Telecom

Telecom / Featured Blogs

As a Service?

I'm happy to have the option of buying services. It's easier to eat at a restaurant than to do my own cooking, and I'm happy to pay for a ride rather than fighting traffic on my own. However, I'm not happy if I don't have the option of cooking for myself or of taking a stroll. I used to be willing to pay for all of my phone calls but today I know that, thanks to VoIP, there is no need to. But the phone companies are attempting to wrest back control with their wider 5G agenda. more

State Department Should Return to Its Knitting

Having researched and written about the 100 year history of U.S. State Department's institutional machinations in the telecom/cyber sector, taught law school graduate courses, and worked with its bureaus and staff over the past 45 years, the latest twists and turns seem to repeat past mistakes. The fundamental problem is that the U.S. is the only country whose Foreign Ministry is given a significant role and engaged in telecom and cyber matters in global venues. more

Squirrels Are the Number One Culprit for Animal Damage to Aerial Fiber

These cute rodents are the number one culprit for animal damage to aerial fiber. To a lesser degree, fiber owners report similar damage by rats and mice. Squirrels mainly chew on cables as a way to sharpen their teeth. Squirrel teeth grow up to 8 inches per year and if squirrels aren't wearing their teeth down from their diet, they look for other things to chew. more

Does China’s Digital Silk Road to Latin America and the Caribbean Run Through Cuba?

China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an ambitious, long-term, global investment and development program. It was launched in 2013 with a focus on infrastructure -- roads, railroads, pipelines, undersea cables and ports. Since then China has invested $80 billion and signed 173 BRI agreements with 125 countries and 29 international organizations. more

Economics and Common Sense Deprecates the Common Argument for Lower Spectrum Prices

Outside of China, very few governments would expect a saving in spectrum costs would mostly go to investment. Corporations have other priorities, including advertising and executive salaries. Stockholders come above everything at most companies. Rarely would even 1/3rd of the saving go to capital spending. The U.S. under Trump had a massive tax cut, worth literally billions to Verizon and AT&T. Verizon actually cut investment. AT&T's increase in capex was far lower than the tax saving. more

Trump Orders Cyberattacks by US Companies

It is supremely ironic. A rogue national leader with the stroke of a pen, dictates that its companies will expose a foreign company's end users to cyberattacks. This is the net effect of denying security patches or operating system updates pursuant to Trump's order. In the US Great Rogue Leader's bizarro world, this is the very behavior that he claims makes his actions necessary. In fact, this Trump malware attack is worse because of the mass exposure to exploits. more

Know Someone Who Has Made the Internet Better? Postel Service Award Nominations Deadline May 15

Do you know of someone who has made the Internet better in some way who deserves more recognition? Maybe someone who has helped extend Internet access to a large region? Or wrote widely-used programs that make the Internet more secure? Or maybe someone who has been actively working for open standards and open processes for the Internet? more

Collaboration to Prevent International Call Spoofing: Will the FCC Comply With Ray Baum’s Act?

As a former FCC senior staff member, the Commission's increasing disengagement in international telecommunication technology forums over the past two decades has been dismaying. One of the adverse effects of this obliviousness-by-design approach has been felt by American consumers in the massive, exponentially increasing volume of spoofed calling numbers and CallerIDs on communications from outside the United States. more

Banning 5G Equipment is a Foolish Strategy

It has become popular today around Washington and the venues of its coerced allies to issue threats to ban telecommunications equipment from certain countries - especially equipment intended for 5G use. The guise is vague assertions of "national security." It is an old tactic dating back to the turn of the last century and recurrent for decades. A combination of treaty instruments and collaborative industry standards activity several decades ago largely put an end to the banning tactic - significantly benefitting the entire world. more

The First Month of Cuban 3G Mobile Internet Service

ETECSA, Cuba's government monopoly ISP, is offering a number of stopgap Internet services -- navigation rooms, home DSL and WiFi hotspots, but the recently rolled out 3G mobile service is the most important. The plot to the right shows the normalized rate of Cuban domain name requests to Oracle servers during the first full month of operation - a surrogate estimate of Internet traffic volume. more