Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality / Featured Blogs

The Age of Information Ubiquity… Passed?

My first day back at the office after a summer of working remotely featured a traffic jam of the sort that reminds me why I hate commuting: one car crash, a key highway closed, and no reasonable surface road alternative routes. There's just nothing to do but suffer the consequences when that road backs up. I had an early team meeting and was already scrambling to leave the house with a buffer of half the regular commute time. It wasn't going to be enough. I dropped a note to my team, who'd all be participating from their locations (in other cities and countries), and warned them. more»

Internet Governance Outlook 2013: "Cold Internet War" or "Peaceful Internet Coexistence"?

Anyone who expected that with the end of the Dubai ITU World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in December 2012, the heated debate on the future regulation of the Internet will slow down should remember to fairytale of the battle of the knight with the seven-headed dragon. Hardly a head is cut off, another is growing. In 2013 the discussion on Internet freedom will likely gain in sharpness. more»

WCIT Denouement

It is midnight in Dubai and I am listening to the final readings of the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR). This instrument is the final output of two weeks of negotiations at the World Conference on International Telecommunication (WCIT), a gathering of the world's nations to update the the ITRs. The Chair goes through the document article by article, section by section, and with each passing "thank you", this Conference draws to a close. Many in the room are elated. more»

It's Not Paranoia if They Are Really After You!

In the latest development from the World Conference on International Telecommunications, a new "compromise proposal" has been leaked to wcitleaks.org. This proposal is certainly no compromise, as it not only is a bald faced power grab by the sponsors (Russia, UAE, China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan at this point), but shows a stunning lack of comprehension of how the Internet works and how it is currently governed. It also shows that the coalition of Civil Society groups and private sector organisations that have focused on WCIT have been correct all along.  more»

On Search Neutrality

In recent months there's been a robust and apparently well-funded debate about the legal status of search engine results, in particular Google's search results. On Tuesday, Tim Wu, a well-known law professor at Columbia weighed in with an op-ed in the New York Times, arguing that it's silly to claim that computer software has free speech rights. Back in April, equally famous UCLA professor Eugene Volokh published a paper, funded by Google, that came to the opposite conclusion... more»

Comcast Xfinity App Argument: Risking Divestiture of Cable or Broadband

This sounds extreme, but Comcast continues to push the boundaries in separation of its broadband service with its cable service. It is walking a thin line between being a broadband provider, offering fast Internet access to millions of subscribers, and treating its Xfinity Xbox 360 App as a priority over customers not having its cable service. Saying the Xbox 360 is just another set-top-box for its own customers is just a complex way of undermining Net Neutrality rules as defined by the FCC upon the companies purchase of NBCU. more»

"Toll Free" Broadband Service: Double Billing Ripoff Or Better Than Best Efforts Premium Option?

Representatives of both AT&T and Verizon have stated that their companies will soon offer "toll free" broadband services. So far they have not provided much detail, but the prospect for customer and content provider surcharges should trigger concern, even outside the context of the network neutrality debate. First let's consider the frame the carrier reps use: "Toll Free." This is an old school "Bellhead" reference... more»

SIP Co-Author Henning Schulzrinne Appointed CTO of the FCC

In a move to be celebrated by many of us with a VoIP background, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced today the appointment of Henning Schulzrinne as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). As the release indicates, Henning's role as CTO will be to: ...guide the FCC's work on technology and engineering issues, together with the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology. more»

Smartphones: Too Smart for Mobile Operators?

In June, the net neutrality debate took an unexpected turn when the Netherlands leap-frogged the USA to became the first country to legislate for mobile net neutrality. Business models for fixed and mobile networks must shift toward volume charges. The net neutrality debate has been seen not having much relevance outside the USA because the plight of carriers there was aggravated by unlimited usage. more»

The Next Network Policy Battle

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The biggest threat to the Internet innovation ecosystem from network operators is not discrimination but terms of interconnection. Metered billing, bandwidth caps, and wholesale transit fees can all be implemented consistently with net neutrality rules. And in practice, net neutrality will be limited to "legal" content... more»