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F2C: My Opening Remarks

Here are my opening remarks at F2C: Freedom to Connect yesterday: "I am honored to be among so many remarkable people. We have to be remarkable people, because we have a hell of a job to do. The Internet has been given to us. It is a miraculous gift, and a boon to our lives... at least in part because it accidentally matured outside the purview of profit and loss. Now the money has arrived. If you want to see what happens when the money arrives, look at Nigeria or Venezuela or Russia or Iraq..." more

Google and the White Spaces

The white spaces proceeding is the next big opportunity for experiments in alternative ways of providing wireless highspeed internet access... A key advantage of unlicensed spectrum is that experiments in new technology can be carried out without asking the permission of spectrum licensees. To date, we have made very little spectrum available for unlicensed use and experimentation. The FCC has the discretion to decide whether the digital television "white spaces" may be used on an unlicensed basis... more

Google's Gigabit Gambit

Want a gig (1000 megabits per second) of Internet access bandwidth? Google says you could have it by the end of next year "from Manhattan to rural North Dakota (sic, I think they meant Vermont)" if their proposal to the FCC is accepted forthwith according to CNET's newsblog. Not only a gig but a mobile gig, accessible by cellphone or roaming computer -- no fiber required. Sound too good to be true? -- it isn't, IMHO! Engineering is not the problem... more

700 MHz Auction Winners: Why Block C Matters

Today the FCC announced the winners of the 700 MHz auction -- and you can see from pp. 62-63 of this document that Verizon won Block C. (Block C was set up in two nationwide paired blocks of 11 MHz each, which were auctioned off in very large geographic areas -- 12 licenses, each covering a "Regional Economic Area Grouping". Verizon won seven of the twelve licenses, covering all of the US except Alaska, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.) Why does this matter? more

FCC Ends 700 MHz Spectrum Auction, Raising $19.6 Billion

The controversial 700-MHz spectrum auction has closed, raising $19.59 billion, a record for a spectrum auction in the U.S. according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The 700-MHz auction was the first to require anonymous bidding, and the FCC has not yet revealed which companies won the rights to the bands that were sold. more

Broadband Access: What Should We Regulate?

Network Neutrality is a hot topic in the US. The FCC held hearings in my neighborhood recently (while I was in Asia). Now I see Professor Susan Crawford will be testifying next Tuesday at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Net Neutrality and the First Amendment." I look forward to her remarks, but I worry that the whole discussion will be focused on "IP Pipes," that is connectivity at network layer 3. This distracts us from the fundamental problem... more

It’s March Madness Time and I Want My IPTV!

IPTV is on the horizon. Maybe I watch too much basketball, but the first thing I pictured was turning my flat screen into a big PC-like monitor with multiple windows showing several games, and perhaps even checking email and trying to do a bit work in another (admittedly much smaller) window. You could drag and drop, expand or shrink the games to whatever size you wanted just like you do on a PC with applications. Since the source video could come from different geographical regions in the country, you could catch the NCAA game they are showing in your local region while also watching another game from another region... For some, IPTV is a reality. But for the most part deployments are limited. more

First Rumored Last September, Google Will Buy Into Multi-Terabit Undersea Cable

Having outgrown the capacity of telecom companies to provide bandwidth for its online applications and services, Google is buying part of an undersea cable to carry data to and from Asia. As rumored last year, Google has now announced that it would join with five other telecom companies -- Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, KDDI Corporation, Pacnet, and SingTel -- to invest $300 million in the construction of a 10,000 km submarine cable. more

UN Agency: Undersea Cables Cuts Causing Major Internet Disruptions Possibly Sabotage

Damage to several undersea telecom cables that caused outages across the Middle East and Asia (see CircleID posts Jan 31, 2008 and Feb 07, 2008) could have been an act of sabotage, the International Telecommunication Union said on Monday. "We do not want to preempt the results of ongoing investigations, but we do not rule out that a deliberate act of sabotage caused the damage to the undersea cables over two weeks ago," the UN agency's head of development, Sami al-Murshed, said. more

As the Comcast Saga Unfolds, Be Careful What You Wish For

Comcast has been in the news recently for deliberately "slowing down" some subscribers and applications in its broadband cable service. There was an article in the Washington Post today updating the case, and there was a recent article in Network World that actually favors the groups filing the complaints and calls for the FCC to crack down on Comcast. more

iPhone, Android, 700 MHz: What Maximizes Wireless Innovation?

At the Emerging Communications Conference eComm 2008, I'm moderating a panel "Wireless Innovation, with or without operators." This will be a discussion -- smart people from differing camps responding to (hopefully) probing questions from yours truly, and the audience. Points of view represented include Google Android, J2ME/JavaFX Mobile, iPhoneWebDev.com, Skype and Trolltech Qtopia (Nokia), plus Chris Sacca, formerly head of Google's wireless initiatives. I've been thinking about subjects and questions for the panel. As a start, I'll set down my current views, then seek others' views and questions. more

700MHz Block C Hits Reserve Price

After 17 rounds, the 700MHz spectrum auction has finally hit its one of its most closely watched targets: bidding on Block C has surpassed the Federal Communications Commission's mandated $4.638 billion reserve, meaning that the FCC's mandated open access rules will come into play. Bids on the block of spectrum totaled $4.744 billion after Round 17. more

Internet Traffic to Reach a Zettabyte by 2015, Says Study

A recent report released by the Discovery Institute estimates that by 2015, U.S. IP traffic could reach an annual total of one zettabyte (1021 bytes), or one million million billion bytes. From YouTube, IPTV, and high-definition images, to "cloud computing" and ubiquitous mobile cameras, 3D games, virtual worlds, and photorealistic telepresence, the new wave is swelling into an exaflood of Internet and IP traffic. more

Client-based WDS: Providing Application Acceleration in Mobile and VPN Environments

Wide-Area Data Services (WDS), aka "WAN Optimization" is becoming the most effective way to improve application performance while reducing network traffic. In scenarios where there is significant network latency that would otherwise render many applications unusable, WDS can deliver almost LAN-like speed. Where bandwidth constraints exist and there is no practical or economical option, WDS can help reduce network traffic, allowing you to postpone or avoid circuit upgrades altogether. The technology provides the ability to centralize applications and servers, furthering the cost savings on hardware, software licensing, maintenance and the operation of a distributed architecture. more

How Tiered Internet Pricing Could Actually Facilitate P2P

Time Warner Cable's planned experiment with tiered charging for Internet access has generated a flurry of coverage in the blogsphere, but no new insights (at least that I've seen). The primary problem ISP's complain about is that 5% of their customers use 90% of the available bandwidth and when they examine this traffic, it's mostly peer-to-peer file sharing... more