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Treating Different Types of Communications Differently

A friend who read my Creating Sustainable Network Neutrality paper wrote to say, "Help me understand what is so bad about treating different types of communications differently." That's a really good question! If you want to offer vertically integrated services on special purpose networks, such as video entertainment or pager service or telephony, I do not have a problem with that, provided you don't use your market power to impede Internet applications that offer competing services... more

Net Neutrality Reflection

So this afternoon my charge is to lay out all the Net Neutrality (NN) issues to a bar association that doesn't have a telecom subcommittee... Cringely says that "In the end the ISPs [network providers] are going to win this [network neutrality] battle, you know. The only thing that will keep them from doing that is competition, something it is difficult to see coming along anytime soon..." more

More on Broadband Router Insecurity and Being Proactive

Fergie replied on NANOG to my recent post on the subject of broadband routers insecurity: "I'll even go a step further, and say that if ISPs keep punting on the whole botnet issue, and continue to think of themselves as 'common carriers' in some sense -- and continue to disengage on the issue -- then you may eventually forced to address those issues at some point in the not-so-distant future..." He is right, but I have a comment I felt it was important - to me - to make. Not just on this particular vulnerability, but on the "war"... more

Broadband Routers and Botnets: Being Proactive

In this post I'd like to discuss the threat widely circulated insecure broadband routers pose today. We have touched on it before. Today, yet another public report of a vulnerable DSL modem type was posted to bugtraq, this time about a potential WIRELESS flaw with broadband routers being insecure at Deutsche Telekom. I haven't verified this one myself but it refers to "Deutsche Telekom Speedport w700v broadband router"... more

Ed Richards of Ofcom on Net Neutrality

Ed Richards, Chief Executive of Ofcom, was at Columbia today... NN (Net Neutrality) debate does give us insight into importance of disclosure to consumers -- consumers should be able to switch providers, and they should know which ISPs are making prioritization decisions. This should be an obligation of suppliers to communicate this information to consumers. In particular, he says that Ofcom is actively exploring whether network operators whose traffic shaping activities change materially should have to tell consumers -- and if these changes are significant consumers should be allowed to break their contracts with the provider without penalty... more

Whose Network is it Anyway?

In reading a Q&A with Verizon's Brian Whitten I found this striking Q and A: "Q. With a fiber connection being symmetric, many fiber providers such as Paxio are providing symmetric connections such as 5Mbit, 10Mbit, 30Mbit. Why is Verizon keeping this arbitrary asymmetric limit with Fiber? A. ...Indeed, our FTTP network can easily support a symmetric data service. As market dynamics change, we would re-assess the benefit to our customers of introducing a class of symmetric data services." My reaction is "No thank you, I'd rather do it myself". To understand my reaction you need to recognize the difference between wanting to build my own bridge across a stream and asking why I'm not allowed to cross it myself using my own boat. more

Google, Service Providers and the Future of P2P

In a non-operational NANOG discussion about Google bandwidth uses, several statements were made. It all started from the following post by Mark Boolootian: "Cringley has a theory and it involves Google, video, and oversubscribed backbones..." The following comment has to be one of the most important comments in the entire article and its a bit disturbing... more

If It's Not Neutral It's Not Internet

The success of a proposal by AT&T and Verizon to end net neutrality does not threaten the Internet. The broadband customers of AT&T and Verizon will just no longer have access to the Internet. The development appropriately creates alarm among AT&T and Verizon's customers, but the combined customer bases of these companies represent less than 2% of the billion or so users of the Internet. The fact that access to the Internet requires net neutrality does not depend on laws passed by the US Congress or enforced by the FCC. Neutrality arises as a technical and business imperative facilitating the interconnection 250,000 independent networks that choose to participate in the Internet. more

Net Neutrality Again!

I had hoped to take a longer break from the theme of Net Neutrality, but a piece on Om Malik's blog by Daniel Berninger seems to be screaming for a reply. Berninger hails from Tier 1 Research; his credentials show a close association with Jeff Pulver's Free World Dialup, and hence a piece that is sympathetic to the 'Save the Internet' movement. His legalistically styled piece attempts to suggest that, in the absence of conformance to network neutrality principles, telephone companies will lose their common carrier status and therefore should lose their access to low cost rights-of-way. Good try, Dan... more

Preserving "Rational Competition"?

In What's Driving the Next Telecom Law, David Isenberg writes about the incumbents desire to preserve "Rational Competition"... Rational competition is the idea that corporations, knowing their own costs, and their competition's pricing, will price their products to maximize profits. It is tied up in the language of predatory pricing. Some economists argue that predatory pricing is rare, because it is, in fact, irrational... The flaw in the incumbent's argument is twofold... more

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