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One Good Outcome from the Wall Street Journal: Google Flap

On Monday the Wall Street Journal published an article alleging that Google was trying to arrange a "fast lane for its own content" with telecom carriers and contending that Google and Professor Lessig were in the midst of changing their position on network neutrality policy. The WSJ reporters received a lot of flak for the piece -justifiably so. There was no real "news" in this news article. more»

Blocking BitTorrent in Britain

Virgin Media announced its intention of restricting BitTorrent traffic on its new 50Mbps service according to an article by Chris Williams in The Register. Does this mean that net neutrality is endangered in the UK? The question is important because advocates of an open Internet like me hold the UK up as a positive example of net neutrality achieved through competition rather than through regulation. more»

What If I Were Wrong About Edge-Caching?

Nicholas Thompson at Wired Blog sums up yesterday's Wall Street Journal piece on Google. To summarize his summary: Google's edge caching isn't new or evil; Lessig didn't shift gears on NN; Microsoft and Yahoo have been off the NN bandwagon since 2006; The Obama team still supports NN; Amazon's Kindle support is consistent with its NN support. Yet... yet... more»

Net Neutrality and the Obama Stimulus Package

As long as US telecom is duopoly dominated, a neutral Internet is endangered if not impossible; regulation of this kind of concentrated power is necessary but is unlikely to be sufficient. The solution, IMHO, is to dilute the power of the duopoly so that consumers can buy whatever kind of Internet access they want. Countries like the UK with a competitive ISP market do not seem to have net neutrality problems nor require net neutrality regulation and have better Internet access than we do at lower prices. more»

Bogus WSJ Story on Net Neutrality

Today's Wall Street Journal has a bogus, misleading story claiming that Google has been making deals with telephone and cable carriers that violate Network Neutrality. My BS detector was triggered by paragraph five, which reads: "One major cable operator in talks with Google says it has been reluctant so far to strike a deal because of concern it might violate Federal Communications Commission guidelines on network neutrality. 'If we did this, Washington would be on fire,' says one executive at the cable company who is familiar with the talks..." more»

Fiber to the Home: Ideal Economic Stimulus?

This week, the headlines seem to be full of fresh doom and gloom for wireline carriers, who employ people in every congressional district across America. Sooner or later, someone is going to call for Congress to tap some of the hundreds of billions in 2009 economic stimulus to help the LECs through troubled times, save lots of jobs, and preserve the way we do business in our critical last-mile communications infrastructure. Is this wise? Is there a better way? more»

No Ifs, Ands or Butts, the New FCC Must Focus on Neutrality

The Denver Post today urged a new FCC to get its mind off of "buttocks" and onto more serious issues like Net Neutrality. The editorial board was referring to a case now before the U.S. Court of Appeals, in which the agency's top legal minds are trying to determine the appropriate definition for the human posterior to better guide efforts to fine ABC for a few errant cheeks featured on a 2003 episode of NYPD Blue. more»

Free, Slow, Censored Internet: A Bad Idea

The FCC is looking for an organization to provide free, slow, and censored Internet access. The censorship apparently would include email as well as websites. According to an article in today's Wall Street Journal: "Outgoing Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin is pushing for action in December on a plan to offer free, pornography-free wireless Internet service to all Americans, despite objections from the wireless industry and some consumer groups [nb. and from me]... The winning bidder would be required to set aside a quarter of the airwaves for a free Internet service [nb. the WSJ hasn't got that part quite right]." more»

The FCC White Space Regulations: Pretty Good at First Look

My prediction is that LTE and WiMAX are toast. The new great thing will be WRANs (wireless regional area networks). WRAN's will extend and eventually subsume WiFi. The detailed regulations which implement the FCC decision to free the spectrum formerly known as TV white spaces have now been released. They look pretty good from the point of view of someone who believes the unlicensed use of this spectrum has the potential to make a huge difference in the way the world communicates. more»

How Fast is Internet Traffic Growing?

It depends on whose numbers you like. Andrew Odlyzko claims it's up 50-60% over last year, a slower rate of growth than we've seen in recent years. Odlyzko's method is flawed, however, as he only looks at public data, and there is good reason to believed that more and more traffic is moving off the public Internet and its public exchange points to private peering centers. Nemertes collects at least some data on private exchanges and claims a growth rate somewhere between 50-100%. more»