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Do-It-Yourself Rural Fiber

Necessity has led Cubans to become do-it yourself (DIY) inventors -- keeping old cars running, building strange, motorized bicycles, etc. They've also created DIY information technology like software, El Paquete Semanal, street nets and WiFi hotspot workarounds. Last June the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) adopted a standard for "low-cost sustainable telecommunications infrastructure for rural communications in developing countries," L.1700. L.1700 cable should be of interest to both DIY technologists and ETECSA. more»

Notes from NANOG 69

NANOG 69 was held in Washington DC in early February. Here are my notes from the meeting. It would not be Washington without a keynote opening talk about the broader political landscape, and NANOG certainly ticked this box with a talk on international politics and cyberspace. I did learn a new term, "kinetic warfare," though I'm not sure if I will ever have an opportunity to use it again! more»

NFV Orchestration Without Network Visibility: OS MANO Needs Operational Improvements

Open Source (OS) Management and Orchestrations (MANO) is a European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) initiative that aims to develop a Network Function Virtualization (NFV) MANO software stack, aligned with ETSI NFV. The main goal of MANO is to simplify the onboarding of virtual network components in telco cloud data centers. The initiative has gained impressive momentum among leading Communication Service Providers (CSPs) around the world as part of their NFV programs. more»

Do-It-Yourself Rural Fiber

I doubt that any elementary school in the US has fiber to the premises, but, in 2013, an elementary school in rural Bhutan was connected to the Internet using optical fiber in the "last mile." They were able to connect the school because the cabling they used, metal-packed armored cable (M-PAC), which is modeled on undersea cables, does not have to be in a protective duct. It is 4mm in diameter, light and flexible, so it can be installed by supervised volunteers or unskilled workers.
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The Cuban Home-Connectivity Trial Ends This Week, Rollout to Begin Next Week

The free home-connectivity trial in Old Havana will end this week. Two thousand homes were eligible for the trial and I was told, off the record, that 700 people have signed contracts to pay for the service. I am not certain, but my guess is that those two thousand homes are served by a single central office that has been upgraded to offer Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) connectivity. more»

An Ethnographic Study - What are Cubans Doing Online?

Aida Zekić, a student at the University of Uppsala, Sweden has published her master's thesis, "Internet in Public: an ethnographic account of the Internet in authoritarian Cuba." The thesis reports on interviews of 50 Cuban Internet users at nine WiFi hotspots in Havana during September and October 2016. She asked pre-planed, but mostly open-ended questions of 25 men and 25 women. She tried to identify people between 25 and 50 years old, but a few were a little older. more»

If Slate Comes in Standard Sizes, Why Not Broadband?

Last week I was at the National Slate Museum in Wales watching slate being split apart. On the wall were sample pieces of all the standard sizes. These have cute names like "princess". For each size, there were three standard qualities: the thinnest are the highest quality (at 5mm in thickness), and the thickest have the lowest quality (those of 13mm or more). Obviously, a lighter slate costs less to transport and lets you roof a wider span and with less supporting wood, hence is worth more. more»

Zero-Touch Provisioning… Really?

Zero-touch provisioning (ZTP) -- whatever does that mean? Of course, it is another marketing term. I think the term "closer to zero touch provisioning" is probably better, but CTZTP -- as opposed to ZTP -- is a bit more of a mouthful. Whenever I hear language like this that I'm not familiar with, I get struck by a bolt of curiosity. What is this new and shiny phrase that has just appeared as if from nowhere? more»

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2016

The new year is upon us and it's time for our annual look at CircleID's most popular posts of the past year and highlighting those that received the most attention. Congratulations to all the 2016 participants and best wishes to all in the new year. more»

A Three Minute Guide to Network Automation Bliss

The cloud computing paradigm has been making steady progress in 2016. With the DevOps model making its way from cloud to networking, the business upside of fully automated service architectures is finally beginning to materialize. The associated service agility is expected to unleash new business models that transform the ways in which applications and connectivity can be consumed. more»

Google Fiber in Havana - Wishful Thinking?

This post is conjecture, but it is informed conjecture... Consider the following: When Google Fiber started in Kansas City, most people assumed that it was a demonstration project, intended to spur investment by the incumbent US Internet service providers (ISPs). Few thought that Google wanted to become a retail ISP. Google Fiber garnered a lot of publicity and Google, began speaking of it as a real, profit-making business. They announced other cities and started laying fiber in some of them. more»

Google and the Future of FttH

Many commentators rushed into print when they heard that Craig Barratt, senior vice-president of Google's parent company Alphabet and CEO of Access (the unit of which Google Fiber is part), stated that he would quit the job and that Google would slow down or stop its fibre deployment. So, yes, obviously something is happening at Google; but at the same time, the company has a commitment to complete the fiber deployment projects it has already started and also to build the many new networks that have been announced over the last six months. more»

What Steps Can Africans Take and Lead in Internet Governance and Social Justice?

Almost three years ago, I published a blog post on CircleID titled "Internet Governance: Why Africa Should Take the Lead." I argued that African Internet stakeholders use a 'wait and see approach' in matters as critical as Internet governance," and that African voices are missing in key Internet governance discussion fora. Additionally, I suggested that some reasons for this approach, including that Africa lacks well-trained Internet governance experts and Africans see foreign affairs and international relations as an East versus West dynamic. more»

The Effects of the Forthcoming FCC Privacy Rules on Internet Security

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced new privacy rules that govern how Internet service providers can share information about consumers with third parties. One focus of this rulemaking has been on the use and sharing of so-called "Consumer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI)" - information about subscribers - for advertising. The Center for Information Technology Policy and the Center for Democracy and Technology jointly hosted a panel exploring this topic last May... more»

Intentional Disruptions to Internet Access Cost Countries $2.4 Billion Last Year

Around the world, digital technology is seen as vital for economic development. In the U.S. alone, the Internet accounts for about six percent of the entire economy. Digital technology has expanded its role in the global economy in recent years, as both developed and developing nations have become increasingly reliant on the Internet. more»

News Briefs

Report on Why Cameroon Has Blocked the Internet

Iraq Shuts Down Internet Once Again to Combat Cheating

Report Looks at Humanitarian Futures for Messaging Apps

Alphabet Shuts Down Its Solar-Powered Internet Drone Program

Over 50 Internet Shutdowns Reported in 2016

Tom Wheeler Announces Resignation as FCC Chairman

Google Signs Internet Deal With Cuba

AT&T CEO Confident Trump-Appointed FCC Will Scrap Net Neutrality Regulations

Internet Society Urges for Increased Effort to Address Unprecedented Challenges Facing the Internet

Facebook Goes Live with Express Wifi in India

FCC Approves New Privacy Rules Restricting Data Collection by Broadband Providers

Google Fiber Pauses Operations Until Further Notice

U.S. Senator Inquiring Into Friday's Crippling Cyberattack

Syria's Undersea Cable Repairs Will Take Down 60% of Nation's Internet for Close to 10 days

WikiLeaks: Ecuador Has Cut Off Assange's Internet Access

Notorious Russian Ship Yanter Suspected of Cutting Syria's Undersea Internet Cables

Google and Facebook Join Forces to Directly Connect Los Angeles to Hong Kong via Undersea Cable

2016 US Presidential Election Likely to Have Major Impact on Broadband Expansion and Regulation

Facebook In Talks with U.S. Government About Offering Its Free Internet Service

UK's National Cyber Security Centre Reveals Plans to Scale Up DNS Filtering

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