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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Aftermath of #eOECD continued...

Internet co-regulation: Aftermath of #eOECD continued...: "There are two more interesting civil society articles, by Rashmi Rangnath of Public Knowledge and by IGP's Milton Mueller - who blogged at..."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Madelin tells ISPs: remove offensive but legal content as quid pro quo for no copyright enforcement

Bits of Freedom translation of Dutch net neutrality law

Despite some obfuscation (and the need for the Senate to undo the messy ideological filtering amendment which confused MPs voted for!), the law is more or less settled and BoF has an approximate translation (there's a lot of explanatory memorandum too):

Proposal for net neutrality provision: Article 7.4a Telecommunications Act (unofficial translation)
1. Providers of public electronic communication networks which deliver internet access services and providers of internet access services do not hinder or slow down applications and services on the internet, unless and to the extent that the measure in question with which applications or services are being hindered or slowed down is necessary [a] to minimize the effects of congestion, whereby equal types of traffic should be treated equally; [b] to preserve the integrity and security of the network and service of the provider in question or the terminal of the enduser; [c] to restrict the transmission to an enduser of unsolicited communication [i.e. spam], provided that the enduser has given its prior consent; [d] to give effect to a legislative provision or court order.
2. If an infraction on the integrity or security of the network or the service or the terminal of an enduser, refered to in section 1.b, is being caused by traffic coming from the terminal of an enduser, the provider, prior to the taking of the measure which hinders or slows down the traffic, notifies the enduser in question, in order to allow the enduser to terminate the infraction. Where this, as a result of the required urgency, is not possible prior to the taking of the measure, the provider provides a notification of the measure as soon as possible. Where this concerns an enduser of a different provider, the first sentence does not apply.
3. Providers of internet access services do not make the price of the rates for internet access services dependent on the services and applications which are offered or used via these services.
4. Further regulations with regard to the provisions in the first to the third paragraph may be provided by way of an administrative order. A draft order provided under this paragraph will not be adopted before it is submitted to both chambers of the Parliament.
5. In order to prevent the degradation of service and the hindering or slowing down of traffic over public electronic communication networks, minimum requirements regarding the quality of service of public electronic communication services may be imposed on undertakings providing public communica­tions networks.
[Article 7.4a of the Telecommunications Act will not apply to agreements concluded before the entering into force of that article for up to a year after the entering into force of that article.]

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dutch net neutrality passes Lower House - Senate confirmation expected

After a bizarre 24 hours in which the Dutch Socialists managed to vote for the wrong set of net neutrality amendments (hey, this stuff is hard!), the net neutrality and cookies law finally passed this evening. It basically outlaws blocking services - like Skype - on fixed and mobile networks. More details once it becomes @T_regs states: "For avoidance of doubt, NL "Tweede Kamer" (2nd chamber) voted Bill 32 549 and amendments; "Eerste Kamer" (1st chamber) needs to confirm"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ed Vaizey, an apology - or, no sex please, we're English

I have previously thought that the government is pursuing an active agenda to force ISPs to regulate the Internet on their behalf, in the best Chinese-Iranian tradition. It seems I under-estimated the workload on Ed Vaizey, Minister for Creative Industries, Arts, Broadband Britain, Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all. Fortunately, he seems sane rather than ambitious - he leaves the latter to his boss Mister Hunt.
Essentially, he's hands-off. He has far too much to do with all his other portfolios plus this extremely complex and rather obviously unworkable anti-piracy crusade that Hunt landed on him. So no net neutrality unless forced on him by Brussels (via the Netherlands), no anti-porn legislation. Not for a few years in any case. Phew.
This was my conclusion from his 30 minutes grudgingly if charmingly brought in front of the Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells and Devizes crowd. It was a 2-hour seminar hosted by Claire Perry MP, an impressive ex-McKinseyite (the Dr Evil consultants not the sex clinicians), who has decided to temporarily hitch her political fortunes to the anti-porn crowd. What emerged from the debate is that ISPs are simply not going to budge an inch on opt-in child-friendly filters - and good for them, as 62% of households do NOT have a child (ONS) and are therefore unlikely to welcome being blocked. The charities and blue rinses frothed, but ultimately all this #censilia stuff foundered on the rock of goodish sense. Filter schools, filter companies, filter government offices, filter your own kids, filter on opt-in - but leave the rest of us alone (that includes WiFi).
There were two revelations, which I linked. First, the TalkTalk HomeSafe filter will remove porn (on Symantec's filters) as well as P2P - which Dido Harding claimed would be the way to stop "illegal material". (She's unlikely to appear at a Creative Commons event anytime soon with that kind of careless talk).
Second, the big four fixed ISPs are going to launch a Code of Conduct for porn opt-outs (to add to the UKCCIS work). Now are those the same four who are caught by the Digital Economy Act, and have to design systems to counter-act piracy? Why yes. Are they the same four who are active in anti-neutrality activities to remove P2P despite a tissue-thin code of conduct? Why yes, that's right.
So remove porn, P2P and piracy - now can any clever entrepreneur think of a network filter to remove all three?
By the way, this anti-porn and piracy stuff is "DEFINITELY NOT CENSORSHIP" as they protested too much. None of the MPs present signed Julian Huppert's excellent Early Day Motion against censorship, however...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dutch Parliament re-runs The Longest Day

The new net neutrality law will not be voted on until 21 June: "The Lower House of Dutch Parliament has postponed voting on the Telecommunications Law by one week to 21 June, because the Socialist Party wants more time to study the amendment over cookies... the SGP has also submitted a sub-amendment, saying provider should be able to provide upstream filtered internet, countering an earlier proposal which stated providers must completely respect net neutrality. Negotiations are ongoing behind the scenes. Market watchers think that while the Socialist Party might support the sub-amendment, the rest will not."

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Dutch net neutrality to become law next Tuesday

The Netherlands will vote in a new net neutrality law next Tuesday, with a huge outcry against an ex-KPN (ex-monopoly) lobbyist who tried to spike the bill. It will receive a formal approval next Tuesday and I hope to have translated details which must be notified to the EC. But there are a few details to explain first:

◦ Dutch minister of economic affairs Maxime Verhoeven (Independent Party D66) has amended the regulations ruling net neutrality in order to accommodate objections from other government members. In particular, providers will be allowed to filter content. This amendment was put forth in order to garner the support of Dutch Reformed Protestant Party SGP;
◦ Afke Schaart (Liberal Party VVD) withdrew her amendment after it did not gather much support (HA!);.
◦ Martijn van Dam (PvdA) wants OPTA to have the tools to regulate providers of programme services, that is: cable companies.
This will entail amendments to the Telecommunications and Media Act, as follows:
◦ Van Dam wants minimum download speeds. Target: 100 Mbps in 2015;
◦ Van Dam, Bruno Braakhuis (GroenLinks) and Verhoeven want to make sure that consumers cannot be cut off from the internet.
Verhagen said he wanted to research the last point. He tried to discourage the other points such as minimum download speeds but left other points to Parliament.

Inside the embarrassingly named London Cyber Conference....

Very nice article on Hague's November plans by Nate Anderson at Ars Technica, citing yours truly (with nasty troll comments re. Essex;-) this one will run and run...

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

BEREC Reports on Discrimination due from NRAs this month!

As identified in their Annual Report: " Discrimination: In the consultation stakeholders refer to economic regulation and identify traffic management rules as the real issue regarding traffic management. Prioritisation
implicitly has the consequence of discrimination. The question is however whether this discriminatory behaviour is allowed or not and whether it has negative consequences for the level of competition and the interests of end-users. NRA’s have regulatory remedies at their disposal to promote efficient competition. In 2011 BEREC’s work will focus on the economic analysis of effects on welfare and consequences for economic regulation.
Besides the identified key-issues, BEREC will also look into the current IP interconnection agreements (peering/transit) between market parties (not necessarily with SMP), which will have to cater with demands of content and application providers.  Both regulated and commercial agreements will be looked into.
Deliverable: BEREC Guidance on Transparency and on Quality of Service Requirements BEREC Reports on discriminatory issues
Deadline: Transparency – 2nd half of 2011, QoS – 1st half of 2012, Reports – Q2 2011."

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Build the ark - it's the zettaflood!

Cisco predicts traffic will grow just over 50% YoY. The press has bought the headline figures of quadrupling in FOUR years - as they don't understand logarithms.
Nothing to see here - Cisco selling traffic management, but fixed Internet growth at historic norms - wireless to grow from near-zero shock....