|By PR Newswire||
|December 4, 2012 04:01 PM EST||
Legislation will aim at protecting working families from predatory practices
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today at the steps of the California State Capitol, Senator Kevin De Leon, Senator Ricardo Lara, Assemblymember Luis Alejo, Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, Assemblymember Das Williams, and representatives from TURN and Consumer Federation of California joined the leaders of the movement – Two Counties One Voice – by calling for more government oversight on mergers that could harm millions of underserved Californians. Two Countries One Voice is dedicated to exposing the predatory, monopolistic practices of Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world. Recently, Slim zeroed in on California when one of his telecommunications' companies, TracFone, acquired California-based Simple Mobile without any public hearings or review by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Prepaid mobile providers like TracFone and Simple Mobile largely serve immigrant and working families.
TracFone currently has a pre-paid cellular customer base that is larger than that of Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile's. Now, with the acquisition of Simple Mobile, TracFone has 22 million customers nationwide – over 42 percent of the pre-paid cell phone market share – making it the LARGEST prepaid mobile provider.
"Carlos Slim is taking the model he created in Mexico that was built on the backs of the poor, charging excessively high prices and providing inadequate services, and he's expanding that model into California, the U.S., and across Latin America," said Juan Jose Gutierrez, one of the leaders of Two Countries One Voice and the President of Vamos Unidos USA. "We're here today to shine a glaring light on the damage that such practices have on a country and its people. We demand more oversight and protection here in California."
Senator Kevin De Leon and Senator Ricardo Lara wrote a letter to CPUC Chairman Michael Peevey calling for action and a full investigation during CPUC's upcoming evidentiary hearings from December 12-14, 2012. Senators De Leon and Lara also announced they will be introducing legislation that will better protect working families by ensuring the CPUC has the authority and discretion to review all mergers – including pre-paid cell phone services – when it's in the best interest of the public.
"As we become more reliant on cell phones and digital technology for every day life, we need to ensure that all consumers – especially underserved communities – are protected," said Senator De Leon. "Our legislation is aimed at providing better protections for working families by requiring proper government oversight and rigorous review by the CPUC."
"We will not stand by quietly while hard-working Californians spend their honest-earned money on excessive charges associated with something that most of us take for granted: making a simple phone call," said Senator Ricardo Lara.
When TracFone purchased Simple Mobile in June 2012, the CPUC did not require hearings or scrutiny of Slim's acquisition. The current law does not require the CPUC to hold hearings on all mergers and is prescriptive as to when the CPUC may deem additional hearings necessary in the public interest.
In the United States, Slim has four million TracFone customers participating in government phone assistance programs. Slim has collected $10 per phone he provides to these consumers, totaling a minimum of $38 million in U.S. federal subsidies this year alone. Yet, TracFone refuses pay its share of the public services fee that funds California's programs for the poor. By some conservative estimates, TracFone may be liable for $13 million in unpaid fees and additional penalties to the CPUC.
"We have been watching Carlos Slim gobble up company after company – growing his empire at the expense of struggling families" said Andres Ramirez, one of the leaders of Two Countries One Voice. "And today, we are joined by others who see this injustice and are committed to speaking up for those without a voice."
"It is important that we empower the CPUC to hold public hearings and engage in rigorous reviews of mergers that may impact consumers' rates and access to reliable services," said Richard Holober, Executive Director of Consumer Federation of California. "Especially with companies with questionable customer service records, we must ensure our government provides protections to underserved communities with less access to digital services."
BACKGROUND: Carlos Slim's power and fortune is made up primarily from his monopoly on the Mexican telecommunications system. According to the independent and highly respected Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Slim's company, America Movil, which controls nearly 80 percent of the total Mexican telecom, cell and internet industries, charges exorbitant prices and provides inadequate services. Their report also shows that Slim has price-gouged Mexican customers billions of dollars for basic telephone and Internet service. They point out that those specifically and most profoundly affected by these business practices are rural and poor communities.
The impact of Carlos Slim's monopoly has resulted in Mexico ranking LAST in public investment in telecommunications compared with the 33 other OECD countries while Slim's company Telemex had a profit margin of 47 percent – one of the highest profit margins of companies within the OECD countries.
SOURCE Two Countries One Voice
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Jan. 30, 2015 12:30 AM EST Reads: 3,012
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Jan. 29, 2015 06:15 PM EST Reads: 4,094
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Jan. 29, 2015 06:00 PM EST Reads: 3,279
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness, and in-car entertainment and this excitement will bleed into other areas. On the commercial side, m...
Jan. 29, 2015 06:00 PM EST Reads: 3,031
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
Jan. 29, 2015 05:00 PM EST Reads: 4,081
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Jan. 29, 2015 03:30 PM EST Reads: 3,062
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 29, 2015 02:30 PM EST Reads: 2,621
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
Jan. 29, 2015 02:15 PM EST Reads: 3,190
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
Jan. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 3,800
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Jan. 29, 2015 01:30 PM EST Reads: 3,118
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
Jan. 29, 2015 01:30 PM EST Reads: 2,040
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Jan. 29, 2015 01:30 PM EST Reads: 2,963
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Jan. 29, 2015 01:15 PM EST Reads: 2,550
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy ser...
Jan. 29, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 1,665
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
Jan. 29, 2015 12:30 PM EST Reads: 1,889
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
Jan. 29, 2015 12:15 PM EST Reads: 1,820
Jan. 29, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 7,975
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
Jan. 29, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 2,622
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Jan. 29, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 2,563
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Jan. 29, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 2,720