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Busting 3 Popular and Misleading Terms in Telecom

"Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of our language." (-Ludwig Wittgenstein) The words we use to describe telecoms networks often contain hidden metaphors and meanings that lead us into wrong thinking. Here are three examples... Why misleading? The word "best" implies both benevolent and optimal intentionality: the network is going to do the "right" thing for its users, and it will maximise the "rightness" in some way. more»

Are Telcos Becoming Slum Landlords?

In the 1950s and 60s, large numbers of immigrants came to London from the Caribbean and other Commonwealth countries. They had few resources, yet needed somewhere to live. Many fell prey to exploitative landlords. These unscrupulous rentiers packed tenants into formerly swanky parts of town, which then became slums. This process even birthed a new word in British English - "Rachmanism" - to define the archetypal unethical treatment as practised by one notorious landlord. more»

The Appeal Against Broadband Reclassification

A British perspective on a very American process... As a new member of the the "Tech Elders", I was invited to join yesterday's hearing in Washington, DC on the reclassification of broadband Internet access services. The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decreed that Internet access should switch from being lightly regulated as an 'information service' (Title I) to a more heavily regulated as 'telecommunications service' (Title II). I'd first like to say that the process and content was a credit to the rule of law in the United States. more»

Zero Rating: Something Is Better Than Nothing! Or Is It?

One of the primary purposes of global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is to introduce a wide range of topics to newcomers and provide them with the opportunity to take back what they have learned in the hopes of establishing an understanding of the Internet Governance philosophy at the community or national level. As a first time participant at the 10th Global Internet Governance Forum (IGF 2015) that took place in Joao Pessoa Brazil, in early November of 2015, I felt the burden of being a representative from a developing country, a place where discussion of important issues is limited to a small group of individuals, often in informal settings, over coffee or in my case, green tea. more»

Zero Rating, a Poisoned Chalice for the Developing World

A very Interesting meeting The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) with an ambitious theme of connecting the worlds next billion people to the Internet took place in early November 2015 in a beautiful resort city of João Pessoa in Brazil under the auspice of the United Nations. Few citizens of the world paid attention to it yet the repercussions of the policy issues discussed affect us all. more»

USA Fibre Investments Encouraging Further Operator Expansion

According to data from the FttH Council, the number of homes passed with fibre in the US increased 13% in 2015, year-on-year, to 26 million. Combined with Canada and Mexico, the number of passed homes has reached 34 million. The take-up rate is excellent by international standards, at more than 50%. Commonly operators look to about 20% to 30% take-up before work can begin on new fibre infrastructure to communities. more»

Zero-Rating vs. The Internet

Reading about the EU Neutrality vote, I'm reminded of the challenge faced by traditional telecommunications regulators in understanding the very concept of the Internet. To put it bluntly zero-rate is a policy framed in terms of Minitel and setting the price based on what phone number is dialed and not at all about the Internet where the value is determined by relationships entirely outside of a network. more»

Internet Society's New Policy Brief Series Provides Concise Information On Critical Internet Issues

Have you ever wanted to quickly find out information on key Internet policy issues from an Internet Society perspective? Have you wished you could more easily understand topics such as net neutrality or Internet privacy? This year, the Internet Society has taken on a number of initiatives to help fill a need identified by our community to make Internet Governance easier to understand and to have more information available that can be used to inform policymakers and other stakeholders about key Internet issues. 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»

Future Network Forum to Be Held in Nanjing in December 2015

Between December 10th and 11th 2015, the China Future Network Development and Innovation Forum, jointly hosted by the Chinese Academy of Engineering and the Nanjing Municipal Government, is scheduled to be held in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. The forum will be jointly organized by Jiangsu Future Networks Innovation Institute and Beijing Internet Institute, with the theme of "Building future network test facilities and promoting network development & innovation", and it will invite nearly a hundred industrial experts at home and abroad, to establish a platform marked by security, innovation, openness, cooperation where the policy, industry, academics, and application are integrated. more»

NANOG 65 Report

NANOG 65 was once again your typical NANOG meeting: a set of operators, vendors, researchers and others for 3 days, this time in Montreal in October. Here's my impressions of the meeting... The opening keynote was from Jack Waters from Level 3, which looked back over the past 25 years of the Internet, was interesting to me in its reference to the "Kingsbury Letter". more»

Mobile Broadband Penetration in Asia

The advent of mobile broadband triggered a huge change in broadband access across Asia. Following more than a decade of strong growth in almost all mobile markets in the region, an amazing transition to new generation mobile networks and services took place. By end 2014 there were a total of 1.2 billion mobile subscribers and with annual growth running at over 40% coming into 2015 the numbers were expected to hit 1.7 billion by end-2015. more»

Why We Need Gigabit Networks

There is currently a great deal of debate regarding the need for gigabit networks. There are still a lot of voices, often led by conservative political and media people, who argue that hardly anyone needs such networks. Unfortunately for them, however, their arguments are totally flawed. And who are they, anyway, to set the tone for such new infrastructure. Isn't necessity the mother of invention? more»

Independent Show 2015: Out-of-the-Box Lessons in the Digital Age

This year's Independent Show summer conference was held in Boston, a place where the accents are strong and you hear great quotes like... If I had to sum up this year's conference with one phrase, it would have to be: out-of-the-box thinking. The keynote speech was given by Professor Bharat Anand of the Harvard School of Business, whose expertise is in the areas of digital strategy, corporate strategy, and media strategy -- in other words, digital marketing. The title was "Lessons from the Digital Transformation of Media". more»

Digital Economy + Sharing Economy = Networked Economy

A great deal of discussion is taking place about topics such as the digital economy, sharing economy and networked economy. Obviously these are concepts rather than being well-defined, but they are being used by the various players in the market to argue for or against certain developments. For example, in some of the broadband debates around the world, the digital economy is the key reason why national broadband infrastructure gets developed. more»

News Briefs

Cuba to Launch Residential Broadband

U.S. Officials Asking Cuba to Speed Up Its Internet Infrastructure Build Out

Audio and Video Traffic Passes 70% in North America

Internet a Key Catalyst for Sustainable Development, Says ISOC CEO

Cuba's Internet Connection to the World Worse Than Expected

Reported Risk of Undersea Communication Cable Sabotage Are Exaggerated

U.S. Concerned over Increasing Russian Submarine Patrols Near Data Cables

Facebook, Eutelsat to Build High Throughput Satellite System for Africa

UN Broadband Commission: Global Broadband Growth in Decline, 4 Billion Still Offline

Lufthansa to Offer High-Speed Internet Access on Board Short and Medium-Haul Flights

SpaceX Files Application with FCC to Offer Internet Access Via Satellite Constellation

Cuba Ramping Up Internet Access, Current Penetration Barely 5%

37.9% of Global Population Using the Internet, Says Internet.org Report

BT Announces 500Mbps to 1000Mbps Broadband Rollout to UK Homes

Google Fiber Expanding to Four More Cities

Elon Musk Confirms Satellite Plan for Global Internet Access

French Space Agency, CNES, Joins Google's Project Loon

Pay Phones in New York City Being Replaced With Close to 10,000 Free Wi-Fi Kiosks

Obama Urges FCC to Treat the Internet As a Utility

Annual Internet Traffic to Grow More Than 20 Percent, Reaching 1.6 Zettabytes by 2018

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