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Automation for Physical Devices: the Holy Grail of Service Provisioning

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) are finally starting to pick up momentum. In the process, it is becoming clear that they are not the silver bullet originally advertised to be. While great for some use cases, emerging technologies like SDN and NFV have been primarily designed for virtual greenfield environments. Yet large service providers continue to run tons of physical network devices that are still managed manually. more

The New State Department Cyberspace Bureau: from Multilateral Diplomacy to Bilateral Cyber-Bullying

These days in Washington, even the most absurd proposals become the new normal. The announcement yesterday of a new U.S. State Department Cyberspace Bureau is yet another example of setting the nation up as an isolated, belligerent actor on the world stage. In some ways, the reorganization almost seems like a companion to last week's proposal to take over the nation's 5G infrastructure. Most disturbingly, it transforms U.S. diplomacy assets from multilateral cooperation to becoming the world's bilateral cyber-bully nation. more

Transition of the Telecoms Industry Is Overdue

It is interesting to observe the changes in the telecommunications environment over the last few decades. Before videotex (the predecessor of the internet) arrived in the late 1970s early 1980s, 90% of telecommunications revolved around telephone calls. And at that time telephony was still a luxury for many, as making calls were expensive. I remember that in 1972 a telephone call between London and Amsterdam cost one pound per minute. Local telephone calls were timed... more

From Crisis to Resilience - the Path to Sustainable Communications Infrastructure in the Caribbean

The Caribbean suffered six major storms in 2017, including the record-breaking Category 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria. In the unprecedented destruction, the islands of Dominica and Barbuda lost all communication and telecommunications service, and eight other Caribbean countries were severely disrupted. Each hurricane season wreaks greater devastation than the last, yet decreased telecommunications competition, inadequate regulation, and high national debt burdens in the region yield ever-diminishing infrastructural investment. more

Nationalizing the Imaginary 5G Network?

To put it bluntly, the proposal cited in Axios story on "Trump team considers nationalizing 5G network" doesn't make sense on a number of levels. The real danger comes if this indeed represents the NSC's failure to understand Internet style connectivity. The proposal may just be the work of an NSC staffer who accepted all the 5G hype as if it were real. I credit the Axios article for having some skepticism... more

Important Developments on Low-Earth Orbit Satellite Internet Service (2017 Review)

The internet is unavailable and/or unaffordable by about 50% of the world's population. The situation is worse in, but not confined to, developing nations where the service is typically sub-standard when it is available.Geostationary satellite connectivity is available globally, but it is slow and expensive because the satellites are high above the Earth. Low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites can deliver speeds comparable to terrestrial links, but constellations of many satellites would be needed to serve the entire planet. more

Sorry, Ajit Pai: Smaller Telcos Did Not Reduce Investment After Net Neutrality Ruling

Primary suppliers see sales go up. ADTRAN's sales in the most recent nine months were $445M, up from $399M the year before. Calix sold $372M, up from $327M. At analyst meeting this year, both said demand had picked up. Clearfield, a supplier of fiber optic gear, was up 8%. Pai claimed, "the impact has been particularly serious for smaller Internet service providers." It was a primary justification for his Net Neutrality decision. more

Net Neutrality Not a Serious Issue Outside America

Most countries, don't have to fear internet quality problems in the same way as would be possible in the USA. The US competition watchdog has little power to hold telcos accountable to the nature of their broadband services. Back in 1996 broadband was classified as a content service and not a telecom service. So, for example, if a telco wants to provide preferred access to Google, it can sell them a superior broadband services which could create a two speed internet service... more

"Restoring" Internet Freedom for Whom?

Recently, a colleague in the Bellisario College of Communications asked me who gets a freedom boost from the FCC's upcoming dismantling of network neutrality safeguards. He noted that Chairman Pai made sure that the title of the FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is: Restoring Internet Freedom. My colleague wanted to know whose freedom the FCC previously subverted and how removing consumer safeguards promotes freedom. more

Innovation Today is IN the Network

The largest and most important global information infrastructure today by any measure is clearly the global mobile network and all of its gateways, services, and connected devices. That network is standardized, managed, and energized by a combination of the 3GPP and GSMA. The level of 3GPP industry involvement and collaboration today probably exceeds all other telecom, internet, and assorted other bodies put together... and then some. more