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Positive Outlook for Investments in Backbones

When talking about the problems of attracting infrastructure funds to the telecoms industry, I would make one exception; that is backbone infrastructure... We increasingly describes mobile networks as fibre networks with a wireless access component. This clearly indicates the need for fixed backbone network capacity, eventually all the way to the street. more»

Telecoms Still Not Seen As Good Infrastructure Investment

It is interesting that when governments and financial investors, such as superannuation funds, talk about infrastructure investments and infrastructure investment funds they rarely include telecommunications in their deliberations... Most politicians and infrastructure investors have problems seeing telecoms infrastructure in that context. From a visionary and strategic aspect one could argue that, at a political level at least, telecoms should be seen as, and included in any policies on, national infrastructure. more»

RIP Network Neutrality

It's been an interesting couple of months in the ongoing tensions between Internet carriage and content service providers, particularly in the United States. The previous confident assertion was that the network neutrality regulatory measures in that country had capably addressed these tensions. While the demands of the content industry continue to escalate as the Internet rapidly expands into video content streaming models, we are seeing a certain level of reluctance from the carriage providers to continually accommodate these expanding demands... more»

The Importance of IP Resource Planning in Government ICT Strategic Plans

It seems everywhere I turn, there's someone throwing around statistics for how the Internet and broadband will drive economic growth, create jobs, end world hunger and bring world peace (ok, maybe not the later). Sure enough, government officials are buying into that rhetoric and extending it in initiatives like national broadband strategies, cybercrime and cybersecurity plans as well as e-governance strategies. more»

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»