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What is the Future for Mobile Network Operators?

The telecommunication industry is continuing to resist structural changes, but the reality is that if they don't transform, technology will do it for them. We have seen the fixed telecom operators slowly being pushed back into the infrastructure utility market. Mobile networks are moving in that same direction - that is, the largest part of their network will be a utility, with currently two, three or four mobile infrastructure providers per country... the industry is facing serious problems. more

Cuba's Odd Emphasis on the National Intranet

In 2014, Cuba embarked on a program for the "informatization" of society and "advances in the informatization of society" was the theme of the short videos by ETECSA president Mayra Arevich Marín and Vice Minister of Communications Wilfredo González... I was struck by the emphasis on the Cuban national intranet, as opposed to the global Internet... This emphasis is reflected in the relatively low price of intranet access and the continued development of Cuban content and services. more

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2017

It is once again time for our annual review of posts that received the most attention on CircleID during the past year. Congratulations to all the 2017 participants for sharing their thoughts and making a difference in the industry. 2017 marked CircleID's 15th year of operation as a medium dedicated to all critical matters related to the Internet infrastructure and services. We are in the midst of historic times, facing rapid technological developments and there is a lot to look forward to in 2018. more

Internet Governance Outlook 2018: Preparing for Cyberwar or Promoting Cyber Détente?

In 2018, Internet Governance will be one of the top priorities in the geo-strategic battles among big powers. In today's world, every global conflict has an Internet-related component. There is no international security without cybersecurity. The world economy is a digital economy. And human rights are relevant offline as well as online. It is impossible to decouple cyberspace from the conflicts of the real world. more

The End of Net Neutrality Regulation COULD Mean the End of Last-Mile Oligopolies

Landline networks like the old phone system and the new(er) cable systems do lend themselves to monopoly or at least duopoly outcomes. Building these networks is both very expensive and requires myriad government approvals. Once a system is in place, it is hard for anyone to raise the capital to duplicate it. Even a network of wireless towers is hard to compete with. more

Important Developments on Low-Earth Orbit Satellite Internet Service (2017 Review)

The internet is unavailable and/or unaffordable by about 50% of the world's population. The situation is worse in, but not confined to, developing nations where the service is typically sub-standard when it is available.Geostationary satellite connectivity is available globally, but it is slow and expensive because the satellites are high above the Earth. Low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites can deliver speeds comparable to terrestrial links, but constellations of many satellites would be needed to serve the entire planet. more

LeoSat Satellite Internet Project

I've been tracking Greg Wyler and Elon Musk's plans to launch low-Earth orbit satellites to provide Internet connectivity. Musk's SpaceX and Wyler's OneWeb have been joined by a would-be low-Earth connectivity provider, Leosat. Leosat will not be marketing to individual end users but will target government and business - maritime applications, oil and gas exploration and productions, telecom back-haul and trunking, enterprise VSAT, etc. more

Net Neutrality Not a Serious Issue Outside America

Most countries, don't have to fear internet quality problems in the same way as would be possible in the USA. The US competition watchdog has little power to hold telcos accountable to the nature of their broadband services. Back in 1996 broadband was classified as a content service and not a telecom service. So, for example, if a telco wants to provide preferred access to Google, it can sell them a superior broadband services which could create a two speed internet service... more

Cuban Satellite Connectivity - Today and (Maybe?) Tomorrow

Last January, Doug Madory of Dyn Research reported on Cuban traffic, noting that C&W's share had increased. And this week Madory reported that ETECSA had activated a new internet transit provider, medium-Earth orbit (MEO) satellite-connectivity provider O3b Networks (Other 3 billion), replacing geostationary satellite provider Intelsat... the time for a data packet to travel from earth to an O3b satellite and back to Earth is significantly less than to an Intelsat satellite. more

It's Time to Move From 'Broadband' to 'Infrastructure'

The success of the internet demonstrates that we now depend on network operators to assure that services like telephony work. The carriers are pushing back on neutrality because their business model is threatened by a level playing field. We should be encouraging innovative internet-native business models rather than working to preserve an industry threatened by innovation. more

"Restoring" Internet Freedom for Whom?

Recently, a colleague in the Bellisario College of Communications asked me who gets a freedom boost from the FCC's upcoming dismantling of network neutrality safeguards. He noted that Chairman Pai made sure that the title of the FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is: Restoring Internet Freedom. My colleague wanted to know whose freedom the FCC previously subverted and how removing consumer safeguards promotes freedom. more

Net Neutrality: Both Sides Make Some Ridiculous Claims

We've all heard too much about NN, which I've been reporting for 20 years. I support it because I don't want Randall Stephenson of AT&T deciding what I should watch on TV. The long-run effect is negative. The claims from some people who agree with me are ridiculous. "According to former FCC commissioner Michael Copps, ending net neutrality will end the Internet as we know it." Michael knows I respect him, but... more

An Example of Effective Government Support for New Communication Technology

The October Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on the commercial satellite industry provides a current example of effective government support of new communication technology. The hearing focused on broadband access, primarily from low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. Witnesses from four companies - Intelsat, OneWeb, ViaSat and SpaceX - testified and the tone of the hearing was set by the opening statements of Committee Chairman John Thune and Ranking Member Bill Nelson. more

Internet Religious Wars: Net Neutrality Episode

Turning network technical protocols into religion seems like an inherently bad idea -- transient and unstable at best. However, it happens. More than 40 years ago, the world of legacy telecommunications and network design formalism started the tendency with OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) and ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Networks). A few years later, the academic research community did it with their myriad host-to-host datagram protocols -- eventually calling one "the Internet." more

The FCC is Taking the Right Step

Today's announcement from the Commission that it intends to roll back the exercise of Title II utility-style regulation over "any person engaged in the provision of broadband internet access service" at its 14 December meeting is the right step. As a veteran of 40 years of internet related regulatory wars in the FCC and numerous other venues, the Commission's decision and the actual Rules promulgated in the February 2015 Report & Order stand among the most ill-considered application of authority and regulatory gerrymandering ever witnessed. more

News Briefs

New Harvard Study Recognizes Community-Owned Internet Service Providers as Value Leaders in America

California Introduces Its Own Net Neutrality Bill; Similar Bills in Progress for WA and New York

ISPs in UK Legally Obliged to Provide High-Speed Broadband Upon Request, Starting 2020

EFF to FCC: 'Restoring Internet Freedom' Plan Riddled With Technical Errors and Factual Inaccuracies

Puerto Rico Disaster Stands Alone: A Look at Prolonged and Widespread Impact on Its Internet Access

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Says FCC's Roll Back Plan on Net Neutrality Makes No Sense

FCC Plans to Order States Not to Impose Laws Regulating Broadband Service, Senior Officials Revealed

FCC Chair Releases Draft to Abandon Net Neutrality, Says Gov't Must Stop Micromanaging the Internet

Berners-Lee Talks Net Neutrality in Washington, "ISPs Should be Treated More Like Utilities"

Internet Goes Down for Parts of the US Due to a Misconfiguration

FCC Approves Google's Project Loon Balloons for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

Russia Appears to Have Begun Providing an Internet Connection to North Korea

The Impacts of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria on the Internet

China Carries Out Drill with ISPs to Practice Taking Down Websites Deemed Harmful

Verizon, AT&T Speeds Slow After Unlimited Data Plans Launch

Somalia's Extended Internet Outage Results in Millions of Dollars of Loss per Day, Says Government

Over 190 Internet Engineers, Pioneers, Technologists File Comments with FCC on Net Neutrality

EFF: Internet Went All Out in Support of Net Neutrality

Cloud Leak Exposes at least 14 Million Verizon Subscribers, Phone Numbers and Account PINs Included

Complete Internet Shutdown Reported in Syria

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