Broadband

Broadband / Most Commented

IPv6 and LTE, the Not So Long Term Evolution?

The Wall Street Journal reported that AT&T saw wireless networks about to drown under a deluge of data. To see YouTube content uploaded form an iPhone or Slingbox rerouting a favourite television program to your smart phone gives mobile network operators the shivers. Skype over 3G in the meantime gives sleepless nights, not because of surging megabyte floods but due to nightmares of considerable voice and roaming revenues washing away. Not easy to plan and engineer "managed transitions" under those circumstances. more

Paid Peering: Issues and Misunderstandings

Recently I was asked for my opinion on Google paying France Telecom (FT) to deliver traffic into FT's network, i.e. Google paying to peer with FT. I wasn't aware Google pays FT. I don't even know if it's true. But I do know this is a topic fraught with misunderstandings. Also, if there is a "problem" here, the problem is one of competition (or lack thereof) in portions of the French broadband access market. It is not a problem that can be or should be fixed by "network neutrality" regulations or legislation. more

"It's The Internet Stupid" …I Respectfully Disagree

Today, in response to "It’s The Internet Stupid", Richard Bennett highlights (on the IP List) something I've noticed even among other advocates of 'Net Neutrality' (and how I've come to detest the term after its widespread and misguided overuse). Legislating against the concepts of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) or other preferential treatment of packets is not the brightest thing to do. I've seen others draw analogies to gun control using the 'guns don't kill people' argument... more

Carriers Are Trying to Take Back Control of the Home Network

With all the focus on neutrality in the provider networks we must not lose sight of what is happening in our own homes. As with some of the efforts to make the networks work better (as measured in the providers' paternalistic) view, their attempt to retake the home is about serving us better by reducing the operators' costs. "Better" is of course in terms of the operator's own measures. It's not quite the same as in 1995 when providers opposed home networks and want to charge us for each machine... more

Google's Cerf Offers Alternate Strategy to Metered Broadband Billing

In follow up to Friday's FCC ruling against Comcast, Vint Cerf, Google's Chief Internet Evangelist questioned what a reasonable approach would be for broadband networks to manage their Internet traffic? "The real question," he says, is not whether broadband networks need to be managed, "but rather how." Cerf has also expressed concerns over metered billing and suggests "transmission rate caps" instead. more

Another Wrong-Headed WSJ Editorial

Those wacky editorial writers at the Wall Street Journal just cannot seem to get the facts straight about network neutrality and what the FCC has done or can do on this matter. In the July 30, 2008 edition (Review and Outlook A14), the Journal vilifies FCC Chairman Kevin Martin for starting along the slippery slope of regulating Internet content. The Journal writers just seem to love hyperbole, and are not beyond ignoring the facts when they do not support a party line. Here are a few examples from the editorial... more

Network Neutrality, UPS, and FedEx

I buy a lot of things that are delivered by UPS or FedEx. And I kinda like to watch the progress of the shipments. Now we all know that UPS and FedEx have different grades of service -- Overnight, Two Day, Three Day, etc. And faster deliver costs more. Several years ago UPS and FedEx would frequently deliver a Two Day package the next day, i.e. they would effectively elevate the class of service. more

A Clear Case for ISP Regulation: IP Address Logging

Over on the Network Neutrality Squad yesterday, I noted, without comment, the following quote from the new Time Warner Cable privacy policy bill insert: "Operator's system, in delivering and routing the ISP Services, and the systems of Operator's Affiliated ISPs, may automatically log information concerning Internet addresses you contact, and the duration of your visits to such addresses." Today I will comment, and explain why such logging by ISPs creates a clear case for regulatory intervention, on both privacy and competition grounds. more

Cuba's Internet Connection to the World Worse Than Expected

Inspired by expansion announcements from companies such as Netflix and Airbnb into Cuba, Fabián E. Bustamante, professor of electrical engineering and computer science in the McCormick School of Engineering, and his graduate student Zachary Bischof, conducted research examining feasibility of the business ideas given the region's notoriously weak network infrastructure. more

Comparative Broadband Speeds - US Loses Again

Recently Google Labs added the Ookla Speedtest data set to their wonderful Public Data Explorer so I just had to try it out. These are not bogus statistics. These graphs show the average of all the millions of actual speedtests run in the respective countries over the past 4 months. more

American National Broadband Plan Good First Step

The National Broadband Plan that the FCC will present on 17 March will set the USA on a completely different telecoms path. This plan will hopefully show Congress that it is worthwhile making the legislative changes that will deliver the social and economic benefits of a national broadband infrastructure. more

FCC's Comcast Ruling Inconsistent and Incoherent

After voting on the Comcast order today, Kevin Martin and his Democratic Party colleagues issued press releases telling us how they saved the Internet from Comcast's discriminatory practices, but they've failed to release the actual order they adopted and subsequently re-wrote. Commissioner McDowell wasn't allowed to see the revised order until 7:00 PM the night before the meeting. Rumor has it that high-level spin doctors are still trying to remove all the rough edges, inconsistencies, and factual errors. more

The Internet's Gilded Age

The rise of the Internet has heralded rapid changes in our society. The opportunities presented by a capable and ubiquitous communications system and a global transportation network have taken some corporations from the multinational to the status of truly global mega-corporation. Good examples of these new corporations include Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. There are a handful of large-scale winners in this space and many losers. But this is not the first time we've witnessed a period of rapid technological and social change. more

Beyond Neutrality - Enabling a World of Connected Things

The growing interest in the "Internet of Things" is forcing us to think beyond the web to a much larger world of connected devices. We can tolerate the many barriers to connectivity because we expect that someone can provide the necessary credentials to log in to the providers' services and to adjust Wi-Fi access keys whenever the access point changes or simply to click "agree" at a hotspot. This doesn't work for "things" which can't recognize a sign-on or "agree screen". more

Plumbing Neutrality

I've been having arguments about Network Neutrality with a lawyer. My position is that you can't adequately regulate ISPs to be neutral, because there's no agreement what "neutral" means in practice. He points out that the courts aren't interested in technical details like what packets are dropped, it's that all traffic has to be treated the same, and ISPs should just figure out how to do that. So I contemplated a city with Plumbing Neutrality with the simple rule that all people must be treated the same... more