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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Czech regulator issues traffic management rules

Czech regulator issues traffic management rules - Telecompaper: "Czech regulator CTU has published new rules for operators using traffic management techniques. The rules and recommendations for internet service providers are based on the government's digital economy plan, Digital Czech 2.0. The rules prohibit ISPs from slowing or blocking services in such a way that the contracted speed and bandwidth is impacted, nor can they can discriminate against certain content, applications or services delivered over the network. Exceptions are allowed in certain cases, such as in order to prevent serious crime or disruptions to the network. In any other cases, internet services much be clearly advertised as restricted, with the limitations spelled out in the contract terms. The CTU will monitor compliance with the rules." 'via Blog this'

Sunday, December 15, 2013

AT&T’s gigabit service is $70 if you let it spy on your searches

AT&T’s gigabit service is $70 if you let it spy on your searches — Tech News and Analysis: "I’ve asked AT&T for some more information on this model, which is reminiscent of the efforts of ISPs to use deep packet inspection to deliver advertising to users. There’s was a significant outcry about that at the time.
Back in 2008 companies like Phorm and NebuAd used technology called deep packet inspection to scan packets as they passed over the network. The idea is that ISPs could then offer more targeted advertising to users and take a cut of the money that they saw companies like Google or Yahoo snagging from the internet. Several ISPs actually used DPI gear without telling users and the result was a Congressional hearing and a retrenchment by the ISPs." 'via Blog this'

G.Fast startup readies silicon as standard signed off

G.Fast startup readies silicon as standard signed off • The Register: "Excessive crosstalk will be mitigated, Weissman said, because fibre will be replacing the largest cable bundles. In the 16-pair or 32-pair bundles that fan out from node to home, he said, “the algorithms in vectoring … offer an advanced and flexible approach to deal with crosstalk mitigation.” It's in the multi-dwelling unit (MDU) that Sckipio believes G.Fast will really hit its straps: once fibre is terminated in the basement, most of the fibre runs will be far shorter than 250 metres. “G.Fast is excellent for MDUs … it's aligned to that kind of use-case,” Weissman said."
Unfortunately, we don't have many of those in Fulham...'via Blog this'

500Mbps Internet over phone lines might solve fiber’s “last mile” problem

500Mbps Internet over phone lines might solve fiber’s “last mile” problem | Ars Technica: " is usable within 250 meters of a node, the highest speeds aren't likely to be available on the top end of that range.
" is intended for typical applications of 500 megabits per second (Mbps) speeds at 100 meters or less," Alcatel-Lucent said in July of this year. "In recent demonstrations and under laboratory conditions, Alcatel-Lucent achieved 1.3 Gbps over 70 meters, making a promising option for service providers to complement their fiber deployments."" That clearly means higher power Muxes for VDSL, but sounds promising? 'via Blog this'

Friday, December 13, 2013

Germany's new government to move forward with net neutrality

Germany's new government to move forward with a mixed digital agenda | Internet Policy Review: "“Granting net neutrality will be one of the aims of the government,” according to the text. [BNetZ] shall be empowered technically and with staff to check on violations and deep packet inspection shall be legally banned as a tool to allow discriminatory handling of packages. Mobile operators would be obliged to make an offer, even if separated from the basic service, to use VoIP services. Net neutrality activists should like this statement, but certainly will need to wait and see how once in power, the new government will follow-up to them - which certainly is true for everything in this type of document. Some observers have warned that non-neutral traffic handling could occur with the help of back doors." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Net Neutrality: EU Parliament Must Amend Kroes' Dangerous Proposal

Net Neutrality: EU Parliament Must Amend Kroes' Dangerous Proposal | La Quadrature du Net: "Monday 9th December, the rapporteur Pilar del Castillo Vera (EPP - Spain) will present to the “Industry” (ITRE) Committee of the European Parliament her draft report on Neelie Kroes' proposal for a Regulation on the Telecom Package. Citizens must urge MEPs to amend this report in order to accurately define what qualifies as 'specialised services' with 'enhanced' quality of service, and ensure that the Regulation will guarantee a genuine and unconditional Net neutrality principle." 'via Blog this'

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Do we have a trans-Atlantic net neutrality accord?

TelecomTV | News | Do we have a trans-Atlantic net neutrality accord?: "Suddenly we’re not talking about access to all content for everyone.  There is now some content or services which need special treatment and that you have to pay extra for. And so it came to pass. The ability of ISP’s to sell better than best-effort treatment to upstream service and content providers was explicitly allowed for in the proposed legislation. Not many noticed since the volume knob on Kroes’ pro-neutrality patter had been turned up to 11." Well, I stated immediately that she was anti-neutrality, but hey....'via Blog this'

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Tim Berners-Lee: Spies' cracking of encryption undermines the web and neutrality

Tim Berners-Lee: Spies' cracking of encryption undermines the web | Technology | The Guardian: ""What is obvious now is that not only must the web be for everyone, we also need everyone to be for the web. The ability to use the web, and the power of it, comes with an obligation: individual web users have to stick up for their rights. The obligation of a web user is to look at the way the internet is provided and complain very loudly if it deviates from being neutral."" 'via Blog this'

Those Who Remember History... Werblog

Those Who Remember History... | Werblog: "Ultimately, the point of history isn’t to understand the past; it’s to appreciate the present.  By looking backwards, we can understand better how we got here, distill lessons from experience, and appreciate how similar situations looked to prior generations. That doesn’t work when we’re looking forward, because we have no perspective on the present.  We can project into the future, but we’re apt to get it wrong by relying on our fresh and localized perceptions of the current state of affairs.  Going back not just to the origins of the telephone and broadcasting, but to earlier networks that in their time were seen as equally revolutionary, helps to wash out the local details and throw the essential concepts into starker relief.  In this regard, Net Effects is the kind of work we should want our leaders to be studying, and doing." 'via Blog this'

FCC Chairman Backs Net Neutrality, But Not Usage-Based Pricing Limits

FCC Chairman Backs Net Neutrality, But Not Usage-Based Pricing Limits | Variety: "He added: “I am a firm believer in the market. I think we’re also going to see a two-sided market where Netflix might say, ‘Well, I’ll pay to make sure that my subscriber receives the best possible transmission of this movie.’ I think we want to let those kinds of things evolve, and we want to observe what happens from that and we want to make decisions accordingly. I go back to the fact that the marketplace is where these decisions ought to be made, and the functionality of a competitive marketplace dictates the degree of regulation.”" 'via Blog this'

Friday, November 22, 2013

How plain, old WiFi will revolutionize the cellular industry

How plain, old WiFi will revolutionize the cellular industry: "What makes this beautiful is that whenever a Republic customer chooses to place a call over WiFi, that saves Republic money. As a result, Republic can offer a $5-a-month plan for unlimited talk, text and data. For another $5 a month, customers get access to Sprint's cellular network (minus 3G). " 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

'It's a joke!' ... Bill Gates slams Mark Zuckerberg's web-for-the-poor dream

'It's a joke!' ... Bill Gates slams Mark Zuckerberg's web-for-the-poor dream • The Register: "Gates was also scathing in his assessment of Google's dream to bring the internet to the world's unconnected population by floating hundreds of weather balloons equipped with solar-powered radios – a scheme dubbed Google Loon by the Chocolate Factory, apparently not in the spirit of irony. "When you're dying of malaria, I suppose you'll look up and see that balloon, and I'm not sure how it'll help you," Gates observed at the time. "When a kid gets diarrhea, no, there's no website that relieves that."" 'via Blog this'

Malcolm Turnbull throws a bone to FTTP boosters

Malcolm Turnbull throws a bone to FTTP boosters • The Register: "MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, that’s what we’re assessing, Hugh. We’ve got a strategic review underway. In all of these fixed-line areas, people will get access to the NBN. It may not necessarily be with fibre to the premises. In fact, for most of the brownfield areas, it’s unlikely that it would be. I would like to build as much fibre to the premises as we could, but we’ve got to get the cost down."
Those are our italics on the last sentence, because we believe they represent a shift for Turnbull, who has often suggested fibre-to-the-node is somewhere between comparable or equivalent (FTTN) to FTTP because it meets current needs and has a likely future upgrade path that means it will eventually match speeds attainable under FTTP.
The answer we've recorded above came after Turnbull picked apart some NBN Co jargon to explain that some areas where the company said FTTP connections were under construction actually did not even have detailed designs completed. That fallacy, not a cancellation of FTTP builds, was behind a change in NBN Co deployment maps last week that many took as an indication areas that had been promised FTTP would now receive FTTN." 'via Blog this'

BSG publishes new model for analysing domestic demand for bandwidth - assuming almost everyone's an average consumer?

BSG publishes new model for analysing domestic demand for bandwidth: They ignore businesses and barely consider upload speed concerns. "The report also highlights a number of sensitivities to the model results which could change anticipated requirements. These include changing user expectations for factors such as download speeds and notably, reducing the time one would expect a software download, such as a console game, and upload of files to take. For example, in significantly reducing the base case assumption of 10 minutes waiting time to 2.5 minutes, then 16% of households require 83 Mbps. Reducing the waiting time further would quickly take demand over 100 Mbps for those households." 'via Blog this'
UPDATE: nice reply from BSG on this, see comment below, much appreciated! So some telework considered but not web service (or whatever 2023 brings!). 
I have also received this analysis which is handy: "this report is on a traffic growth model (not bandwidth) and such models are more or less the same (if done well). Like all predictions 10 years into the future, especially related to Internet activities, there are key uncertainties. Typically, for fixed line access to the household which this mostly concerns (mobile does not have the capacity, not today and not in 10 years (transport costs of data on mobile is orders of magnitude more expensive than fixed lines)), the interesting points are:
  1) which "applications" contribute significantly to the traffic usage?
  2) how many concurrent users have said "applications" at peak hour?
Because that's what these models model: peak hour average subscriber traffic volume. 
Today, the primary identified application is high resolution video. Other large potential drivers such as remote backup are not really coming even close to the data volume unicast (point to point) high resolution video streams use.  (Backup software would typically do incremental backups, as well.)  (Personally I wonder if remote private "CCTV" will pick up or not.)
What we end up with is a quite simple statistical model that for a typical busy weekend night, "there are $factor number of $resolution videos concurrently per household".  Today, $factor is pretty low, 0.1 or so perhaps, and $resolution (in terms of bitrate) is also quite low. Main drivers that could (I think will) change $factor in the near future is a major shift in behaviour, from terrestrial or satellite broadcast based content distribution, to Internet unicast. It has already started. This change has major impact on traffic, and I believe it is captured in the BSG model.
Another key point worth mentioning is that these models are statistical in nature... and they inform the operators to how much aggregate capacity they need to build out higher up in the networks, because that's where the aggregated traffic volumes becomes a problem.
  Therefore, if operators provision capacity for the median case at these levels, and a flash crowd event such as someone parachuting from space, or even above-average event like a national sports event occurs, the network _will become full_ and _traffic will be dropped_ with varying randomness (NN...).
The final paragraph strikes another key point.  The model reports on average traffic usage, but this does not mean that the individual subscriber's access should (with any reasonable supporting logic) be provisioned with a bandwidth to match this statistical number! 
So to summarize: The model is a traffic usage model, not provisioned bandwidth model.
Oh, and btw, the typical peak hour average subscriber traffic volume today in Sweden (being near the top in traffic of all countries) is around 0.5 Mbps (download to the home behing larger than upload).  Yet we have (and demand) 100 or 1000 Mbps connections to the home. Because it saves time. 

"Subscribers pay for access.  While a subscriber may receive a 1000 Mbps connection, the median subscriber will use this and that much traffic.
The argument then goes that it is the over-the-top service provider, such as video services, that somehow send unsolicited high resolution video streams to the subscribers.  The argument ignores that the subscriber has purchased the Internet transport service from the incumbent in order to then use services on the Internet, including video services, and the user actually solicit the transmission of these video streams from the video service provider.
The incumbent merely wants to squeeze out better margins, and what better way then getting paid two times for the same data transferred?
Both from sender and receiver. It's the holy grail of the carrier network...if Youtube and Netflix doesn't work, which could happen if the incumbent disconnects or filters them completely in an attempt to make them pay, users will get really angry and this anger will hit the service provider. Where there is sufficient competition between ISPs, including local loop unbundling or [Swedish] muninet type access, users could and would simply switch provider, and the market would keep working. It then stands to reason that whatever legislation they would need to unlock this "market problem", would have to be both anti-competition and work to remove or severely diminish users rights to complain"

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Slovak Court Orders an ISP to Stop Breaching Net Neutrality

Huťko´s Technology Law Blog: The Slovak Court Orders an ISP to Stop Breaching the Net Neutrality: Note that this is a competition dispute not a specific net neutrality law or regulation being violated. It's what you might call Madison River writ large...
 "The action of Antik puts forward our B2B arguments, namely that blockage or degradation within this competitive relationship contradicts general clause of unfair competition set in Section 44(1) of the Commercial Code. §44 Fundamental Provisions (1) Unfair competition shall be such competitive conduct that is contrary to the standard practices of competition and that may be detrimental to other competitors or consumers. Unfair competition is prohibited. The District Court in Bratislava I. now granted an injunction (8 Ncb/90/2013-321) against UPC prohibiting it from blocking or degrading the IPTV service on its infrastructure for its consumers of Internet access." 'via Blog this'

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Who, and Why Are They Trying to Control the Korean Internet?

South Korean Human Rights Monitor | Net Neutrality: Who, and Why Are They Trying to Control the Internet? - South Korean Human Rights Monitor: "carriers blocking the mVoIp service have a more serious implication. If the carriers have power to block the mVoIP service arbitrarily, it is also likely that they can arbitrarily block other internet contents or services. In February 2012, KT had blocked Samsung Electronic’s Smart TV service for 5 days. They didn’t block all Smart TV traffics. They only blocked traffics for Samsung Smart TV service. KT also announced a plan to block peer-to-peer (P2P) traffics. Carriers blocking or arbitrarily slowing the transmission of particular Web traffic is a violation to net neutrality." 'via Blog this'

Presentation on net neutrality at Internet Governance Forum

Here's the PPT - well received introduction to the policy area for governments. I also discovered that [a] Chile has never implemented or at least enforced its law in this area; [b] Netherlands has also not taken a case yet; [c] South Korea has a consumer complaint based on KCC Guidelines, but it hangs on the impossible-to-prove collective dominance of major mobile ISPs. So much ado about nothing yet?

Friday, October 25, 2013

BITAG - reasonable traffic management report

BITAG: "If application-based criteria are used by a network operator, they should be tested prior to deployment and on an ongoing basis.  Application-based classification by network operators (e.g., using deep packet inspection) can sometimes be erroneous. If network operators choose to use application-based criteria for congestion management, the accuracy of the classifier should be tested before deployment.
ASPs and CDNs should implement efficient and adaptive network resource management practices. ASPs and CDNs should match use of network resources to the performance requirements of the application. Applications should be designed to efficiently and adaptively use network resources, to the extent feasible given the application’s requirements." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

European Commission proposal may stifle innovation, argues Marietje Schaake MEP

Excellent summary of the potential problems in Connected Continent, by a Dutch MEP who really knows what she's talking about. She is not confident that specialized services are tightly defined, and thinks Kroes "missed the window of opportunity" and proposal will be delayed for years.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Net neutrality research and analysis: new paper

No posts for 2 weeks - simply because I attended 5 international conferences and gave papers - including this one on net neutrality. It features some of my analysis of the new EC package and a particularly close look at what 'specialized services' mean in the EU and US:
Marsden, Christopher, Net Neutrality Law: Past Policy, Present Proposals, Future Regulation? (October 3, 2013). Proceedings of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum: Dynamic Coalition on Network Neutrality, Nusa Dua Bali, Indonesia, 25 October 2013. Available at SSRN

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Question for IGF net neutrality coalition: Regarding specialised service

Given that Internet traffic continues to grow (even if only 17% YoY in Western Europe according to Cisco), does this make sense?
[1] Internet traffic volumes require continual investment in capacity in order for service NOT to degrade (I accept this can be relatively trivial backhaul upgrades to produce really significant extra capacity but nevertheless..)
[2] Decisions to invest in specialized services are likely to come from free cash flow from existing telco services, including provision of public Internet services (and pension payments, fleet renewal and a million other telco costs)
[3] therefore, the law must NOT write in a zero-sum game, ‘not reduce’... but a positive-sum outcome.
[4] Suggest “Investment in specialized services must be accompanied by further investment in public Internet capacity.”
[5] The language in the law therefore needs to be “provision of specialized services shall only be approved when accompanied by an investment plan to increase public Internet capacity. This shall be audited by the relevant NRA on an annual basis to ensure that the capacity is actually deployed, and that public Internet capacity continues to grow per citizen served by the relevant IAP.”
[6] That last element is essential in order not to penalize subscriber growth – and to ensure that ISPs continue to invest in significantly increased capacity as well as marketing cheap-as-chips DSL service….

I should add that the hike in monthly line rental rates is to me the most transparent possible way to pay for local access speed increases. The £16/€20 monthly fee is far more important than advertised ‘free for the first 6 months’ broadband plans which are deliberately confusing for the 2-year contracted consumer.

Net neutrality or not neutrality? What are specialized service definitions?

Net neutrality or not neutrality? The proposed regulation on a European single market for electronic communications - Lexology: "In an effort to avoid the creation of a two-tier internet (i.e. a high-level quality tier and a degraded quality tier), the EC has included in its proposal a requirement that the provision of specialized services does not impair “in a recurring or continuous manner the general quality of internet access services.” However, such a safeguard appears to be rather loose. At what point is impairment considered to be recurring or continuous? And how is general quality of internet access defined in the first place?
In addition, the EC proposes to entrust to national regulatory authorities (NRAs) the responsibility of monitoring the situation in the various EU Member States and ensuring the continued availability of non-discriminatory internet access services at levels of quality that reflect advances in technology and that are not impaired by specialized services. Provided certain conditions are fulfilled, NRAs will also be empowered to impose minimum quality of service requirements on ISPs." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Leak: Damning analysis of Kroes' attack on net neutrality

Leak: Damning analysis of Kroes' attack on net neutrality | EDRI: "DG Justice harshly criticised Kroes' proposals that would, as we have reported previously, bring about the exact contrary of net neutrality. Above all, DG Justice is concerned about the inevitable restrictions on freedom of communication of European citizens.
To quote from the leaked document: "Furthermore, we consider that such limited possibilities of accessing Internet content and services of their choice would run counter to the stated objectives of Article 38 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, whereby EU policies must ensure a high level of consumer protection".
DG Enterprise is concerned about the effect on European entrepreneurs. Ironically, the opposition from DG Enterprise reflects the concerns that Kroes herself has expressed in the very recent past, before she caved in to pressure from certain sectors of industry." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

EU may have to redraw telecoms plans - EU Commission official

EU may have to redraw telecoms plans - EU Commission official - Yahoo!7 Technology: "critics have said this would threaten what many see as one of the core principles of the Internet - neutrality, the idea that all data should be treated equally, and content providers should not be able to negotiate things like faster speeds for their services at extra costs.
Senior Commission officials met earlier on Monday to discuss Kroes' telecoms proposal which will be debated by the other 27 commissioners in Strasbourg on Tuesday. She will present the package on Wednesday.
"The biggest concern of numerous commissioners is the issue of Net neutrality. Because what Kroes' proposal is doing is restricting and creating exceptions to Net neutrality," the official said. "Eight to nine commissioners have expressed serious doubts. This will be a 'B' point at the college. Everything is up for discussion," the official said. A "B" item means topics are subject to debate before they can be adopted by the Commission." 'via Blog this'

Monday, September 09, 2013

Ofcom's traffic management survey - highlights

Ofcom had a market research company conduct a multi-stage survey of consumers to find out if net neutrality was important to them, though without using the term as Ofcom doesn't like it. In a 63-page report (7.4MB took 2 minutes to download on Virgin LLU on Wifi at 10pm), the term only came up to sum up Ofcom's 2011 statement dismissing net neutrality. They also didn't use the term 'open Internet', the FCC/EC preferred alternative. They only once used the term 'throttled' to illustrate the most invasive possible practices.  Here's the eureka moment at p31: "once the term and processes of traffic management were explained to them 35% of these respondents felt that they may have been affected by these processes". Unsurprisingly (p35) "It was clear that most were not aware of the underlying processes supporting the internet or how it operates." Not exactly shocking. Nor was "consumers state a preference for information being provided in online formats and by 3rd party independent sources" (p37). Pages 60-61 contain the joyous slides to explain what net neutrality is.
This proves the need for neutral consumer champions to find out what ISPs are doing and stop it if it harms their Internet connection - especially when it's blocking or throttling rival applications such as VOIP or media streams. The same of course applies to ISPs routinely providing a slower connection than advertised. Such a champion should be called a 'neutrality regulator' not a traffic manager.
Interesting above all is that this research was carried out at all. It is rather like research on smart metering. If the consumer doesn't know what's going on, they also don't know what's going wrong. Ask the remote workers if it's wrong to throttle Skype during the working day? That might raise a flicker of recognition.

"Brits couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss about traffic management" - or know what it is...

Brits couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss about traffic management — Tech News and Analysis: "The results are mixed: only one in 10 people surveyed actually had any idea what traffic management was, but 73 percent of those who did said their ISP was good at conveying its terms transparently. What’s more, once the researchers explained to people what traffic management was, only 6 percent said they would consider it as a factor when deciding on their next ISP contract.
This may have something to do with the fact that people are pretty satisfied with the internet service they’re getting – 81 percent of those surveyed about fixed connections, and 73 percent regarding mobile. Again, the fact that only 29 percent of those surveyed counted connection speed as their top priority suggests to me that people are happy with what they have."
I would draw a further conclusion - because almost no consumers understand what net neutrality is, and even fewer know that 'traffic management' is, it's defaults that will dictate the future of the open Internet (not a bad question to ask consumers if they want their ISP censoring their Internet traffic perhaps?) So it's for government to decide - should traffic management be regulated or not? That depends on whether you want to encourage the next generation of YouTubes, Spotifies and WhatsApp. If you don't, there's no problem. If, like Tim Berners Lee, you do...'via Blog this'

Net neutrality law in Slovenia – unofficial translation of relevant articles

Net neutrality in Slovenia – Blog – wlan slovenija: "Since the beginning of 2013 a new law governing electronic communications is in effect in Slovenia. The most important thing is that it explicitly requires net neutrality. This makes Slovenia one of rare legislations where network neutrality is protected by law. This was a very progressive move by Slovenian government which shows that also small countries can do a big step.
There is currently no official translation into English, so we translated the relevant articles into English. We hope that by that we facilitate similar laws in other countries as well.
[37] Definitions: Net neutrality is a principle that every Internet traffic on a public communication network is dealt with equally, independent of content, applications, services, devices, source and destination of the communication." 'via Blog this'

EU Net Neutrality Laws: Kroes must ignore ETICS/ETNO proposals for sending-party pays on the Internet

Dean Bubley's Disruptive Wireless: EU Net Neutrality Laws: Kroes must ignore ETICS/ETNO proposals for sending-party pays on the Internet: "My view is that prioritised data / managed services are OK as long as:
1) They are kept completely distinct from Internet access (ie are delivered from servers with a direct connection from the telco's infrastructure or elsewhere, not transiting the public Internet)
2) They are not branded as Internet services, or sold in a bundle with Internet Access. This may mean that they also cannot share the top-level brand with an Internet-based content or application source (ie no "YouTube Premium", but something like "GasCo Energy Meter & Control" or "FireCo Sensor & Alarm Service" would be OK). Possibly, this could be done by disallowing such services to use the Internet DNS, or perhaps prohibit them from running within normal Internet browsers, or on apps delivered from Internet App Stores. They need to be ringfenced from the public Internet as far as possible.
3) There is no or limited implicit negative/deprioritising effect on Internet Access concurrently running on the same access/transport connection, arising from the use of managed services by the same customer or their neighbours.
4) There is no attempt to create something that looks like a "termination fee" model for public Internet services. Either the user pays for specific managed services (like IPTV today) or perhaps an upstream content/app provider is allowed to pay (eg an employer paying for home-workers' connection) as long as it is 100% clear that the service is not related to the Internet (see point 2)As Martin Geddes will no doubt point out, point 3 is mathematically and technically very hard/impossible. That, however, is not the EU's problem - it is vendors' and operators' problem if they want to offer such services. I propose that a very simple legal approach is used - managed services should ONLY be sold by telcos on networks which provide Internet Access with guaranteed minimum speeds & maximum latencies, not those marketed with maximum speeds. As long as the customer is guaranteed a decent minimum level of open, best-efforts Internet (howsoever delivered), then the rest of the broadband service is fine to experiment with." 'via Blog this'

EU net neutrality seen in peril from draft law

EU net neutrality seen in peril from draft law - "In a leaked draft of Commissioner Neelie Kroes' proposals for new telecoms rules that are due to be formally presented next week, "net neutrality" was struck out in the one place where it had been mentioned previously. Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesman for  La Quadrature du Net (QdN), said this shows that Kroes has backed down under pressure from telecommunications companies' lobbying.
Most of the 93-page leaked document has been completely re-written from previous drafts and now includes an article stating "any operator shall have the right to provide a European Assured Service Quality (ASQ) connectivity product." "End-users shall be free to agree to enter into agreements on data volumes, and speeds and general quality characteristics with providers of electronic communications," continues article 19. According to Zimmermann, this is the "smoking gun" and ASQ is simply another way of saying traffic prioritization." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 29, 2013

BT unsuccessful in ASA complaint against Virgin - cable IS faster than VDSL

BT unsuccessful in ASA complaint against Virgin Media: "Virgin Media’s response pointed out that at least 10% of customers on their 'up to 30 Mbit/s' broadband service achieved the headline speed and that the average speed across a 24-hour period for customers on their 'up to 30 Mbit/s' service was 30.1 Mbit/s, according to an Ofcom report. In terms of exaggerating the difference between competitor services, Virgin highlighted that, according to the Ofcom report, the average speed achieved on Virgin's 'up to 30 Mbit/s' service was over 100% of the headline speed, whereas the average achieved on BT's 'up to 38 Mbit/s' service was less than 30 Mbit/s and only 79% of the headline speed.
The ASA stated that "the data submitted by Virgin was suitably robust to demonstrate that they consistently delivered a superfast service to their customers"." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Evidence-Based Policy Too Hard? "FCC's Net Neutrality report is a bust"

The Daily Dot - The FCC's Net Neutrality report is a bust: "As the report makes abundantly clear, today we are no closer to real answers on data caps today than we were in 2010, when the FCC released its Net Neutrality order; in 2011, when we asked the FCC to take a closer look at data caps; or 2012, when the FCC finally organized the Open Internet Advisory Committee. Over and over, the report’s findings indicate a lack of data, standards, evidence, and information."
The OIAC has virtually no travel money even for its leaders, and no research budget, so it's hardly a surprise that all it can do is re-tread the existing arguments. Regulators don't want answers 'via Blog this'

Monday, August 26, 2013

"103 years ago, he would have been a visionary" - Australian debate on NBN

Australians continue to debate wholesale monopoly local loop - copper or fibre? The elction is two weeks away, and this is a key policy difference between the social democrat and neocon parties. It still puts the British debate in the shade - as opposition shadow minister Turnbull supports our 'superfast' (sic) broadband...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

No European net neutrality legislation after all?

No European net neutrality legislation after all | Internet Policy Review: "In Germany, where there had been some movement towards legislating net neutrality – at least if it still could make it after the Federal election (September 22, 2013) – liberal party member Jimmy Schulz called Kroes' move “irritating“ as it was contrary to statements from the Digital Agenda Commissioner. “According to that leaked draft, it would not be possible to ban network providers from offering special deals with selected service providers. That would be contrary to the net neutrality principle,” Schulz wrote.Such rules would harm innovation and create barriers for start-ups and newcomers in the market, Schulz argued. Yet, he was confident that there would be changes in the draft regulation, given that governments would intervene." 'via Blog this'

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Crypto experts blast German e-mail providers’ “secure data storage” claim

Crypto experts blast German e-mail providers’ “secure data storage” claim | Ars Technica: "“No one of the ‘E-Mail made in Germany’ initiative would say if they encrypt the data on their servers so they don't have access to it, which they probably don't and thus the government could force them to let them access it.” The Chaos Computer Club practically laughed at this new announcement: “What competitors [have had] for years as standard—a forced encryption when accessing a personal e-mail account—is now sold promotionally as a new, effective technological advancement,” the group wrote. “The NSA scandal has shown that centralized services are to be regarded as not trustworthy when it comes to access by secret [agencies]." 'via Blog this'

Friday, August 09, 2013

Net Index by Ookla - current SpeedTest broadband speeds

Net Index by Ookla: "Based on millions of recent test results from, this index compares and ranks consumer download speeds around the globe. The value is the rolling mean throughput in Mbps over the past 30 days where the mean distance between the client and the server is less than 300 miles." EU 19.36Mbps G8 average 18.17 Mbps OECD average 17.82 Mbps APEC 14.17 Mbps (US 18Mbps, slower than UK, France, Germany, Japan (and industrialised Asia), smaller Netherlands, Baltics, Scandies + Nordics)

Turnbull defends Murdoch on Labor's NBN

Turnbull defends Murdoch on Labor's NBN | ZDNet: "Labor claims that Murdoch's media interests are hostile toward its NBN, because it could pose a commercial threat to News Corp's half-owned pay TV business, Foxtel. The argument is that consumers could opt to use fast NBN speeds to download their own visual entertainment, rather than paying for a Foxtel subscription.
Kevin Rudd said Murdoch has a "democratic right" to rail against Labor's policies through his publications, but wondered what was behind it. He's also said that there is a "strange coincidence of interests" between News Corp and the Coalition, after The Daily Telegraph newspaper printed an editorial under the headline "Kick this mob out" on day one of the election campaign."
Murdoch seek to influence electoral politics for his personal financial gain? What is he, a vulture capitalist? Oh, right...'via Blog this'

Evidence Base for NBN - Australian election furore

Turnbull is right - we need to have a Press Club debate about the NBN - TechGeek: "Why? Despite my personal feeling that the Coalition’s proposal is technologically inferior, it would be nice to have all the facts and figures from both proposals out there in the public forum and a discussion about the future of broadband in Australia. It would also be nice to question Albanese and Turnbull about their plans. For instance, I’ve got many questions for Turnbull about his implementation like how much do you anticipate the cost of replacing the copper to achieve fast broadband (since it is a Fibre-to-the-Node policy). Likewise to Albanese, but in relation to the construction and implementation – what are you going to do to ensure that NBN Co meets deadlines and targets for a 2021 completion date?"
Note that this debate is light years ahead of what passes for political debate in Europe...see this analysis of the copper network legacy for instance - and this is actually being read by the geek electorate thanks to their public service broadcaster! 'via Blog this'

Telephone History... Antique Telephone & Collector's Items

Telephone History... Antique Telephone & Collector's Items: Great photos of the various devices that made US telecom deregulation history... "After the Carterfone Decision, up until the FCC started allowing connection of FCC registered equipment in 1976 (that you could buy in a local store), subscribers had to rent a protective coupler from the phone company (maybe $10 a month per line), which supposedly protected the public telephone network from any harm caused by the customer's phone equipment (CPE)." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

UK net neutrality? Perish the thought...

The UK Communications 'consultation paper' which is the centrepiece of the Coalition's communications policy strategy limped into view last week. It's got some porno-nasty blocking, decent ideas on switching bundled services and the very necessary hard cash elements of spectrum reform (which is why it's needed in the first place).
Here are the parts confirming that they have no interest in solving consumer issues with net neutrality except via the old Ofcom saw that transparency and switching can answer the problem:
"Internet traffic management: Cisco predicts that internet traffic will reach 1.4zettabytes (a zettabyte is equal to a trillion gigabytes) a year in 2017 [Ed: gee whizz, these numbers are confusing, is there a data explosion? Errr, no].
As the amount of data exchanged increases we want to ensure that consumers are aware at the point of sale of the internet traffic management policies that their internet service provider or mobile network operator has in place. For example, some mobile network operators block the use of apps like ‘Skype’, although this may be reflected in cheaper contracts [Ed: really? No].
We think it should be for consumers to decide what best meets their needs, so, in the first instance, we have asked Ofcom to work with internet service providers to encourage them to make their traffic management policies more transparent on a voluntary basis [Ed: abuse of the term 'self-regulation'] – the challenge for industry will be to do this in a way that is clear and understandable to consumers. [Ed: this was meant to happen 4 years ago, for gawd's sake...]
Where there is evidence of consumers not being made sufficiently aware, Ofcom will act to require operators to make their traffic management policies more transparent. We believe in the principle of an open internet [Ed: no, you don't, as Tim Berners Lee established clearly] and will keep this area under review." (pp13-14)
It's not very edifying - and there's a longer regurgitated Ofcom policy line at  p41 which astonishingly suggests that traffic management could prioritise Skype services - when presumably every incentive exists to do the opposite, discriminate to prioritise voice over IP that is NOT a competitor to the ISP? Someone worked too late on that line..."firms may prioritise time-sensitive services like video streaming or voice calls over the internet – such as the type of services offered by Skype – over other content which is not as sensitive to time delay" - shurely shome mishtake?

Monday, August 05, 2013

Comcast Starts Tinkering With 5 GB Usage Caps

Comcast Starts Tinkering With 5 GB Usage Caps | DSLreports, ISP Information: "Time Warner Cable and Comcast's voluntary options come after attempts at forcing users on to 5 GB capped plans didn't go over very well, Time Warner Cable's 2009 effort in particular seeing unprecedented public backlash and even public protest. So like the slowly boiled frog analogy, the cable operators hope they can slowly but surely get metered billing implemented if they just move glacially enough. The problem is that the option is so pathetic, very few are signing up for it.
Cable operators have repeatedly and sometimes hysterically insisted they're simply looking to tinker with "creative" usage-based pricing, yet their best minds keep pushing forth metered plans that offer little to no value. That's because contrary to their claims, they're not actually interested in true usage-based plans, because tens of millions of their customers (like your grandma) would pay very little for the miniscule bandwidth they use." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Why YouTube buffers: The secret deals that make—and break—online video

Why YouTube buffers: The secret deals that make—and break—online video | Ars Technica: Excellent analysis including on CDN siting in ISP data centres: "In addition to peering with network operators, Google has what it calls the "Google Global Cache (GGC)." This "represents the final tier of Google’s content delivery platform and is closest to users," Google says in its description of the service. "With GGC, network operators and Internet Service Providers deploy a small number of Google servers inside their network to serve popular Google content including YouTube. Google's traffic management system directs users to the node that will provide the best performance for the user. GGC can be located anywhere in an operator's network to maximize savings in backbone and transit bandwidth. Targeted deployment can reduce the number of route-miles traveled on an operator's network to serve Google traffic, further increasing cost savings for the operator."
Google does not reveal which ISPs accept the equipment into their data centers. It's clear many do not, since ISPs have argued that Google and Netflix should be paying them, even though the caches are offered for free.
Netflix's similar peering and caching service is called Open Connect. ISPs can peer with Netflix at up to eight Internet exchange points for free "or can save even more transit costs by putting our free storage appliances in or near their network," Netflix says. Frontier, British Telecom, TDC, Clearwire, GVT, Telus, Bell Canada, Virgin, Cablevision, Google Fiber, Telmex, and RCN are among those who have done so.
"To us, it's really a black box that's run by Netflix," RCN VP of network services Peter Jacoby told Ars. "We do almost nothing except give it IP addresses. We put them in our data centers and that content gets a lot closer to our customers, so when they request a movie, typically the popular ones I'm told will stream from their closest cache and that eliminates a lot that can go wrong between them and Netflix."" 'via Blog this'

"Slow internet" could become legal in Brazil

"Slow internet" could become legal in Brazil | ZDNet: "This is an amendment to the Marco Civil da Internet, a senate bill that has had its voting delayed for years and has become a priority for the country's government since details around NSA spying on Brazilians became public.
According to newspaper Folha de São Paulo, the changes in the Marco Civil - which, among other things, would prevent telcos from restricting connection speeds for different types of content accessed by users - now allows companies to provide slower internet services to customers that exceeded the limit set on contract.
If the bill is approved by the Senate, providers will be able to not only reduce speeds but also prevent users from accessing services such as such as torrents and streaming - so in practice, they would have legal backing for their existing practices." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Why the EU Commission's True Intent is to Kill Net Neutrality

Why the EU Commission's True Intent is to Kill Net Neutrality | La Quadrature du Net: "While seemingly defending Net neutrality principle by banning blocking and throttling Internet communications, the Commission wants to make it meaningless by explicitly allowing prioritization, which is another form of discrimination (prioritization is another word for the more technical term of "guaranteed" or "differentiated" "Quality of Service", as opposed to the traditional "best-effort" model for the delivery of Internet traffic).
What is more, the draft text also proposes that, “in the pursuit of the foregoing freedom (sic)”, telecom operators should be free to impose data caps on users. Finally, it aims at preventing national authorities from protecting online freedom of expression and innovation by introducing real protections for Net neutrality.
From the leaked document, it seems clear that far from introducing a real protection for the open and neutral Internet, the EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes wants to grant the telecom lobby its long-lasting demand to implement traffic management measures and pricing schemes that would boost their revenues at the expense of freedom of communication and innovation."
Of course, I heard the Commissioner's 3 June speech announcing her non-neutral neutrality policy and immediately explained that she was opposed to neutrality. This won't be pretty! 'via Blog this'

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Is Larry Page against Google's Kansas City discrimination policy?

90 Percent of Eligible Kansas City Neighborhoods Sign Up For Google Fiber - Slashdot: Anonymous so not sure what quotation marks add, but allegedly..."Larry Page is really annoyed by the "no servers" clause. In an internal weekly all-hands meeting he repeatedly needled Patrick Pichette about the limitation, and pointedly reminded him that the only reason Google was able to get off the ground was because Page and Brin could use Stanford's high-speed Internet connection for free. Page wants to see great garage startups being enabled by cheap access to truly high-speed Internet. Pichette defended it saying they had no intention of trying to enforce it in general, but that it had to be there in case of serious abuse, like someone setting up a large-scale data center.
I don't think anyone really has to worry about running servers on their residential Google Fiber, as long as they're not doing anything crazy. Then again it's always possible that Page will change his mind or that the lawyers will take over the company, and the ToS is what it is. If I had Google Fiber I'd run my home server just as I do on my Comcast connection, but I'd also be prepared to look for other options if my provider complained." 'via Blog this'

FCC orders Google to Respond to Net Neutrality Complaint

FCC orders Google to Respond to Net Neutrality Complaint — Future Participle — Medium: "Douglas McClendon filed a complaint contesting the rules to the FCC in 2012 when he was a Fiber “pre-subscriber” living in Kansas. After some odd procedural missteps, the FCC sent McClendon’s 53-page complaint on to Google on June 24 as an “informal complaint.”
That notice requires Google to reply to McClendon and the FCC by Monday, July 29. The FCC can then, if it chooses, open a formal complaint and investigate on its own.
McClendon, a software engineer, points out in his rambling complaint, that the Terms of Service prohibit a Google Fiber customer from running lawful and non-disruptive devices." 'via Blog this'

ISP Free cleared of throttling YouTube in France

ISP Free cleared of throttling YouTube in France | ZDNet: "The investigation is part of a wider debate on net neutrality in the country and whether big internet companies should be required to pay ISPs to ensure quality of access for heavy-traffic services. Google is already paying Free's rival Orange as compensation for the amount of traffic its service generate over the ISPs networks, its CEO said recently, though he did not reveal the size of the payment.
Requiring content providers to pay in this way could lead to larger, more profitable companies being able to buy higher quality of access than smaller companies and individuals, who would have to offer a slower or otherwise compromised experience — a situation which would contravene the idea of net neutrality and lead to a "two-tier internet".
Earlier this year, it looked as though France would enshrine the idea of net neutrality — the idea that all online services and content are treated the same way — in law; however, it appears the legislation has now been kicked into the long grass." 'via Blog this'

Monday, July 15, 2013

European giants raided over broadband 'throttling' of Cogent traffic

BBC News - Net firms raided over broadband 'throttling': "European Commission competition officials visited Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Telefonica's head offices. The raids were part of a probe into alleged uncompetitive market practices by the three firms. The probe was kicked off by complaints made by US net firm Cogent. It claims that the three ISPs are holding back net traffic from Cogent so their own data arrived more quickly.
Cogent acts as a network middleman and delivers traffic to many European ISPs on behalf of net companies such as YouTube. The "throttling" made Cogent's services appear to be slower than those being run by the European ISPs, it said." 'via Blog this'

Leaked EU Laws and Police Raid on ISPs Raise Net Neutrality Concerns

Leaked EU Laws and Police Raid on ISPs Raise Net Neutrality Concerns - ISPreview UK: "But what all of this ultimately boils down to is the placing of a general commitment upon ISPs to improve the transparency of their service speeds and any relevant restrictions on internet access, which is intended to help consumers make a more informed choice about which ISP they choose.
ISPs will thus be discouraged from imposing unwarranted blocking and or traffic restrictions. But so long as they’re transparent with customers about imposing such things then they’ll probably be safe from enforcement. It’s worth noting that many providers in the United Kingdom already do this"
The new Regulation will be a whitewash, and in any case volume restrictions are a pathetic proxy for traffic congestion! 'via Blog this'

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Conseil d’Etat backs up ARCEP’s powers in interconnection and data routing markets

The Conseil d’Etat backs up ARCEP’s powers in interconnection and data routing markets, and confirms its ability to query all of the players in theses markets, including those located outside the European Union: "Through an important decision dated 10 July 2013, the Conseil d’Etat (France’s highest administrative court) confirmed the legality of ARCEP’s decision of 29 March 2012 on gathering information on the technical and pricing conditions governing interconnection and data routing.
The ARCEP decision had been disputed by American carriers AT&T and VERIZON (MCI Communications Services), and by their French subsidiaries.
The information gathering system that ARCEP introduced concerns the interconnection and data routing markets. These markets are home to complex and potentially strained relationships between internet service providers (ISP), providers of public online communication services (PPOCS) and technical intermediaries such as transit operators and content delivery networks (CDN)." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Interview with German minister on net neutrality law

Google Traductor: so may be some mistakes "When the regulation was put in place? What is the other method? There is a draft  Federal Ministry of Economics net neutrality regulation. Before it is decided by the federal government, other departments need to consider these and also get the interested parties the opportunity to comment. The design is now public and available to anyone. We seek a decision of the Federal Government in the summer of 2013. Then the Bundestag and Bundesrat are required. 
Why is net neutrality governed by regulation and not by law? we do not need a separate law on net neutrality, because the principles of net neutrality are enshrined in law the Telecommunications Act since 2012. The Telecommunications Act already requires today that the network operator to ensure both access to content and applications as well as data transmission without discrimination. However, the law allows the federal government to adopt a regulation to ensure net neutrality, in which the details are clarified. From this legislative leeway we now make use of. The ordinance is in effect to a law in nothing.
How does  the regulation affects the preferential treatment operation of Deutsche Telekom services - such as the television service Entertain? The Regulation does not aim at German Telekom, but takes all the network operators in the duty.By regulation, the Agency will continue to review all business practices of network operators to comply with the network neutrality. However, it is true that the Agency can verify by means of the regulation whether the telecoms should treat their television service Entertain preferred." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

European Parliament: REPORT on connected TV - A7-0212/2013

REPORT on connected TV - A7-0212/2013: "Existing ‘Must-carry’ rules need to be supplemented with ‘Must-be-found’ rules. Those content providers should be given an appropriately privileged status with regard to findability on hybrid platforms (including portals, home pages and EPGs) to which the Member States assign a public broadcasting remit or which help to promote objectives in the public interest, such as ensuring media pluralism and cultural diversity, or which undertake to carry out duties which maintain the quality and independence of reporting and promote diversity of opinion. Those who are subject to the stricter rules for linear and non-linear media services laid down in the Audiovisual Media Services Directive or who voluntarily agree to comply with those rules should therefore have the opportunity to acquire a more prominent position on platforms. Consideration should also be given to new forms of incentive schemes.
It is important to try to establish an appropriate balance of power between market parties, especially device manufacturers and content providers, and particularly in the case of integrated services. Individual content providers must also be prevented from gaining an unfair advantage in relation to the dissemination of their content.
The Audiovisual Media Services Directive (2010/13/EU) needs to be further developed in such a way that it also comprehensively regulates operators of hybrid portals and platforms. Anyone who has significant control over the diversity of content and opinions reaching an end-user should also be subject to regulation to safeguard that diversity of content and opinions.
It should be ensured that devices, platforms and portals are designed on the basis of an open, non-proprietary and interoperable standard. Only in this way can non-discriminatory and technologically neutral access to all content be guaranteed.'via Blog this'

Saturday, June 29, 2013

John Malone’s Radical Plan For Broadband - Pay Per Play for Video

John Malone’s Radical Plan For Broadband - Corporate Intelligence - WSJ: "Mr. Malone re-emerging as a power player in the U.S. cable industry, and extending his presence in European cable through his company Liberty Global, he may be able to act on his vision.
In remarks to Liberty’s annual meeting two weeks ago, which garnered little attention, Mr. Malone laid out his vision for a “world of the future” where consumers could buy “tiers” of broadband connectivity bundled to “various levels” of access to “over the top” video services, sold at a discount.
As part of that, “Reed has to bear in his economic model some of the cost of the capacity that he’s burning,” a reference to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.
Mr. Malone’s comments, in the wake of The Wall Street Journal’s report Thursday that some Web content companies are paying some broadband providers for faster access to their networks, herald an era where broadband providers flex their muscles more."
So Malone - who famously thought "the information superhighway was just hype" 20 years ago - now thinks the same about the open Internet?
'via Blog this'

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Study of Real Broadband ISP Speeds Shows Mixed UK Results - but out of date EU data

UPDATE EU Study of Real Broadband ISP Speeds Shows Mixed UK Results - ISPreview UK: "Crucially the data in this report is only relevant for March 2012, yet the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) introduced new rules on 1st April 2012 (here) that effectively forced ISPs to either not advertise a headline speed (very confusing) or to only show their “typical” speeds (i.e. the best speed achieved by 10% of the providers customers). In other words the next study could show something very different, assuming they can find any advertised speeds for the comparison.
The study also looked at other areas like Packet Loss and Latency, which are also important considerations for online gamers and real-time voice or video conferencing. Average latency proved to be highest for xDSL users at 38.46ms (milliseconds), which fell to 23.32ms on Cable and 21.58ms for FTTx. By comparison the UK scored 31.68ms for xDSL, 21.67ms for Cable and 17.60ms for FTTx (overall pretty good – lower is always better)."
But we have to wait until "autumn 2013" for figures any later than March 2012 - why? In the meantime SamKnows UK research remains far more up to date (but small rural sample size is a problem). 'via Blog this'

Pic of the day: UK best in Europe at false advertising on DSL broadband speeds

Must do better based on 75k SamKnows tests - will Ofcom leap into action?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

More NY Times Lies About EU Broadband: Lowell McAdam's Error

Lowell McAdam's Error in the NY Times: by Dave Burstein "Verizon CEO should have proofread article under his name. Lowell's NYT oped contains a whopping mistake, claiming in "the European Union ... today only about 2 percent of households have access to broadband networks with 100-megabit-plus speeds." The actual figure is more than twenty times higher than that, according to a report by Point-Topic for the EU. I can independently confirm the general accuracy of the EU data from the financial reports of the companies involved." Second week in a row - does anyone check NYTimes op-eds at all? 'via Blog this'

Friday, June 21, 2013

European Parliament: Data throttling and the internal market

European Parliament: Data throttling and the effec...: Written question - Data throttling and the effects on social participation and the internal market - E-006146/2013 : " Deutsche Telekom...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Big UK ISPs Clarify the Confusion over Network Level Internet Filters

Big UK ISPs Clarify the Confusion over Network Level Internet Filters - ISPreview UK: "In essence what Claire Perry has proposed and what ISPs are adopting appears to be Active Choice Plus but the devil is in the detail and it’s important to understand the subtleties involved before drawing any conclusions.
Firstly we already know (since May 2013) that all of the major ISPs either have or will soon launch network level filtering by the end of 2013 (here). A “network level” solution means that the ISP controls the filtering at its end of the service and this allows the restrictions to be imposed across all your connected devices.
But will it be enabled by default? Well not quite. According to the ISPs, all customers (both new and existing) will at some point be presented with an OPTION to enable or disable the related Parental Controls" 'via Blog this'

Freedom of expression, the Council of Europe and net neutrality

It has been a momentous month in Europe for net neutrality.
I (little me!) gave the keynote speech at the Council of Europe multi-stakeholder dialogue “Network Neutrality and Human Right ” on 29-30 May in Strasbourg. This dialogue came as a result of the Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on network neutrality (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 29 September 2010 at the 1094th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies). The CoE is now working towards a soft law instrument to guide member states in the application of net neutrality rules that support particularly the aspirations of Articles 6/8/10 of the Convention. A short outcomes paper of the major points of discussion will be communicated to the 47 member state representatives of the CoE Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI) to consider and propose further action.
The European Commissioner subsequently on 4 June announced to the European Parliament her intention to introduce specific legislation on network neutrality, to be passed into law before the Parliamentary elections in May 2014. That process will be informed by the work of the CoE, and in fact I spoke directly after the Commissioner at the European Parliament event.
Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression to the UN OHCHR Frank LaRue has issued a new report referencing net neutrality in his ongoing work on rights online, issued in response to revelations of secret state surveillance amongst the NATO partners.
Fundamental rights are being taken seriously in the net neutrality debate at last? But the terrible events in Istanbul, the European part of Turkey, over the last fortnight - rightly condemned in the strongest terms by the European Parliament and ludicrously blamed on social media by the increasingly dictatorial Erdogan, as well as the revelations of the surveillance-industrial complex approaching its full maturity, suggest that we may be tinkering at the edges...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

No Country for Slow Broadband? WhEU are you calling slow?

No Country for Slow Broadband - "But that began to change as the economy turned around. Private investment and advances in technology, brought about by a competition policy that encouraged cable and phone companies to improve their networks, have propelled America’s networks forward. Over the last three years America’s broadband systems have doubled in speed, while Europe’s have remained stagnant. And that will continue, because broadband companies here are installing advanced fiber-optic technology faster than Europe..."
But what Richard said about Europe isn't true and he knows it - it's mired in recession and ADSL2 while the US is over 4 years into its slow recovery - but European broadband speeds are not stagnant. They have trebled in the last 5 years - even in the slowcoach UK its 234% in 4 years. Richard's better than this, I'm not sure why he chose to exaggerate because the bare story is a good one. The cash-rich US monopolists are pouring money into fibre upgrades - partly to rip out their loss-making copper to avoid what they see as extortionate universal service fees.
'via Blog this'

Monday, June 10, 2013

From ‘End-to-end’ to the ‘Rule of Law’: Should Network Neutrality be Enshrined into Legislation?

From ‘End-to-end’ to the ‘Rule of Law’: Should Network Neutrality be Enshrined into Legislation?: "the main challenge will be to find a suitable approach to encourage ISPs to do good in the future. Indeed, it should be kept in mind that the network neutrality debate is a thorny and multifaceted one and hold promise to hide many slippery slopes on its path. In order to tackle network neutrality in a proper fashion, legislators and policymakers need to have a clear understanding of this pivotal issue. What is at stake is their citizens’ freedom." 'via Blog this'

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Ericsson downgrades global mobile forecasts but tries to hide it...

Ericsson downgrades global mobile forecasts : Barry Flynn Communications: Bad science! "The major absence from this report, however, is any recognition of the fact that a large proportion of the traffic received and transmitted by mobile devices, which include laptops and tablets as well as phones, is off-loaded via Wi-Fi to fixed broadband and doesn’t travel over mobile networks at all.
This phenomenon is mentioned only once in the report, in a footnote to a table showing application mobile data traffic volumes by device type, to make clear that it “includes 4G, 3G and 2G mobile data traffic” but “does not take into account Wi-Fi offload traffic.”
This is strange, since Ericsson’s analysts would have had to factor Wi-Fi off-loading into their mobile traffic forecasts in order to work out how much they data they believed would go over one type of network rather than another (indeed, an increase in Wi-Fi offloading caused by stronger smartphone uptake may be one of the reasons for the traffic downgrade). And yet there is not even a methodological note about this." 'via Blog this'

How Corporations Hijacked the First Amendment to Evade Regulation

How Corporations Hijacked the First Amendment to Evade Regulation | New Republic: by Tim Wu: "Few industries these days can resist First Amendment defenses of even the most outrageous conduct. In 2007, Verizon was caught secretly monitoring customers on behalf of the federal government. The company asserted that what Congress calls illegal surveillance was actually a form of protected speech—and that Verizon has a prerogative to hand over customer records, especially in times of “armed conflict with foreign enemies.” More recently, Verizon saw a threat to its First Amendment protections in the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) net-neutrality rules. According to Verizon, if it wants to speed up some websites, and slow down others, it has a constitutional right to do so." 'via Blog this'

Friday, June 07, 2013

Free: An improvement on Youtube?

Free: An improvement on Youtube?: [Google Translate] "Hopefully this improvement is permanent and finally allows Free subscribers to use the service in a satisfactory manner (without slowing down), which is not the case for a majority of subscribers according to the survey of the UFC-Que Choisir published last December....
Before jumping to conclusions, and to determine whether this improvement is general, you can tell us in the comments, and responding to our survey, if you too have noticed a better access to YouTube day and evening." 'via Blog this'

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Right

Listening to the truly shocking Luigi Gambardella at the European Parliament on Tuesday, and the Commissioner's evidence-avoiding claims of 'Big Data Explosions' (see my embedded comments) - that are not true - puts me in sympathy with Krugman's literary-inspired cri-de-ceour:
"Overall, it’s hard to think of any previous episode in in the history of economic thought in which we had as thorough a showdown between opposing views, and as thorough a collapse, practical and intellectual, of one side of the argument. And yet nothing changes. Not only don’t the policies change; by and large even the people don’t change... the lack of accountability, for ideas and people, is truly remarkable in a time of massive policy failure." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

EU Telecoms Council, Luxembourg, 6 June 2013

EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Press Release - Digital Agenda: EU Telecoms Council, Luxembourg, 6 June 2013: "Vice-President Kroes will ask for views from Ministers on her proposals to create a genuine single market for telecoms. She will focus on the need for a balanced package that addresses the goal of lifting investment in networks and delivering more choices and protection for consumers regarding internet and other telecoms services." Presumably including net neutrality, judging by yesterday's discussion. And stating definitively that there is NO DATA EXPLOSION'via Blog this'

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Here’s what Europe’s net neutrality law would look like — GigaOm

Here’s what Europe’s net neutrality law would look like — Tech News and Analysis: "It’s far from clear that the European Commission’s new proposals would stop such behavior. Similarly, there is nothing in there to stop a different kind of net neutrality abuse: ISPs charging content providers for carrying their traffic. In fact, the acceptance of the idea of a two-speed internet – for this is what Kroes is in effect describing – makes this sort of development more likely.
If there’s a fast lane in place, carriers can go to content providers and ask: “Would you like to be part of that lane, or relegated to best efforts?” The result? Entrenched and deep-pocketed providers would be able to pay, while their newer, smaller rivals would not." 'via Blog this'

Blogging the European Parliament event on net neutrality

7m on “no data explosion on the European internet, so we shouldn’t be making policy based on it" 1h Chris Marsden on : the only things exploding are the heads of technical people that know there is no Internet data explosion
11m  Western Euro mobile data CAGR 50% to 2017 and falling fast as Wifi hand-off increases: 14m  OECD study on cost of bandwidth - not 1000 but 100,000 times mark-up by telcos! 16m  my piece on 2006 Amazon from 3.5 years ago: 19m Video of event hosted by with my contributions at 31 and 1:39:20 (anti-NN common carriage) 23m Thanks, , for kicking off the debate on 'Guaranteeing Competition and the Open Internet' this morning! 34m  Western Europe mobile data CAGR 50% (dropping re. WIK study for ) 2012-17 (CiscoVNI)
8h Excellent! RT : presentation at is live at 39m 1h For folks who aren't at today catch & co-author Ian Brown at 8 June 1h Thx all for a great event today! @MarietjeD66 53m  apologies 4 delay in sending you research from WIK/Scott Marcus - I don't roam in Brussels as too dear 8h C.Marsden: 'there is no explosion of data on the internet.' let's not base policy on fear and ignorance! 7h Professor Marsden suggests speaking of prosumers and rights instead of consumers and protection 56m 16 May tweet WIK Scott Marcus fixed hand-off gives the lie to 'wireless data explosion' (sic): 2h RT confirms champagne access idea, would permit discriminatory race to bottom That's not ! 2h RT Data quoted : Cisco VNI: Traffic growth 23% CAGR next 5yrs. Some data explosion? 18h  presentation at is live at 3 Jun Information note of the Lithuanian Presidency on their priorities for
3 Jun Get 50% off Ian Brown book , 2 days only! Discount code SHARE50 MIT Press website: