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Google Now a Target for Regulation

The time was - way back around the turn of the century - when all Internet companies believed that the Internet should be free from government regulation. I lobbied along with Google and Amazon to that end (there were no Twitter and Facebook then); we were successful over the objection of traditional telcos who wanted the protection of regulation. The FCC under both Democrats and Republicans agreed to forbear from regulating the Internet the way they regulate the telephone network; the Internet flourished, to put it mildly. more

Why 5G Is in Trouble (and How to Fix It)

I have a somewhat unconventional view of 5G. I just happen to believe it is the right one. It is trapped inside a category error about the nature of packet networking, and this means it is in trouble. As context, we are seeing the present broadband Internet access model maturing and begin to reach its peak. 5G eagerly anticipates the next wave of applications. As such, 5G is attempting to both extend and transcend the present "undifferentiated data sludge" model of mobile broadband. more

The FCC Robocall Proceeding: International Insularity

In March of this year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted an initial Notice of Inquiry (CG No. 17-59) to mitigate robocalls. In July, it adopted a Second Notice. Mitigating spoofed telephone calls is a global problem which every country in the world has been addressing as part of a global ecosystem for many years in intergovernmental and industry bodies, in academic R&D and patent filings, and industry products with ongoing activity continuing today. more

Net Neutrality 101: Why 'Title II' Doesn't Apply to Internet Transmissions

No baby boomers had been born when Congress enacted Title II of the Communications Act in 1934 as a means of regulating the Bell telephone monopoly, and the first Millennials were in elementary school when that monopoly was broken up in 1983. Title II was set to die along with plain old telephone service until the Obama administration decided Title II should be used to implement net neutrality -- the principle that consumers should have reasonable access to internet functionality. more

Legal Controls on Extreme End-to-End Encryption (ee2ee)

One of the most profoundly disruptive developments occurring in the cyber security arena today is the headlong rush by a set of parties to ubiquitously implement extreme End-to-End (e2e) encryption for communication networks using essentially unbreakable encryption technology. A notable example is a new version of Transport Layer Security (TLS) known as version 1.3. The activity ensues largely in a single venue... more

The Great Inevitable: From Broadband Internet to Cloud Application Access

Some inevitable changes are hard to see in prospect, yet are 'obvious' in retrospect. The next communications revolution is 'made for cloud' access. A colleague pointed me to a Forbes article "For Today's Telecoms Companies, Customer Experience Is Just As Important As Download Speeds". It was written by Huawei's global president of assurance and managed services. Well, I told you so! more

Cuba's (Hopefully Limited) ADSL Expansion

In 2015, ETECSA announced/leaked a plan to make ADSL service available in 50% of Cuban homes by 2020. I was skeptical. Doing so would mean investing a lot of money for obsolete technology between 2015 and 2020. They have recently announced the availability of ADSL connectivity at homes in portions of seven cities and, by December, they say some home connectivity will be available in every province. more

Inevitability of Global Standards for Non-Terrestrial Spectrum Sharing

Three companies, SpaceX, OneWeb and Boeing have announced ambitious plans to put thousands of Internet-service satellites in non-geostationary low-Earth orbit (NGSO) and other companies like ViaSat and SES are currently operating hundreds of communication satellites in medium-Earth and higher, geostationary orbits. With so many satellites orbiting in different planes and at different altitudes, there are bound to be frequent "inline events"... more

Software Has Already Eaten Telecoms (It Just Has Indigestion)

The unconscious and near-universal belief is that packet networks are a telecoms service, and one that constructs an 'additive' resource called 'bandwidth'. This is demonstrably technically false. They deliver distributed computing services, as they calculate how to divide up an underlying telecoms transmission resource. The ubiquitous error is a failure to recognise that the hardware platform has already been devoured by the software industry. more

Why Homegrown Subscriber ID Solutions Limit Problem Solving

Most service providers are aware that there needs to be a simple, fast way to identify subscribers. Unfortunately, in reality, mapping IP addresses back to subscribers for identification purposes - such as lawful interception requests or acceptable use policy violations - can be complicated. It usually involves analyzing data sets, completing manual audits, or reliance on multi-step solutions. more