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"The Broadband Revolution"

The International Telecommunications Union recently issued a press release announcing with joy the release of "the first set of global standards for Internet Protocol TV (IPTV)." A key sentence: "A combination of voice, Internet and video services over a single broadband link and from a single provider is foreseen as the ultimate goal of the broadband revolution." Those of you who lived through 'What Is Broadband Good For?' with me last summer, know that the word "broadband" is a pet bugaboo of mine. It's a word that answers a lot of policy questions in a particular way. more»

Netflix Dominating North American Bandwidth, Surpassing YouTube

Farhad Manjoo reporting in Slate: "It's not just Canada. Netflix is swallowing America's bandwidth, too, and it probably won't be long before it comes for the rest of the world. That's one of the headlines from Sandvine's Fall 2010 Global Internet Phenomena Report, an exhaustive look at what people around the world are doing with their Internet lines. According to Sandvine, Netflix accounts for 20 percent of downstream Internet traffic during peak home Internet usage hours in North America." more»

Network Neutrality and the FCC's Inability to Calibrate Regulation of Convergent Operators

For administrative convenience and not as required by law, the FCC likes to apply an either/or single regulatory classification to convergent operators. Having classified ISPs as information service providers, the Commission unsuccessfully sought to sanction Comcast's meddling with subscribers' peer-to-peer traffic. Now Chairman Genachowski wants to further narrow and nuance regulatory oversight without changing the organic information service classification. more»

Cisco's Kevin Shatzkamer Discusses the Future of Mobile Video

Kevin Shatzkamer, Chief Architect for Cisco Mobility, speaks to the mobile research Cisco has developed in helping Mobile Service Providers reach their ROI goals and objectives in projecting an increasingly demand driven market. ... There has been speculation for years that increased demand for mobile video would tax and possibly crash current networks and infrastructures of mobile operators. A predictor may be The World Cup games held in South Africa. more»

Are Service Providers Giving Up on Landline too Soon?

Interesting times in the carrier space, for sure. While most readers of this column are focused on the business market, it's hard to ignore what's occurring in the consumer space right now. Being based in Toronto, I happen to be struck by the similar trends shaping on both sides of the border. Over the past few days, we've seen earnings reports from major telcos and cablecos, and these businesses seem to be going in opposite directions. more»

The Economist: American Cablecos Don't Want Customers to Cancel Contracts and Watch TV over Internet

The Economist discusses isses with providing Television over broadband: "In the land of free enterprise and the home of discount shopping, there can sometimes be an appalling lack of competition. High-speed access to the internet is one. Cable television is another. The reason is that in America cable-television companies, which provide a lot of the high-speed access, do not want their customers to cancel their contracts and watch television over the internet instead. Yet a growing number of people are poised to do just that. ... At your correspondent's home-from-home in Japan, he can get broadband at 160 megabits a second from his local cable company for Y6,000 ($60) a month. Compare that with broadband prices demanded by cable companies in America..." more»

To Flat or To Cap?

I don't think it's a surprise to anyone, but it's the Christmas season again and doubtless a large number of television sets will be sold as part of the annual retail festivities. But these days the devices for sale in the shops are not just televisions: today's television is perhaps better described as a media computer with a very large display. Sure, the device can tune in to radio transmissions and display them... but the device also is equipped with either a WiFi or an Ethernet jack, or both. This alone sounds like a relatively innocuous addition to the television, but it's providing to be a highly disruptive change in the traditional Internet market space. more»

Apple TV Demolishing Telco and Broadcasting Business Models

The future of broadcasting has been under discussion for close to two decades and, while changes are certainly happening, they are rather slow and therefore new opportunities or threats (depending on where you sit) continue to arise. On the one hand we are now starting to see the more widespread availability of digital TV and this has revealed a clear point of difference between the strategic directions being taken by the telecoms and the broadcasting industries. more»

Clues about the Future of TV

A recent article chronicles the telcos' slow start in cable TV. I don't think the telcos stand a chance of succeeding in cable TV. Instead, if they're to succeed at all, they'll probably buy or form alliances with existing cablecos... But they'd better start swimming, because the times are a changing.. more»

Research Firm Predicts 22.4 million IPTV Subscribers by 2013 in Asia-Pacific

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan research firm suggests that the IPTV subscriber base in Asia-Pacific -- covering 13 countries -- reached 4.1 million in 2007 and estimates this number to reach 22.4 million by the end of 2013, at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 32.7 percent (2007-2013). Of the 13 countries, eight had commercial IPTV services in 2007, while the rest are conducting trials for expected deployments from 2009 onwards, according to the report. "Many service providers feel the urge to launch IPTV services as a defensive strategy to increase their 'n-play' offerings with one more service." more»

WebRTC/RTCWEB Congestion Control Workshop on July 28 in Vancouver

As we start moving more real-time communications into web browsers with the upcoming WebRTC/RTCWEB offerings, what do we do about congestion control? How do we ensure that all these browser-based communications sessions share the network fairly? With RTC capabilities now already available in builds for browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, how do we deal with the expected increase in voice, video, chat and data traffic? more»

Will Googlerola Be Able to Fight Data Caps?

"Is Google Turning Into a Mobile Phone Company?" asks the headline in Andrew Ross Sorkin's New York Times story. Wrong question, IMHO. But is Google doing the deal at least partly to give it leverage over wireless providers? I think so. The biggest threat to the growth of Smart Phones and tablets and other Google businesses like YouTube is the imposition of data caps and metered pricing by wireless providers like at&t and Verizon Wireless. more»

About Those "Mission Critical" Bits

News that Google and Verizon are negotiating "better than best efforts" Internet routing probably comes across as a betrayal of sorts to network neutrality advocates. Bear in mind that Information Service Providers ("ISPs") do not file public contracts known as tariffs and have the freedom to negotiate deals with individual clients. On the other hand ISPs, regardless of their FCC regulatory classification, cannot engage in unfair trade practices that achieve anticompetitive goals such a tilting the competitive playing field in favor of a corporate affiliate, or special third party. more»

Carriers Skirting Rules on Network Neutrality vs. Free's Innovative Network

From will they ever learn department, we are once again seeing attempts by incumbent carriers to skirt rules around network neutrality. They tried and failed with UBB. Now they are at it again with "speed boost" technologies. The two technologies at question are Verizon's "Turbo" service and Roger's "SpeedBoost". more»

Reflections on the 2013 Caribbean Cable Telecommunications Association Conference

We're jamming! Well, jamming in the cable industry, in the Caribbean. This year's Caribbean Cable Telecommunications Association (CCTA) annual conference ran from January 22 to 24 and was billed as "the Caribbean meets the future of cable TV." Indeed, the topics were all forward-looking -- network upgrades, new plant expansions, delivery of content over multiple devices, search and navigation tools -- the list goes on. It's an event where folks in the broadband business get together to share ideas and best practices. more»

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