Broadband / Featured Blogs

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»

The Future of Interdomain Interconnection and Traffic Control

Today, we are excited to announce, in partnership with the Open Networking Foundation and Open Source SDN, the official launch of iSDX - open-source controller software for an industrial-scale Software-Defined Internet exchange point. iSDX allows independently operated networks to interconnect and exchange traffic in completely new ways. This software, which we've been developing for nearly three years, now finally operates at the scale of the world's largest IXPs and interoperates with SDN-capable hardware switches, opening up new possibilities for interdomain business relationships and traffic exchange. more»

An Unprecedented Look Into Utilization at Internet Interconnection Points

Measuring the performance of broadband networks is an important area of research, and efforts to characterize the performance of these networks continues to evolve. Measurement efforts to date have largely relied on in­home devices and are primarily designed to characterize access network performance. Yet, a user's experience also relies on factors that lie upstream of ISP access networks, which is why measuring interconnection is so important. 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»

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»