Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Most Commented

Number Misuse, Telecommunications Regulations and WCIT

Another twenty five years has just zoomed by, and before you know it, it's all on again. The last time the global communications sector did this was at the WATTC in 1988, when "the Internet" was just a relatively obscure experiment in protocol engineering for data communications. At that time the Rather Grand telephone industry bought their respective government representatives... to the Rather Grandly titled "World Administrative Telegraph and Telephone Conference (WATTC) in November 1988 in Melbourne, Australia and resolved to agree to the Rather Grandly titled "International Telecommunication Regulations." more»

ICANN Needs to Tighten Director-Conflict Policies, Says CEO

ICANN needs to strengthen conflict-of-interest policies for its board of directors, said Rod Beckstrom, CEO, in his opening remarks during the organizations 43rd public meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica. "It is time to further tighten up the rules that have allowed perceived conflicts to exist within our board. ... ICANN must place commercial and financial interests in their appropriate context," said Beckstrom, who plans to step down in July. "How can it do this if all top leadership is from the very domain name industry it is supposed to coordinate independently?" more»

Study Links Half of "Rogue" Online Pharmacies to Two Domain Name Registrars

Brian Krebs reporting in Krebs on Security: "Half of all 'rogue' online pharmacies -- sites that sell prescription drugs without requiring a prescription -- got their Web site names from just two domain name registrars, a study released today found. The findings illustrate the challenges facing Internet policymakers in an industry that is largely self-regulated and rewards companies who market their services as safe havens for shadowy businesses." more»

Department of Commerce Cancels IANA Contract RFP

The United States government has cancelled IANA Request for Proposal (RFP) SA1301-12-RP-IANA according to an updated page made today on the FedBizOpps website. The change -- time stamped Mar 09, 2012 2:44 pm -- states: "The Department of Commerce intends to reissue the RFP at a future date, date to be determined (TBD). Interested parties are encouraged to periodically visit www.fbo.gov for updates." more»

WTSA, WCIT, WTPF: Apocalypse Now?

The year 2012 isn't meant to be apocalyptic, and with a little forethought it won't be, but it is the year in which we will reopen the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs). For many companies this will be bad news for reasons that are already well-understood and for new reasons that countries keep piling onto the agenda: a recent favorite from Russia calls for the treaty to govern and regulate all telecommunications services, "existing, emerging, and future." more»

No New Cybersecurity Regulations Needed, ISPs Tell U.S. Lawmakers

A group of ISPs on wednesday told U.S. Congress that passing new cybersecurity rules affecting broadband and mobile service providers is counterproductive and should be resisted. Jason Livingood, vice president of Internet systems engineering at Comcast, during a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee's communications subcommittee, said: ISPs have "strong incentives" to secure their networks and invest heavily in cybersecurity because of competition. more»

Schmidt: Handing over Control of Internet, DNS to the UN a Disaster, Will Divide the Internet

During the Mobile World Congress 2012, Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt, today warned against United Nations' treaty aimed at bringing more Internet regulation. "That would be a disaster... To some, the openness and interoperability is one of the greatest achievements of mankind in our lifetime. Do not give that up easily. You will regret it. You will hate it, because all of a sudden all that freedom, all that flexibility, you'll find it shipped away for one good reason after another." more»

The Issue Is the Digital Economy, Not Broadband

After some five years of public debate on the national broadband network it is heartening to see that more and more people are getting the message that the network means more than just fast internet access. Increasingly key decision-makers in business and government are reaching an understanding of the transformation that is underway in the economy. more»

US Telecoms Market Further Deteriorating

Some worrying signs are emerging in the USA. During the last decade I have questioned the economic viability of two parallel telecoms infrastructures. When these two network rollouts commenced no issue existed in relation to conflicting interests -- one delivered telephone services, the other broadcasting services. But this all began to change when it became possible to use the HFC network more»

Mobile Broadband Boom: The Killer App for FttH

It still amazes us that respected industry commentators join liberal politicians in questioning the need for FttH in the wake of the enormous success of mobile broadband. They refer to this phenomenon as proof that people are bypassing their fixed broadband and are now using the smartphones and tablets to obtain most of their broadband access. However, after several years of mobile boom the majority of households are still using the fixed-line networks for calls... more»

Closing the Gaps: The Quest for a Secure Internet

Over the last year the world has been virtually buried under news items describing hacks, insecure websites, servers and scada systems, etc. Each and every time people seem to be amazed and exclaim "How is this possible?" Politicians ask questions, there is a short lived uproar and soon after the world continues its business as usual. Till the next incident. In this blog post I take a step back and try to look at the cyber security issue from this angle... more»

ISPs Are Not Broadcasters, Says Supreme Court of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Internet providers are not broadcasters for the purposes of the Broadcasting Act when they simply transmit content to subscribers, reports Michael Geist. The court noted... more»

AT&T's Randall & Stankey: Wireless Data Growth Half The FCC Prediction

40%, not 92%-120%. "Data consumption right now is growing 40% a year," John Stankey of AT&T told investors and his CEO Randall Stephenson confirmed on the investor call. That's far less than the 92% predicted by Cisco's VNI model or the FCC's 120% to 2012 and 90% to 2013 figure in the "spectrum crunch" analysis. AT&T is easily a third of the U.S. mobile Internet and growing market share; there's no reason to think the result will be very different when we have data from others. more»

Public-Private Cooperation Policy for Cyber Security Suggested by Commissioner Kroes

At a speech during the Security and Defense Agenda meeting on 30 January Vice-President of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes, showed how the Commission envisions public-private cooperation on cyber security. more»

Holding Google to a Higher Standard in Search

Danny Sullivan has been the go-to guy for understanding the world of search for over 15 years. This week he published a really good story on Google Plus Your World. A group of engineers have launched a site called Focus on the User that shows exactly how the new Google service could be including other social media content listings besides only Google Plus, but is not. more»