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Evolving Network Business Models

AT&T got critics' keyboards activated by announcing plans for a Sponsored Data service, enabling websites to pay for their end-users data consumption. The service has been characterized as a type of toll-free or "1-800″ style service for mobile data. Does this contravene network neutrality principles? AT&T says the traffic from the sponsoring sites will be treated the same as other traffic on the network. A US public interest group, Public Knowledge, claims this is precisely what a net neutrality violation looks like. more»

100 Years of Monopoly Phone Service

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Kingsbury Commitment which effectively established AT&T, a.k.a. The Bell System, as a government sanctioned monopoly. It was on December 19, 1913 that AT&T agreed to an out-of-court settlement of a US Government's anti-trust challenge. In return for the government agreeing not to pursue its case, AT&T agreed to sell its controlling interest in Western Union telegraph company... more»

Don't Let Patent Wars Widen Digital Divide

For generations, large pockets of Africa were isolated from things many of us take for granted: access to medical treatment and advances that can make the difference between a healthy, productive life or debilitating illness -- or even an early death. These problems still persist, but over the last two decades technology has helped break through and enable medical professionals to reach the poorest and most remote populations and offer some hope. more»

Global Technical Internet Related Issues That Need Fixing

Given its engineering background, many positive contributions can be made by the engineering community in the broader ICT world to assist in addressing some of the broader internet issues, often addressed within the more limited telecoms environment.. Of course some of this is already happening; however much more work would be needed to strengthen the technical foundations of the internet. Just as an example, the type of issues that could be addressed by a broader ICT engineering foundation could include... more»

The Rapidly Changing Governance Environment of International Telecoms

Late last year I participated in the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-2012) in Dubai, organised by the UN agency the ITU. I reported extensively on that event, which was aimed at updating the International Telecommunications Regulations... From the outset there were several reasons WCIT might fail, not the least of which was the fact that the various technological, political and regulatory issues facing the new much broader telecoms environment were not sufficiently separated and so could not be addressed in a rational and systematic manner. more»

The Framing of "IP Transition" Fails to Come to Terms With Real Impact of the Internet

I keep seeing so many articles about the Internet and related policy issues that it's hard to know how to respond. The term "IP Transition" may be a good starting point since the term is an attempt to treat the Internet as a smooth transition rather accepting the idea that we are in the midst of a disruptive change. It seems that the FCC's approach is to simply substitute IP for old protocols and to preserve policies tied to the accidental properties of a copper infrastructure. This shows a failure to come to terms with the new reality. more»

Telecoms As a Spying Tool

With more and more stories coming in from all over the world about the prolific use of telecommunications to spy on what people are doing, the ball has been thrown back into the industry's court, to do something about it. In principle, ever since telecoms came into existence in the 1850s spying was high on the agenda of the people who started to use the new technology. In 1865 countries formed the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). This later became the first institution under the UN and all countries in the world are a member. more»

Highlights from SCTE Cable-Tec EXPO

As a product manager and engineer, I really enjoy attending the technology-oriented Cable-Tec Expo each year. It has a stronger technology focus than many other industry trade shows and it's always a good opportunity to talk to the engineering teams from all of the operators and vendors. more»

VDSL Cabinet Consideration for FttN Roll Outs

Australia will be an interesting test market for VDSL. With a new government and the broadband infrastructure company NBN Co basically in agreement, it is most likely that VDSL will be used to bring for example fast broadband to multi-dwelling units (MDUs). It was mainly for political reasons that the previous government stopped NBN Co deploying the VDSL technology in MDUs for this purpose. Whether or not any more VDSL will be deployed beyond that will largely depend on the NBN Co review of its current plan.  more»

Renesys Chronicles Today's Internet Blackout in the Sudan (Now Restored)

The team over at Renesys has once again provided a great analysis of an Internet outage in a country, this time in Sudan. In the article simply titled "Internet Blackout in Sudan", Doug Madory writes: A few hours ago, we observed a total Internet blackout in Sudan and, as we publish this blog, the Internet remains largely unavailable. By count of impacted networks, it is the largest national blackout since Egypt disconnected itself in January 2011..." more»