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Internet Access: A Chokepoint for Development

In the 1980's internet connectivity meant allowing general public to communicate and share knowledge and expertise with each other instantly and where it was not possible otherwise. Take the story of Anatoly Klyosov, connecting Russia to the western world for the first time in 1982, as an example. A bio-chemist who was not allowed to leave the soviet territory for security reasons. The internet enabled him to participate in meetings with his counterparts at Harvard University, University of Stockholm and beyond. more»

China's QUESS and Quantum Communications

In mid-August China launched "QUESS" (Quantum Experiments at Space Scale), a new type of satellite that it hopes will be capable of "quantum communications" which is supposed to be hack-proof, through the use of "quantum entanglement". This allows the operator to ensure that no one else is listening to your communications by reliably distributing keys that are then used for encryption in order to be absolutely sure that there is no one in the middle intercepting that information. more»

Verizon-Yahoo! Incumbents Never Seem to Learn

It is amazing that after the dozens of examples of failed business decisions made by telcos in relation to the digital economy, Verizon has clearly not learned any lessons and is willing to waste $4.8 billion in its purchase of Yahoo. This investment will be totally useless and will not provide any new revenue for the telco. They seemed to be attracted by the people-tracking facility (surveillance marketing) that companies such as Yahoo use, and they aim this for their own purposes to attract new advertising revenues. more»

The Next Development in Wireless Broadband

In the USA the FCC has started the discussion on the next level of telecoms in the wireless market, aimed at making spectrum in bands above 24GHz available for flexible-use of wireless services, including next-generation, or 5G networks and technologies. New technologies such as massive-MIMO are going to make it possible to deliver 'fibre-like' speeds over short distance wireless networks operating in the 24+GHz bands. This will make the technology especially useful for high-speed broadband services in densely populated areas. more»

Hyperties: "Travel Adaptors" for the Cloud?

I have spent the day here in Berlin attending my second advisory board meeting for the EU research project reTHINK. I'm chewing over what I learnt about the possible future of the telecoms and cloud industry. There has been a decades-long tussle between the communications and computing parts of the ICT industry. Both sides wish to exert power over the digital economy. Sometimes this tussle works for the common good, sometimes not. more»

What is Google Up To?

The astonishing rise and rise of the fortunes of Google has been one of the major features of both social and business life of the early 21st century. In the same way that Microsoft transformed the computer market into a mainstream consumer product through its Windows and Office software products some 20 years ago, Google has had a similar transformative effect upon its environment. more»

Final Day to Give Input on "Future of the Internet" Survey

Today, June 26, is the final day that you can help the Internet Society with its "Future of the Internet" survey. It takes about 20-25 minutes and will help my colleagues at the Internet Society develop a number of scenarios about the possible future of the Internet. These scenarios can help all of us in talking to policy makers, leaders, media and the general user population about the choices we have before us for the future of the Internet. more»

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»