I remember this was 2005. I think we started the Epic implementation and they were very excited. They’re starting the demo and I was very excited because I was like, wow, this is like a new house, probably to (garbled) be mobile.

This is when smartphones are starting to take off. This is mobile. And this sensor is like all this stuff that’s going to be great and it was like they were super excited because they had just moved to the Windows 95 UI. Right in 2005. It was like the big upgrade from Windows 3.1 and I was like, oh my God.

And so but you know, as you know, like is 20, which is 2019 and it’s still right. It’s obviously still it’s still the same thing, right? Yeah, we have an incredibly entertaining thing about epic is that they are so; you know out here it’s like out here there’s a big focus on software interoperability.

And so it’s like can one piece of software work with another this whole concept….. There’s entire companies now, they’re called API companies that build basically software building blocks you plug together, there’s open source and so out here, it’s just this constant process of everybody building on everybody else’s creativity and kind of the the whole thing rises except for epic which has an absolute prohibition on third-party integration.

(Epic) does not tolerate it. (They) will sue you if you attempt to integrate with it.

Taxpayers have spent nearly $40B (!) in backdoor electronic medical record subsidies since 2011. One of the goals of our extravagant taxpayer expenditures, part of the Obama era “stimulus”, was interoperability.

Airdrop trumps $40B emr subsidies.

Madison’s property tax base growth since 2011.

Design, experience and customer retention

I recently attempted to help a family member book a very long distance journey. We settled on Lufthansa.

However and unfortunately, their app and website could not complete the booking.

We then called the airline. They could not book the trip at the posted not small price (still published days later). They offered a 3X $ option, which we declined.

Another airline/alliance was selected for the journey.

LH is not unique in channel pricing conflict. I’ve experienced this on other airlines. Their app should be superior.

That is not the case today.

While navigating Lufthansa’s digital experiences, I encountered a terrible “app” screen, shown below.

The discovery was timely and became my contribution to Luke Wroblewski’s hostile experience league.

Hairballs are easy to create.

Olivier Krueger’s recent Linkedin post:

Idea < -- > App

Eric Lynn and I shared experiences with 22 entrepreneurs at a recent Friday lunch.

The setting, L’Etoile’s (Graze) private room was ideal: quiet and spacious.

The discussion was quite enjoyable if not illuminating.

Topics included tech platforms, money, brand, on boarding, user experience, ghosting, minimum viable product, out or insourcing, choosing a tech partner along with legal, tax and IP experiences.

I mentioned Ecclesiastes 11:4: [1]

Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.

(If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.)

Appropriately 4 of the 22 participants simply showed up, rather than queue through the registration/waitlist process. It is good to show up.

We organized the lunch as part of the 10th Forward Fest.

Explore L’Etoile’s Capitol square space in amuz.

[1] Bethel’s Mike Brown referenced this passage during a recent message on uncertainty.

My Verse app.

“Firmware 2.0”

Spectre. Halide. FiLMiC. LumaFusion. Pixelmator. DarkRoom. PTGui. Videoleap. Lightroom. Capture One. Olympus Image Share. Flickr. Instagram. Vimeo.

I’ve become familiar with these product names – most are apps on my iPhone or iPad – through frequent use. The brand names illustrate how much digital imagery has evolved with the rise of the iPhone.

In fact, iPhone dominates Flickr’s list [1] of most popular cameras.

And, so it was, that I felt a bit nostalgic, if not sad when I noticed a Nikon advertisement placed on Amazon’s [2]

“Learn more about Firmware 2.0”.

Nikon. Oh, Nikon.

I’ve owned and used 6006, 8008, N80, E2, E2n, D1, D1x, D2H, D3 and D500 camera bodies along with interesting lenses, including the 17-35, various fisheyes and some long glass.

The “Firmware 2.0” text presence in an advertisement (!) illustrates the enormous challenge firms face as software eats the world [3] if not them.

Modern cameras and lenses are incredibly capable, assuming a customer masters confusing menus and buttons and manages via a miracle to connect their iPhone. Sony’s iOS app, to choose just one example, is an embarrassment that diminishes the utility of their cameras.

The iPhone, too, is a remarkable camera, supported by best in class hardware, software and a platform where developers create interesting combinations, such as the Spectre app [4].

Can the traditional camera and lens brands compete in a software eats everything world? [5]

I wish I was more optimistic.

P.S. Nikon’s Tokyo Museum is worth a visit. Tap to explore in amuz.

1. Flickr’s camera beauty contest.

2. Amazon acquired in 2007. I find the forums useful, but Amazon’s aesthetic is rather dated.

3. Why Software is Eating the World – Wisconsin native Marc Andreessen.

4. Spectre’s long exposure capability is interesting and very easy to use. A recent capture:

5. Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) sales reports.

6. The world in 2013.

Madison Gas & Electric Substation Explosion

July 19, 2019

Traffic was moving slowly after breakfast with friends Friday Morning. I glanced around and noticed a rather dark, large smoke plume originating to my west.

While in traffic, my first thought was that the Sylvee had gone up in flames. The source turned out to be a Madison Gas & Electric substation. Fortunately, no one was injured. Curiously, I’ve seen no mention of this incident on their website.

I recorded a short video clip and captured a few images while moving slowly in Madison’s isthmus:

Madison Gas & Electric customers pay the highest rates in Wisconsin [ comparison], up to 44% more than other Wisconsin utility customers. Why?

Madison Gas & Electric was embroiled in a lobbying scandal some years ago, sending money to a Kansas Democrat Party organ.

Airdrop trumps $40B Taxpayer Medical Record Subsidies

I recently compiled a bit of long term, personal medical history along with an image or two prior to meeting a new physician. I sought to share this digital information efficiently, and save everyone time, if not money.

However and unfortunately, Epic Systems’ My Chart app (Madison, WI based UW Health implementation) lacks the ability to ingest and share patient sourced images or documents…..

A few days later, in clinic, I used iOS’s AirDrop to share the text and graphics to the physician’s iPhone. While helpful, the lack of patient sharing tools meant that a clinic visit was required along with ever increasing deductibles.

Many healthcare providers share personal medical record data via the iPhone’s health app.

However and unfortunately, $3.65B UW Health’s Epic medical records cannot be shared to my iOS health app.

We continue to pay more for less.

The lack of interoperability is a reminder that US taxpayer’s now $40B back door electronic medical record subsidy has been a failure. Costs have exploded and we citizens lack data portability, despite the legislation’s requirement:

The HITECH Act set meaningful use of interoperable EHR adoption in the health care system as a critical national goal and incentivized EHR adoption.[7][8] The “goal is not adoption alone but ‘meaningful use’ of EHRs—that is, their use by providers to achieve significant improvements in care.”[9]

There are pockets of innovation. One Medical’s app supports video visits:

Thankfully, the visit was of no consequence, other than time and money.

Additional reading:

Death By 1,000 Clicks: Where Electronic Health Records Went Wrong

Madison’s Property Tax Base Growth; $38B+ Federal Taxpayer EMR Subsidy

Stillborn 2007 Wisconsin $30M EMR subsidy.


A reader asked me to write tonight about the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, which is about as far from something I would like to write about as I can imagine, but this is a full service blog so what the heck. The idea behind the law is laudable — standardized and accessible electronic health records to allow any doctor to know what they need to know in order to treat you. There’s even money to pay for it — $30 billion from the 2009 economic stimulus that you’d think would have been spent back in 2009, right? Silly us. Now here’s the problem: we’re going to go through that $30 billion and end up with nothing useful. There has to be a better way. And I’m going to tell you what it is.

Russ Britt:

The costly flaws in U.S. digital health-data plan