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17 Countries to Reach 60% Household Broadband Penetration by 2012, Says New Study

Worldwide consumer broadband connections will grow from 323 million connections in 2007 to 499 million in 2012, according to latest research by Gartner. Worldwide consumer broadband connections penetrated 18 percent of households in 2007, and by 2012, households with a broadband connection are expected to reach 25 percent. Five countries exceeded 60 percent broadband penetration into the home in 2007; and, this is expected to grow to 17 countries by 2012. The five countries with broadband penetration into the home above 60 percent are Canada, Netherlands, Switzerland, South Korea and Hong Kong. more»

All Major U.S. Senate Democratic Challengers Announce Support for Net Neutrality

Eevery single U.S. Democratic challenger with more than $500k in cash on hand has announced their support for net neutrality, reports Matt Stoller of OpenLeft -- "This is a milestone for the fight for internet freedom." Also noted is that, with the exception of three individuals, there is no organized telecom or cable money going to any of these candidates. Included in the report are statements reacting to this news from Senator Byron Dorgan, Speaker Pelosi, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, Google public policy director Alan Davidson, and Columbia Law Professor Tim Wu... more»

Six Largest ISPs in UK Agree to Send Warning Letters to Illegal Music, Movie Downloaders

The music and film industries have launched a fight back against online piracy today, persuading Britain's six biggest Internet providers, BT, Virgin Media, Orange, Tiscali, BSkyB and Carphone Warehouse, to send warning letters to those suspected of illegal file-sharing. The plan is aimed at an estimated 6.5 million Britons who have downloaded files illegally over the past year. ISPs had previously argued they were mere conduits and not responsible for content. But they agreed to the deal after the government said it would impose legislation if they did not work to curb illegal file-sharing. more»

Cablecos, Telcos Childish Behavior Harmful to National Interest, Says Vint Cerf

Vint Cerf has blasted telephone and cable companies for harming national interests by holding investments in their networks to ransom. A long-time advocate of keeping the internet free from control by service providers, Cerf, a current senior vice-president for search giant Google Inc., told the Silicon Valley Watcher blog that the companies are being childish by threatening to withhold upgrading networks unless they get breaks from regulators. more»

Google Talks About Owning Your Internet Connection

Derek Slater, Google's policy analyst, is asking "What if you could own your own Internet connection?" In other words, proposing a very different model where residentials, businesses, or other institutions would pay for the installation and maintenance of their own "last mile" link to the Internet, thus improving broadband reliability and choice. Although the idea may seem far fetched, Slater points out that in Ottawa, Canada, a trial experiment is already underway trying out the consumer-owned model for a downtown neighborhood of about 400 homes... more»

Buzz About Mobile WiMax Heating Up

The buzz from vendors and carriers about the broadband wireless technology called mobile WiMAX is heating up, fueled by new chipsets and radio products and fanned by some huge carrier investments, reports Network World. "Clearwire in the summer rounded up $900 million, including $600 million from WiMAX zealot Intel, to upgrade its growing wireless broadband net to support the IEEE's 802.16e mobile WiMAX standard. And Sprint Nextel in August became the first U.S. cellular provider to announce plans to deploy a nationwide mobile WiMAX net in the licensed 2.5GHz frequency band." more»

Comcast Proposes Its IPv6 Transition Solution to IETF, Invites ISPs to Participate

Comcast, the largest cable operator in the U.S., is reported to have developed an innovative approach for gradually migrating its customers to IPv6. The company has 24.7 million cable customers, 14.1 million broadband customers and 5.2 million voice customers. The solution dubbed Dual-Stack Lite, is backwards compatible with IPv4 and can be deployed incrementally according the company. Comcast has submitted this proposal to the Internet standards body, Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) which has scheduled a review during the upcoming IETF meeting in Dublin later this month. From the Comcast document submitted to IETF... more»

FCC Calls for Sanctions Against Comcast for Blocking Internet Traffic

The head of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Kevin Martin, intends to recommend that Comcast, U.S.'s largest cable company, be punished for violating agency principles that guarantee customers open access to the Internet. Martin said Comcast has "arbitrarily" blocked Internet access, regardless of the level of traffic, and failed to disclose to consumers that it was doing so. more»

U.S. Senate Passes Telecom Immunity Bill to Shield Phone Companies

More than two and a half years after the disclosure of President’s Bush’s domestic eavesdropping program set off a furious national debate, the Senate has given final approval today to broadening the government’s spy powers and providing legal immunity for the phone companies that took part in the wiretapping program. Senator Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic nominee for president, voted for the plan amid supporters expressed concerns that he would backtrack on his opposition to telecom immunity. more»

Inter-Continental Cable-Laying Top Priority to Enhance Internet Connectivity

Reported by the Financial Times today: "The world's biggest telecoms companies are rushing to add capacity on inter-continental routes, to keep up with booming demand fuelled in part by consumers downloading bandwidth-hungry video content from YouTube, iTunes and other sites over broadband networks. Demand is also being driven by fast-growing telecom and internet markets in some developing countries, and by the need to build additional "redundancy" into the network undersea cables to protect against damage and failure." more»

FCC Has 4 Months to Justify Rule on Payments for Dial-Up Internet Access

Dial-up Internet connections often require larger phone companies to transfer the connections to smaller competitors who contract with ISPs. In a non-Internet context, the original carrier of a phone call is required to pay the second carrier for use of its facilities. A federal appeals court on Tuesday has given the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 4 months to explain its rule governing how phone companies are compensated when people use dial-up Internet connections. If the FCC does not comply with that deadline, the rule will be invalidated, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said. more»

U.S. Telecoms Suing Cities Planning Broadband Access

According to today's report from Law.com, Telecommunications companies are suing cities around the United States in order to stop the construction of publicly owned fiber optic systems that bring high-speed Internet, telephone and cable television to communities far from metropolitan centers. Attorneys for cities say the telecommunications suits, whether brought under state law, the Federal Telecommunications Act or other laws, are veiled attempts to stop construction of competing public systems providing an essential utility in the digital age. more»

Google Says Bell Canada is Breaking the Law

Google says Bell Canada is breaking Canadian telecommunications law by throttling certain internet traffic, and is urging the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to take action against the company. Peter Nowak of CBC News reports today that Google has made a 15-page submission to CRTC which went public over the weekend. Quoting from the submission: "Bell claims its throttling of peer-to-peer applications is a reasonable form of network management. Google respectfully disagrees. Network management does not include Canadian carriers' blocking or degrading lawful applications that consumers wish to use." more»

Cable Operator Suspends Plan to Sell Customer Data to Advertisers

Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States, announced yesterday that it has backed off a plan to monitor customers' Internet transmissions. The company had been planning to harvest the stream of data from each Internet customer for clues to their interests and then make money from advertisers who would use the information to target online pitches. The data-collection effort would have protected personal information, Charter officials said in describing the plan, but critics likened the practice to wiretapping. more»

New Coalition Pushes for High-Speed Internet Access for All

U.S. Federal Communications Commission member Jonathan Adelstein and several high-profile technology executives and industry advocates on Tuesday launched an initiative to make broadband access a national priority in the U.S., report Elizabeth Montalbano or IDG news service. At the Personal Democracy Forum in New York, Adelstein and others unveiled InternetforEveryone.org, a movement aimed at fostering a public dialogue among U.S. citizens to advise the government on how to set a national policy. more»

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