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The UK Retail Telecom Sector Again Shows Results of Effective Regulation

The UK's regulator has undertaken much commendable work in recent years, which has helped to establish the country's telecom sector as one of the most competitive and vibrant in the world. The regulator stood up to BT's intransigence in the early days of Local Loop Unbundling (LLU), enforcing the creation of BT Openreach in January 2006 to operate as the company's wholesale division. The results have been very impressive... more»

Analysing the USA: An Outsider's Perspective

Over the last year I have become deeply involved in the debate in the USA regarding the future of their telecoms sector, which is proceeding very much along the lines of the trans-sector approach towards infrastructure (using it for other sectors such as healthcare, education, energy), open networks and a separation between infrastructure and applications. While many of the issues are universal it was also interesting to observe the specific elements that make the USA so unique. more»

LTE: Another Way to Estimate when It Will Be Real

Hardly a week goes by without a press release touting how soon we'll be using a Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless network. Verizon has promised a major commercial launch in 2010 and a two-city trial before the end of 2009. Let me show you a little chart I put together for my 3G Tutorial and have repeatedly updated... more»

National Broadband - Key to the Success of E-Health

Government are recognising that healthcare is one of the last paper-based sectors of the economy. It has been estimated that, quite apart from the costs involved, this leads to then of thousands of deaths each year. There is no doubt that a fully integrated computerised e-health system will bring with it its own challenges, and will undoubtedly on occasions also deliver its share of problems. But, as has been the case with all other sectors of society and the economy, integrated computerisation in this sector will improve the situation. more»

Defining Broadband

The FCC is seeking public comments to help create a better definition of "broadband". The effort is in relation to its development of a National Broadband Plan by February 2010 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Accurately noting that "broadband can be defined in myriad ways" and "tends to center on download and upload throughput," the FCC seeks a more robust definition. The definition will be part of the governance over those receiving funding for broadband development as part of the Recovery Act. This could get interesting. more»

Broadband Giants Stay Neutral on Network Funding

It looks as if the big boys like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are passing on the stimulus money. The official reason is that they don't need it, that they enough cash on hand to build out their networks on their own. Fair enough. Perhaps the funding should be reserved for those more in need, those that just need a boost to fund a new business model or expand service. But there are probably other reasons. more»

FCC Requests Comments on Definition of "Broadband" - Comments Due Aug 31; Replies Due Sept 8

The FCC is engaged in researching and preparing a National Broadband Plan which is due to Congress in February 2010. The FCC has released a Notice of Inquiry soliciting comments for the plan and is currently actively holding a lengthy series of workshops exploring the different aspects of what might go into the plan. more»

National Telcos Can and Will Change Their Behaviour, Case in Point: Telstra

When discussions with overseas colleagues made it clear to me how fast things are changing here in Australia compared with the rest of the world, I was prompted to write this update about the developments in Australia, particularly in relation to its incumbent telco, Telstra. Most people overseas have not yet fully caught up with the fact that the destructive regime of Telstra's former CEO is well and truly over -- in the past there has been plenty of international reporting of the shocking behaviour of Telstra under Sol Trujillo (former US West) and his persistent attacks on the government included suing Ministers and abusing the Regulator. more»

Are the FCC Workshops Fair?

The FCC has run three days of workshops on the National Broadband Plan now, for the purpose of bringing a diverse set of perspectives on broadband technology and deployment issues to the attention of FCC staff. You can see the workshop agendas here. The collection of speakers is indeed very diverse. As you would expect, the session on eGov featured a number of government people and a larger collection of folks from the non-profit sector, all but one of whom has a distinctly left-of-center orientation. Grass-roots devolution arguments have a leftish and populist flavor, so who better to make the argument than people from left-of-center think tanks? more»

Google Voice Dispute Highlights an Opportunity for Mobile Network Operators

The recent row between Google, Apple and AT&T concerning the removal of Google Voice from the Apple iPhone store highlights the friction existing between network operators and so-called over the top (OTT) application providers. Most observers believe that AT&T initiated the blockade because Google Voice (which offers free or highly discounted calling rates) is a direct threat to AT&Ts call revenue (Google Voice users need only pay AT&T for access to the Internet). more»