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What is Google Up To?

The astonishing rise and rise of the fortunes of Google has been one of the major features of both social and business life of the early 21st century. In the same way that Microsoft transformed the computer market into a mainstream consumer product through its Windows and Office software products some 20 years ago, Google has had a similar transformative effect upon its environment. more»

"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»

Broadband Carrier Quandary: Exploit Bandwidth Scarcity, or Reduce It?

Comcast enhanced the value position of its broadband subscriptions by increasing the monthly data allowance to 1 Terrabyte (1000 Gigabytes). See Comcast Announcement. As an independent, unsponsored researcher, I can say "Thank You Comcast" without adverse consequences and only a bit of irony. This company does much to displease, but an expanded data allowance offers a winning proposition. more»

WSIS, Development, and Internet Governance: A Plea for 'Star Trek' over 'Mad Max'

Humanity continues to find itself at a crossroads. Ahead of us lies an uncertain future filled with predictions of imminent doom and ominous prospects along with the wonders of science and technology. Behind us lies a century marked paradoxically by both devastating global conflicts and unparalleled global collaboration. As societies continue to globalize, we are increasingly becoming more connected - to the point where it is difficult, if not impossible, to divorce ourselves from the interconnectivity in contemporary systems of commerce, economics, politics, and culture. 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»

What Stopped the Cuban Internet in 1996 and What Is Stopping It Today?

The problem today is bureaucracy and its companions - fear of competition, change and stepping out of line. Cuba connected to the Internet in 1996, but three factors stifled the Cuban Net: the US embargo, economic depression during what the Cubans call the "special period" after the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the Cuban government's fear of free information, which was also fed in part by the Soviet collapse. more»

A Look at Why We Need Fibre-to-the-Farm

One of the discussions I am currently having with my international colleagues is about the global trend towards urbanisation and the resulting shift of political, economic and financial powers from centralised states and federal structures to mega-city or mega-urban region centres. Some of my American colleagues expressed the fear that this would further marginalise rural communication. more»

Is the FCC Inviting the World's Cyber Criminals into America's Living Rooms?

In October 2012, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee issued a joint statement warning American companies that were doing business with the large Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE to "use another vendor." The bipartisan statement explains that the Intelligence Committee's Report, "highlights the interconnectivity of U.S. critical infrastructure systems and warns of the heightened threat of cyber espionage and predatory disruption or destruction of U.S. networks if telecommunications networks are built by companies with known ties to the Chinese state, a country known to aggressively steal valuable trade secrets and other sensitive data from American companies." more»

VR Demand Set to Grow, But Little Prospect for Telcos

Over the last 20 years or so we have regularly revisited the developments in virtual reality (VR). I remember experiencing VR for the first time in the late 1980s, so this technology has been in the making for a very long time. And we are still uncertain about its growth over the next decade. There is no doubt that VR is going through a period of revival. more»

Why Understanding Bandwidth is Essential for Improving Subscriber QoE

Measuring and managing subscriber bandwidth can be an easy and cost-efficient way to improve subscriber quality of experience (QoE). In a HFC cable network, bandwidth is shared among users in the same fiber-node. Even though improvements in DOCSIS technology has allowed a substantial increase of bandwidth availability per fiber-node, a few heavy users - as well as new 4K video content - can quickly kill recently-made network investments and leave subscribers with an impression that they are not receiving the quality they deserve. more»