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Cisco: Africa in 2017 to Have More Internet Users Than U.S.

Carlos Slim of Telmex tells me the world is about to change. "Two billion more people will connect to the Internet when smartphones cost $50. The phone makers are promising me a $50 phone in 2014." If Spreadtrum and Firefox deliver a $25 smartphone, as promised, that could accelerate takeover. ~310,000,000 Africans will be connected to the Internet in 2017, Arielle Sumits of Cisco predicts... It's inevitable that the U.S. will be dwarfed by the rest of the world. more»

Internet Governance Back in the Limelight

In my special role as adviser to the UN Broadband Commission I reported extensively in 2013 on the WCIT-12 conference in Dubai. Unfortunately the world disagreed on a way forward in relation to internet governance. However, despite all the grandstanding of the USA and its western allies, simply ignoring it and saying "there is no room for governments to be involved in internet governance" - will not make the issue go away. more»

The Rise and Rise of Broadband in China

While there are plenty of articles continuously updating us on the incredible social and economic developments that are taking place in China it is still sometimes good to stand still and have a look at some of these developments. It was 15 years ago that the Chinese Government - in its 5-year plan - stated that it wanted to connect all of its half million villages to the telecommunications network. At that point the plan simply called for narrowband telephone connections. more»

The Future of Communications Cross-Subsidies

It used to be so much easier to manage a system of cross subsidies for communications. If a regulator wanted consumer services to be subsidized by businesses, rural to be subsidized by urban, local subsidized by long distance, TV production subsidized by distribution, it could just issue an order to make it so. So let it be written; so let it be done. There were few, if any, other suppliers of those services, so there were limited arbitrage opportunities. more»

Thinking Outside the Internet

This is a talk I gave at Google in Cambridge January 6, 2014. Some may know this as Ambient or Borderless Connectivity, but I'm titling this post as "Thinking Outside the Internet." It builds on my Three Stages of Digital theme, outlining how we are shifting from a telecom-centric framing with meaning and value inside the wire to today's Internet in which meaning and value are no longer contained within channels. more»

Lead With Privacy and Customers Will Follow

From high-profile data breaches to increasingly sophisticated tracking systems, the issue of consumer privacy is earning a lot of headlines these days. To better protect their personal privacy, many consumers are taking matters into their own hands. A Forrester Consulting survey revealed that one-third of consumers polled admitted to using do-not-track tools and ad blockers to protect their online privacy, while another 25 percent have cancelled at least one online transaction after reading the seller's privacy policy. more»

Top 4 Lessons from CCTA 2014

Sun, surf, and ... service operators? It's a match made in heaven! The Caribbean cable and telecommunications industry may not be large, but it is an important and fast-growing region. The recent Caribbean Cable & Telecommunications Association (CCTA) Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico threw the spotlight on this slice of paradise and I was there to catch up on some of the trends emerging for the year ahead. more»

Comcast-TWC: Why Compete and Innovate When You Can Buy Market Share?

Expect a charm offensive as Comcast and scores of sponsored researchers explain how acquiring Time Warner Cable will promote competition and enhance consumer welfare. You might not hear too much about two traditional concerns remedied by actual facilities-based competition: incentives to innovate and reduce prices. Comcast will frame its acquisition as necessary to achieve even greater scale to compete with other sources of video content and maybe to compete with the limited other sources of broadband access. more»

Securing the Core

BGP. Border Gateway Protocol. The de-facto standard routing protocol of the Internet. The nervous system of the Internet. I don't think I can overstate the importance, the criticality of BGP to the operation of the modern Internet. BGP is the glue that holds the Internet together at its core. And like so many integral pieces of the Internet, it, too, is designed and built on the principle of trust... The folks who operate the individual networks that make up the Internet are generally interested in keeping the Internet operating, in keeping the packets flowing. And they do a great job, for the most part. more»

The Seriously Flawed American Telecoms Market

The recent decision regarding the end of Network Neutrality (NN) in the USA is based on a totally flawed telecoms policy. Once the foundation of a telecoms 'house' is fundamentally wrong, whatever is built on top of that will basically collapse at a certain point. The market fundamentals in the USA are so wrong that any initiative to improve broadband access, fibre roll-outs, infrastructure competition or telecoms and transactor innovation, will either fail or have a minimal impact. more»

Evolving Network Business Models

AT&T got critics' keyboards activated by announcing plans for a Sponsored Data service, enabling websites to pay for their end-users data consumption. The service has been characterized as a type of toll-free or "1-800″ style service for mobile data. Does this contravene network neutrality principles? AT&T says the traffic from the sponsoring sites will be treated the same as other traffic on the network. A US public interest group, Public Knowledge, claims this is precisely what a net neutrality violation looks like. more»

100 Years of Monopoly Phone Service

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Kingsbury Commitment which effectively established AT&T, a.k.a. The Bell System, as a government sanctioned monopoly. It was on December 19, 1913 that AT&T agreed to an out-of-court settlement of a US Government's anti-trust challenge. In return for the government agreeing not to pursue its case, AT&T agreed to sell its controlling interest in Western Union telegraph company... more»

Don't Let Patent Wars Widen Digital Divide

For generations, large pockets of Africa were isolated from things many of us take for granted: access to medical treatment and advances that can make the difference between a healthy, productive life or debilitating illness -- or even an early death. These problems still persist, but over the last two decades technology has helped break through and enable medical professionals to reach the poorest and most remote populations and offer some hope. more»

Global Technical Internet Related Issues That Need Fixing

Given its engineering background, many positive contributions can be made by the engineering community in the broader ICT world to assist in addressing some of the broader internet issues, often addressed within the more limited telecoms environment.. Of course some of this is already happening; however much more work would be needed to strengthen the technical foundations of the internet. Just as an example, the type of issues that could be addressed by a broader ICT engineering foundation could include... more»

The Rapidly Changing Governance Environment of International Telecoms

Late last year I participated in the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-2012) in Dubai, organised by the UN agency the ITU. I reported extensively on that event, which was aimed at updating the International Telecommunications Regulations... From the outset there were several reasons WCIT might fail, not the least of which was the fact that the various technological, political and regulatory issues facing the new much broader telecoms environment were not sufficiently separated and so could not be addressed in a rational and systematic manner. more»

News Briefs

Indonesia's Largest Telecom Provider Leaks Large Portions of the Global Routing Table

European Parliament Votes to Drop Mobile Phone Roaming Fees While Abroad

Global M2M Connections Reached 195 Million in 2013, Expected to Reach 250 Million In 2014

U.S. Telcos to Test IP-Based Calling, FCC Approves Trials

Network Outages Costing Mobile Operators $15B Annually

Australia Aborting Its Ambitious $44 Billion Broadband Project

FCC Confirms Tom Wheeler as the New Chairman

23 Countries Ahead of U.S. in Internet Usage According to ITU Broadband Report

Renesys Reporting Total Internet Blackout in Sudan

Verizon and the FCC Clash Over Net Neutrality Laws

US, UK, Canada and Other Countries Will Not Sign UN Telecom Treaty

Internet Society Expresses Concern over Direction of WCIT

Global Internet Growth Is Driven by Flexible Governance, Not Restrictive Regulation, Says Report

China Telecom to Start Selling Wireless Service in U.S.

Time Warner Cable Showing Photos of Melted Fiber-Opitcs Caused by "Freakish Subterranean Fires"

Documentary Looks at 60 Hudson Street, World's Most Concentrated Hub of Internet Connectivity

Skype Now Officially Part of Microsoft

FCC Overhauling Telecom Fund to Expand Broadband

Impact of Hurricane Irene on the Internet

Netherlands First European Nation to Adopt Net Neutrality

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Industry Updates

Participants – Random Selection