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Dictators Could Rule the Internet: A Response to Robert McDowell and Gordon Goldstein

The Obama administration's proposals to regulate the Internet according to common carrier rules have set off a storm of opposition from carrier interests, whose scale and reach have been impressive. The arguments they muster are fatuous and deceitful. The Internet is not what the carriers own or have created; the Internet is what they seek to extract money from. "Regulating the Internet" is not the issue; regulating the carriers is. more»

A History of Disruptors: Or How the U.S. Government Saved the Internet from the Telcos

Kenji Kushida is a scholar at Stanford University, who has written a most explanatory overview of how America came to dominate cyberspace, through computer companies. He traces the evolution of the Internet to a series of actions taken by the US government to limit the power of the telephone companies. Kushida looks at the USA, Europe and Japan from the perspective of what happened when telephone monopolies were broken up and competition introduced in the 1990s. more»

Riding the Waves of the Future

Yes, that was the theme of this year's Caribbean Cable and Telecommunications Association (CCTA) conference. This annual event was held in sunny Montego Bay, Jamaica, over the first week of February... For that, one has to applaud the fine work that CCTA puts into the event, drawing together operators, vendors, programmers, solution providers, marketers, and technologists alike -- and this year, over 270 attendees and 80-some exhibitors. more»

Title II Will Have Little Effect on Telecom Developments in The USA

We now know what direction the FCC will take in reorganising the American telecoms market. For many years I have mentioned the rather bizarre situation in that country wherein broadband is not seen as a telecoms service but rather as an internet service, which is itself classified as providing content. Thanks to extensive lobbying from among the telcos (who also refer to themselves as ISPs) in the early days of the internet, back in the 1990s, the FCC accepted their unbelievable proposals. As a result, over the last 20 years or so the USA's telecom market has changed from being one of the most competitive among developed economies to what it is now: a market with hardly any fixed telecoms competition at all. more»

The IETF's *Other* Diversity Challenge: An Update

Last June I wrote an article titled "The IETF's Other Diversity Challenge" where I discussed the positive steps the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is taking to increase the diversity of its participants and raised a potentially overlooked demographic: Network Operators. That essay was a problem statement of sorts, and I was long ago taught that you should only raise problems that you have a solution for, or are at least willing to help solve. more»

Why OIRA Needs to Coordinate Federal Cyber Security Regulation

Two quick facts about American industry's resilience against cyber-attack, (1) our critical infrastructure is inadequately protected and (2) federal regulation will be required to fix the problem, reliance on market forces alone will not be sufficient irrespective of whether or not Sony Pictures survives. Although regulation is needed, it needs to be coordinated and, above all, cost-effective. Which agency is charge of regulating cybersecurity? Right now, it's a free for all with agencies staking out turf and claims of authority. more»

Cable & Wireless US$3B Deal to Acquire Columbus Exposes Vulnerabilities in Caribbean Telecom Sector

When Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) announced an agreement to acquire Columbus International, news of the deal sparked widespread concerns about the impact of reduced competition on consumer pricing, infrastructure investment and wider economic development in the Caribbean. If approved, the deal will make CWC the Caribbean's largest wholesale and retail broadband service provider. At the same time, it will return several Caribbean territories into monopoly or near-monopoly markets... more»

Content - The Next Regulatory War Zone

At the 2014 TelSoc Charles Todd Oration the former Chair of the ACCC, Graeme Samuel, warned against the looming content monopoly... "There is a constant risk that the exclusive tie-up of rights to content for new and emerging markets will allow the right holders to shut out competition across a wide range of services delivered over new networks." He didn't think that the current telcos have the right expertise to enter the content market... more»

Can Mobile Operators Afford a Mobile-Only Strategy?

With 4G rollouts in many developed mobile markets reaching completion, it might be time to check the balance of the state of the mobile industry. Looking at campaigns around the world it is clear that what you see are 'me too' strategies. The advertising campaigns and the marketing hyperbole around them might suggest that a particular operator has now done something unique or very special, but if one looks beyond the advertising blurb it is clear that the campaign is nothing new and/or that what is on offer can be very easily matched by their competitors in the market. more»

The ITU Plenipotentiary: Member States Decrease Financial Contributions

The ongoing ITU Plenipotentiary Conference wraps up at the end of the week. The more than 2000 people present in Busan Korea from 171 countries -- overwhelmingly government bureaucrats -- have been busily polishing nearly a hundred resolutions on everything that ails them. The good news is that some sanity seems to have prevailed and most of the really extreme provisions apparently disappeared during the ensuing dialogue. One of the reasons for the change of heart is the realization that the ITU emperor's budget for clothes is disappearing. more»