Telecom / Featured Blogs

ENUM: Mapping the E.164 Number Space into the DNS

Many communications networks are constructed for a single form of communication, and are ill suited to being used for any other form. Although the Internet is also a specialized network in terms of supporting digital communications, its relatively unique flexibility lies in its ability to digitally encode a very diverse set of communications formats, and then support their interaction over the Internet. In this way many communications networks can be mapped into an Internet application and in so doing become just another distributed application overlayed on the Internet. From this admittedly Internet-centric perspective, voice is just another Internet application. And for the growing population of Voice over IP (VoIP) users, this is indeed the case... more

Telecom Impact on Per-Capita GDP

My presentation at VON was focused on availability (aka presence) and contextually-aware communications, but I did begin with a brief mention of subjects I'm passionate about and I ended with my typical closing comments about telecommunications... Apparently this struck a chord with several people who came up to me afterwards asking about how they could help the spread of telecom to developing countries and did I have references for my statements about telecom is good for mankind? more

Freedom to Connect

Over the last ten years, Andrew Odlyzko has been writing about a pricing algorithm that would assure reasonable service levels at reasonable prices. If you're going to F2C, you might want to read that brief article or this slightly more complex one to learn (or refresh your sense of) PMP -- Paris Metro Pricing models to deal with network congestion. You'll also get a sense of why throwing bandwidth at the network will not be sufficient. Here's a great article from 1995... more

Telecom Policy Review Panel Calls For Net Neutrality Legal Safeguards

The Telecommunications Policy Review Panel report [Canada] was released yesterday and while the immediate reaction will no doubt focus on the recommendations for a market-oriented approach with significant changes to the CRTC, I would call attention to three other recommendations gleaned from reading the executive summary (the full document is nearly 400 pages). more

What If They Simply Made Communications Technology Better?

Rob Hyndman has a pointer to Mark Cuban's latest: Think the Internet Will Replace TV? Think Again. Cuban's post can be summarized as: Today's broadband networks are too slow. The insatiable appetite for on-demand rich media content will soon overwhelm them. Telco's aren't putting in upgraded networks quickly enough to meet that demand. Cuban also provides some facts and figures to back up that claim. In the comments, readers have a number of viewpoints, including the view that Mark has ignored cable, and that cable can provide the required speeds and feeds... more

Skype: When Good Press Releases Go Bad

Burton Group issued a press release last week announcing the conclusions of my recent report on Skype. I thought the release clearly stated our conclusions on Skype, which essentially were that there are indeed security and management concerns that enterprises ought to be aware of, but that those risks may be outweighed by the business benefits offered by the use of the application, and that enterprises must carefully weigh risk vs. reward when evaluating Skype usage. more

Give Us TVoIP, Not IPTV

A buzzword in the cable/ilec world is IPTV, a plan to deliver TV over IP. Microsoft and several other companies have built IPTV offerings, to give phone and cable companies what they like to call a "triple play" (voice, video and data) and be the one-stop communications company. ...I'm at the Von conference where people are pushing this, notably the BellSouth exec who just spoke. But they've got it wrong. We don't need IPTV. We want TVoIP or perhaps more accurately Vid-o-IP. more

Communications Policy for 2006 and Beyond: VoIP as a Case in Point

In this article, published in the Federal Communications Law Journal (FCLJ), the authors (Reed E. Hundt and Gregory L. Rosston) have proposed sweeping changes to the current telecommunications regulatory regime. With impending reform in telecommunications laws, the authors argue that an important first step is the creation of a bipartisan, independent commission to examine and recommend implementation of more market-oriented communications policy. The following excerpt from the article looks into service competition with respect to VoIP... more

Is the U.S. Dancing to a Different Drummer?

Is the United States in full retreat from internationally recognized regulatory best practice? Or is it instead headed toward some different destination -- "dancing to the beat of a different drummer"? Where is this likely to lead? The following is an introduction to a paper, published by IDATE, from J. Scott Marcus, a Senior Consultant for WIK-Consult GmbH: "...What has radically changed is telecoms regulatory practice in the United States. The U.S., in a long series of regulatory decisions, has largely abandoned its long-standing regulatory principles and moved in an entirely new direction." more

Today's Carrier Networks as Trollways?

As I keep pointing out -- there is indeed a viable alternative of a real marketplace not a fake one. Today's system is a fake because it depends on capturing the value of the application - communications - in the transport and that is no longer possible because with the Internet the value is created OUTSIDE the network. One example of the collateral damage caused by today's approach is the utter lack of simple wireless connectivity. Another is that we have redundant capital intensive bit paths whose only purpose is to contain bits within billing paths. more