Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Featured Blogs

Dictators Could Rule the Internet: A Response to Robert McDowell and Gordon Goldstein

The Obama administration's proposals to regulate the Internet according to common carrier rules have set off a storm of opposition from carrier interests, whose scale and reach have been impressive. The arguments they muster are fatuous and deceitful. The Internet is not what the carriers own or have created; the Internet is what they seek to extract money from. "Regulating the Internet" is not the issue; regulating the carriers is. more»

A History of Disruptors: Or How the U.S. Government Saved the Internet from the Telcos

Kenji Kushida is a scholar at Stanford University, who has written a most explanatory overview of how America came to dominate cyberspace, through computer companies. He traces the evolution of the Internet to a series of actions taken by the US government to limit the power of the telephone companies. Kushida looks at the USA, Europe and Japan from the perspective of what happened when telephone monopolies were broken up and competition introduced in the 1990s. more»

The Next Stage of the Broadbanding of the World

The UN Broadband Commission -- which I assisted in establishing and to which I am special advisor -- is now in its fifth year. Set up by the two UN agencies, UNESCO and ITU, it received the support of 50 leading international people such as government ministers, heads of a range of UN and associated organisations, and CEOs of leading private industry companies. Overall it is a public-private partnership. It is chaired by the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and Carlos Slim from Mexico. more»

Title II and ICANN

Many voices are hailing February 26th as a watershed day in the history of the Internet in the United States. After a year of loud argument, frequent misrepresentations, and epic flows of political contributions, the FCC has restored the open Internet rules which prevailed from 2010 until struck down in a court ruling last year. And it has done so with new reliance on existing provisions of U.S. telecom law which it believes will pass judicial scrutiny. more»

Internet-Native Policies

Policies such as network neutrality and minimum speeds for broadband seek to limit the ability of carriers to favor some applications over others. Well-intended though these initiatives are, they still leave users negotiating for passage while confined to the carriers' "pipes". In this scenario, end users remain limited by how the incumbents choose to build their broadband content delivery networks. more»

Notes from NANOG 63

The following is a selected summary of the recent NANOG 63 meeting, held in early February, with some personal views and opinions thrown in! ...One view of the IETF's positioning is that as a technology standardisation venue, the immediate circle of engagement in IETF activities is the producers of equipment and applications, and the common objective is interoperability. more»

Title II Will Have Little Effect on Telecom Developments in The USA

We now know what direction the FCC will take in reorganising the American telecoms market. For many years I have mentioned the rather bizarre situation in that country wherein broadband is not seen as a telecoms service but rather as an internet service, which is itself classified as providing content. Thanks to extensive lobbying from among the telcos (who also refer to themselves as ISPs) in the early days of the internet, back in the 1990s, the FCC accepted their unbelievable proposals. As a result, over the last 20 years or so the USA's telecom market has changed from being one of the most competitive among developed economies to what it is now: a market with hardly any fixed telecoms competition at all. more»

U.S. Senate Declares "Internet Governance Awareness Week" Coinciding with ICANN 52 Singapore

On February 5th, while many (including the author) were on route to ICANN 52 in Singapore, the U.S. Senate passed S.Res. 71, a non-binding, "Sense of the Senate" Resolution declaring February 8th–14th as "Internet Governance Awareness Week". Those dates overlap the now ongoing ICANN meeting in Singapore, and the congruence is intentional. more»

The IG Marathon, Who Will Win the Internet Governance Race

2015 has already started to make its own land marks in the internet of things world. A major thing that has definitely hit the headlines is cyber security issue, which gives an indication that organizations will probably have to make generous budgetary allocations to answer to these anticipated breaches. Internet governance is perhaps going to remain in the headlines for the rest of 2015. 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»