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ICANN Board Meeting Spoiler Alert

For those participants that have been working rearranged hours and participating remotely in connection with ICANN's Nairobi meeting, here is a chance to sleep in. While ICANN Board tea leaf reading is not an exact science, there is a great deal of predictability to ICANN's actions so here are my big three predictions for tomorrow. more»

The Free Internet in Jeopardy

The venerated BBC World Service recently commissioned a polled involving more than 27,000 people across 26 countries. The findings are unremarkable: some 87% of Internet users believe that Internet access should be a basic right, and more than 70% of non-users believe that they should have access to it. more»

ICANN's Board Decisions in Nairobi Will Determine Its Credibility and Respect for Years to Come

Today is the morning of the most revered Thursday in the ICANN meetings calendar -- The public forum. It is tradition personified. It is the day when the show and the showcasing really begin. It is the stage and the choreography of the open microphone that can help influence ICANN decisions one way or another and make the supposed bottom up model appear at its best. more»

Whither .XXX?

What's going to happen this week on .XXX? Nairobi is the first public board meeting since the independent review panel's nonbinding declaration in February that ICANN acted against its own rules in refusing to go ahead with .XXX. Reports that ICANN is going to 'do something' about .XXX have gone around the world via BBC news, and even surfaced on the radio in rural Ireland. The ICM team are out in force here in Nairobi, and there is endless speculation about what will happen at the Board's meeting on Friday. more»

American National Broadband Plan Good First Step

The National Broadband Plan that the FCC will present on 17 March will set the USA on a completely different telecoms path. This plan will hopefully show Congress that it is worthwhile making the legislative changes that will deliver the social and economic benefits of a national broadband infrastructure. more»

ICANN Takes a Wrong Turn on New TLD Contracts - "Post Signature Revision Process?"

The pen is mightier than the word...or should be. When ICANN Chairman Peter Dengate-Thrush --­ an accomplished attorney -- said last year that he wouldn't let one of his own clients agree to a contract that could be unilaterally changed after it was signed, the Internet community breathed a sigh of relief. But when the Chairman backed away from that stance earlier this week in Nairobi, it became clear that we should have held our breath a little bit longer. more»

A Little Flexibility from ICANN and We Might Just Get IDNs… for Everyone

Nobody doubts that some time in the near future there will be Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) in Chinese, Russian or Arabic scripts. The Chinese, Russian and Arabic-character-using worlds are large -- encompassing hundreds of millions of current and potential users. They are politically influential blocs, with the ability to demand action in international meetings. And perhaps most importantly, they are -- at least when taken together -- rich. Everybody knows that access on the web in these languages is not a matter of if, but simply a question of when... more»

OTT Threat to Telco's Middleware Opportunities

I recently participated in two Comverse events, and once again the message was driven home to me about the enormous opportunities that lie ahead of the industry in the field of new telecoms applications. The middleware and cloud applications that are now appearing at the edge of the network will of course, be further developed once high-speed broadband becomes available, but already they are having an enormous impact on the telecoms market. The new user experiences that can be obtainable through these applications will enrich fast broadband networks beyond recognition. What we now have is, on the one hand, the Over-The-Top (OTT) applications that have conquered the world... more»

LTE and Spectrum Stupidity

Mobile operators are counting on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to handle surging demand for mobile data access. But LTE developers made some poor choices, cutting spectral efficiency and thus driving up operator costs. LTE was envisioned as an all IP system, but the RF allocations follow the voice-centric approach of earlier generations. While LTE standards allow for either Frequency Division Duplexing (FDD) or Time Division Duplexing (TDD), all initial LTE equipment uses FDD. FDD requires two separate blocks of spectrum... more»

Are Portable Email Addresses Possible?

News reports say that the Israeli government is close to passing a law that requires portable e-mail addresses, similar to portable phone numbers. Number portability has been a success, making it much easier to switch from one provider to another, and address portability might ease switching among ISPs. But e-mail is not phone calls. Is it even possible? more»

Authorities Take Down the Mariposa Botnet

There are a number of sources talking about the takedown of the Mariposa botnet... Spanish authorities, working with researchers from Panda Labs, Defence Intelligence and a couple of other educational institutions, took down the Mariposa botnet (Mariposa is the Spanish word for "butterfly"). The Mariposa botnet is an absolutely enormous with around 12 million (!) nodes doing its bidding. It was involved in things like credit card phishing and identity fraud. more»

ICANN Nairobi Kicks Off This Weekend - So What Is Cooking? .XXX , New TLDs and More

The ICANN meeting in Nairobi starts officially next Monday. However, as is normally the case, by the time Monday rolls around people will already have been working since Saturday morning (if not earlier). All ICANN meetings seem to be surrounded by some bit of controversy and excitement, but the Nairobi meeting is possibly more dramatic than many others. The last attempt to hold a meeting in Nairobi failed, with ICANN opting to hold the meeting near LA's airport, LAX, instead. more»

Regional Internet Registries Conducting Internet Community Consultation on ITU IPv6 CIR Proposal

The Regional Internet Registries are conducting a Internet community consultation process regarding the recent ITU IPv6 Country Internet Registry (CIR) proposal. In collaboration with the other Regional Internet Registries, APNIC hosted a special session at APNIC 29 / APRICOT 2010 to give the global Internet Community an opportunity to discuss the issues and ramifications of the alternative model proposed by the ITU. For those interested in the outcome of the recent face-to-face session, a raw transcript and session summary statement are available... more»

More Available Wireless Spectrum and Higher Market Entry Barriers

The tremendous demand for, and profitability of mobile telephony supports legislative and regulatory efforts to refarm spectrum with an eye toward reallocating as much as possible for wireless telephony and data services. But there is a downside that no one seems to acknowledge. In light of past FCC practice and the behavior of incumbent wireless carriers I expect two anticompetitive outcomes to occur with the onset of any more spectrum. more»

The Internet is Interconnection

There's a scene in the Steven Soderbergh movie, Traffic, where the widow of a drug dealer brings a doll to the Columbian drug kingpin. "The doll is stuffed with cocaine. Big deal, we've been doing that for years," he says dismissively. "No," she answers, "the doll is cocaine." The whole toy is a heat-treated, compression-molded block of cocaine, undetectable to sniffing dogs. The drug lord becomes very interested. The Internet is like that doll... more»

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