Broadband

Broadband / Recently Commented

Interconnection Disputes Are Network Neutrality Issues (of Netflix, Comcast, and the FCC)

A lot of people have been talking about the "interconnection" deal between Comcast and Netflix and whether that deal is related to network neutrality. (It is.) This question comes partly because the FCC's 2010 Open Internet Order (also known as the network neutrality order) was recently struck down. So network neutrality lands back at the FCC, with a new Open Internet proceeding, at the same time Netflix starts working so poorly on Comcast that Netflix had to cut a special deal with Comcast. more»

Netflix Agrees to Pay Comcast for Speedier Service

Netflix and Comcast have reached an agreement aimed at smoothing the streaming of Netflix content to the cable company's customers, ending a dispute that included suggestions of throttled traffic. Under the so-called "paid peering" deal, Netflix will be able to connect directly to Comcast's network and skip the intermediaries as it formerly did. The agreement comes less than two weeks after Comcast announced a $45 billion deal for Time Warner Cable. more»

Comcast-TWC: Why Compete and Innovate When You Can Buy Market Share?

Expect a charm offensive as Comcast and scores of sponsored researchers explain how acquiring Time Warner Cable will promote competition and enhance consumer welfare. You might not hear too much about two traditional concerns remedied by actual facilities-based competition: incentives to innovate and reduce prices. Comcast will frame its acquisition as necessary to achieve even greater scale to compete with other sources of video content and maybe to compete with the limited other sources of broadband access. more»

Broadband and Household Income

Both broadband access and broadband speed positively affect household incomes, according to an analysis by Ericsson in conjunction with Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. This study is a continuation of earlier work by these partners on the impact of broadband. The earlier research concerned broadband's effects on the gross domestic product of entire countries; this study, "Socioeconomic Effects of Broadband Speed: a Microeconomic Investigation," examines the effects on individual households. more»

Learning to Love the WTO: How Trade Policy Can Save Open Internet - and Bridge the Digital Divide

From the dawn of the mainstream commercial Internet in the late 1990s until quite recently, the world trade and Internet communities have been almost entirely disconnected from one another. This isn't surprising, given that trade policy historically follows technological developments with a considerable 'lag.' As the senior-most 'permanent representative' on the ground in Geneva from the for-profit tech sector, a big part of my job is to try and translate the Internet for the Diplomatic Corps across many different policy subjects. more»

23 Countries Ahead of U.S. in Internet Usage According to ITU Broadband Report

United States ranks 24th worldwide in the percentage of residents who use the Internet, according to the International Telecommunications Union's 2013 State of Broadband Report, released recently at a meeting of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development. Eighty-one percent of U.S. residents use the Internet, the ITU said. Countries with the highest percentage of people using the Internet was Iceland, where 97 percent of the people are Internet users. The top 10 countries all had usage rates above 88 percent. 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»

The Internet: Missing the Light

Today's Internet is wonderful for solving hard problems such as connecting to Amazon to buy goods or for using Netflix. Amazon and Netflix, among others, demonstrate what is possible if you put in enough effort. Yet if we are to understand the Internet we need to look beyond those applications to the simplest application such as sending one bit of information from a light switch to a light fixture. more»

Chromecast Set to Revolutionise the TV

The principle behind Chromecast is probably the magic formula that is needed to finally revolutionise television watching. Google's latest product was launched yesterday... TV revolution didn't come from the traditional broadcasters or their suppliers. Everything developed by them has been aimed more at protecting their traditional business than at looking for completely new opportunities - truly new TV innovations will most certainly come from the direction that the broader market has taken since the arrival of the smartphones and the tablets. more»

America Closing Down Its Copper Network - So What's Next?

We have reported in the past on the rapid decline of the copper telecoms network in the USA. A decade ago BuddeComm predicted that it would be impossible to move two customer access networks in parallel towards the new fibre future, the one operated by the telcos and the other operated by the cable companies. At that stage we indicated that a possible outcome could be that the telcos would upgrade their networks to FttH and that the cable companies would become the key tenants on that network. more»

US Smart Grid Networks Exploiting Infrastructure to Provide Wireless Broadband

The USDA Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has now spent the $250 million committed for smart grid technologies. To this has been added an additional $201 million in funding approved by the Agriculture Secretary to electricity utilities in eight states to install smart grid technologies and improve their generation and transmission facilities. The beneficiaries are spread among a large number of states. more»

The End of HFC and FttN Networks is Approaching

In the global telecoms industry, it looks as though 2013 will be remembered as the year when construction of new greenfield HFC networks came to a halt. Of course, there will still be upgrades to existing networks but the cost of fibre deployment -- linked to its much lower operational cost -- is now convincing cablecos and telcos alike to build new fibre networks wherever possible. This is not necessarily directly driven by customer demand, but by network costs and network efficiencies. more»

Broadband - The American Way

There have been some interesting discussions recently regarding the status of broadband in the USA. On the one hand there are those who maintain that most people have access to high-speed networks, in particular HFC services based on the DOCSIS 3.0 standard. Theoretically, the standard can deliver speeds of 100Mb/s, or higher, but in practice most customers subscribe to, or have access to, far lower speeds. more»

No Free Super WiFi, But the US Still Needs Improved WiFi Coverage

The FCC has long battled for a more efficient deployment of unused spectrum, endeavouring to adapt rules governing 'white space' TV spectrum (largely gifted to broadcasters years ago, and generally in the 700MHz band) to newly released spectrum (in the 600MHz band). This will considerably improve wireless broadband coverage where it is needed most... Certainly, in the US's disjointed broadband sector there are considerable challenges ahead... more»

It's Not Paranoia if They Are Really After You!

In the latest development from the World Conference on International Telecommunications, a new "compromise proposal" has been leaked to wcitleaks.org. This proposal is certainly no compromise, as it not only is a bald faced power grab by the sponsors (Russia, UAE, China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan at this point), but shows a stunning lack of comprehension of how the Internet works and how it is currently governed. It also shows that the coalition of Civil Society groups and private sector organisations that have focused on WCIT have been correct all along.  more»