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Network Dis-Aggregation and SDN: Different, But Related

Two of the hottest trends in networking today are network dis-aggregation and SDN. This is great for many reasons. It's also confusing. The marketing hype makes it hard to understand either topic. SDN has become so vague that if you ask 10 experts what it means, you are likely to get 12 different answers. Network dis-aggregation seems straightforward enough until it gets confused with SDN. We need to take a step back. In a recent Packet Pushers blog post; I start with a simple explanation of each of these trends and then map how they interact. more»

The Internet's Gilded Age

The rise of the Internet has heralded rapid changes in our society. The opportunities presented by a capable and ubiquitous communications system and a global transportation network have taken some corporations from the multinational to the status of truly global mega-corporation. Good examples of these new corporations include Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. There are a handful of large-scale winners in this space and many losers. But this is not the first time we've witnessed a period of rapid technological and social change. more»

Three Generations of Cuban WiFi Hotspot Sharing

As soon as ETECSA began installing public access WiFi hotspots, black market resellers began sharing connections. They would connect a laptop to an ETECSA account then use pirated copies of Connectify, a connection sharing program running on the laptop, to create small WiFi hotspots of their own. At the time, ETECSA charged 2 CUC per hour online (two day's pay for many Cubans) and the re-sellers typically charged 1 CUC per hour. They broke even with two users and made a profit with more. more»

Agriculture At High-Speed: Project Updates on Bridging California's Rural/Urban Digital Divide

When farms are connected to the Internet, we all benefit. Agriculture that gains real-time information about plants, soil, atmosphere, and irrigation, dubbed "precision agriculture", can save farmers 20-30% of their water consumption while increasing productivity by 20-70%, according to Valley Vision. The San Francisco-Bay Area Internet Society Chapter is pleased to announce that we have started phase one of our collaborative project, "Bridging California's Rural/Urban Digital Divide with Mobile Broadband"... more»

Two Approaches to Routers in Space: SpaceX and OneWeb

Two companies hope to revolutionize the Internet by providing global connectivity using constellations of low-earth orbit satellites -- Elon Musk's SpaceX and Greg Wyler's OneWeb. It seems that SpaceX gets a lot more publicity than OneWeb, but both are formidable... SpaceX is integrated -- building the rockets, satellites and ground stations themselves -- while OneWeb has a number of collaborators and investors, including Bharti Enterprises, Coca-Cola, Intelsat, Hughes, Totalplay Telecommunications, Virgin Galactic and Softbank. more»

There Is No Cuban Home Internet Plan - And That's Good News

I've followed Cuba's home-connectivity "plan" from the time it was leaked in 2015 until the recent Havana home Internet trial. I thought the plan was a bad idea when it was leaked -- it calls for installation of obsolete DSL (digital subscriber line) technology -- and now that the Havana trial is complete, I question whether the plan was real. ETECSA denied the validity of the leaked presentation at the time, and their definition of "broadband" was "at least 256 kb/s." more»

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»

News Briefs

San Francisco Supervisor Working on Plan for Citywide High-Speed Internet

FCC Blocks Stricter Broadband Privacy Rules

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai: Net Neutrality "A Mistake", Planning on Much Lighter Style Regulation

FCC Rolls Back Net Neutrality Transparency Rules for Smaller ISPs

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

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