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How Big Is That Network?

It's often observed that the Internet was a direct outcome of the progressive liberalization of national telecommunications markets in the late twentieth century. This allowed the entry of a wave of Internet entrepreneurs into various national telecommunications markets that were historically dominated by incumbent telephone monopolies. The resultant transformation of telecommunications over the past two decades is as much a testament to the transformational power of open markets as it is to the prodigious ability of the Internet's technology base to service the ever increasing demands being made of it. more»

State of Broadband Report 2014

Last Sunday I attended the 10th meeting of the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development in New York, where we launched this new report -- State of Broadband Report 2014. Here are some of the highlights of the report. Over 50% of the global population will have Internet access within three years' time, with mobile broadband over smartphones and tablets now the fastest growing technology in human history, according to the 2014 edition of the State of Broadband report. more»

African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) Streaming Live This Week From Dakar, Senegal

The 5th African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) gets underway today, August 26, 2014, in Dakar, Senegal, with a packed agenda full of sessions focused on the future of peering and interconnection in Africa. There are sessions targeted at Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), infrastructure providers, content creators and policy makers and regulators. The event goes through Thursday, August 28, 2014. more»

Wireless Broadband vs Fixed Broadband - The Story Continues

This never-ending story is used by opportunistic telcos and their lobbyists to confuse the issue in order to gain regulatory or political advantage. The debate is now raging again in the USA. In an attempt to talk down their monopolistic position in the market the three telcos - and this time in particular, Comcast - are claiming that real competition does in fact exist in the American broadband market, citing competition from the mobile 4G LTE services as an example. more»

Net Neutrality Undermining Spreads to Developing Countries

After the USA set the bad example of allowing telcos to start charging different rates for content delivery services, other incumbent telcos elsewhere are only too happy to jump on the bandwagon and use the American example as a reason and an excuse to end net neutrality (NN) in their countries also. As did their American counterparts they too see this as another way to grab some extra monopolistic income. more»

What is Metadata, and Why Should I Care?

August 2014 is proving yet again to be an amusing month in the Australian political scene, and in this case the source of the amusement was watching a number of Australian politicians fumble around the topic of digital surveillance and proposed legislation relating to data retention measures. The politicians assured us that the proposed data retention measures were nothing untoward, and all that was being called for was the retention of "metadata" by Australian ISPs for a period of two years. more»

Live Today: IXPs and the Relationship Between Geography and Network Topology

Today at 5:10pm EDT the IETF 90 Technical Plenary will be streamed live out of Toronto, Canada... After some initial reports, the technical focus will be on "Network topology and geography." The session will be recorded for later viewing. The slides are online and from what I can see it should be a very interesting talk for those of interested in the underlying infrastructure of the Internet. more»

AXIS - The Fulcrum of Africa's Internet Success

The Internet Society (ISOC) has been working with the African Union (AU) to facilitate the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS). This AXIS project funded by the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund and the Government of Luxembourg will help keep Internet traffic in Africa internal to the continent and avoid expensive international transit costs and delay latency in routing Internet traffic through other continents. more»

Connectivity Policy and the Open Internet

The goal of public policy for connectivity should be to assure access to our common facilities as a public good by adopting sustainable business models that don't put owners and users at odds with each other. Such balances are typically difficult to achieve which is what makes connectivity so unusual - we can achieve both once we fund the facilities as a public good apart from the particular applications such as telephone calls and cable content. more»

Painting Ourselves Into a Corner with Path MTU Discovery

In Tony Li's article on path MTU discovery we see this text: "The next attempt to solve the MTU problem has been Packetization Layer Path MTU Discovery (PLPMTUD). Rather than depending on ICMP messaging, in this approach, the transport layer depends on packet loss to determine that the packet was too big for the network. Heuristics are used to differentiate between MTU problems and congestion. Obviously, this technique is only practical for protocols where the source can determine that there has been packet loss. Unidirectional, unacknowledged transfers, typically using UDP, would not be able to use this mechanism. To date, PLPMTUD hasn't demonstrated a significant improvement in the situation." Tony's article is (as usual) quite readable and useful, but my specific concern here is DNS... more»

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