Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Featured Blogs

Connecting the Next 46 Percent: Time to Pick the Good From the Bad and the Ugly

On the 5th of November 2019, the release of the first of ITU's Measuring Digital Development series coincided with Freedom House's unveiling of its Freedom on Net 2019 report. This serendipity prompted me to write this blog note after carefully examining both reports. On one hand, ITU's analytical publication, with its new friendly format, emphasizes that Internet use continues to spread, warning however that the digital gender gap is widening. more

GNSO Council: Attend the .ORG Protest!

Tomorrow EFF, NTEN, Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and other organizations will hold a rally outside of ICANN HQ from 9-11 am. You know about the rally, and you should all attend this event! Whatever your feelings about the sale of .ORG, you are leaders of the GNSO, the body that makes gTLD policy. This is a gTLD event, and registrants are trying to talk with ICANN, and they are trying to talk with YOU. more

Killing 3G

I have bad news for anybody still clinging to their flip phones. All of the big cellular carriers have announced plans to end 3G cellular service, and each has a different timeline in mind... The amount of usage on 3G networks is still significant. GSMA reported that at the end of 2018 that as many as 17% of US cellular customers still made 3G connections, which accounted for as much as 19% of all cellular connections. more

Broadband and Presidential Politics

For the first time in my memory, broadband has entered into U.S. presidential politics. This is an important milestone for rural broadband – not because of the proposals being made by candidates, but because it indicates that the voices of those without rural broadband have reached upward to the top of the political system. I'm sure that when the presidential candidates go to rural areas, they are asked if they can help find a solution for the lack of broadband in many rural counties. more

Who Pays When .Org Prices Rise?

When .org prices rise, who suffers – nonprofits or speculators? Will Ethos Capital raise prices more aggressively than ISOC would? Vint Cerf attributed concerns about higher prices to speculators: "Of course, companies that hold domain names in the tens of thousands for speculative purposes might find such increases more troubling, but I don't have much sympathy for that business model in the context of the organizations the .org brand is intended to serve." more

5G Leadership Reality Check: January 2020

As we embark on a new year and decade, it seemed worthwhile to take a peek at the principal forums for global 5G industry technical collaboration and do a quick assessment of what is occurring and who are the "leaders." The leadership dimension is especially relevant in Washington these days – which is suffering from a peculiar 5G dementia. As the year ended, there were no less than 35 current 5G related Congressional legislative actions, several of which actually passed one of the chambers. more

Vint Cerf's Comments on the ISOC Sale of PIR and the .ORG Registry

Vint Cerf has posted comments in support of the pending sale of PIR and the .org registry to Ethos Capital. Vint's Comments . Vint is a respected member of the Internet community, and his comments need close attention and careful assessment. Some of his comments have been discussed here earlier. Other comments, posted here and elsewhere, have either supported the sale or raised questions. more

So Many Nonprofits Have Trusted Dot Org for So Long

ICANN's Board will meet soon, perhaps even tomorrow, to discuss the dot-org domain sale. It is a pivotal inflection point in the history of Internet governance. When Internet Society (ISOC) was awarded the dot-org domain over ten other bids in 2002, evaluators voiced concerns about their ability to steward it. The report explains: Some on the Committee expressed concern, however, that ISOC's associations extend only to the networking/connectivity community and not to a broader base... more

The .ORG Debate Should be About What Its Users Want

I watch the controversy over the proposed sale of the .ORG domain with a mixture of bemusement and concern. Some in the ICANN community – mostly those who resent that the Internet ever became commercialized – oppose the sale of the Public Interest Registry to the for-profit company Ethos for $1.1 billion. The basis of their concern is that the domain for non-profits should be in the hands of a non-profit and that the new owners might increase the current $9.93 fee PIR charges for a domain. more

Internet Governance Outlook 2020: The Next Generation of Players and Problems Is Coming

The beginning of a new decade is always an invitation to have a broader look into the future. What, in the next ten years, will happen in the Internet Governance Ecosystem? Will the 2020s see the usual swinging pendulum between more liberal and more restrictive Internet policies in an interconnected world? Or will we move towards a watershed? more