Broadband / Recently Commented

If Slate Comes in Standard Sizes, Why Not Broadband?

Last week I was at the National Slate Museum in Wales watching slate being split apart. On the wall were sample pieces of all the standard sizes. These have cute names like "princess". For each size, there were three standard qualities: the thinnest are the highest quality (at 5mm in thickness), and the thickest have the lowest quality (those of 13mm or more). Obviously, a lighter slate costs less to transport and lets you roof a wider span and with less supporting wood, hence is worth more. more»

Notorious Russian Ship Yanter Suspected of Cutting Syria's Undersea Internet Cables

A Russian ship, suspected by intelligence and military officials to be capable of cutting undersea Internet cables, is spotted near the coast of Syria. more»

The Digital Divide Has Persisted over the Life of the Internet

People have been trying to measure the global diffusion of the Internet and the digital divide between rich and poor nation for twenty five years. The first to do so was Larry Landweber, who noted whether or not a nation had an Internet (or other) connection. It was a binary metric -- yes or no -- and it was suitable to its time because there were only a handful of users who were restricted to teaching and research, using a few applications like email, file transfer, news groups and remote login. more»

"Non-Discriminatory" Broadband: Just Carriage, or Miscarriage of Justice?

The foundational idea behind "net neutrality" is one of fairness by constraining ISP power over network mechanisms. The theory is this: if there is "non-discriminatory" local traffic management, then you have "fair" global outcomes to both users and application providers. There are thousands of pages of academic books making this assumption, and it is the basis of recent EU telecoms law. more»

Why Broadband Speed Tests Suck

Everyone is familiar with broadband 'speed test' applications. When you have an ISP service quality problem, it is common to grab one of these tools to see if you are getting the service you feel you are entitled to get. Whenever you upgrade your broadband, the first thing you might do is to run a speed test. Then you can show off to your mates how superior your blazing fast service is compared to their pitiful product. more»

Broadband Carrier Quandary: Exploit Bandwidth Scarcity, or Reduce It?

Comcast enhanced the value position of its broadband subscriptions by increasing the monthly data allowance to 1 Terrabyte (1000 Gigabytes). See Comcast Announcement. As an independent, unsponsored researcher, I can say "Thank You Comcast" without adverse consequences and only a bit of irony. This company does much to displease, but an expanded data allowance offers a winning proposition. more»

The Future of Interdomain Interconnection and Traffic Control

Today, we are excited to announce, in partnership with the Open Networking Foundation and Open Source SDN, the official launch of iSDX - open-source controller software for an industrial-scale Software-Defined Internet exchange point. iSDX allows independently operated networks to interconnect and exchange traffic in completely new ways. This software, which we've been developing for nearly three years, now finally operates at the scale of the world's largest IXPs and interoperates with SDN-capable hardware switches, opening up new possibilities for interdomain business relationships and traffic exchange. more»

The World is in Need of Transformative Solutions

The world has changed significantly since 2000, when the countries of the world adopted the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). While strong economic growth in the developing world has helped lift millions out of poverty, global population growth, modern lifestyles and consumption are now stretching the limits of the planet's resources. During this time, technological advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) have radically transformed the way people communicate and lead their lives; now ICT can play a vital, transformative role in helping to put the world on a more sustainable path. 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»

Time to Look Past 'Net Neutrality'. Let's Start a Fresh Post-Neutrality Debate…

Yesterday, as many of you heard, the European Parliament voted to reject the 'net neutrality' fundamentalist amendments to the already flawed proposals they had helped to create. That's the good news. The bad news is that the law that we now have is merely ludicrous, rather than insane. Furthermore, it doesn't properly protect end users, hold ISP feet to the service delivery fire, or truly encourage broadband ecosystem innovation. more»

Parallels Between Our Oceans and Internet Governance #WorldOceanDay

Today is June 8th and World Ocean Day. As I ponder on the threats and challenges to the world's ocean with the enormous stresses such as overfishing, pollution, ocean acidification that threatens all global standards of living, I cannot help but think about the startling similarities that global internet governance faces with its respective stresses of increasing cyber security vulnerabilities, threats, breaches of trust, growing cyber crime, breaches of privacy and data protection, identity thefts, pedophilia and many other things that threaten global public interest and our safety within an internet ecosystem. more»

Measure Your Bufferbloat! New Browser-based Tool from DSLReports

All things come to those who wait, and bufferbloat measurement tools are no exception. When we hosted a workshop on reducing Internet latency way back in 2013, one of the identified outcomes was the need for better tools to help users understand when they had a bufferbloat problem, and now we have just such a tool from the awesome folks over at DSLReports. Before going any further I should probably clarify what we mean by bufferbloat. more»

Did Google's Infrastructure Coup Work?

There is no doubt that the Google fibre rollout in Kansas City has been a success. Take-up rates are as high as 75%. However, when it was first announced in 2010, we stated that the real reason behind Google's entry into this market was to prove that FttH can be cost-effective and can generate a profitable return -- in the hope that the sluggish telcos would become more active in the rollout of FttH networks. Yet, Google is proving that this indeed can be done, the telcos remain sluggish in deploying FttH. more»

Low Cost Economy Depends on Ubiquitous Affordable High Speed Broadband

Around the world there are ongoing developments to reform and transform industries and whole sectors with the assistance of new information & communications technologies (ICTs). There is a clear understanding that reforms are essential in order to provide the level of services and the quality be it in business or elsewhere. Lifestyle issues are under threat in relation to the quality and the affordability of healthcare, social services, education, energy and the environment... more»

Packet Loss: How the Internet Enforces Speed Limits

There's been a lot of controversy over the FCC's new Network Neutrality rules. Apart from the really big issues -- should there be such rules at all? Is reclassification the right way to accomplish it? -- one particular point has caught the eye of network engineers everywhere: the statement that packet loss should be published as a performance metric, with the consequent implication that ISPs should strive to achieve as low a value as possible. more»