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Blocking BitTorrent in Britain

Virgin Media announced its intention of restricting BitTorrent traffic on its new 50Mbps service according to an article by Chris Williams in The Register. Does this mean that net neutrality is endangered in the UK? The question is important because advocates of an open Internet like me hold the UK up as a positive example of net neutrality achieved through competition rather than through regulation. more

Ranking Top Internet Service Providers in the World for 2008

In a post by Earl Zmijewski of Renesys, a number of observations have been made in the effort to rank all Internet service providers in the world for 2008 -- globally, geographically, as well as by market segment. Given the controversial nature of such a ranking in the industry, Zmijewski has pointed out that the changes in rank can be far more revealing than the actual rank itself. For instance it is noted that providers who are moving up in the rankings are doing so due, in large measure, to Asia. "China Telecom poised to enter the top-10 'global' providers, despite not being very global. Guess that is easy to do when you 'own' 1/6 of the world's population," says Zmijewski. Findings also include Sprint losing its long held #1 status to Level 3 and Global Crossing surging to #3, leaving their peers behind. more

WSJ: Google Seeking Preferential Treatment from ISPs

The celebrated openness of the Internet or Net Neutrality is quietly losing powerful defenders, reports the Wall Street Journal. According to the report, "Google Inc. has approached major cable and phone companies that carry Internet traffic with a proposal to create a fast lane for its own content... Google has traditionally been one of the loudest advocates of equal network access for all content providers." ...
One major cable operator in talks with Google says it has been reluctant so far to strike a deal because of concern it might violate Federal Communications Commission guidelines on network neutrality. more

Fiber to the Home: Ideal Economic Stimulus?

This week, the headlines seem to be full of fresh doom and gloom for wireline carriers, who employ people in every congressional district across America. Sooner or later, someone is going to call for Congress to tap some of the hundreds of billions in 2009 economic stimulus to help the LECs through troubled times, save lots of jobs, and preserve the way we do business in our critical last-mile communications infrastructure. Is this wise? Is there a better way? more

No Ifs, Ands or Butts, the New FCC Must Focus on Neutrality

The Denver Post today urged a new FCC to get its mind off of "buttocks" and onto more serious issues like Net Neutrality. The editorial board was referring to a case now before the U.S. Court of Appeals, in which the agency's top legal minds are trying to determine the appropriate definition for the human posterior to better guide efforts to fine ABC for a few errant cheeks featured on a 2003 episode of NYPD Blue. more

Ted Rogers, Canadian Communications Pioneer, Dies

Ted Rogers, the Canadian who turned a Toronto radio station into a North American broadcasting, publishing and telecoms conglomerate, died this morning. He was 75. He died just after midnight of heart failure at his home in Toronto, according to Jan Innes, a spokeswoman at Rogers Communications Inc., the company Rogers founded almost 50 years ago and turned into Canada's largest cable television and wireless carrier. He had suffered from deteriorating health recently, the company said. more

Lessons From the Hawaii Telcom Bankruptcy

Hawaii Telcom, the incumbent local exchange telephone company, has filed for bankruptcy protection. Press accounts attribute this outcome to increased competition, the company's struggle to finance capital spending while making debt payments, a significant downturn in the economy, as well as the difficulties in the transition following the leveraged buyout of the company from Verizon Communications Inc. I have a few other bogus and credible explanations that may offer greater insights. more

FCC Pushing for Free Internet Plan, Called Most Controversial Issue in December

Outgoing Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin is pushing for action in December on a plan to offer free, pornography-free wireless Internet service to all Americans, despite objections from the wireless industry and some consumer groups. The proposal to allow a no-smut, free wireless Internet service is part of a proposal to auction off a chunk of airwaves. The winning bidder would be required to set aside a quarter of the airwaves for a free Internet service. more

NTIA Seeks Nominations to Serve on the Online Safety and Technology Working Group

In the midst of the election season, Congress passed a plethora of Internet related laws. Most involved child protection. One involved webcaster protection. Wasting no time, the impact of the new laws is already being felt through federal agency implementation. On Friday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in the Department of Commerce released the following notice... more

Canada's CRTC Sides with Bell on Internet "Throttling" Case, Regulating Traffic Flow OK

Canada's telecoms watchdog has sided with Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) in letting the company slow down certain file-sharing traffic on wholesale networks it leases to smaller, independent service providers. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said today that BCE's main telecom unit, Bell Canada, can continue to "shape" traffic on the leased networks, but will now have to notify wholesale customers at least 30 days in advance of making performance-affecting changes. more

Will Work for Bandwidth

The Internet is in for interesting times. Previously, on Renysys' blog I wrote about the engineering issues and the policy issues facing us over the next five years. But there is at least one large issue still lurking. Most of you will not be surprised to learn that almost all of these issues are outgrowths of a single factor: money. The core of the Internet still doesn't have a sustainable business model. more

U.S. Lawmaker to Push for Net Neutrality Legislation

A senior U.S. lawmaker plans to introduce a bill in January that would bar Internet providers like AT&T Inc from blocking Web content, setting up a renewed battle over so-called network neutrality. Sen. Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, believes a law is essential to prevent telephone and cable companies from discriminating against Internet content, even though regulators have taken actions to enforce free Web principles, a top Dorgan aide said on Thursday according to Reuters. more

Major ISPs to Roll Out P4P Over the Next Two Months

Some of the largest ISPs in US, including phone and cable companies, plan on updating their networks over the next two months with a new technology that promises to accelerate P2P distribution. According to reports, recent trials have demonstrated 59% increase in download delivery speeds on average -- and up to 150% for the fastest class of users. more

Government Net censorship Plan Facing Backlash in Australia

As opposition grows against the Government's controversial plan to censor the internet, the head of one of Australia's largest ISPs has labeled the Communications Minister the worst we've had in the past 15 years. Despite significant opposition from internet providers, consumers, engineers, network administrators and online rights activists, the Government is pressing ahead with its election promise of protecting people from unwanted material, this week calling for expressions of interests from ISPs keen to participate in live trials of the proposed internet filtering system. Michael Malone, head of iiNet, Australia's largest ISP, said he would sign up to be involved in the "ridiculous" trials, just to show how impractical it is. more

TV White Spaces Just the Beginning: Secondary Use of the Spectrum

Yesterday, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to allow qualified devices to operate on a license-exempt basis in unused portions of TV channels 2-51, spectrum commonly referred to as "TV white spaces." A lot has already been written about this move... But what is missing in these discussions is the bigger picture. more