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What is Google Up To?

The astonishing rise and rise of the fortunes of Google has been one of the major features of both social and business life of the early 21st century. In the same way that Microsoft transformed the computer market into a mainstream consumer product through its Windows and Office software products some 20 years ago, Google has had a similar transformative effect upon its environment. more»

Final Day to Give Input on "Future of the Internet" Survey

Today, June 26, is the final day that you can help the Internet Society with its "Future of the Internet" survey. It takes about 20-25 minutes and will help my colleagues at the Internet Society develop a number of scenarios about the possible future of the Internet. These scenarios can help all of us in talking to policy makers, leaders, media and the general user population about the choices we have before us for the future of the Internet. more»

"Non-Discriminatory" Broadband: Just Carriage, or Miscarriage of Justice?

The foundational idea behind "net neutrality" is one of fairness by constraining ISP power over network mechanisms. The theory is this: if there is "non-discriminatory" local traffic management, then you have "fair" global outcomes to both users and application providers. There are thousands of pages of academic books making this assumption, and it is the basis of recent EU telecoms law. more»

May 31 Deadline for $517,000 US in Internet-related Grants in Africa and Asia Pacific

If you are located in Africa or the Asia Pacific region, this coming Tuesday, May 31, is the application deadline for an excellent series of grants related to Internet infrastructure, development, security and education. I just wrote about the Internet Society Cybersecurity Grant for up to $56,000 AUD (roughly $40K USD) in the Asia Pacific region... but it is part of a larger set of grants that all have a deadline of May 31. more»

Politically Correct Rhetoric at a Technical Conference in Cuba

In a recent post, I argued that the US embargo, the poor state of the Cuban economy and fear of free information had stifled the Cuban Internet at its inception in 1996, but that twenty years later, those constraints were significantly reduced. I suggested that the Cuban Internet was being held back by mundane bureaucracy and political correctness. We got an example of that at the Latin American and Caribbean Network Information Center (LACNIC) conference in Havana this week. more»

Internet Politics: Developed vs Developing

It is not so convincing how the developed world looks at the rest of the hemisphere with the same attitude of equality and control. On one hand there are voices of equality where as in the other there is greed of power and control that lures them with an unending fight of power vs power in safeguarding their own survival. From the participation and development of policies to running the concept of any kind of technology platform, the sense of control and collaboration that catalyzes and leads the overall process. more»

WSIS, Development, and Internet Governance: A Plea for 'Star Trek' over 'Mad Max'

Humanity continues to find itself at a crossroads. Ahead of us lies an uncertain future filled with predictions of imminent doom and ominous prospects along with the wonders of science and technology. Behind us lies a century marked paradoxically by both devastating global conflicts and unparalleled global collaboration. As societies continue to globalize, we are increasingly becoming more connected - to the point where it is difficult, if not impossible, to divorce ourselves from the interconnectivity in contemporary systems of commerce, economics, politics, and culture. more»

Why Broadband Speed Tests Suck

Everyone is familiar with broadband 'speed test' applications. When you have an ISP service quality problem, it is common to grab one of these tools to see if you are getting the service you feel you are entitled to get. Whenever you upgrade your broadband, the first thing you might do is to run a speed test. Then you can show off to your mates how superior your blazing fast service is compared to their pitiful product. more»

What Stopped the Cuban Internet in 1996 and What Is Stopping It Today?

The problem today is bureaucracy and its companions - fear of competition, change and stepping out of line. Cuba connected to the Internet in 1996, but three factors stifled the Cuban Net: the US embargo, economic depression during what the Cubans call the "special period" after the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the Cuban government's fear of free information, which was also fed in part by the Soviet collapse. more»

A Look at Why We Need Fibre-to-the-Farm

One of the discussions I am currently having with my international colleagues is about the global trend towards urbanisation and the resulting shift of political, economic and financial powers from centralised states and federal structures to mega-city or mega-urban region centres. Some of my American colleagues expressed the fear that this would further marginalise rural communication. more»

Is the FCC Inviting the World's Cyber Criminals into America's Living Rooms?

In October 2012, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee issued a joint statement warning American companies that were doing business with the large Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE to "use another vendor." The bipartisan statement explains that the Intelligence Committee's Report, "highlights the interconnectivity of U.S. critical infrastructure systems and warns of the heightened threat of cyber espionage and predatory disruption or destruction of U.S. networks if telecommunications networks are built by companies with known ties to the Chinese state, a country known to aggressively steal valuable trade secrets and other sensitive data from American companies." more»

The Strange Structure of ISP Service Semantics

I have been having a number of conversations recently with several clients and colleagues about "semantics". It's clear that there is not a lot of clarity on this philosophical subject! Whilst is may be an obscure issue, it is a very important one. Our ideas lead us to take actions, and if we want those actions to have the consequences we had in mind, then we need to have done our epistemological homework. more»

Welcome to Notflix! Your Streaming-Free ISP with the Best Quality of Experience!

It has been widely taken as "obvious" that a "no blocking" rule for ISPs is a good regulatory policy. Is this really the case? Does it save consumers from harm... or cause harm? Netflix has reached the point of being well over 30% of Internet traffic at peak time for some ISPs. This places three costs on the ISP and its users... So for someone who isn't a streaming video user, they are paying a share of the direct costs. more»

Legacy or Not to Be?

Over the years, most communication service providers will build up their information systems bit by bit. Every so often as new services are required, a new process and vendor product is installed. Several years later, there can be many legacy processes and vendor products chosen and designed by many different people. Generally, each implementation team is diligently aware of these legacy processes and vendor products. But in a lot of cases the whole enterprise architecture becomes very convoluted and complicated. more»

What Your ISP (Probably) Knows About You

Earlier this week, I came across a working paper from Professor Peter Swire - a highly respected attorney, professor, and policy expert. Swire's paper, entitled "Online Privacy and ISPs", argues that ISPs have limited capability to monitor users' online activity. The paper argues that ISPs have limited visibility into users' online activity for three reasons: (1) users are increasingly using many devices and connections, so any single ISP is the conduit of only a fraction of a typical user's activity; (2) end-to-end encryption is becoming more pervasive, which limits ISPs' ability to glean information about user activity; and (3) users are increasingly shifting to VPNs to send traffic. more»

News Briefs

China Considering Internet On-Off Switch for "Emerging Social Security Events"

Wireless Carriers Clashing with FCC Over Proposed Regulations on Mobile Advertising

Facebook Introduces Open/R as a More Efficient Modular Routing Platform

Brazil Judge Orders 72-Hour Ban on WhatsApp

H.R. 2666 Bill Proposes Deregulating U.S. Broadband Rates, Obama Threatens to Veto

FCC Introduces Broadband Labels

Google in Early Stages of Expanding Internet Access in Cuba

3.2 Billion People Online in 2015 - Up from 3B in 2014, Facebook Reports

US Senate Gives Final OK to Ban Internet Taxes

U.S. Officials Asking Cuba to Speed Up Its Internet Infrastructure Build Out

WhatsApp Suspension Called 'Sad day for Brazil' by Facebook

Bangladesh Govt Orders Internet Shutdown on 'Security Grounds'

Internet a Key Catalyst for Sustainable Development, Says ISOC CEO

Neighbours Create Their Own Internet Service on Orcas Island

UN Broadband Commission: Global Broadband Growth in Decline, 4 Billion Still Offline

SpaceX Files Application with FCC to Offer Internet Access Via Satellite Constellation

Nepal Internet Connectivity Crucial for Coordination of Relief Efforts

The FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

BT Announces 500Mbps to 1000Mbps Broadband Rollout to UK Homes

Google Fiber Expanding to Four More Cities

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