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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'