Broadband

Broadband / Featured Blogs

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»

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»