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FTC Tells Law Makers Back Off Net Neutrality

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released its report suggesting that concerns over threats to 'Net Neutrality' are a non-issue and that current anti-trust laws provide adequate protection against abuses of network power. more

U.S. Broadband Speed Lagging Behind Other Industrialized Nations

The U.S. is lagging behind other industrialized nations in the availability and use of high-speed broadband connections, according to a report released today by the Washington-based Communications Workers of America. The report, based on aggregated data from nearly 80,000 broadband users, found that the median real-time download speed in the U.S. is 1.9Mbit/sec., compared with 61Mbit/sec. in Japan, 45Mbit/sec. in South Korea, 17Mbit/sec. in France and 7Mbit/sec. in Canada. more

Web Traffic Overtakes P2P as Largest Bandwidth on the Network

After more than four years during which peer-to-peer (P2P) applications have overwhelmingly consumed the largest percentage of bandwidth on the network, HTTP (Web) traffic has overtaken P2P and continues to grow says a report released by Ellacoya Networks. These findings are based on usage data of approximately one million broadband subscribers in North America. more

First Square Mile is not the Last or First Mile: Discovery not Just Choices!

The term "last mile" highlights the fact that we are the consumers at the end of a broadband "pipe". Saying "first mile" is a little better but the Internet is not a pipe to or from somewhere else. It's about what we can do locally and then what we can do when we interconnect with other neighborhoods. It's better to describe our neighborhood as the first square mile. Telecom is about selling us services; the Internet is about what we can do ourselves locally and then interconnecting with others everywhere. In writing the First Square Mile - Our Neighborhood essay which I just posted I came to better understand the fundamental difference between the world of telecom which is about giving you choices and the Internet which provides opportunity to discover what we can't anticipate... more

Google Explains What They Mean by "Net Neutrality"

Google has launched a new Public Policy Blog focused on U.S. government legislation and regulation -- reported in the media as part of Google's efforts in setting up focus on the U.S. government since early 2005. In an entry posted over the weekend on the blog by Richard Whitt, Washington Telecom and Media Counsel, key argument within the net neutrality debate is explained... more

Carriers Constrain Entrepreneurs

Previously, I've written about how the success of the MVNO (though not without its problems) demonstrates how an Open Access-like business model can work in a wireless context. The underlying carrier, such as Sprint or Verizon, can sell access to its network at wholesale rates to a company like Virgin Mobile, which then markets to consumers. This model can be and is a success both for the retailer and the wholesaler. MVNOs are not perfect. more

WSJ on Wireless Network Neutrality

Today's Wall Street Journal had an interesting article (subscription required) on the current state of the wireless walled garden. It cites several recent clashes between handset vendors and cellcos over the extent to which consumers can use their phones to access non cellco content. From the article: "At stake for consumers are what services will be available on their mobile phones and whether they're free or cost a monthly fee. The wireless Web is taking off more slowly in America than overseas, and one reason is that U.S. carriers tightly control what applications are available on mobile devices..." more

Google Lobbying for Open Wi-Fi Spectrum

CNet News is reporting that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission will be in the process of deciding whether to impose the so-called "open access" rules on winners of the upcoming auction of a generous chunk of the 700MHz broadcast TV band. Wireless companies are eager to bid on the auction as the 700MHz broadcast signals can travel farther and easily penetrate walls resulting in widespread, wireless broadband networks. more

Broadband Subscribers Reaching 300 Million Worldwide

According to a recent report by Point Topic, there were 298 million broadband subscribers worldwide as of the end of March 2007 -- and assumed to have passed 300 million by now. From the report: "China continues to push hard for the top spot however and has cut the gap to the US from 5.8 million at the end of 2006 to 4.1 million at end of March 2007." more

Over Half of U.S. Households Using Broadband Service

A new consumer research conducted by Leichtman Research Group finds that 53% of all US households now subscribe to a broadband high-speed Internet service at home. Broadband services now account for about 72% of total home Internet subscriptions as compared to 60% last year. his report has also noted that income still plays a major role in broadband adoption... Leichtman Research Group forecasts that the total number of broadband subscribers will increase by over 40 million over the next five years. more

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