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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.