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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»

Does Your House Need a Tail?

Thus far, the debate over broadband deployment has generally been between those who believe that private telecom incumbents should be in charge of planning, financing and building next-generation broadband infrastructure, and those who advocate a larger role for government in the deployment of broadband infrastructure... Tim Wu and Derek Slater have a great new paper out that approaches the problem from a different perspective: that broadband deployments could be planned and financed not by government or private industry, but by consumers themselves. more»

Mobile Trumps Fixed Broadband

"80% of Web users will choose mobile broadband over fixed by 2013" is the headline of a Total Telecom interview with John Cunliffe of Ericsson. I agree with the conclusion although I think Ericsson will be unpleasantly surprised to find that LTE is NOT the technology which leads to this revolution. Mobile access at speeds at least equal to what cable offers and at a price lower than today's cable broadband will be available both in the home and on the road within a year or two at the most. more»

CRTC Denies CAIP Application on Throttling, But Sets Net Neutrality Hearing

This morning, the CRTC issued its much-anticipated ruling in the CAIP v. Bell case, the first major case to test the legality of Internet throttling. The Commission denied CAIP's application, ruling that Bell treated all of its customers (retail and wholesale) in the same throttled manner. This points to the challenge in this case -- it was not about discriminatory network practices per se, but rather about wholesale shaping in a specific context. more»

Will Work for Bandwidth

The Internet is in for interesting times. Previously, on Renysys' blog I wrote about the engineering issues and the policy issues facing us over the next five years. But there is at least one large issue still lurking. Most of you will not be surprised to learn that almost all of these issues are outgrowths of a single factor: money. The core of the Internet still doesn't have a sustainable business model. more»

Fiber Optics: Thinking It Through

Doc Searls has an essay about bringing fiber optics to every home in America. It is aimed in the right direction, but makes a couple of mistakes on the numbers and falls to ground way short of its target. It troubles me that I appear to be the sole source for Doc's numbers (on the basis of some informal conversation and my Telecom Day speech in Wellington NZ last May). This post is an attempt to correct the record, and to create one where my previous thinking has been private. more»

The Importance of the FCC

My friend Om Malik, dean of the telecom bloggers, posted on the importance of the Federal Communications Commission Chair appointment Obama will make as President... Om is dead on about the importance of this appointment. Decisions made by the five member FCC commission have had and will have an enormous effect not only on the tech sector but on the entire US and even the global economy. more»

Net Neutrality Advocates: Wireless Carriers' Network Management Must Be 'Reasonable'

Emboldened by their summertime victory against Comcast, advocates of network neutrality said Thursday that the next front in battle for the principle would be against wireless carriers who make "unreasonable" network management decisions. In a panel discussion on managing wireless networks at the Wireless Communications Association conference here, Free Press Policy Director, Ben Scott and Google Telecom Counsel, Richard Whitt said that the FCC's Net neutrality principles would bar discrimination over wireless networks -- while conceding that the networks are, for the time being, more bandwidth-constrained than wired-based network. more»

TV White Spaces Just the Beginning: Secondary Use of the Spectrum

Yesterday, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to allow qualified devices to operate on a license-exempt basis in unused portions of TV channels 2-51, spectrum commonly referred to as "TV white spaces." A lot has already been written about this move... But what is missing in these discussions is the bigger picture. more»