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"Non-Discriminatory" Broadband: Just Carriage, or Miscarriage of Justice?

The foundational idea behind "net neutrality" is one of fairness by constraining ISP power over network mechanisms. The theory is this: if there is "non-discriminatory" local traffic management, then you have "fair" global outcomes to both users and application providers. There are thousands of pages of academic books making this assumption, and it is the basis of recent EU telecoms law. more»

Why Broadband Speed Tests Suck

Everyone is familiar with broadband 'speed test' applications. When you have an ISP service quality problem, it is common to grab one of these tools to see if you are getting the service you feel you are entitled to get. Whenever you upgrade your broadband, the first thing you might do is to run a speed test. Then you can show off to your mates how superior your blazing fast service is compared to their pitiful product. more»

The World is in Need of Transformative Solutions

The world has changed significantly since 2000, when the countries of the world adopted the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). While strong economic growth in the developing world has helped lift millions out of poverty, global population growth, modern lifestyles and consumption are now stretching the limits of the planet's resources. During this time, technological advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) have radically transformed the way people communicate and lead their lives; now ICT can play a vital, transformative role in helping to put the world on a more sustainable path. more»

On the Internet Everyone is Connected to Everyone Else - Right?

We tend to make a number of assumptions about the Internet, and sometimes these assumptions don't always stand up to critical analysis. We were perhaps 'trained' by the claims of the telephone service to believe that these communications networks supported a model of universal connectivity. Any telephone handset could establish a call with any other telephone handset was the underlying model of a ubiquitous telephone service, and we've carried that assumption into our perception of the Internet. On the Internet anyone can communicate with anyone else - right? more»

Behind the Curtain: Making IPv6 Work

Wouldn't it be nice if turning on IPv6 really was 'press one button and the rest is magic' easy? For some things, it is. If you're talking about client-side, enabling an IPv4-only home service on DSL or fibre really can be this simple, because all the heavy lifting is being done inside your ISP: you're not enabling IPv6 in the network, you're turning on the last mile. It was knocking at your door and you just had to let it in. more»

IPv6 and DNSSEC Are Respectively 20 and 19 Years Old. Same Fight and Challenges?

A few weeks ago I came across an old interview of me by ITespresso.fr from 10 years back entitled "IPv6 frees human imagination". At the time, I was talking about the contributions IPv6 was expected to make and the challenges it had to face. After reading the article again, I realized that it has become a little dusty (plus a blurred photo of the interviewee :-)). But what caught my attention the most in the interview was my assertion: "If IPv6 does not prevail in 2006, it's a safe bet that it will happen in 2007". Wow! more»

The Real Reason Why Network 'Neutrality' Is Impossible

In "Net Neutrality: Discrimination, Competition, and Innovation in the UK and US", Alissa Cooper and Ian Brown explore the relationship between two broadband regulatory regimes and their practical outcomes. The paper is of (paradoxical) interest as it (unintentionally) demonstrates how policy is being made without sufficient understanding of packet network performance. This paper contains many common fallacies about performance. These fallacies are fuelling misdirected conflicts over broadband regulatory policy. The underlying (false) assumption is that 'neutral' (aka 'non-discriminatory') networks exist. more»

Time to Look Past 'Net Neutrality'. Let's Start a Fresh Post-Neutrality Debate…

Yesterday, as many of you heard, the European Parliament voted to reject the 'net neutrality' fundamentalist amendments to the already flawed proposals they had helped to create. That's the good news. The bad news is that the law that we now have is merely ludicrous, rather than insane. Furthermore, it doesn't properly protect end users, hold ISP feet to the service delivery fire, or truly encourage broadband ecosystem innovation. more»

'The Global Village' Idiot

I recall from some years back, when we were debating in Australia some national Internet censorship proposal de jour, that if the Internet represented a new Global Village then Australia was trying very hard to position itself as the Global Village Idiot. And the current situation with Australia's new Data Retention laws may well support a case for reviving that sentiment. more»

Parallels Between Our Oceans and Internet Governance #WorldOceanDay

Today is June 8th and World Ocean Day. As I ponder on the threats and challenges to the world's ocean with the enormous stresses such as overfishing, pollution, ocean acidification that threatens all global standards of living, I cannot help but think about the startling similarities that global internet governance faces with its respective stresses of increasing cyber security vulnerabilities, threats, breaches of trust, growing cyber crime, breaches of privacy and data protection, identity thefts, pedophilia and many other things that threaten global public interest and our safety within an internet ecosystem. more»

Did Google's Infrastructure Coup Work?

There is no doubt that the Google fibre rollout in Kansas City has been a success. Take-up rates are as high as 75%. However, when it was first announced in 2010, we stated that the real reason behind Google's entry into this market was to prove that FttH can be cost-effective and can generate a profitable return -- in the hope that the sluggish telcos would become more active in the rollout of FttH networks. Yet, Google is proving that this indeed can be done, the telcos remain sluggish in deploying FttH. more»

ISPs to Enforce Copyright Law

A group of major ISPs and major content providers have agreed on a a mechanism to enforce copyright laws in the network. While full details have not yet been released, the basic scheme involves using previously designed IP flags to denote public domain content. That is, given general copyright principles, it is on average a shorter code path and hence more efficient to set the flag on exempt material. more»

Facebook's Internet.org Delivers Free Internet to Colombia

Facebook's Internet.org has launched a free Internet application in Colombia as part of a drive to bring developing markets online. Colombia is the first nation in Latin America and the fourth in the world to receive the new Internet.org service, in partnership with local mobile phone provider Tigo, but the aim is to push the app globally. The mobile app, aimed at low income and rural users, offers more than a dozen tools via the Android operating system... more»

Watching North Korea's Internet Connectivity Go Up and Down Via Twitter

One thing I enjoy about following Dyn Research (formerly Renesys) on Twitter is that they provide quite interesting graphics and charts about Internet outages. They've been tracking North Korea's Internet access quite closely over the past week and their tweets have been quite enlightening. Back on December 22, for instance, DynResearch tweeted a chart showing a 9-hour, 31-minute outage... more»

Internet Regulation: Section 706 vs Title II

At the NANOG meeting in Baltimore this week I listened to a presentation by Patrick Gilmore on "The Open Internet Debate: Section 706 vs Title II." It's true that this is a title that would normally induce a comatose reaction from any audience, but don't let the title put you off. Behind this is an impassioned debate about the nature of the retail Internet for the United States, and, I suspect, a debate about the Internet itself and the nature of the industry that provides it. more»

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