Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Most Commented

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

The FCC White Space Regulations: Pretty Good at First Look

My prediction is that LTE and WiMAX are toast. The new great thing will be WRANs (wireless regional area networks). WRAN's will extend and eventually subsume WiFi. The detailed regulations which implement the FCC decision to free the spectrum formerly known as TV white spaces have now been released. They look pretty good from the point of view of someone who believes the unlicensed use of this spectrum has the potential to make a huge difference in the way the world communicates. more

Canadian Report Tells ISPs to Deal with Hate Sites

A report calling for reforms to Canada's Human Rights Commission is calling for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to form their own monitoring body to more speedily deal with hate material hosted on their servers. The report calls for the Human Rights Act to be amended to remove provisions that have the government body censor hate speech, while at the same time calling for ISPs to invoke their terms of service to knock down hate websites. 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

Cybersecurity Improvement Needs Partnership Not Regulation, Says Industry Group

The market-based, voluntary approach that the Bush administration has used to encourage companies to improve cybersecurity is not sufficient and the incoming Obama administration should form a cybersecurity social contract with industry based on economic incentives, according to a new report by Internet Security Alliance (ISAlliance). ISAlliance has released a report suggesting a cybersecurity social contract through which government would encourage and reward corporations by potentially working cybersecurity into procurement and loan processes, along with possible awards programs that could be used as marketing advantages. 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

Wall Street Bailout: Could Learn a Thing or Two From Botnets

Well, at this point, the government is well on its way to bailing out Wall Street from its own incompetence, putting taxpayers on the hook for $700 billion. The worst part is that as Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson puts it, "You're worried about taxpayers being on the hook? Well, guess what? They're already on the hook!" I read that and said "Aw, crap..." Anyhow, Wall Street should maybe learn something from botnet operators. For you see, botnets are not just for sending spam anymore. The bots have diversified their holdings... 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

The Importance of the FCC

My friend Om Malik, dean of the telecom bloggers, posted on the importance of the Federal Communications Commission Chair appointment Obama will make as President... Om is dead on about the importance of this appointment. Decisions made by the five member FCC commission have had and will have an enormous effect not only on the tech sector but on the entire US and even the global economy. more

Domain Registrar Hide and Seek

In the past year ICANN has been putting a lot more effort into its compliance activities, which is a good thing, since the previous level was, ah, exiguous. That's the good news. The bad news is that while they're paying more attention to misbehaving registrants, the registrars, gatekeepers to the world of domains, have serious issues that ICANN has yet to address. more

Obama Selects Internet, High-Tech Veteran as Part of Transition Team

Julius Genachowski, a veteran of Internet business operations and Washington tech policy has been named to President-elect Barack Obama's transition team, "a move that could signal the prominence of high-tech policy in the new administration," reports Cecilia Kang of the Washington Post today. According to Obama's transition headquarters in Chicago, Genachowski will be among the team that will help Obama choose members of his new administration. more

FCC Approves White Space Devices: The Dawn of the Age of Opportunistic Spectrum Reuse

Yesterday will go down in history as a bellwether moment. Few among us will soon forget the excitement of Obama's election. But there was an equally historic vote yesterday that for geeks, policy analysts, and technologists represents an entirely new trajectory in telecommunications. In essence, the FCC has begun the transition from command-and-control, single-user spectrum licensure to a more distributed system that holds the potential to eliminate the artificial scarcity that prevented widespread access to the public airwaves since 1927. more

FCC Approves White Space for Broadband in Unanimous Vote

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today approved, in a 5-0 unanimous vote, the plan to open up unused, unlicensed portions of TV white space spectrum for wireless applications and devices. However, to prevent interference, FCC has also placed some "rigorous certification process" which device offered by a technology company for use on the white spaces will have to go through. more