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Why Government Investment in Broadband Is Justified Now

Bobbie Johnson, technology correspondent for The Guardian, was kind enough to quote me along with Vint Cerf (nice to be in good company) on the importance of building an online economy and an online government. Vint said: "You know how they say opportunity lies on the edge of chaos? Maybe that's going to be true here too." So far our telecommunications infrastructure has largely been privately built and financed. Why should that change now? It's unusual for government to do anything as well as the private sector. more»

ITU: The Communication Wonderland

I kept wondering if all that I had said about Dr Toure was fair -- I hadn't met him before and had written so much to comment on the transcript of his speech at ICANN, Cairo . My discomfort was short-lived and even before a month elapsed I met him at the Internet Governance Forum, Hyderabad. Exchanged pleasantries before saying "I wrote some strong comments about your speech at Cairo". Dr Toure looked happy to see me, beamed with a bit of surprise and said he read my comment... more»

Top 10 Spam Stories of 2008

Well, it's a yearly tradition in the western hemisphere that at the end of the year, we compose a top 10 list of the 10 most . Since it is now 2009, I thought that I would create my own list of the top 10 spam stories of 2008. Now, not all of these will be universally applicable to everyone, they are the top 10 stories as seen by me. more»

IPv6… The Dangers of Prolonged Inter AS Tunnel Vision

Tunnel vision is a rather serious medical condition and the Internet or at least a number of service providers could be at risk if not treated soon enough. Symptoms of inter AS (Autonomous System) tunnel vision are many slower connections with IPv6 compared to IPv4 with some failing all together. Reason is that tunnels, especially inter-AS tunnels, can lead to long paths and non-optimal routing. more»

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2008

Here is a list of the most viewed news and blog postings that were featured on CircleID in 2008... Best wishes for 2009 and Happy New Year from all of us here at CircleID. more»

VoIP in 2008: "I'm Not Dead"

VoIP remains a hot topic in the IP communications world, but it's definitely evolving. The following is my most recent article for a column that I write for TMCnet, and it's a year-end review on VoIP as well as my outlook for how it's changing for 2009. Colleague Alec Saunders posted his response to my article yesterday, and it's a good read. If you're interested in where VoIP is headed, then my article should help keep that dialog moving along within the CircleID community. Here we go... more»

2008: The Year That VoIP Died

It seems highly likely to me that at some point in the future we'll all look back and say that 2008 was the year that the VoIP industry finally died... Voice over IP is just a transport and signalling technology. It's plumbing. It may come as a surprise to some of you to know that in the late 1980's and early 1990's there was a TCP/IP industry as well. TCP/IP is inarguably plumbing. As the IP stack became common on all computing devices, TCP/IP went from being a differentiator to a commodity. more»

Canada: Paying for E911 and Not Getting It - A Dangerous Proposition

While this article specifically discusses the issues of E911 service in the Canadian hinterlands, I fear that the same fiscal shell game is being played by wireless providers all over North America... Grant Robertson writes in The Globe and Mail: Every month when cellphone bills arrive, Northern Canadians are forced to pay for a 911 service they can't access. more»

The Meanings of Network Neutrality

Ed Felten has posted a nice taxonomy of the several meanings people take when they use the term Network Neutrality, briefly: End-to-End Design; Nonexclusionary Business Practice; Content Nondiscrimination ... I've been developing a taxonomy of issues that interact with and are bound with Network Neutrality. So far there are six items... more»

ICANN's gTLD Proposal Hits a Wall: Now What?

ICANN's plan to begin accepting applications for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) in mid-2009 may have been derailed by last week's outpouring of opposition from the global business community and the United States Government (USG). Having been involved with ICANN for over a decade and having served on its Board for three years, I've never seen such strong and broad opposition to one of ICANN's proposals. more»

Vulcan Golf v. Google Class Certification Denied

This is a complex lawsuit by trademark owners attacking domaining and the role of the Google AdSense for Domains program in funding domaining activity. When I first blogged on the case in 2007, I wrote: "the lawsuit could effectively fall apart if the judge rejects formation of a class. Trademark class action lawsuits are rare for good reason..." Last week, the court ruled on class certification, and perhaps not surprisingly, the court denied certification -- giving Google and the other defendants an early Christmas gift. more»

Undersea Cable Cuts, Internet Governance, and Lessons Learned

Early this month I attended the 3rd Internet Governance Forum in Hyderabad, India. The overall theme of the 4-day meeting was "Internet for All"... Last Friday, I spent a couple of hours in the morning on email before I got cutoff around 10am. I have 2 DSL lines at home through 2 different ISPs, I tried both lines but they were both down. I thought something wrong happened at the local exchange and decided to turn off my computer and enjoy my weekend. The last thing I could have thought about then was that what happened back in January 2008 was happening again in less than a year! more»

US Department of Commerce Doesn't Like ICANN's New Domain Plan

ICANN's authority to manage top level of the DNS comes from a two-year Joint Project Agreement (JPA) signed with the US Department of Commerce in 1997, since extended seven times, most recently until September 2009. Since the DoC can unilaterally cancel the JPA which would put ICANN out of the DNS business, when DoC speaks, ICANN listens. On Thursday, the US DoC sent a scathing letter to ICANN about the proposed plan to sell large numbers of new top-level domains (TLDs). There's a long list of issues... more»

Deja Vu All Over Again: Cables Cut in the Mediterranean

The end of the year is approaching which seems to be a harbinger of Internet disasters. Four years ago (on 24 Dec. 2004), TTNet significantly disrupted Internet traffic by leaking over 100,000 networks that were globally routed for about an hour. Two years ago (on 26 Dec. 2006), large earthquakes hit the Luzon Strait, south of Taiwan, severing several underwater cables and wreaking havoc on communications in the region. Last year there was a small delay. On 30 Jan. 2008, more underwater cables were severed in the Mediterranean, severely disrupting communications in the Middle East, Africa, and the Indian subcontinent. Calamity returned to its customary end-of-year schedule this year, when early today (19 Dec. 2008) several communications cables were severed, affecting traffic in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent. more»

What Could the RIAA's Switch in Strategy Mean?

The Wall Street Journal and others are reporting that the Recording Industry Association of America is adjusting its strategy for combating the massive infringement occasioned by the sharing of music files over the internet. Since 2003, that strategy has been to pursue copyright infringement cases against individual file sharers. The RIAA now says it will focus less on pursuing infringement litigation and more on working with internet service providers to shut down the accounts of individuals suspected of illegally trading files. more»

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