Archinect - News 2014-10-31T19:08:24-04:00 http://archinect.com/news/article/98969373/net-neutrality-lives-on-in-santa-monica-california Net Neutrality lives on in Santa Monica, California Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2014-04-30T18:40:00-04:00 >2014-05-06T22:38:55-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/02/02b8d20f8323a74f42990fc3ea066810.jpg" width="500" height="375" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>[Santa Monica will] be able to offer its residents real net neutrality, which the [FCC] is working on rolling back for just about everyone else in the US. [...] Santa Monica has cleverly and quietly been installing its own network of city-owned fiber-optic cables for years, and they intend to keep the net neutral. [...] Santa Monica has also made about $5 million providing internet service and leasing out the cables to other providers, and their competition has driven down rates.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The Federal Communications Commission&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/19/5425808/fcc-chair-announces-plan-for-new-net-neutrality-rules" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">recently proposed</a> that internet service providers (like Verizon, AT&amp;T, and Time Warner Cable) should be able to charge companies extra for faster service -- so for example, Netflix could pay AT&amp;T more to ensure faster download speeds for its viewers. This would violate <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">net neutrality</a>, the concept that aims to ensure that every companies' data on the internet is treated (and delivered) equally. Under the FCC's proposal, larger companies would be able to make their content more accessible to users, handicapping smaller companies from the get-go.</p><p>But what if your internet service provider wasn't AT&amp;T or Verizon, but your own city? Should city governments hold the reins of internet service, and ultimately net neutrality? It's not only a question of download speeds for the user, but of how local governments could use internet traffic data to change their city.&nbsp;If the internet were treated like a local utility, then perhaps city governments could more ...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/98901674/how-helsinki-mashed-up-open-data-with-regionalism How Helsinki mashed up “open data” with regionalism Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2014-04-29T15:27:00-04:00 >2014-05-06T23:18:32-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/21/2139cf27c33a0064dbce1bb9a2a0760f.jpg" width="514" height="286" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>For more than a century, [Helsinki] has funded its own statistics bureaus to keep data on the population, businesses, building permits, and most other things you can think of. [...] Helsinki and three of its neighboring cities are now banding together... Through an entity called Helsinki Region Infoshare, they are bringing together their data so that a fuller picture of the metro area can come into view.</p></em><br /><br /><p>As city governments become stronger drivers of infrastructural change, and the idea of a "connected city" becomes imminent, cities must learn how to manage and wield the vast amount of data collected. Parallel developments in city demographics, creating stronger links between cities within a larger region, means that more people are contributing to and relying on that data. Making it comprehensive and&nbsp;accessible to all is the obvious (and necessary) next step.</p><p>To access data for both Helsinki and its greater regional area, check out&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hel.fi/hki/tieke/en/etusivu" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">City of Helsinki Urban Facts</a>&nbsp;and the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hri.fi/en/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Helsinki Region Infoshare</a>&nbsp;(both websites in English).</p><p>Related: A <a href="http://us-city.census.okfn.org/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">survey</a>&nbsp;released earlier this month ranks U.S. cities on how accessible their data is, whether or not they have an <a href="https://okfn.org/opendata/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">open data</a> policy. Perhaps not surprisingly, San Francisco is ranked as #1.</p>