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Hidden in Plain Sight: FCC Chairman Pai's Strategy to Consolidate the U.S. Wireless Marketplace

While couched in noble terms of promoting competition, innovation and freedom, the FCC soon will combine two initiatives that will enhance the likelihood that Sprint and T-Mobile will stop operating as separate companies within 18 months. In the same manner at the regulatory approval of airline mergers, the FCC will make all sorts of conclusions sorely lacking empirical evidence and common sense. more»

Why Not Connect Cuba's Gaspar Social Streetnet to the Internet?

I've been covering Cuban streetnets (local area networks with independent users that are not connected to the Internet) for some time. Reader Doug Madory told me about Gaspar Social, a new streetnet in Gaspar, a small town in central Cuba. Gaspar Social opened to the public last October and has grown quickly -- about 500 of Gaspar's 7,500 residents are now users. Streetnets are illegal in Cuba and the government has ignored some and cracked down on others... more»

Telecoms Competition on a Downhill Slide in America

That is what happens when you base your telecommunications policies on the wrong foundations. The problems with the telecommunications industry in America go back to 1996 when the FCC decided that broadband in America should be classified as internet (being content) and that therefore it would not fall under the normal telecommunication regulations. Suddenly what are known as telecommunications common carriers in other parts of the world became ISPs in the USA. How odd is that? more»

IoT Devices Will Never Be Secure - Enter the Programmable Networks

Harvard Business Review just ran an interesting article on the information security aspects of Internet of Things (IoT). Based on the storyline, the smart city initiatives are doomed to fail unless the security of the IoT devices and the systems will be improved. While security of the digital society is obviously a key concern, I am not entirely convinced that relying on the security of individual devices and systems is the best course of action. more»

Why Don't We Have Peak and Off-Peak Pricing for Broadband?

I saw a poster on the London Underground yesterday, and as is often the case it got me thinking about the parallels with telecoms. The poster explains the peak and off-peak fare structure for tube travel. The purpose of this pricing system is to manage the relationship between supply and demand in a system that is capacity constrained. Over short and medium timescales the supply is essentially fixed, and demand can oversaturate that supply. more»

First Two-Day School on Internet Governance in Afghanistan

On Wednesday April 26, 2017, Afghanistan had its first two-day long school on Internet Governance. The event was organized by a home grown civil society by the name of National IT Professionals Association of Afghanistan (NITPAA). Afghanistan School on Internet Governance (AfSIG) is a new initiative by a group of volunteers at NITPAA, who worked tirelessly for months to put up an event that comprised of speakers from multiple organizations and multiple stakeholders across the country. more»

Internet Fast Lanes - You May Be Surprised at Who Has Them

The Internet Association -- lobbying organization for Internet giants like Google, Amazon and Netflix -- is adamant that it is necessary to apply of 1935 phone regulation (Title 2) to the Internet to assure that there are no premium "fast lanes", that all bits are treated equally, that Internet access providers (ISPs) do not prioritize their own content over content from competitors. more»

New Chapter Working Groups Open Closed Doors

One thing was clear from a recent presentation by the new leaders of the SF-Bay Internet Society (ISOC) Chapter Working Groups: inclusion and collaboration will be the key to these groups' success. As Dr. Brandie Nonnecke, the Internet Governance Working Group (WG) Chair said, "We haven't yet cracked the code on what 'multistakeholder' means." But that won't stop her and Dr. Jaclyn Kerr, the Data Protection, Privacy, and Security WG Chair, from trying. more»

Don't Make the Internet Safe for Monopolies

This week I'm going to Washington to argue against regulating Internet access as if it were phone service. Twenty years ago I was there for the same reason. My concern now as it was then is that such regulation will damage the economy and reduce opportunity by stifling innovation and protecting the current dominant players from the startups which would otherwise threaten them. more»

Internet for All Now: Legislation That Needs Your Support

California was recently reminded that rain can be very dangerous. In February, the nation's tallest dam, the Oroville dam in northern California, became so overloaded with rain that over a 100,000 people had to evacuate their homes. Many of them ended up at the fairgrounds, a common place for rural communities to gather in times of disaster. Many rural fairgrounds remain unconnected to broadband Internet services, which can make a dangerous situation worse. Especially during critical times, the public must be able to access resources and communicate with their loved ones through the Internet. more»

New Products, Old Regulations: The Example of HTS

Every day, new technologies bring us closer to ubiquitous connectivity. If the capabilities of technology is advancing at a fast pace, the same is not always true of regulations; when creating or marketing a new technology, regulation is likely to act as a bottleneck. Understanding regulatory challenges is therefore the foundation that your next move rest on. Although the target may be a global or regional market, it's essential that strategies are designed both well in advance and target each jurisdiction individually. more»

Dissecting the (Likely) Forthcoming Repeal of the FCC's Privacy Rulemaking

Last week, the House and Senate both passed a joint resolution that prevent's the new privacy rules from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from taking effect; the rules were released by the FCC last November, and would have bound Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the United States to a set of practices concerning the collection and sharing of data about consumers. The rules were widely heralded by consumer advocates, and several researchers in the computer science community, including myself, played a role in helping to shape aspects of the rules. more»

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»

News Briefs

Net Neutrality Is a Smashing Success by FCC's Preferred Metric, Reports Free Press Researcher

Seattle Restores ISP Privacy Rules. Could be First of Many Cities to Defeat FCC's Privacy Roll Back

Over 800 Startups Send Letter to Pai: Focus Instead on Policies for Stronger Internet for Everyone

Fierce Political Battle Expected as FCC Chair Elaborated on Plan to Reverse 'Net Neutrality' Rules

Cuba Getting Faster YouTube Access in Next 24 Hours, Thanks to Deal Signed in December

Canada's Telecom Regulator to Uphold and Strengthen Commitment to Net Neutrality

FCC Chairman Plans Fast-Track Repeal of Net Neutrality

Major U.S. ISPs Say They Will Not Sell Customer Browsing Histories

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

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