Net Neutrality

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Telecoms Competition on a Downhill Slide in America

That is what happens when you base your telecommunications policies on the wrong foundations. The problems with the telecommunications industry in America go back to 1996 when the FCC decided that broadband in America should be classified as internet (being content) and that therefore it would not fall under the normal telecommunication regulations. Suddenly what are known as telecommunications common carriers in other parts of the world became ISPs in the USA. How odd is that? more»

Internet Fast Lanes - You May Be Surprised at Who Has Them

The Internet Association -- lobbying organization for Internet giants like Google, Amazon and Netflix -- is adamant that it is necessary to apply of 1935 phone regulation (Title 2) to the Internet to assure that there are no premium "fast lanes", that all bits are treated equally, that Internet access providers (ISPs) do not prioritize their own content over content from competitors. more»

New Chapter Working Groups Open Closed Doors

One thing was clear from a recent presentation by the new leaders of the SF-Bay Internet Society (ISOC) Chapter Working Groups: inclusion and collaboration will be the key to these groups' success. As Dr. Brandie Nonnecke, the Internet Governance Working Group (WG) Chair said, "We haven't yet cracked the code on what 'multistakeholder' means." But that won't stop her and Dr. Jaclyn Kerr, the Data Protection, Privacy, and Security WG Chair, from trying. more»

Don't Make the Internet Safe for Monopolies

This week I'm going to Washington to argue against regulating Internet access as if it were phone service. Twenty years ago I was there for the same reason. My concern now as it was then is that such regulation will damage the economy and reduce opportunity by stifling innovation and protecting the current dominant players from the startups which would otherwise threaten them. more»

Notes from NANOG 69

NANOG 69 was held in Washington DC in early February. Here are my notes from the meeting. It would not be Washington without a keynote opening talk about the broader political landscape, and NANOG certainly ticked this box with a talk on international politics and cyberspace. I did learn a new term, "kinetic warfare," though I'm not sure if I will ever have an opportunity to use it again! more»

Luddites of the 21st Century Unite, Revisited

Some years ago I wrote a post on the fact that I saw the world automate fast and did not see a lot of people worrying about the consequences for their lives. Nobody was smashing automated production lines. Smashing smartphones and laptops. In fact, embrace of new technology by the masses probably never before in history went this fast. Several and very different causes, including globalization, have led to a level of wealth that made these expensive tools and toys within reach of a vast number of people. more»

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2016

The new year is upon us and it's time for our annual look at CircleID's most popular posts of the past year and highlighting those that received the most attention. Congratulations to all the 2016 participants and best wishes to all in the new year. more»

Likely and Behind the Scenes Changes at the FCC

It should come as no surprise that the Federal Communications Commission will substantially change its regulatory approach, wingspan and philosophy under a Trump appointed Chairman. One can readily predict that the new FCC will largely undo what has transpired in previous years. However, that conclusion warrants greater calibration. more»

Shadow Regulations and You: One More Way the Internet's Integrity Can Be Won

Even those who care about net neutrality might not have heard of the aptly-called Shadow Regulations. These back-room agreements among companies regulate Internet content for a number of legitimate issues, including curbing hate speech, terrorism, and protecting intellectual property and the safety of children. While in name they may be noble, in actuality there are very serious concerns that Shadow Regulations are implemented without the transparency, accountability, and inclusion of stakeholders necessary to protect free speech on the Internet. more»

The FCC Under Trump - A Long Shot

In May 2013, President Obama picked Tom Wheeler to head the Federal Communication Commission. The Internet community generally disapproved because Wheeler had been a lobbyist for both the cellular and cable industries and a major contributor to the Obama campaign. Internet service providers AT&T and Comcast lauded the appointment and a few months later, the President was spotted playing golf with Brian Roberts, chief executive of Comcast. more»

Open Internet Access on the Line in Brussels

This summer EU regulators are finalizing their guidelines for member states on legal protections for wired, wireless and mobile open Internet access service. European citizens, businesses and NGOs have one last chance to make their voices heard on the so-called "net neutrality" guidelines by writing a comment for Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) by July 18. more»

Net Neutrality - A Good Step Forward But There Is More to Come

The recent decision taken in the USA makes total sense. It has been ridiculous that the incumbent telecoms operators there could present themselves as ISPs and claim that broadband was a content service rather than telecoms infrastructure - by doing this successfully for 20 years, they have not been subject to a range of telecoms regulations. This in turn has stifled competition, innovation, good quality customer services and the development of fibre optic networks in the USA. 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»

The Strange Structure of ISP Service Semantics

I have been having a number of conversations recently with several clients and colleagues about "semantics". It's clear that there is not a lot of clarity on this philosophical subject! Whilst is may be an obscure issue, it is a very important one. Our ideas lead us to take actions, and if we want those actions to have the consequences we had in mind, then we need to have done our epistemological homework. more»

Why You Should Demand 'Net Morality' Instead of 'Net Neutrality'

I have come to the conclusion that "net neutrality" is an ethical issue at heart, one about the appropriate constraint of unfair ISP power. Some people are (I pray unintentionally) on the wrong side of a now-clear moral divide. They are claiming to prevent harmful abuse of power, when in reality their actions create fresh harm. A central issue is one of technical competence to comment. If your beliefs are disconnected from how the world works, you cannot evaluate whether you are espousing something sensible or silly. more»

News Briefs

U.S. Federal Communications Commission Votes 2-1 for Net Neutrality Rollback

Net Neutrality Is a Smashing Success by FCC's Preferred Metric, Reports Free Press Researcher

FCC Reports Site Attacked Over Net Neutrality Comments, Senators Seek Evidence

Internet Heavy Weights Staying Out of Net Neutrality Battle

Over 800 Startups Send Letter to Pai: Focus Instead on Policies for Stronger Internet for Everyone

Fierce Political Battle Expected as FCC Chair Elaborated on Plan to Reverse 'Net Neutrality' Rules

Canada's Telecom Regulator to Uphold and Strengthen Commitment to Net Neutrality

Internet Association Meets With the FCC In Efforts to Preserve Net-Neutrality Rules

FCC Chairman Plans Fast-Track Repeal of Net Neutrality

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai: Net Neutrality "A Mistake", Planning on Much Lighter Style Regulation

FCC Rolls Back Net Neutrality Transparency Rules for Smaller ISPs

FCC Ends Inquires Into "Zero Rating" Programs

US Senator Al Franken Urges FCC Chairman Pai to Protect Freedom of Speech, Enforce Net Neutrality

Trump Expected to Name FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai as Chairman

Outgoing FCC Chairman Warns Republicans Against Overturning Net Neutrality

Tom Wheeler Announces Resignation as FCC Chairman

AT&T CEO Confident Trump-Appointed FCC Will Scrap Net Neutrality Regulations

FCC Drops Every Major Item from the Agenda

NetNeutrality Rules to Be Stifled Under Trump Presidency, Experts Fear

2016 US Presidential Election Likely to Have Major Impact on Broadband Expansion and Regulation

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