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Friday, December 28, 2012

Geist - CRTC: "They Trust us to Defend their Interests as Citizens, as Creators & as Consumers"

Michael Geist - The CRTC in 2017: "They Trust us to Defend their Interests as Citizens, as Creators & as Consumers": "Blais provided a vision that hits on many issues that should form part of Canada's long missing digital economy strategy. CRTC activity includes:

  1. the creation of a Chief Consumer Officer to ensure the CRTC "examine all the issues before us through a consumer-focused lens."
  2. the creation of wireless code of conduct
  3. ensuring Canadians have maximum choice of providers and platforms
  4. transparency in costing data of wholesale services
  5. accessibility for all Canadians
  6. broadband availability of downloads of 5 Mbps and uploads for 1 Mbps for all Canadians by 2015
  7. enforcing do-not-call and anti-spam legislation
  8. a broad definition of creators to include anyone that creates, distributes or promotes content" 'via Blog this'

Monday, December 24, 2012

Gangnam Style hits one billion views on YouTube: neutrality gangnam-style?

BBC News - Gangnam Style hits one billion views on YouTube: "Sir Martin Sorrell - chief executive of advertising giant WPP - paid tribute to the achievement by making a link between Psy and one of the west's most influential economists. "Another great example of Theodore Levitt's 'globalisation' and the power of K-pop," he told the BBC."
Anyone who thinks they can use these pipes for free must be nuts? A billion of them?
I particularly use this example because [a] K-pop has gone truly viral; [b] Korea leads the world in broadband and has done for a decade; [c] Professor Shin and I spoke at a Bangkok seminar on 20 Dec, in which he described his work for the Korean government on user empowerment and holistic regulation. I think he would forgive me this once for suggesting it's net neutrality regulation gangnam-style...'via Blog this'

Friday, December 21, 2012

Report: data caps just a “cash cow” for Internet providers

Report: data caps just a “cash cow” for Internet providers | Ars Technica: "a new paper from the New America Foundation... wants to shake up the lethargy that has descended over the data caps debate by pointing out just how odd the caps truly are. "Internet service and mobile providers appear to be one of the few industries that seek to discourage their customers from consuming more of their product," write the paper's authors. "The reason for this counterintuitive business model is that in the noncompetitive US marketplace, it is highly profitable."
The arguments presented here aren't novel, but they do act as a fine summation of the anti-cap position" 'via Blog this'

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Slovenia's Economic Communications Bill adopts net neutrality

My colleague in the EINS Internet Science project, Ziga Turk, is temporarily regulating the electronic media as part of his ministerial portfolio. I heard today via European Parliament researchers that the Slovene Parliament passed at Second Reading its E-Comms Act, making it the second country - after the Netherlands - to formally legislate for net neutrality. 25 to go?
UPDATE: [1] I forgot Finland's USO obligation made them the first net neutral (of a kind) EU member, so it's 3 down, 24 to go. [2] This news was confirmed by a tweet by Dušan Caf @dusancaf Chairman of Slovenian Electronic Communications Council - which is just as well as most (all?) journos were caught in Christmas spirit and didn't cover it.
Here's the PR introducing first reading as English media has not caught up with the 2nd Reading.
Govt Adopts Economic Communications Bill | Invest Slovenia: "The bill includes net neutrality, which means that $operators will have to send internet traffic with uniform speed and permeability regardless of the content" according to Turk. The Agency for Post and Electronic Communications (APEK), which will be renamed the Agency for Communication Networks and Services (AKOMOS), will get more powers and expand its activities to the construction of shared infrastructure." 'via Blog this'

Pirate Bay proxy gets shut down after music industry legal threat

BBC News - Pirate Bay proxy gets shut down after music industry legal threat: "At the beginning of December, the BPI wrote to Pirate Party UK leader Loz Kaye to request the proxy be shut down.
Mr Kaye refused, prompting the music industry body to instruct its solicitors to contact the party's executive members individually to warn of possible legal action.
"We asked Pirate Party UK to remove the proxy because The Pirate Bay is an illegal site that is undermining the growth of legal digital music services," said BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor in a statement on Wednesday. "We believe its executives should respect the law, and the basic right of creative people to be paid for their work." Classy. 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

EU Member States amongst dozens not signing proposed new ITR Treaty

Press Release - No change to telecoms and internet governance - EU Member States amongst dozens not signing proposed new International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR) Treaty, remain 100% committed to open internet: "In the opinion of EU participants, the final text risked threatening the future of the open internet and internet freedoms, as well as having the potential to undermine future economic growth. The EU was concerned about this possible harm not only within the EU, but globally, including in developing countries. Fewer than half of the ITU Member States, accounting for a small proportion of global telecoms traffic, signed the proposed revised treaty today. The European Commission and EU Member States will now study the impact of this action. What is clear is that existing commercial arrangements are untouched. Innovative market-led commercial arrangements remain possible and the open internet will remain in place."
A double minority - less than 100 signatories, and most of those telecoms minnows? Less numerous than that enormous PR headline... 'via Blog this'

Stuck in broadband traffic? Consumer Focus on need to implement EC law

Stuck in broadband traffic? – Consumer Focus:  "In our report Lost on the broadband super highway, released today, we investigated consumer understanding of information on traffic management and we conclude that increased transparency alone is unlikely to safeguard effectively the open internet and prevent discriminatory restrictions online. Our research finds consumers are not aware of traffic management practices, and even if they find information on traffic management restrictions on providers’ websites they cannot digest the meaning of unfamiliar terms such as P2P or VoIP. This conclusion is reinforced by the findings of a Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) investigation and Ofcom’s Infrastructure Report that shows that many broadband providers place restrictions on access to online applications and services despite the regulatory framework that fosters transparency.
The findings of our research demonstrate the need to extend the existing regulatory framework by additional non-blocking and non-discriminatory principles that would clarify which type of traffic management is legitimate. If a self-regulatory or co-regulatory solution is a preferred option it must have a robust compliance and enforcement mechanisms monitored by Ofcom. In addition broadband providers need to do more to raise awareness of traffic management through improved marketing of information to customers. This is the only way to ensure consumers can use the broadband connection of their choice to access the internet and any legal online content and applications they wish, free of negative discrimination, and to protect the innovation.
Any chance that the EC or Ofcom are listening to this? 'via Blog this

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Internet humbles UN telecoms agency

Internet humbles UN telecoms agency | .Nxt | Internet policy and governance: "Having turned industries and governments upside down, the Internet has claimed its first organizational scalp, subjecting the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to a humiliating failure at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai earlier today.
No sooner had applause run out after a vote on what to include in the preamble to an updated global telecoms treaty than the United States took the floor and announced it would not sign it." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

European Parliament demands a net neutrality law

The European Parliament demands a net neutrality law | EDRI: "Following its resolution on net neutrality from November 2011, this is the second time that the European Parliament has asked the Commission abandon its laissez-faire approach on this crucial policy area." 'via Blog this'

BEREC publishes FIVE reports on net neutrality

Documentation: Though dated 2 weeks ago (BoR 130 was re-released as final last week, initially as draft - anyone know why?), and approved at 6 December plenary before release yesterday, these documents are so voluminous (and end of term is so laborious) I haven't read them through yet. IP interconnection will be most interesting, judging by the workshops that led to it.
BoR (12) 130: An assessment of IP interconnection in the context of Net Neutrality 
BoR (12) 144: Request for Information on Best Practice Examples Relating to Transparency / Net Neutrality Detailed responses to BEREC       
BoR (12) 134: Overview of the national situations concerning transparency
BoR (12) 139: Report on the BEREC public consultations on net neutrality         
BoR (12) 132: BEREC Report on differentiation practices and related competition issues in the scope of net neutrality.
\UPDATE 3/1/13: Note that two are for 'internal consumption' by BEREC members and not for public use. 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

WCIT-12: ITU and the realpolitik of telecoms

WCIT-12: ITU and the realpolitik of telecoms: IPTegrity: "Y.2770 deep packet inspection ( DPI)  standard that was agreed by the ITU standards committee prior to the WCIT-12 congress is indeed deeply troubling (see The ITU’s DPI standard – that’s something to be afraid of!). The ITU seems to retain an old-world mentality from the days when voice telephony was the primary service, and it seems to have not really adapted to an Internet world. This becomes obvious from looking at the ITRs revisions." 'via Blog this'

Court Suspends Briefing Schedule in Net Neutrality Challenge

Court Suspends Briefing Schedule in Net Neutrality Challenge: "Verizon and MetroPCS had asked for more time and space from the court to make their case against the FCC's network neutrality rules given that the deadline is Thursday, and added that if the court can't decide by then, it should suspend the Dec.6 deadline until it does rule on the request. The court suspended the schedule pending action on the underlying request.
The companies' request was prompted by the decision of that same court Monday in Verizon's challenge to the FCC's data roaming rules Cellco Partnership [Verizon] v. FCC.
In a motion filed with the court Wednesday, Verizon and MetroPCS asked for two more weeks from the current Dec. 6 deadline to file the latest briefs in their network neutrality challenge so they can incorporate this week's roaming decision into their filings, and for 1,000 additional words (the limit is 6,000) for their joint brief and 350 additional words for MetroPCS' separate filing (the limit is 2,000 words)." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The ITU and the Real Threats to the Internet, Part IV: the Triumph of State Security

The ITU and the Real Threats to the Internet, Part IV: the Triumph of State Security and Proposed Changes to the ITRs « Mediamorphis: "The proposed additions and changes to the ITRs are worse than I thought. It is important that proposals now on the table for discussion at the upcoming WCIT get as much critical scrutiny as they can, and seen in that light, the WCITleaks site created by the folks at the Technology Liberation Front is a very useful tool.
That said, the analysis of the ITU and the proposed changes afoot have been largely strained through the prism of ideology, indiscriminately jumbling together overblown claims with real insights. As far as I can see, it is not the myriad of small changes to one section of the ITRs after another that constitute the major problem, but rather a set of issues that are mostly clustered in proposals by Russia, and supported by China, to add new sections to Article 8. " 'via Blog this'

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Why we are making all WCIT documents public - .nxt

Why we are making all WCIT documents public | News and analysis from .nxt: "Here is why. Contained within the WCIT documents are a number of proposals that have far greater impact and import than the system was ever designed to handle. As has been pointed out recently, several proposals, if accepted, would have a significant impact on the Internet. One proposal last week, for example, argued for an entire new set of regulations specifically focused on the Internet. But that is not the whole picture and it is important when there is such a significant global discussion happening for all the facts to be on the table." Absolutely right. 'via Blog this'

Digital Economy Act: Up to ISPs to decide whether to pursue public Wi-Fi providers over online copyright infringement, says Ofcom

Digital Economy Act: Up to ISPs to decide whether to pursue public Wi-Fi providers over online copyright infringement, says Ofcom: ""The DEA is clear: only subscribers are the legitimate recipients of notifications; communications providers are not," Le Patourel said. "It is the DEA, not Ofcom, that defines these actors. And it is for qualifying ISPs to apply such definitions. Ultimately the independent appeal body will decide whether an ISP has done this correctly by looking at the facts in each individual case brought to it."

"All Ofcom can do is offer some guidance on our interpretation of the definitions, which may play a role in the event that we consider enforcement action for failure to notify subscribers. To that end, we’ve already said that we believe that an individual who receives an internet service primarily for the purpose of using it, but who happens also to make it available to others by opening a Wi-Fi connection, is a subscriber, and can therefore legitimately receive notifications," he added. That’s different to a library or a cafe which can demonstrate that it receives an internet service predominantly for the purpose of making it available to customers. Our interpretation of the definitions is that this body is likely to act as an ISP or a Communications Provider and therefore cannot legitimately receive notifications, even where the owner also uses the service for his own needs."

My thoughts: For the record, I find it deeply objectionable that Ofcom should release this vital information in a seminar to a commercial conference, rather than directly to the affected public. That shows contempt for citizens, as does Parliament's decision that it is for the 'independent appeal body' to decide the staus of Wifi - presumably some 5 years after the Act was passed! Legislate in haste, repent at leisure  'via Blog this'

Why Is Belarus the Only Country Where Opera Is the Most Popular Browser?

Why Is Belarus the Only Country Where Opera Is the Most Popular Browser? - Tim Fernholz - The Atlantic: " all the Norwegian company behind Opera can offer is the best feature set it can craft and the fastest browser it can make. But that turned out to be the best strategy in Belarus, which remains a largely socialist state with the infrastructure to match, including a state-run communications monopoly, Beltelcom. "One of the main reasons why Opera has a large market share in Belarus is because of the Internet infrastructure in the country; it was pretty bad a few years ago," Espen André Øverdahl, one of Opera's community managers wrote in an email, pointing to features that allow users to strip out images and other bandwidth-gobbling web extras."
Net neutrality and censorship are two sides of the broadband speed coin in such environments - as with trying to run Tor in Iran...'via Blog this'

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Russians 'water down' leaked U.N. WCIT Internet proposal

Russians back down from leaked U.N. Internet proposal | Politics and Law - CNET News: "The Russian proposal is the boldest and most direct plan so far leaked from the process that would turn the ITU into an Internet regulator. The ITU and the Russians have been working closely on cybersecurity matters, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has made no effort to hide his broader agenda. Earlier this year, Putin bluntly told Toure that Russia was keen on the idea of "establishing international control over the Internet using the monitoring and supervisory capability of the International Telecommunications Union."" 'via Blog this'

Saturday, November 17, 2012

CDT, Scholars, Technologists and More Agree: ISPs Shouldn’t Have Right to Edit the Net

Center for Democracy & Technology: "ISPs’ argument that they have a right to interfere – to treat the Internet more like cable, where they select and package content for your consumption – would utterly transform the Internet as we know it. The ISPs are also wrong on the law.
Far from regulating any expressive conduct by ISPs, the Rules are better understood as governing ISPs’ conduct of transmitting information at users’ request. Our brief goes on to illustrate how that conduct – providing a general-purpose communications link over which users decide for themselves what to access – does not meet various Supreme Court tests for “expressiveness” such that the Rules merit First Amendment scrutiny. But even if the court disagrees and goes through a First Amendment analysis, a final section argues that non-discrimination rules for ISPs are a straightforward case that pass muster far more easily than controversial “must-carry” rules upheld for cable providers." 'via Blog this'

Ofcom: mobile blocking Skype but we don't care

ISPreview UK: "Ofcom used this report to keep a close eye (sic) on the issue of Net Neutrality and Traffic Management, although they found that “there are currently no substantive concerns in relation to the traffic management practices used by fixed ISPs“. The regulator noted some “concern” with how some mobile operators block Skype (VoIP) but not enough to take any action against." The traffic management section starts on p49 and includes this choice example of how ISPs are largely ignoring Ofcom's evidence-gathering:

"7.14 We asked operators to estimate the impact of traffic management restrictions. Although most told us that such calculations were too difficult to make, others told us that the impact could be significant, e.g. one fixed ISP said the estimated impact of its traffic management policies was to reduce P2P traffic to 1% of what it would otherwise be at peak times.
7.15 P2P is not the only type of traffic which is subject to traffic management. For example, O2 restricts the speed of video traffic on its lowest priced broadband package to 0.8Mbit/s, and offers higher-priced broadband packages that do not use traffic management for video traffic."
Note 0.8Mb/s is deliberately chosen as just below what is needed for BBC iPlayer services!

'via Blog this'

Virgin Media Failing to Fix Peak Time Broadband Latency and Peering Woes

ISPreview UK: Full disclosure - these clowns are my broadband provider...
"Cable ISP Virgin Media UK has so far failed to completely resolve its broadband peering problems, which re-emerged over a week ago and has left many customers to suffer from high latency (bad for multiplayer games) and video buffering problems during peak times.
The situation was originally caused when Atrato began pushing “abnormal amounts of traffic” through Virgin’s public peering links at LINX (London Internet Exchange) in October; this overloaded them and caused a spate of slow speeds and high latency (ping) woes." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cantor slams net neutrality as example of 'imperial presidency'

Cantor slams net neutrality as example of 'imperial presidency' - The Hill's Hillicon Valley: "House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) cited net-neutrality regulations as evidence of what he called President Obama's disregard for the legislative process in a report released Tuesday." Nutcase. 'via Blog this'

Friday, November 02, 2012

Virgin only 3rd fastest upload in UK with 12:1 up/download ratio

Top 8 UK Fastest Broadband ISPs by Download Speed for October 2012 - ISPreview UK: "According to, the fastest ISP for internet download speed remains Virgin Media with an impressive result of 33.430Mbps (up from 32.935Mbps last month). Meanwhile Eclipse Internet has stolen Virgin’s crown for the fastest upload speeds (3.321Mbps, up from 2.371Mbps last month)." Virgin is shocking for Skype calling... 'via Blog this'

Thursday, November 01, 2012

BT Brings FTTC Roll-out Forward to Spring 2014

BT Brings UK Superfast Broadband Rollout Forward to Spring 2014 - ISPreview UK: "BT has today confirmed that its national £2.5bn plan, which aims to deploy fibre optic based superfast broadband (FTTC , FTTP) ISP services to 66% of the UK, has once again been brought forward and will now complete during Spring 2014 (i.e. passing 19 million homes and businesses). The telecoms operator originally planned to complete its privately funded roll-out by the end of 2015" - which suggests 66% might be a soft target? 'via Blog this'

Ofcom | Speech on the internet and consumer protection in the digital age

Ofcom | Speech on the internet and consumer protection in the digital age: "Ofcom’s research on this showed that around 30% of switchers experienced an unwanted break in service when switching broadband on its own or as part of a bundle. On average, this loss of service lasted around 12 days, and a significant number of switchers (13%) had no broadband for more than 30 days. This is clearly unacceptable. Our research also shows, unfortunately but unsurprisingly, that many consumers regard switching as too much hassle to be worth the bother. This is not just bad for the consumer, it is bad for the competitive process and for the internet economy as a whole." 'via Blog this'

ASA Start Enforcing New UK Mobile Broadband Speed Advertising Rules

ASA Start Enforcing New UK Mobile Broadband Speed Advertising Rules - ISPreview UK: "Under the new guidelines mobile operators, which have had 3 months to make the necessary changes, must be able to demonstrate that any internet connection speed they promote is “achievable for at least 10% of the relevant customer base“. This must further be supported by robust, reasonable and representative data that can be “clearly explained” to customers. The changes came about after several studies, such as Ofcom’s 2011 research, revealed that actual mobile broadband performance often delivered significantly less than advertised. " 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Crisis ahead for European mobile operators: data growth dangerously slow

Crisis ahead for European mobile operators: data growth dangerously slow, and network costs unhealthily low - Insight - News | Analysys Mason Group: "our views are no longer controversial:

  1. Demand is not a force of nature, and open-loop forecasts are, literally, fantastical.
  2. Growth is constrained by the capital intensity required to deliver it.
  3. MNOs can, if they choose to do so, very effectively pull pricing levers to control traffic.
  4. New users will dilute any growth in average usage per device.
  5. There were already signs two years ago that the shifting balance between smartphone and mobile broadband would result in lower growth of mobile data traffic. Growth in Western Europe was 61% in 2011, and every sign indicates it will be far lower in 2012.
  6. Demand for mobile broadband is cyclical, a way of quickly monetising excess capacity, but as networks fill up operators will ideally wish to swap mobile broadband traffic out for higher-value, lower-volume handset traffic.
  7. It is easier for operators to create an artificial spectrum crisis by exaggerating demand than to improve the utilisation of what spectrum they have.
And last, but by no means least: Wi-Fi is the default network for most smartphone and tablet traffic" 'via Blog this'

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Study finds file sharers buy more music

Study finds file sharers buy more music • Reg Hardware: "Copy Culture in the US and Germany concludes “The biggest music pirates are also the biggest spenders on recorded music” and also suggests that “If absolute spending is the metric, then P2P users value music more highly than their non-P2P using, digital-collecting peers, not less.”
The research covered consumers in the US and Germany, using the same telephone surveys conducted for another study, Infringement and Enforcement in the US, that in August 2011 conducted over 2000 telephone interviews in the USA.
Copy Culture finds that music collections are largest among the young, with the median number of songs hoarded falling from 1000 (USA) and 300 (Germany) for 18-29 year-olds to just 100 among 64-year-olds in both nations."
'via Blog this'

Thursday, October 25, 2012

CRTC Pushes Bill of Rights for Mobile Consumers in Canada

Michael Geist - CRTC Pushes Bill of Rights for Consumers: "The new national code will come from a new CRTC, however. Since the appointment of chair Jean-Pierre Blais, the Commission has gone out of its way to prioritize consumer concerns. Assuming the public rallies behind the consultation, the process is likely to place the carriers on the defensive against a litany of consumer complaints with a resulting code that provides consumers with new legal rights and a regulator prepared to enforce them." 'via Blog this'

Friday, October 19, 2012

Example for broadband and mobile? Energy Retail Market Review – Simpler Clearer Fairer

Retail Market Review – Simpler Clearer Fairer: Ofgem will "put an end to the baffling array of tariffs and inconsistent information that consumers currently face when choosing their energy supplier. This will enable consumers to better understand what is on offer and more easily choose the right supplier and best deal for them. Our proposed reforms will make the market:
Simpler by banning confusing multi-tier tariffs; by placing a cap on the number tariffs suppliers can offer;
Clearer because we will make suppliers tell customers the cheapest deal they offer for them; because we will conduct trials in which suppliers must tell some customers about the cheapest deal available to them from across the whole market
And Fairer because we will introduce new standards, backed by the power to levy fines, to make sure suppliers treat their customers fairly" 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How much tax do Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple pay in the UK?

How much tax do Starbucks, Facebook and the biggest US companies pay in the UK | News | Note this is misleading as Facebook's real UK advertising income is some five times greater than this graphic reveals. Relevance to net neutrality: the biggest US content corporations are outrageous in the pitiful amount of tax they pay, unlike ISPs: 'via Blog this'

EDRi response to EC consultation - why does this read like 2007?

EDRi's response to the latest retro EC consultation on net neutrality is an enjoyable deconstruction of the extraordinarily amnesiac consultation questions - the EC is pretending it's not yet 2007 and the problem can be solved through 'super-user' consumers understanding exactly what (illegal) throttling is being undertaken, and switching contracts (which is itself, er, illegal in most Member States).
The EC appears to have decided not to enforce its' own legal requirements? Or are we about to be pleasantly surprised by the Dutch Commissioner going Dutch on us?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Response to European further network neutrality consultation

Dear sirs
I am writing to reply to your “On-line public consultation on "specific aspects of transparency, traffic management and switching in an Open Internet". The questionnaire you set out is far too narrow to address the real policy questions regarding traffic management, which is why I am sending a reply by email. I am very happy for the email to be published in full in evidence and have provided a PDF copy for those purposes. I am replying in a personal capacity.
There are at least four specific areas in which the Commission needs to carry out more work on neutrality which I briefly address in turn: the evidence base, reporting complaints, the legal basis for co-regulation of network neutrality, and expert input on managed/specialized services definitions.
[1] The evidence base
BEREC has attempted to aid the European Commission by asking ISPs to self-report violations of neutrality. While I am sympathetic to BEREC’s resource gap, that is not an adequate evidence base, as analysed more fully by Alissa Cooper of the Internet Architecture Board and the FCC OIAC.
What is needed is independent testing and monitoring of violations, a model established by SamKnows in its work with the US and UK regulators.
The European Commission should commission similar research for all 27 Member States. NRAs cannot and will not conduct such research on their own initiative and governments will continue to provide annual reports to the Commission which are economical with the truth.
[2] Reporting complaints
Several open source tools are now available which allow citizens to register complaints, which should be adopted across Europe – in fact, it is surprising that the European institutions have not implemented their own such tool. Examples are: [i] Neubot, [ii] Glasnost, [iii] RespectMyNet. It should be a matter of grave concern to European policymakers that netizens are rejecting NRA or BEREC mechanisms, and making use of such tools which have no force beyond indicative case studies. As a matter of urgency, the Commission and NRAs should be auditing and investigating such cases in cooperation with such platforms. ARCEP’s work in this regard on rapid response to blocking and throttling is very important.
That answers the call of Director General Madelin at the Parliament-Commission net neutrality summit in 2010 for more evidence-based policy-making on a case-by-case basis. The European Commission should also urgently investigate the practices of the US FCC-brokered Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group, to explore whether such a group is appropriate for the European Union. If such an approach is taken, it should follow a formal co-regulatory model as explored in [3] below.
[3] The legal basis of co-regulation
Any attempts by national authorities to permit self-regulation breach the terms of the European inter-institutional agreement on co- and self-regulation, which explains that issues which raise fundamental rights may not be devolved to self-regulation. I have discussed this at length in two recent monographs, so will not belabour the point, which is in any case well-known to Commission officials. The human rights perspectives were graphically illustrated in recent network neutrality policy documents published by the Council of Europe and the European Data Protection Supervisor.
In any case, the most extreme attempts to achieve industry consensus around self-regulation, that in the United States brokered by Minister Vaizey, Ofcom, and even Tim Berners-Lee (Chair, W3C) has spectacularly failed, with Vodafone, EE (T-Mobile, France Telecom) and Virgin Media (the monopoly cable provider) refusing to join, demonstrating the inadequacy of such an approach. It is both bad regulatory practice and wrong in principle to attempt such solutions in ‘the shadow of the law’.
[4] Managed or specialised services definitions
Much more work is required on defining universal broadband service and the non-public Internet based services which companies such as British Telecom, Verizon and AT&T have already introduced to avoid the net neutrality debate. A useful contribution would be to invite the FCC OIAC subcommittee dealing with this issue to discuss the techno-legal definitional problems with European experts, in a setting similar to that in the excellent BEREC-OECD workshops on IPinterconnection. Examples of European authors who should be invited are the authors of this excellent primer on the subject: La Neutralité d'internet : Un enjeu de communication, Hervé Le Crosnier, Valérie Schafer, Francesca Musiani, as well as Juan Carlos de Martin of NEXA, director of the Neubot project. Note also the recent publication of Prof. Scott Jordan on the need to maintain openinterfaces.
 I am as ever happy to expand on any of these points. Note that my forthcoming MIT Press book (with computer scientist Dr Ian Brown) will discuss the issues in more depth.
Professor Chris Marsden

Ofcom to investigate UK mobile broadband - SamKnows tests published every 6 months

Missed this mid-July - very good news that there will be independent evidence on any progress towards higher performance. Ofcom to investigate UK mobile broadband performance - "Communications regulator Ofcom has awarded a contract worth £238,100 to broadband performance company SamKnows Ltd, to carry out research on mobile broadband performance in the UK. The aim of the research, which will be conducted between Autumn 2012 and Spring 2015, is to obtain a greater understanding of the performance of mobile broadband services delivered to users of tablets and smartphones on the UK’s four mobile networks. It will examine how this varies by operator, location and time of day, in order to help consumers make more informed choices when selecting a broadband service." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Co-Founder of Reddit Talks Open Internet, Google Fiber and Net Neutrality

Co-Founder of Reddit Talks Open Internet, Google Fiber and Net Neutrality | Political Fiber: "Fiber project is going to be fascinating to watch. I really hope it sends a ripple effect to really shame, frankly, the other companies that have not stepped up their game and given us the access we demand and that we as Americans clearly, clearly need. Just think, if we’ve been able to accomplish this much with the kind of limited access we’ve had, just think of what the Internet economy could do if we actually had the kind of fiber connectivity that South Korea or Sweden have." 'via Blog this'

ITU hikes itself to ETNO on WCIT'12

Its quite unbelievable that the ITU would choose to appear allied with ETNO on the radical nd ridiculous proposal for sending party pays:
"ETNO-ITU Twitter Storm on the WCIT12, October 10, 6 pm (CET) #WCIT12
 "Ahead of the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT12) next December, Hamadoun Touré, Secretary- General of ITU, and Luigi Gambardella, Executive Board Chair of ETNO, will take part in a live chat on Twitter. What are the main issues at stake? How will the outcomes of WCIT12 be implemented? Will ITU be given more powers? How can ITRs address the challenges of the future? What are the opportunities for the developing countries?
These questions and many others will be among the topics of the ETNO-ITU Twitter Storm. It will also be the occasion to clarify the objectives of the ETNO proposal for the revision of the ITRs and to address numerous misinterpretations."
It then states:
"The aim of the ETNO proposal is to contribute to the achievement of a more sustainable model for the Internet (ed: seriously?), through commercial negotiations between players. The revision of the ITRs offers a unique opportunity to propose high‐level principles for IP interconnection and ensure that new business models are emerging based on commercial negotiations between players."

Monday, October 08, 2012

Meeting of the Open Internet Advisory Committee | Berkman Center

Meeting of the Open Internet Advisory Committee | Berkman Center: "At its October 9, 2012 meeting, the Committee will consider issues relating to the subject areas of its four working groups—Mobile Broadband, Economic Impacts of Open Internet Frameworks, Specialized Services, and Transparency—as well as other open Internet related issues.  A limited amount of time will be available on the agenda for comments from the public." 'via Blog this'

Marvin Ammori: Act III is about Internet of Things and mobile

Network neutrality, the FCC, and the Internet of Things. - Slate Magazine: "Act III: Mobile and Everything Else, 2012-? But while the order focused on home broadband connections, it did very little to secure neutrality for the wireless, mobile Internet. It merely forbade wireless ISPs like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile from “blocking” websites and applications that “compete with their voice or video telephony services.” Wireless ISPs can block all other content and can even discriminate—by, for example, making all Netflix traffic wait in line behind all other traffic—against anything—all websites and even those competing applications. This is the policymaking equivalent of taking away the bad guy’s broadsword and crossbow and letting him keep his gun.
The future of the Internet is mobile—on tablets and smartphones." 'via Blog this'

Monday, October 01, 2012

FCC Chairman Defends “Net Neutrality” Regulations

FCC Chairman Defends “Net Neutrality” Regulations: " Genachowski said he was “proud” that the FCC rules have emboldened a “virtuous cycle” of demand and innovation. “Sometimes government has to act to preserve platforms for innovation,” Genachowski noted in his speech. “[T]hat’s what the open internet/net neutrality debate was all about — doing it in a smart, market-oriented way that recognizes the realities of the marketplace, the fact that we really want an open platform for innovators and we also really want robust, fast networks that require capital investment. It drives you to policy solutions that recognize the importance of both.”" 'via Blog this'

ARCEP: new QoS parameters by end-2012, more transparency needed

ARCEP: Ovum: ARCEP reported that fewer instances of throttling or blocking have occurred. However, ARCEP is therefore calling for the elimination of the blocking of VoIP and P2P traffic. The regulator concludes that QoS is a crucial long-term issue that must be monitored in order to “strengthen competitive emulation”.
"By the end of 2012 ARCEP will adopt a decision that specifies QoS indicators for fixed networks. These will complement the existing measures in place for mobile networks, and will allow the regulator to react quickly to a fall in QoS. With regards to interconnection, ARCEP reports that, while the relationships between Internet players are evolving, there is no need to strengthen the regulatory framework at this time." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Virgin Media UK Fails to Get Sky Totally Unlimited Broadband Claim Banned - ISPreview UK

Virgin Media UK Fails to Get Sky Totally Unlimited Broadband Claim Banned - ISPreview UK:
"ASA Assessment (REF: A12-191871)
We noted that there were inherent limitations in any network, which would limit a consumer’s actual broadband speed and therefore the amount of data that a consumer could download over a particular period of time. Some of these limitations, such as signal attenuation, resulted in a greater loss of speed for DSL services compared to fibre-optic services. However, we considered that consumers would understand that the claim “totally unlimited” referred to provider-imposed limitations, especially traffic management policies.
We did not consider that the average consumer would infer that “totally unlimited” meant the broadband service was free from the inherent limitations found in the network."
Or: you canna mess with the laws of physics and that's not false advertising....'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Challenges of Adaptive Streaming

BBC - Research and Development: The Challenges of Adaptive Streaming: "Adaptive streaming works by encoding the same media file at a number of different bit-rates, which produces multiple ‘representations’ of the content, each at different qualities. As the quality of the internet connection varies, the streaming client can switch between the different representations to provide a smooth viewing experience. When the connection is good, a high bit-rate representation will be requested, resulting in a good quality picture. If the connection worsens, the client will request a lower bit-rate, resulting in a slight decrease in picture quality but a better overall experience since it avoids freezing and rebuffering.
The BBC is already using adaptive streaming (e.g. for Wimbledon and the Olympics), however there is still work to be done to understand how the technology can be optimised for different network environments e.g. characteristics of residential broadband networks, and looking into how we can produce and test different algorithms that decide which representation to request based on the network environment."
'via Blog this'

The story of the digital Olympics: streams, browsers, most watched, four screens

BBC - BBC Internet Blog: The story of the digital Olympics: streams, browsers, most watched, four screens: "peak audiences for Team GB's medal moments were bigger than anything we've ever seen. Over a 24 hour period on the busiest Olympic days, Olympic traffic to exceeded that for the entire BBC coverage of FIFA World Cup 2010 games. On the busiest day, the BBC delivered 2.8 petabytes, with the peak traffic moment occurring when Bradley Wiggins won Gold and we shifted 700 Gb/s. BBC Sport Online's most requested live video stream was of the Tennis Singles Finals"
'via Blog this'

The most expensive iPhone5 plan in the world....£5100 in the UK

Twitter / internetthought: The most expensive iPhone5 ...: "The most expensive iPhone5 plan in the world. @orangeuk charges £5100,00 per month for 24 months. Pic as proof." 'via Blog this
P.S. The more usual price is about £1000 - see

Monday, September 17, 2012

AT&T: Pay Me, Screw Net Neutrality - a frog's tale

Craig Aaron: AT&T: Pay Me, Screw Net Neutrality: "History makes it quite clear that carriers and ISPs will consider all sorts of ridiculous things in the name of propping up declining revenue streams like voice and text.
Today AT&T blocks FaceTime unless you pay their toll, but tomorrow it will be Skype, Google Voice or iMessage. And that's why users everywhere need to speak out against AT&T's harrowing vision for our wireless Internet future.
You know the story about boiling a frog. If you put it in the pot and slowly turn up the heat, the frog won't know it's being cooked. That's exactly what AT&T's doing here. Only the amphibians in question are its customers.
If you're one of them, look out. The water is starting to bubble." 'via Blog this'

Goodbye Mr Hunt, missing you already

UK should have fastest broadband network in Europe by 2015: "“In my very first speech as a Minister I said that I wanted us to have the “best” superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015,” said Jeremy Hunt in a recent speech. “In defining ‘best’ you include factors like price and coverage as well as speed. But over the past two years it has become clear, as Usain Bolt wouldn't hesitate to say, to be the best you need to be the fastest. So I am today announcing an ambition to be not just the best, but specifically the fastest broadband of any major European country by 2015. Indeed we may already be there.”"
What he meant is that the UK can't compete with the Netherlands so he is excluding them from his Olympics - oh, and Asia, the Americas...he's now Health Secretary, I do hope no-one gets sick on his watch 'via Blog this'

Friday, September 14, 2012

Global Internet growth is driven by flexible governance, not restrictive regulation

New report illustrates global Internet growth is driven by flexible governance, not restrictive regulation - Press releases - News | Analysys Mason Group: "The report, 'Internet global growth: lessons for the future', authored by Michael Kende, co-head of Regulation at Analysys Mason, examines the impact of proposals that seek to apply the antiquated settlement system for terminating international voice calls over the legacy telecommunications network to Internet traffic.
The proposals addressed in the paper are to the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs), which are being readied for the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) to be held in Dubai this December by the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union (ITU). In the report, Kende assesses the proposals by focusing on the following areas:
the success and growth of the Internet under the current model
the negative impact of applying rate models developed for an obsolete telecoms system to the modern Internet.
Kende concludes with recommendations for governments in developing countries on fostering a robust Internet while avoiding rate regulations.
The report highlights the Internet as a driver for growth and opportunity, noting its increasingly central role to consumers, businesses and governments alike." 'via Blog this'

Friday, September 07, 2012

Hadopi - Millions of Notices, Few Disconnections or Court Cases

Hadopi - Millions of Notices, Few Disconnections or Court Cases | GamePolitics: "According to a report from TorrentFreak stats released yesterday by Numerama show that during the last two years Hadopi has been very busy. Since October of 2010, copyright owners identified a total of 3 million French IP addresses. Of that 3 million Hadopi considered 1.15 million (or 38.3 percent) legitimate enough to use the first strike notice. From there, just 102,854 (or 8.94 percent) went on to receive a second notice via registered mail. Finally a total of 340 individuals received a third strike. But here's something you probably didn't know: none of those individuals got kicked off the internet because there is a apparently a fourth strike." 'via Blog this'

WCITLeaks: Policy Analyses

WCITLeaks: "Input into the WCIT process has been dominated by member states and private industry. Together with our partners across civil society, we are providing a centralized resource bank with links to research and analysis of WCIT proposals, advocacy and mobilization materials, and multimedia resources. If you'd like to suggest a link for inclusion, please submit it using the form below" 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Tim Berners-Lee: the internet has no off switch

Tim Berners-Lee: the internet has no off switch | Technology | The Guardian: "The global league table, launched on Wednesday by the World Wide Web Foundation, showed Sweden as the top country for its use of the web, with the US second and the UK in third place. Nepal, Cameroon and Mali were the bottom three of 61 countries measured using indicators such as the political, economic and social impact of the web, connectivity and use. The league table, which will be updated annually and will also try to measure absolute as well as relative improvements, uses data from the past five years, and compares elements such as the extent to which relevant and useful content is available to citizens; the political, economic and social impact of the web; the speed of connections; and levels of censorship. The UK's scores were lowest for web usage and social impact. China, despite having the world's largest internet population, ranked 29th, and was 42nd in terms of political impact out of the 61 countries examined."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Big Brother on a budget: How Internet surveillance got so cheap

Big Brother on a budget: How Internet surveillance got so cheap | Ars Technica: "One failed DPI-based effort comes from a company called NebuAd. It tried to sell ISPs on this advertising idea, signing up Charter Communications and some smaller providers for a trial of a service that not only monitored the content of users’ Web traffic to target ads, but even injected data into packets, adding JavaScript that dropped tracking cookies into users browsers to do even more thorough behavior-based targeting of advertisements. NebuAd went bankrupt after it drew the attention of Congress, and Charter and the other ISPs in the trial dropped the “enhanced online advertising service” the company provided. Other behavior-based marketing companies, such as Phorm, continue to offer “Web personalization” services that include discovery of users’ interests integrated with DPI-based Web security to block malicious sites.
Another firm, Global File Registry, aims to go further, by injecting ISPs’ own advertisements into search-engine results through DPI and packet forging. The company has combined file-recognition technology from Kazaa with DPI to make it possible for ISPs to re-route links to pirated files online to sites offering to sell licensed versions of them. Comcast has already tested the anti-piracy waters with DPI, running afoul of the FCC’s efforts to enforce network neutrality. The company’s ISP business, which uses Sandvine’s DPI technology, moved to block peer-to-peer file sharers using BitTorrent as part of its traffic management. The FCC ordered Comcast to stop (primarily because Comcast was injecting forged packets into network traffic to shut down BitTorrent sessions), but that order was later struck down by a Federal appeals court.'via Blog this'

Cisco Survey: Users Want Video Calling Interoperability

Cisco Survey: Users Want Video Calling Interoperability | PCWorld: "Cisco wants the video-calling marketplace to work more like the telephone network or the wider Internet, but the market is "fractured right now, where many video services cannot connect with each other," Hsieh said. He pointed to Skype's proprietary video calling service as one reason for the lack of interoperability. The Microsoft-owned service controls about 80 percent of the consumer video-calling market."
Neutrality is a many-edged sword?
 'via Blog this'

Saturday, September 01, 2012

The Internet A Decade Later: 2002 to 2012 (or why net neutrality and innovation matter)

The Internet A Decade Later (via PanGloss): "This infographic will take you on a journey to the past, where web pages had no pictures (slower internet speeds back then) and where everything looked like it was just copied and pasted onto the website." 'via Blog this'

Verizon Challenges the FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

Citizen Media Law Project: "While challenges to the FCC's net neutrality rules make their way into court once again, the FCC, companies, organizations, and individuals alike are rallying for preservation of their interests in the Internet. There is a new Declaration of Internet Freedom, a movement to "save" the Internet, and the FCC has even established a new Open Internet Advisory Committee to "track and evaluate the effects of the FCC's Open Internet rules, and provide any recommendations it deems appropriate to the FCC." In the meanwhile, the FCC has until September to reply to Verizon's complaint." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Excellent critical analysis of ETNO proposal for WCIT and likely outcome

Why is the UN Trying to Take over the Internet? - Forbes (skip straight to page 3 and ignore the political spin): "Developing nations may see sending-party-network-pays as a return to the good old days.  But the more likely outcome is that content providers [meaning content delivery networks - ed] will simply refuse requests from countries where the expected revenue from its users (e-commerce, ad revenue, subscriptions) is less than the cost imposed by the receiving network.  As the ISOC report puts it, “Sending-party-network-pays could therefore reinforce and make much worse the existing ‘digital divide.’”  Countries who today may largely be requesting content without providing much in return may find their citizens cut off." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tor Project and net neutrality

I'm attending a great talk by Rune from Tor at #EINSS in Oxford. I had not previously thought a great deal about how Tor use (and all SSL to some extent) can be more or less stopped by ISPs who have effective QoS tools and can dial down heavy encrypted users. As the Tor Project: FAQ states: "Tor is never going to be blazing fast. Your traffic is bouncing through volunteers' computers in various parts of the world, and some bottlenecks and network latency will always be present. You shouldn't expect to see university-style bandwidth through Tor. But that doesn't mean that it can't be improved. The current Tor network is quite small compared to the number of people trying to use it, and many of these users don't understand or care that Tor can't currently handle file-sharing traffic load." 'via Blog this'

VP Pick, Paul Ryan, Has (Mostly) Been A Friend To Technology

VP Pick, Paul Ryan, Has (Mostly) Been A Friend To Technology | TechCrunch: "With respect to our friends at Wired, it’s unclear whether Ryan opposes net neutrality. While he did oppose a Democratic-backed bill to mandate net neutrality, so did virtually every single Republican, including long-time friends of the Internet, such as Congressman Darrell Issa. Conservatives had issue with empowering the FCC to regulate Internet Service Providers; it wasn’t a blanket opposition to Net Neutrality, itself. If the tea-party friendly Ryan was actually a staunch opponent of net neutrality, he would have jumped on the misguided Paul-family libertarian bandwagon, which wrongly claimed that the Internet developed without any help from the government. He also would have co-sponsored the anti-net neutrality bill, The Internet Freedom Act (H.R. 96), along with many of his conservative colleagues." 'via Blog this'

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Britain Sees Modest Gain: 27th in Europe for 'superfast'

Britain Sees Modest Gain In Average Broadband Speeds: "UK remains in a distant 21st position, with an average connection speed of 5.6 Mbps, although average connection speeds were much improved on the 4.9Mbps the UK achieved in the last quarter of 2011. Looking at the first quarter of this year, it is clear the UK really has its work cut out for it when comparing “high broadband” (i.e. superfast broadband) quality. The UK position here in the Akamai’s EMEA league table is 27th, behind the likes of Poland, Hungary, Romania and Portugal.
Akamai has redefined what superfast broadband is, now relating it to connections of 10Mbps or greater (shurely 100? ED).
The Akamai report reveals that global adoption of superfast reached 10 percent, up 19 percent quarter-over-quarter. It found that among the top 10 countries for high broadband adoption, South Korea topped the list with 53 percent penetration. Japan (37 percent), Hong Kong (28 percent), Latvia (26 percent) and the Netherlands (24 percent) rounded out the top five.
The average global connection speed in the first quarter was 2.6 Mbps."
'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Why net neutrality matters: my presentation in Edinburgh June 8

Upload here - it matters because, In short, neutrality exposes all the shortcomings in the micromanagement of telecoms in the 2009 European reforms.

Non-answer to BEREC's Consultation: We need Net Neutrality Law! | La Quadrature du Net

Non-answer to BEREC's Consultation: We need Net Neutrality Law! | La Quadrature du Net: "La Quadrature du Net publishes its non-answer to the EU body of telecoms regulators' (BEREC) consultation on Net Neutrality. It is not time for yet-another consultation on the EU Commission's failed "wait-and-see" policy aimed at letting telecom operators take control of the Internet by discriminating communications. The only way to protect a free Internet as well as freedoms and innovation online is to clearly enact and protect Net Neutrality in EU law." 'via Blog this'

Monday, August 06, 2012

Exploring Anti-Net Neutrality Arguments - Glyn Moody

Exploring Anti-Net Neutrality Arguments - Open Enterprise: "Even the mention above of using anti-trust laws betrays the old-world perspective, where things moved slowly enough that government action after the event might have made sense. But as the Microsoft anti-trust case made clear, now things are moving so quickly that by the time a court reaches its judgement, the damage has been done, and the remedies are probably irrelevant. That's why we need laws enshrining net neutrality before the problems arise." 'via Blog this'

Saturday, August 04, 2012

How Google Forced Verizon to Allow Smartphone Tethering

How Google Forced Verizon to Allow Smartphone Tethering - Technology Review: "The FCC settlement was made under rules set in 2007, when it auctioned off a chunk of radio channels known as the C block for use for mobile communications. Verizon bought that for $9.63bn, but only after Google intentionally drove up the price to trigger conditions that restricted the eventual winner to allowing “open devices and open applications” on connections using it. It was those rules that caused the FCC to force yesterday’s settlement. Verizon has made C block radio frequencies a core part of its wireless data network. That is correctly seen as a victory by those campaigning for “net neutrality”, who say it removes an egregious example of an internet service provider restricting what a person may do with a connection they are paying for". Schmidt's diplomacy with Verizon is from a previous less principled Google? 'via Blog this'

Friday, July 27, 2012

Analyzing the UK Voluntary Code of Conduct: shadowing co-regulation?

The horse designed by a committee which is the Voluntary Code of Conduct on negative discrimination (net neutrality 'lite') is so voluntary that Voda, EE and Virgin won't sign up as the porridge is variously considered too hot/cold. It has some very interesting language that marks ISPs' attempt to show they have kowtowed to Ofcom's air shot across their bows from last November:
"The signatories to this code therefore believe that it is right that Ofcom take ownership of this issue and also believe that the new proposed process will be a useful input to Ofcom as it continues its work in monitoring the nature and impact of traffic management practices in the market and the effective co-existence of managed services and best efforts internet access.
"It is clear that the voluntary commitments being made in this code closely relate to ongoing monitoring work Ofcom has said that it will conduct. Signatories to this code are happy to discuss with Ofcom how its future work plans regarding open internet issues could support or input into a review of these voluntary commitments."
Not very edifying bit of horse-trading (or camel auctioning), is it? In fact, it's terribly reminiscent of the industry garbage being spouted about misleading advertising, over broadband speeds. The idea that content providers might lodge an unresolved complaint with the Broadband Stakeholder Group (see Annex 1) instead of going direct to Ofcom or the EC (or more likely a supportive Euro-MP) is frankly ludicrous - I predict now that there will be almost exactly zero such farcical reports from BSG to Ofcom in 2013.
When will Ofcom engage in heavier persuasion to persuade ISPs to come up with a workable solution? I suspect it will take a new minister at the very least, and possibly a new government, though the Labour Party's Harriet Harman's latest pronouncements on copyright send a shudder through anyone interested in consumer protection. Remember that the #DEAct was a cross-party Labour-originated move.
UPDATE: Skype sort of likes the Code, but adds that Ofcom should produce an Annual Open Internet Report (which in any case should be a future part of the EC Implementation Report as part of its commitments made to the European Parliament in the 2009 Net Neutrality Declaration). That's a much more likely place to report than the BSG.
'via Blog this'

UK botches net neutrality regulation

TelecomTV | News | UK botches net neutrality regulation: "You might think “self regulation” must have had its political day in the UK in the wake of the LIBOR banking and the newspaper phone hacking scandals (ongoing), but here we go again with a voluntary net neutrality code. It’s been cosily drawn up to suit the very companies that need the closest watching and so, naturally, it is just a collection of loosely-described escape hatches.
In fact it’s so bad that two of the UK’s big providers won’t sign. Virgin Media (the single remaining UK cable company) says it doesn’t go far enough and is too vague. On the other side of the argument, according to the BBC, Vodafone implies it goes too far and is impractical because it means some services that it already deploys won’t be able to be called ‘Internet Access’. And there is the big escape hatch."
'via Blog this'

Thursday, July 26, 2012

UK Net Neutrality - moving towards the right idea? Or away...

UK Net Neutrality - moving towards the right idea - Dean Bubley: "There's a bit of semantic wiggle-room here, with "blocked" not necessarily including "degraded", but I suspect Ofcom will come down like a ton of bricks on anyone following the letter and not the spirit of the thing, not to mention considerable PR and competitor opprobium). The stated ability to do traffic management to avoid serious congestion, block child-unsuitable material, avoid DDoS attacks etc also seems reasonable.
Supposedly, about 10 ISPs have signed up, but reportedly Vodafone hasn't because it thinks it's too restrictive about the term "Internet Access", and Virgin Media thinks its too laxly-worded and wants loopholes tightened up. In my view, Vodafone: you need to grit your teeth and sign. Internet is Internet is Internet. If you want to sell something else, I'm sure your marketing  department is smart enough to come up with another brand. I can even give you some advisory input if you get in touch. (How about "Internet-flavoured access"?)"
I wish I could agree with Dean's very sunny conclusion - but frankly, the lack of EE, Voda and Virgin makes this less useful than a chocolate teapot so far, despite many actors' good intentions and Ofcom's hard work trying to achieve consensus where none exists.
In truth, consumers need co-regulation here, not this soft procedure.
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

ISPs split over UK net neutrality - cable and two biggest mobile ISPs refuse to sign

BBC News - ISPs split over UK open internet code of practice: "The businesses which declined said they all supported the idea of an open internet, but had qualms about the code itself. Virgin Media suggested the circumstances under which traffic management practices could be deployed needed to be defined more strictly.
Vodafone said the code was "impractical" as it would have restricted how it marketed its packages
"These principles remain open to misinterpretation and potential exploitation so, while we welcome efforts to reach a broad consensus to address future potential issues, we will be seeking greater clarity before we consider signing," said a spokesman. Vodafone said it objected to the agreement because of the restrictions it would impose on the way it marketed some of its subscription packages." "These plans offer internet access to smartphone and dongle users, but under the code we would have been unable to use the phrase 'internet access' to describe many of the services enjoyed by customers," a spokesman explained.
Everything Everywhere - which runs the T-Mobile and Orange mobile networks - said it was simply not ready to join. "We believe it is too early to know how a code of this type will affect customers' internet experience, but it is something we will continually review," said a spokeswoman.The Broadband Stakeholder Group said it believed the code did have the "right approach", but "could not comment on the individual views of non-signatories". 'via Blog this'

ITU's Landmark Decisions: no idea what multistakeholderism means

ITU's Landmark Decisions: Bill Smith nails the government gerrymandering: "I believe the landmark nature of the ITU's decision lies not in the decision itself, but in the expectation that the world will accept the ITU's interpretation of terms like open, transparent, equitable, and consultation. The ITU would have us believe that making a single document available to the public is evidence of openness and transparency. Similarly, we are expected to believe that the creation of a web page or invitation to a brief "pre-meeting" constitute adequate public or expert consultation...The best the Council could do was to make a single, difficult to understand document available to the public and to permit the public to submit WCIT-related comments through a web page. Truly a turning point.'via Blog this'

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Report on the OECD/BEREC Workshop on Interconnection and Regulation

A Report on the OECD/BEREC Workshop on Interconnection and Regulation: from Geoff Huston "perhaps I am increasingly intolerant of this kind of opportunistic posturing that attempts to portray as viable what is more along the lines of ill-conceived and inefficient adornments to the common substrate of an amazingly efficient and brutally simple IP architecture. However, perhaps I'm not alone in holding that view (although others may not be so extreme in their dismissal of them). The workshop's reception to the ETNO position on inter-provider QoS and the generic stance of "sender pays" was certainly chilly at this particular meeting, and indeed could even be termed distinctly frosty! It also appeared to me that ETNO itself is increasingly aware that there is a risk that maintaining this public stance, as it undermines, to some extent, their own considerable credibility and authority in the industry." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

EU Consumer organisation pushes for EU net neutrality rules

From MEP Marietje Schaake: Blog: Consumer organisation pushes for EU net neutrality rules: "Consumer organisation pushes for EU net neutrality rules: 16.07.2012: European Consumer Organisation BEUC sent a letter to Commissioner Neelie Kroes, urging her to propose net neutrality regulation in the EU...the need for such rules has been clearly demonstrated by the findings of the investigation completed by BEREC, the European telecom regulator." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Comcast-NBC pays FCC $800k to settle Internet-only suspected breach

Business - "When federal regulators approved Comcast Corp.’s takeover of a 51 percent stake in NBCUniversal last year, they imposed various conditions on the nation’s largest cable TV provider, including those that would protect the burgeoning Internet video marketplace and promote the spread of broadband Internet access. One of the conditions called on Comcast to offer stand-alone broadband Internet access services at reasonable prices and with sufficient bandwidth to customers who don’t pay to get Comcast’s cable TV service. The Federal Communications Commission launched an investigation after it received information suggesting that Comcast wasn’t adequately marketing the service.
On Wednesday, the FCC said Comcast has agreed to pay the government $800,000 and offer a broadband Internet access option to customers who don’t subscribe to the cable company’s video cable services. It’s part of a deal to settle the investigation. "
'via Blog this'

Monday, July 02, 2012

South Korean telcos get OK to charge extra for mobile VOIP apps

South Korean telcos get OK to charge extra for mobile VOIP apps | ITworldIn a move that has critics crying that it is ignoring net neutrality principles, the Korea Communications Commission said last week that it will let three local mobile operators, SK Telecom, KT and LG U+, charge users extra fees for VOIP applications or block their use entirely. Korea's top mVoIP app, KakaoTalk, has gained rapid popularity among smartphone users. 
The Korean government released its open Internet guidelines last year, designed after the U.S. network neutrality rules released by the Federal Communications Commission last year. Under these principles, consumers can make their own choices about what applications and services to use and what content they want to access, create or share with others. Unofficially, the KCC has already permitted telecoms to enact policies of their choice regarding third-party apps, experts say."
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dean Bubley: Reverse-engineering Ericsson's mobile data numbers

Reverse-engineering Ericsson's mobile data numbers: "Now, putting its various numbers into a spreadsheet yields some other (estimated) figures of my own calculation
- If I assume that growth in traffic for 2011-2012 falls to 80% from 99% the previous year, and taking their 15x growth from 2011-2017, brings down the global 5-year CAGR figure from 2012-2017 to 53%
- This compares with Cisco's 2011-2016 Mobile VNI forecasts [5 year] of 18x traffic growth
- In general, Cisco's forecasts are considerably more aggressive than Ericssons. The difference (hat-tip to Tim Farrar here) is mostly in the assumptions on average smartphone data use towards the end of the period
-  Then, reconstructing the regional breakdowns from the piecharts & reformulating the CAGRs, I reckon we have my best estimates as:
Western Europe Mobile Data Traffic CAGR 2012-2017 = 45%
North America Mobile Data Traffic CAGR 2012-2017 = 42%
Other global regions are 56-62% CAGR"
'via Blog this'

One court order could gag EVERY ISP in Denmark • The Register

One court order could gag EVERY ISP in Denmark • The Register: "Internet service providers (ISPs) and copyright holders in Denmark have agreed on a framework that would see all ISPs in the country block access to copyright-infringing content if one of the providers is ordered to do so by a court. The Danish Ministry of Culture said that it would work with ISPs and rights holders groups to develop a new "written Code of Conduct" that would "formalise" the agreement on content blocking." End of costly court proceedings - and due process?
'via Blog this'

Friday, June 22, 2012

What's wrong with BEREC data: Alissa Cooper

Digging into Traffic Management in Europe : Alissa Cooper: "In some ways the BEREC report is more notable for what it does not say than for what it does say.... operator-specific information is nowhere to be found in the report. The report likewise omits country-level data, instead presenting aggregations of national markets that reveal little about the prevalence of application restrictions in larger or smaller countries, or those where national regulatory authorities have been more or less active, for example. For all their talk about transparency, it seems at least a bit odd for the European regulatory authorities to be sitting on the very information whose disclosure they have been persistently calling for."
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wikileaks reveals ITU Treaty proposals

As the agency is so opaquely unfit for purpose as a 21st century governance institution for the Internet, thank the gods for Wikileaks' version. Note agencies have to provide for both best-efforts and QoS - guess which one ETNO and other monopolists prefer?!
'via Blog this'

Saturday, June 02, 2012

10th anniversary SCRIPT conference: Does net neutrality really matter?

Off to Edinburgh to celebrate 10 years of SCRIPT (which almost single-handedly kept academic UK cyberlaw alive in the desperate early 2000s) after the Jubilee bread-and-circuses 4 days, granted by our own Nero.
Does it matter? Well, yes - and my first peer-reviewed article on NN was published in the excellent SCRIPT-Ed, though less so in Germany, where friends from Munster told me that BNetZ continues to drink the perfect competition Kool-Aid.
Panel with Frode Sorensen and Prof. Simon Schlauri - I will try to live-blog when I'm not speaking...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Reality check - what BEREC can't tell you

Here's a refreshing burst of reality from the UK's only fibre-coax ISP - the fastest UK ISP has provisioning nightmares and has cheated customers out of a Spotify upgrade through its own incompetence, thus also shooting itself in the foot. Oh, did I mention this is about the best ISP in Europe on QoS...

Totally distorted European internal market for QoS

You might recall that the Article 22 QoS requirements were put in back in 2008 to a large extent to avoid a distorted marke in which European SMEs and home-workers in one market had an entirely different Internet experience than fellow citizens in another.
Well, the most interesting outcome from the BEREC snapshot (full report next EC Implementation Report, to actuually fulfill their legal requirement from 2010?), is that Europe is torn down the middle, with 40% of broadband and 57% of mobile consumers subject to restrictions, and about 10% subject to continuous restrictions. Is this not fragmenting the Internal Market?

Neelie: the market's not working, consumers don't read - so let's give them even more info they won't read...

You couldn't make it up: " in nearly all Member States, most if not all ISPs offer fixed and mobile Internet access services that are not subject to such restrictions. According to the BEREC figures 85% of all fixed ISPs and 76% of all mobile ISPs propose at least one unrestricted offer. So the market is generally providing choice, but in some countries the choices are quite limited in some EU countries.
But are customers really empowered to choose well? Do they realise what they are signing up for? I didn’t read all the pages in my mobile contract and I bet you didn’t either! I believe we all need more transparent information." This is extraordinary dereliction, given pretty clear BEREC evidence which is at leats honest that is was supplying an anonymous snapshot of ISP-supplied data (Q: 'Are you guilty or not?' Defendant: 'Not guilty, you honour'). Let them eat small print...
That said, some of the small print will be useful, not to stop ISPs blocking Skype and monkeying around with P2P, but to force enough information out that the Commission will have to act in 2-3 years, when Neelie is no longer Commissioner (on this, I miss Reding):
1. Clear information on actual, real-life broadband speeds [1] at peak times; [2] upload as well as the download speed [3] minimum speed, if applicable [4] speed of Internet when also using a premium “managed” service.
2. Clear, quantified data ceilings NOT vague “fair use” policies that leave too much discretion to ISPs, which she ambitiously believes "incentivise ISPs to price data volumes in ways that reflect costs, and so support investment in modernising networks as traditional voice revenues decline." Good luck with that.
3. "consumers also need to know if they are getting Champagne or lesser sparkling wine. If it is not full Internet, it shouldn’t be marketed as such; perhaps it shouldn’t be marketed as “Internet” at all, at least not without any upfront qualification." Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps...meanwhile, hard consumer evidence on smartphone blocking and sales practices helps the dossier?