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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Trans-Atlantic Telecom Dialog 2011 Net Neutrality: Act II...

This will be a deregulatory bunfight...only ARCEP and I likely to argue there's any problem at all, wise monkeys elsewhere.
"An overall consensus appears to be emerging amongst the industry’s leading players (notably telcos and OTT companies) and public authorities, including regulators, to uphold the principles of non-discriminatory access to services and applications, justified and transparent traffic management, the legitimacy of segmenting access offers and even managed services solutions without undercutting the conditions for accessing the open Internet, etc. To this end, the talks for this 7th edition of the Trans-Atlantic Telecom Dialog will focus especially on: [1] Analyzing the positions being upheld by the stakeholders and the status of legislative and regulatory efforts in the United States and in the major European markets; [2] Spotlighting critical points of debate such as the schemes governing traffic management practices, stipulations on tiered pricing, overhauling peering agreement; [3] Forward-looking discussions on the main developments we will see on the Web and in how the major players are positioned."• Nicolas CURIEN, Commissioner, ARCEP • Eli NOAM, Director, CITI, Columbia University Yves GASSOT, CEO, IDATEToshiya JITSUZUMI, Professor, Faculty of Economics, Kyushu University Winston MAXWELL, Partner, Hoogan & Lovells LPP Christian MICAS, Policy Developer, European Commission  
Critical points still in debate: peering, traffic management, “two-lane” model, tiered pricing…
Chair: James H. ALLEMAN, Professor emeritus of Network Economics and Finance, University of Colorado• Vincent BONNEAU, Head of Internet Business Unit, IDATE Sylvie FORBIN, VP Public and European Affairs, Vivendi
Jan KRANCKE, VP, Regulatory Strategy & Economics, Deutsche Telekom J. Scott MARCUS, Director and Head of Department NGN and Internet Economics, WIK Dr. Christopher T. MARSDEN, University of Essex School of Law• Pieter NOOREN, Senior Consultant, TNO ICT • Christopher S. YOO, Professor of Communication and Computer & Information Science – Director, Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition, University of Pennsylvania Law School 
• Mike CORKERRY, Executive Director EMEA Regulatory Affairs, AT&T Arnaud DECKER, Director of Institutional Relations, Lagardère Active Remy FEKETE, Partner, Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. Marc LEBOURGES, Head of European and Economic Regulation, France Telecom - Orange Lorenzo PUPILLO, Executive Director Public Strategies and Public Affairs, Telecom Italia 

Monday, October 17, 2011

FoI request: Minister Vaizey speech in Beijing 29 September to 4th Annual China-UK Internet Roundtable

Dear Department for Culture, Media and Sport, I note that the Chinese Communist party newspaper China Daily has made the transcript of their minister's speech to the Internet Roundtable available. Minister Vaizey's speech is not on your website. Please provide a copy - or even more adequate, publish on the speeches section of your website.
Yours faithfully etc...

Astroturfing in London

Astonished at how incredible (literally) junior lobbyists are taken seriously by the Westminster zoo on net neutrality - presumably in the land of the blind...on which subject, apparently (there is absolutely no public information available) a follow-up private "summit" (sic) is to be held soon on UK non-implementation of net neutrality. A little more transparency would help - and as the Chinese Communist party has been more forthcoming on Internet regulation and its 4th Annual Internet Roundtable with the UK (no, I didn't know either), it's a shame that Ed Vaizey's remarks in Beijing are not available.
For all its faults, Brussels policymaking is at least relatively sober when astroturfing makes its claims.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Developments in Brussels...

Various well-meaning MEPs have tabled amendments to the supine original ITRE communication to the Commission by Herbert Reul (a Westphalian EPP educationalist with long experience on the supervisory council of a state broadcaster)  - as well as one or two who seem to have other motives.
Meanwhile, Kroes threw the telcos a bone on net neutrality at the FT CEO Summit, even though she had appalled them earlier in her speech by suggesting they stop milking copper and finally start installing fibre. But she does raise an interesting point - who would know in advance that their needs suit a more limited Internet: the old, the poor, the illiterate? She stated: "requiring operators to provide only "full internet" could kill innovative new offers. Even worse, it could mean higher prices for those consumers with more limited needs who were ready to accept a cheaper, limited package."

YouTube movies hits UK - 1Mbps all you need?

Trailed since its US service launched in early 2010, It's a streaming service, claims a bandwidth just above the BBC iPlayer, and presumably won't be paying ISPs as a managed service, instead competing with Amazon's LoveFilm. It will be interesting to see whether any ISPs are minded to throttle it formally or informally...

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Evidence-based NN policy making? Dutch EU politician criticizes Dutch domestic politicians

Neelie criticized the politicization of the process - but aren't Dutch voters entitled to be disgusted by KPN's blocking of WhatsApp, and demand that politicians correct it? (If rather ineffectively...)
Just kicking it into touch with BEREC is what she chose to do when Reding left her the hot potato issue in the in-tray at the end of 2009 to solve within a year. Here we are almost two years later...and nothing concrete has been produced. Those Dutch voters must have got impatient...

Dear telcos: there's no demand for fast broadband without attractive content...

PLUM on behalf of European content producers have put a €155billion price on the obvious - that customers are incented (disgusting word!) to upgrade to VDSL and fibre BECAUSE of the content, stoopid. Hence ISPs would be complete utilities without them.
The potted version has a series of policy recommendations. Obviously, I agree with the FRAND requirement on faster access, though the reliance on switching worries me, given JJ's points re. mobiles in France for instance. I don't know why Brian shilly-shallies around co-regulation - his "self-regulation with oversight" is just that. More to the point, the 2009 Directives have already made co-regulation clearly the preferred option. Phil Weiser said the same.
"Signalling" has been discredited totally in the US (yesterday I was on the plane back from the TPRC in DC, the big telecoms policy conference), as telcos prefer suing - I like the Singaporean version this case.

European consultation on transparency and neutrality - and promises of more to come...

Slowly slowly catchee monkey - BEREC (Euro-regulators' club) has issued the easiest of its 4 documents on net neutrality, while warning that transparency is not enough on its own (obviously). It adds that the real stuff begins next year: "The first item relates to the new discretionary power under the Framework to set QoS requirements: BEREC will publish an initial report into the issues, ahead of the development of guidelines in Q2 2012 on how and when to introduce such requirements. On competition issues related to Net Neutrality, BEREC is carrying out an economic analysis of the potential and theoretical impact on market conditions (competition, innovation, consumer welfare) of discriminatory behaviour." It then has to examine IP interconnection, where the real fun lies as Clark/Lehr/Bauer pointed out in their excellent recent TPRC paper.