Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Recently Commented

Ed Richards of Ofcom on Net Neutrality

Ed Richards, Chief Executive of Ofcom, was at Columbia today... NN (Net Neutrality) debate does give us insight into importance of disclosure to consumers -- consumers should be able to switch providers, and they should know which ISPs are making prioritization decisions. This should be an obligation of suppliers to communicate this information to consumers. In particular, he says that Ofcom is actively exploring whether network operators whose traffic shaping activities change materially should have to tell consumers -- and if these changes are significant consumers should be allowed to break their contracts with the provider without penalty... more

ICANN Rejects .XXX Domain

Many in the adult-entertainment industry and religious groups alike had criticized the plan, which the Canadian government also warned this week could leave the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers in the tricky business of content regulation.

The 9-5 decision by ICANN's board came nearly seven years after the proposal was first floated by ICM Registry LLC. It was the third time ICANN has rejected such a bid. Paul Twomey, ICANN's chief executive, who had described the proposal this week as "clearly controversial, clearly polarizing" abstained from the vote but did not say why. more

ITU Wants to Lower-Case the Word Internet

UN agency reconsiders its role as countries jockey for influence in industry... When David Gross heard last month that the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency, wanted to lower-case the word Internet as a matter of official policy, he did not know whether to be alarmed or amused. more

UDRP and Article 92(b) of EUROPEAN COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 40/94

It has been over a year since I posted "The Non-Parity of the UDRP", how little did I know then compared to now! Since that posting, the corporations and their lawyers have given me a crash course in the law and I have learned much. There are many tricks that corporations will play on a domain name registrant in order to silence criticism of the corporation and to violate the registrants right of freedom of expression without frontiers. The UDRP Administrative Proceedings is one such trick... more

League of Nations, United Nations, Next: United Cyber Nations

Though the "Techies" have been heavily involved in many initiatives like Internet Governance, Internationalized (Multi-lingual) Domain Names, Identity Management, Information Security, Access Rights Management etc., they still have to correctly apply the technologies at hand to be able to replicate many accepted norms that have matured in the physical world such as federated identities, non-repudiation, notarizing, witnessing, co-signing etc. more

Vint Cerf, Dave Farber Debate Net Neutrality

Two Internet pioneers, Vint Cerf and Dave Farber, debated on the issue of proposed Net neutrality regulations supported by companies like Google and Amazon.com. The pair of technologists appeared to agree on at least one thing: Network operators, in general, shouldn't be allowed to interfere with Net users' activities. Where they disagreed was on the role that Congress and federal regulators should play in the ongoing debate over so-called Net neutrality, the idea that network operators must generally give equal treatment to all content that travels over their pipes.

Related Links:
The Great Debate: Net Neutrality (includes audio recording) more

Storing VoIP Conversation along with Email as Next Regulation

IT chiefs have been warned to prepare for the possibility of new corporate governance rules that would require them to keep records of voice-over-IP (VoIP) conversations alongside email, instant messaging and other forms of communication.

Speaking at the Symantec user event in San Francisco last week, Jeremy Burton, a senior vice-president at the security specialist, said, "Financial institutions in the US already need to keep voicemail because it is stored on disk. As soon as the regulators figure out that VoIP is a digital stream, they will probably try to force that to be kept as well." more

Telephony, Regulation, and VoIP

A new article by Ken Camp, published at Realtime VoIP, discusses telephony regulations, describing some existing regulatory issues surrounding telecommunications and how they might impact VoIP services. The following is an introduction to this article: "Bringing new technologies such as VoIP into service presents a wide range of technical challenges. Given the highly regulated environment of telecommunications, VoIP presents a set of regulatory challenges. For the most part, these challenges present hurdles to VoIP service providers who want to deliver commercial services to consumers and businesses and don't directly impact business VoIP deployment. ...Businesses that embrace managed VoIP services might want to review some of these regulatory issues, such as E-911 services, with the managed VoIP service provider." more

Comparative Broadband Ideas

The primary reason that Japan and Korea do so much better than the U.S. on any measurement of broadband (availability, penetration, price, speed) is that there is fierce competition in the market for broadband internet access in these countries. ...How do you increase competition in the U.S. for broadband access? Right now, we have giants fighting with each other -- cable and telephone companies. Small numbers of these companies control 80%-90% of the market for broadband access... more

Forward-Thinking Remedies

Just a year ago, I gave a talk at David Isenberg's 2005 Freedom to Connect conference. I said, essentially, that we should be careful in asking for regulation to protect the net, because the power to protect carries with it the power to constrain. This was a very troubling message for the audience, and the chatroom projected behind me went wild with disapproval. Since then, I've become very concerned about the concentration in broadband service provision in this country, and worried that there won't be any competition for unfettered internet access. more

Powell Warns Net Neutrologists Not to Be Naive

Just got this email reporting the speech made by former FCC Chairman @ F2C organized by David Isenberg. "Former FCC chairman Michael Powell is up on the stage at the Freedom to Connect conference right now, and he warns the tech elite crowd here not to be naive about the dangers of asking Congress for legislation on Net Neutrality. As he explains..." more

Freedom to Connect

Over the last ten years, Andrew Odlyzko has been writing about a pricing algorithm that would assure reasonable service levels at reasonable prices. If you're going to F2C, you might want to read that brief article or this slightly more complex one to learn (or refresh your sense of) PMP -- Paris Metro Pricing models to deal with network congestion. You'll also get a sense of why throwing bandwidth at the network will not be sufficient. Here's a great article from 1995... more

Telecom Policy Review Panel Calls For Net Neutrality Legal Safeguards

The Telecommunications Policy Review Panel report [Canada] was released yesterday and while the immediate reaction will no doubt focus on the recommendations for a market-oriented approach with significant changes to the CRTC, I would call attention to three other recommendations gleaned from reading the executive summary (the full document is nearly 400 pages). more

Communications Policy for 2006 and Beyond: VoIP as a Case in Point

In this article, published in the Federal Communications Law Journal (FCLJ), the authors (Reed E. Hundt and Gregory L. Rosston) have proposed sweeping changes to the current telecommunications regulatory regime. With impending reform in telecommunications laws, the authors argue that an important first step is the creation of a bipartisan, independent commission to examine and recommend implementation of more market-oriented communications policy. The following excerpt from the article looks into service competition with respect to VoIP... more

Is the U.S. Dancing to a Different Drummer?

Is the United States in full retreat from internationally recognized regulatory best practice? Or is it instead headed toward some different destination -- "dancing to the beat of a different drummer"? Where is this likely to lead? The following is an introduction to a paper, published by IDATE, from J. Scott Marcus, a Senior Consultant for WIK-Consult GmbH: "...What has radically changed is telecoms regulatory practice in the United States. The U.S., in a long series of regulatory decisions, has largely abandoned its long-standing regulatory principles and moved in an entirely new direction." more