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Analysis of the Global Telecoms Industry In 2016

The telecoms industry represents one of the most dynamic sectors in the world. Only 25 years ago 90% of all activities took place via telephone calls over fixed telephone lines. Now, within the broader ICT industry, telecoms is underpinning all of the new developments in relation to the digital, sharing and interconnected economies. It facilitates new social and economic developments in all sectors such as e-health, e-education, e-business, smart grids, smart cities, e-government, and so on. more»

Net Neutrality - A Good Step Forward But There Is More to Come

The recent decision taken in the USA makes total sense. It has been ridiculous that the incumbent telecoms operators there could present themselves as ISPs and claim that broadband was a content service rather than telecoms infrastructure - by doing this successfully for 20 years, they have not been subject to a range of telecoms regulations. This in turn has stifled competition, innovation, good quality customer services and the development of fibre optic networks in the USA. more»

"Non-Discriminatory" Broadband: Just Carriage, or Miscarriage of Justice?

The foundational idea behind "net neutrality" is one of fairness by constraining ISP power over network mechanisms. The theory is this: if there is "non-discriminatory" local traffic management, then you have "fair" global outcomes to both users and application providers. There are thousands of pages of academic books making this assumption, and it is the basis of recent EU telecoms law. more»

Is 5G Over-Hyped?

It probably is because we are so good at doing that in our industry. We start with over-promising and under-delivering and then in following years we fix it. So why would 5G be different? Our admirable technology companies are telling us that 5G will be 100x faster than 4G and that it will have 50x lower latency. But my more independent technology colleagues tell me 'it all depends'. more»

Is the Internet a Tobacco Product?

Audacity by federal policy makers can be admirable, at least in some cases, but it can a bit more problematic in others. A case in point is the Food and Drug Administration's "deeming" of the internet to be a tobacco product. The FDA explained that it was exercising its authority under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act which gave the agency an extensive set of duties, responsibilities and authorities over "tobacco products." more»

New Revenue Models for the 'Software Telco'

I was recently asked how telcos might come up with new business models for a world where all resources are under software control. The core idea is to match network supply and demand in space and time (and at all timescales). I've typed up my notes for the curious to critique...Today's telco is more like a static utility 'pipe', the way that gas, electric or oil are delivered. It sells direct access to raw network mechanisms, and users buy circuits that offer a fixed bandwidth in space and time. more»

Politically Correct Rhetoric at a Technical Conference in Cuba

In a recent post, I argued that the US embargo, the poor state of the Cuban economy and fear of free information had stifled the Cuban Internet at its inception in 1996, but that twenty years later, those constraints were significantly reduced. I suggested that the Cuban Internet was being held back by mundane bureaucracy and political correctness. We got an example of that at the Latin American and Caribbean Network Information Center (LACNIC) conference in Havana this week. more»

Top Five Recommendations for IoT Policymakers from ITAC Industry Participants

As the Department of Commerce considers a policy role for the U.S. government in the Internet of Things (IoT), the Department of State is studying a dynamic and evolving international environment around IoT, including technical, commercial, and economic issues. Governments and intergovernmental organizations across the world are waking up to the potential of IoT, and some are looking to move quickly in a nascent landscape to establish themselves as leaders for IoT globally. In the process, few are reaching out to industry. more»

Broadband Carrier Quandary: Exploit Bandwidth Scarcity, or Reduce It?

Comcast enhanced the value position of its broadband subscriptions by increasing the monthly data allowance to 1 Terrabyte (1000 Gigabytes). See Comcast Announcement. As an independent, unsponsored researcher, I can say "Thank You Comcast" without adverse consequences and only a bit of irony. This company does much to displease, but an expanded data allowance offers a winning proposition. more»

WSIS, Development, and Internet Governance: A Plea for 'Star Trek' over 'Mad Max'

Humanity continues to find itself at a crossroads. Ahead of us lies an uncertain future filled with predictions of imminent doom and ominous prospects along with the wonders of science and technology. Behind us lies a century marked paradoxically by both devastating global conflicts and unparalleled global collaboration. As societies continue to globalize, we are increasingly becoming more connected - to the point where it is difficult, if not impossible, to divorce ourselves from the interconnectivity in contemporary systems of commerce, economics, politics, and culture. more»