Net Neutrality

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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»

What's Certain About the Regulatory Uncertainty Debate

Incumbent carriers, such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, have made countless "curtains for the Free World" assertions in the Network Neutrality debate. They claim that if the FCC reclassifies as common carriage aspects of Internet access, it will create "regulatory uncertainty" and "disincentive investment." Not one of the countless sponsored researchers funded by incumbents has provided a shred of empirical evidence to support these assertions. more»

Decision Time for the Open Internet

On February 26 of this year the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States will vote on a proposed new ruling on the issue of "Network Neutrality" in the United States, bringing into force a new round of measures that are intended to prevent certain access providers from deliberately differentiating service responses on the carriage services that they provide. more»

Are the TISA Trade Talks a Threat to Net Neutrality, Data Protection, or Privacy?

On December 17th a US proposal for online commerce in a major trade negotiation, the Trade in Services Agreement ("TISA") leaked. A flurry of press releases and opinion pieces claim that TISA is a threat to the Internet. The headlines are lurid: "TISA leak: EU Data Protection and Net Neutrality Threatened" and "Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, civil rights"... Because I've spent years in Geneva regularly meeting with and advising negotiators on the networked economy I have a very different perspective. more»

Content - The Next Regulatory War Zone

At the 2014 TelSoc Charles Todd Oration the former Chair of the ACCC, Graeme Samuel, warned against the looming content monopoly... "There is a constant risk that the exclusive tie-up of rights to content for new and emerging markets will allow the right holders to shut out competition across a wide range of services delivered over new networks." He didn't think that the current telcos have the right expertise to enter the content market... more»

The EFF and Hanlon's Razor

The EFF has just posted a shallower than usual deeplink alleging an "email encryption downgrade attack" by ISPs intent on eavesdropping on their customers. They, along with VPN provider Golden Frog, have additionally complained to the FCC reporting this. Here, they've just noticed something that's common across several hotel / airport wifi networks... more»

Zero-Rating and the Creation of Digital Castes

During the last Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul, a day was devoted to Net Neutrality with three panels devoted to the subject. The first was exactly about Zero-Rating: Net Neutrality, Zero-Rating & Development: What's the Data? the second was Network Neutrality: a Roadmap for Infrastructure Enhancement and last, the main session Network Neutrality: Towards a Common Understanding of a Complex Issue and Zero-rating was discussed on all three panels. more»

Taking It to the Streets

It is interesting to see telecommunications policy issues being covered by the general media. Of course, we expect to see coverage of communications issues in the business press. The sector is a large employer, makes massive investments in infrastructure and virtually every citizen buys communications products and services every month. Still, covering the sector in the business section is different from seeing coverage move to the front page or the general editorial pages. more»

Beyond Neutrality - Enabling a World of Connected Things

The growing interest in the "Internet of Things" is forcing us to think beyond the web to a much larger world of connected devices. We can tolerate the many barriers to connectivity because we expect that someone can provide the necessary credentials to log in to the providers' services and to adjust Wi-Fi access keys whenever the access point changes or simply to click "agree" at a hotspot. This doesn't work for "things" which can't recognize a sign-on or "agree screen". more»

Internet Regulation: Section 706 vs Title II

At the NANOG meeting in Baltimore this week I listened to a presentation by Patrick Gilmore on "The Open Internet Debate: Section 706 vs Title II." It's true that this is a title that would normally induce a comatose reaction from any audience, but don't let the title put you off. Behind this is an impassioned debate about the nature of the retail Internet for the United States, and, I suspect, a debate about the Internet itself and the nature of the industry that provides it. more»

Net Neutrality Undermining Spreads to Developing Countries

After the USA set the bad example of allowing telcos to start charging different rates for content delivery services, other incumbent telcos elsewhere are only too happy to jump on the bandwagon and use the American example as a reason and an excuse to end net neutrality (NN) in their countries also. As did their American counterparts they too see this as another way to grab some extra monopolistic income. more»

Connectivity Policy and the Open Internet

The goal of public policy for connectivity should be to assure access to our common facilities as a public good by adopting sustainable business models that don't put owners and users at odds with each other. Such balances are typically difficult to achieve which is what makes connectivity so unusual - we can achieve both once we fund the facilities as a public good apart from the particular applications such as telephone calls and cable content. more»

Outcome of UK IGF 2014 As I Saw It

The UK IGF was held on 1st July 2014 at St. Ermin's hotel, London, England. The Nominet Chair Baroness Rennie Fritchie gave the sponsor's welcoming remarks. She said "The IGF provides an opportunity for discussion, dialogue, divergent views, and encourages people to speak-up". The event had about 50 participants. The Minister for Culture, Communication and the Creative Industries Hon. Ed Vaizey, MP gave his keynote speech and fielded questions from participants. more»

The Open Internet?

I'm sure we've all heard about "the open Internet." The expression builds upon a rich pedigree of term "open" in various contexts. For example, "open government" is the governing doctrine which holds that citizens have the right to access the documents and proceedings of the government to allow for effective public oversight, a concept that appears to be able to trace its antecedents back to the age of enlightenment in 17th century Europe. more»

FCC's "Commercial Reasonableness" Standard Already a Dismal Failure

T-Mobile filed a petition today making it clear that the FCC's commercial reasonableness standard is a failure. Anyone following net neutrality knows that the FCC is proposing to authorize discrimination and pay-for-priority deals known as fast lanes. The FCC is claiming we need not worry, however, because the FCC can make sure that entrepreneurs and users face only "commercially reasonable" discrimination. more»

News Briefs

The FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

FCC Chairman: It's Time to Settle Net Neutrality Questions

FCC Expected to Propose Regulation of Internet as Utility

Obama Urges FCC to Treat the Internet As a Utility

FCC Receives 3.7 Million Comments on Net Neutrality

Major Web Companies Reiterate Opposition to Paying ISPs for Fast Lane Access

Broadband Providers Should Not Treat All Bits the Same, Says Cisco

Group Launches Coalition for Local Internet Choice

Apple Rumored Building Its Own CDN, Negotiating Paid Interconnect Deals With ISPs

NY Tech Companies Visit FCC to Express Net Neutrality Concerns

Mozilla Offers Proposal for Solving Net Neutrality Problem

Internet Civil Rights Was Signed Into Law by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff

European Parliament Votes to Drop Mobile Phone Roaming Fees While Abroad

FCC Not Backing Down from Net Neutrality, Plans to Set New Rules

U.S. Court Strikes Down FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

Verizon and the FCC Clash Over Net Neutrality Laws

Over 80 European Organizations Demand Protection for Net Neutrality

European ISPs Lobby ITU for Rights to Charge More for Better Services

Why SOPA Defender Joins Internet Society as Regional Director

Netherlands First European Nation to Adopt Net Neutrality

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