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Internet Governance: Why Africa Should Take the Lead

Recently during an afternoon meeting with a friend of mine, Bob Ochieng, who happens to work for ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) Africa Operations, he lamented that at online Internet Governance discussions fora such as CircleID, and 1net.org, there is no serious frequent engagements from African Voices. This got me thinking and I realized that most African Internet Stakeholders would rather use a "wait and see approach" in matters as critical as Internet Governance. more»

Extreme Vulnerability at the Edge of the Internet - A Fresh New Universal Human-Rights Problem

By design, the Internet core is stupid, and the edge is smart. This design decision has enabled the Internet's wildcat growth, since without complexity the core can grow at the speed of demand. On the downside, the decision to put all smartness at the edge means we're at the mercy of scale when it comes to the quality of the Internet's aggregate traffic load. Not all device and software builders have the skills - and the quality assurance budgets - that something the size of the Internet deserves. more»

Evolving Network Business Models

AT&T got critics' keyboards activated by announcing plans for a Sponsored Data service, enabling websites to pay for their end-users data consumption. The service has been characterized as a type of toll-free or "1-800″ style service for mobile data. Does this contravene network neutrality principles? AT&T says the traffic from the sponsoring sites will be treated the same as other traffic on the network. A US public interest group, Public Knowledge, claims this is precisely what a net neutrality violation looks like. more»

Don't Let Patent Wars Widen Digital Divide

For generations, large pockets of Africa were isolated from things many of us take for granted: access to medical treatment and advances that can make the difference between a healthy, productive life or debilitating illness -- or even an early death. These problems still persist, but over the last two decades technology has helped break through and enable medical professionals to reach the poorest and most remote populations and offer some hope. more»

Is There Really a Mobile Malware Pandemic?

Much of the discussion regarding mobile security revolves around the growing "pandemic" of mobile malware. It's not uncommon to see headlines reporting the discovery of large numbers of new malware samples. However, as Google recently pointed out, with quite a bit of data to support them, there's little discussion of real world impact of these discoveries. This raises a number of relevant questions. Is the average user likely to be infected? Where does this malware come from? These are questions that deserve analysis and thoughtful responses. more»

Mobiles Moving Into Fixed Networks

There are often confused reports in the media about mobile and fixed broadband, with arguments that one could replace the other. Yet the reality is that they coexist and complement each other - perhaps even more so since one cannot manage without the other. Increasingly, devices such as smartphones, tablets and smart TVs are at the end of fixed lines, with a wireless (WiFi) connection between the fixed line and the device. more»

In Broadband, China Is Definitely the Middle Kingdom - 270M In 2015

With a goal of 270M fixed broadband lines in 2015 and near-universal service by 2020, the new "Broadband China" strategy is extraordinary. OFweek, a valuable site in Chinese, breaks the plan into three phases. The first is a full speed stage, ending in 2013, that deploys basic broadband and 3G widely. The second stage, 2014-2015, is dedicated to a further takeup and wider deployment. That will include 400,000+ LTE cell sites. more»

OIAC Report: Views on Economic Impacts of Open Internet, Mobile Ecosystems, Specialized Services

Having been a member of the Committee for this past year, I'm pleased to share that the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) "Open Internet Advisory Committee" has published its first annual report... The report is weighty - 98pp if you kill trees to print it. The OIAC was established as part of the US FCC Open Internet activity and Open Internet Report and Order from 2010. The FCC appointed expert committee members from a broad range of commercial, academic, and not-for-profit organizations. more»

The Bandwidth Bank

This is a topic that we have discussed on several occasions over the last decade, but it now seems as though things are slowly moving forward. A new company, Intabank, has set up a service whereby its enterprise customers can pool bandwidth that the intermediate company can then use to sell to other customers; enabling organisations to monetise their network connectivity assets. more»

Will LTE Steal the Broadband Revolution?

There is no doubt that LTE is going to take a prime position in broadband developments. With competitively priced services, innovative smartphones and an increasing range of very innovative apps this market is set to continue to boom. So how will all this impact the overall broadband market? ...this is not an 'us or them' issue between fixed and mobile broadband. As a matter of fact, the companies that are rolling out LTE are increasingly dependent on deep fibre rollouts as they need to handle massive amounts of data, to which the mobile infrastructure technology is not well-suited. more»