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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»