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Monday, March 25, 2013

Cameron, stop the Dangerous Blogs Bill

Cameron, stop the Dangerous Blogs Bill | Open Rights Group: "The Leveson regulations are being applied to UK websites – in ways that could catch more or less anyone who publishes a blog. Ordinary bloggers could be threatened with exemplary damages and costs. If this happens, small website publishers will face terrible risks, or burdensome regulation – and many may simply stop publishing." This means me! 'via Blog this'

Departing commissioner says net neutrality was FCC’s biggest recent failure

Departing commissioner says net neutrality was FCC’s biggest recent failure | Ars Technica: "When asked if net neutrality has caused any harm to businesses, McDowell said it's not clear yet. There's been no obvious harm, he said, because the FCC hasn't yet taken any enforcement actions against companies for violating the rules. However, he said capital expenditures in broadband have remained flat even as the economy grew slightly between 2010 and 2011. It's too early to tell if that is in any way connected to net neutrality affecting wired service but not wireless." 'via Blog this'

Sunday, March 24, 2013

FCC OIAC: 'Heavy' Managed or 'Specialized Services' definitions

As the revolving door at the FCC ushers out 2 Commissioners and will no doubt result in more delicious political lobbying and public mudflinging as the new Chair is confirmed, action IS taking place - and not only in the Bleak House that is the Open Internet Order legitimacy court case (expected judgment now sweaty summer 2013).
The OIAC has been busy in its working groups - and January's presentation gives plenty to chew over on the thorny subject of when is the Internet not the Internet, i.e. when a managed service lane can be partitioned out of the regular open IP stream?
The working assumptions - that require case studies to flesh out their details are:
"Specialized services is a term that is meaningful only within the context of the Order. It is a way to talk about “anything else” that is IP-based over a physical access path. It is NOT a new category of service for which a class of regulation is applicable."
Moreover "service is NOT a specialized service, and therefore is subject to the Order if: [1] The service is a general service—e.g. a service like IP on which higher-level services can run, and [2]  As opposed to a specific “user-level” service like telephony or home security, which is presumably a specialized service, it reaches most or almost all of the end-points of the Internet. E.g.—one cannot evade the Order by offering an Internet-like service that cannot reach a small country somewhere."
This must be right? It limits the reach of specialized services that evade the Order. Take an example "If [a DSL or cable ISP] decided to offer a “poor” Internet service, would we view this as: Better than nothing or unacceptably slow[?] Perhaps they can call it Internet but not broadband?" Not we get to the heart of the matter - do we impose FRAND conditions and insist that slow service is NOT the 'real' Internet'? Food for thought...

Friday, March 22, 2013

Regulating Code: Essex and Oxford researchers call for better approach to Internet regulation

Regulating Code: Essex and Oxford researchers call for better appro...: University of Essex :: Latest news :: Essex and Oxford researchers call for better approach to internet regulation : by George, they publici...this is why I may not blog on net neutrality much this week!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Telecom chiefs attack Facebook, Google (firewalled FT content)

Telecom chiefs attack US internet groups - "Cesar Alierta, chief executive of Telefónica, said that the group would seek to “break monopolies” of technology groups in the market, showing slides featuring Google and Facebook. He said: “Something is now working in the value chain and this is not a level playing field.” Franco Bernabè, chief executive of Telecom Italia, said that in an “increasingly complex ecosystem . . . a couple of players dominate the market, stifling competition as others struggle to develop a significant customer base”." I picked up on this late as it is firewalled - so need to guess the FT's sympathies...'via Blog this'

Skype to be regulated as a telco in France?

Screen grab: Pressure on big internet groups - "The move against Skype was portrayed by the authorities as being principally about making the company meet the same service commitments as traditional telecoms operators, such as carrying emergency calls and allowing security service surveillance when legally authorised. But it opened up the critical issue cited by telecoms operators that so-called “over the top” companies, which provide services such as Skype and Google Talk, are competing directly with their own without paying a fair price for the networks they use. Now that a new generation of broadband infrastructure needs to be developed to manage the increasing data traffic, telecoms groups want to share the burden of the fresh investment with the cash-rich internet companies." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

France plans to legislate on net neutrality - and search neutrality?

France plans to legislate on net neutrality - Telecompaper: "France’s digital economy minister Fleur Pellerin has announced that her department would work with the ministries of justice and the interior to draft legislation on net neutrality, Les Echos reports. She made the announcement at an event at which the National Digital Council (CNN) submitted a report on the subject. The CNN said freedom of expression was not sufficiently protected in French law given the development of filtering, blocking, censorship and throttling. The body suggested that wording be included in a 1986 law on freedom of communication. The CNN seeks to extend the principle to all services enabling access to information, including search engines, social networks and mobile apps, which, like ISPs, will have to guarantee access to information and to means of expression in non-discrimination, fair and transparent manner."'via Blog this'

France Proposes New Rules for Internet Equal Access

France Proposes New Rules for Internet Equal Access - "The issue came to a head in France in January, when one service provider, Free, temporarily blocked users from seeing advertising sold by Google until the government ordered Free to restore access. The proposal, by a French government advisory panel and endorsed by the minister overseeing digital commerce, pits companies that build and operate telecommunications systems against Internet players that rely on the networks to deliver their content to consumers. The French proposal would still need to be drafted as legislation and taken up by Parliament." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Net Neutrality opinion of the National Council Digital | Digital National Council

Net Neutrality opinion of the National Council Digital | Digital National Council: "The decision on net neutrality Digital National Council was unanimously adopted on 1 March 2013 based on the report of the working group headed by Christine Balagué composed of Serge Abiteboul, Nitot, Marc Tessier, Jean- Rudelle Baptiste Jean-Baptiste Soufron, Bernard Stiegler. Opinion No. 2013-1 Net Neutrality" 'via Blog this'

Monday, March 11, 2013

Virgin Mobile doffs its cap: Web speed limit axed after outrage

Virgin Mobile doffs its cap: Web speed limit axed after outrage • The Register: "Virgin Mobile UK has suspended its internet speed cap while it tries to get its network reliability back up to scratch. Large numbers of the operator's customers suffered intermittent connectivity over the last week or so, quite possibly related to the company's attempt to impose a 2Mbit-per-second cap on mobile internet download speeds. Now that cap has been removed while the technical problems are ironed out - although the speed limit will be back at some point to keep connections stable as reliability is still considered more important than data transfer rates." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Four years of Norwegian net neutrality co-regulatory pact

NPT - News: "The Norwegian guidelines can be seen as an approach that prevents the potential need to require net neutrality by law. In the Netherlands and Slovenia they have taken this step and have established such laws and the matter is up for political debate in Belgium. It is of course interesting when foreign observers state that the Norwegian model has become famous. At the same time it is essential that the industry complies with the guidelines, something that is a requirement for the model to succeed. It is also an important point that market players that have not formally endorsed the guidelines follow the guidelines in practice. This entails that we have an open platform for the transfer of content and applications in the Norwegian Internet market."
Of course I celebrated the Norwegian model when it was created back in February 2009! 'via Blog this'

France legislation on net neutrality? National Digital Council recommends action

Google TraductionNet neutrality should be good law. Meeting on Friday, the National Council of Digital (CNN), according to our information, unanimously adopted an opinion recommending that the government legislate. The president of CNN, Benedict Thieulin nevertheless refuses to confirm the information. "We must make our opinion on March 12. It is not merely an opinion, we wanted to go further and therefore will join a comprehensive report on the subject, " 'via Blog this'

Australian net neutrality regulation to start? "The ACCC also came out swinging in favour of net neutrality, indicating it is being vigilant about anti-competitive practices by network operators. It observed network operators are already using network management, which possibly includes speed discrimination in favour of voice, and against peer-to-peer traffic. “This…could potentially be used to disadvantage competing third party services…. as has been observed overseas. The ACCC is alert to any emerging issues arising from potentially anti-competitive network management practices.”" 'via Blog this'

Monday, March 04, 2013

Neelie Kroes: @Habemus papam - Opinion: Neelie Kroes: @Habemus papam: "It’s not the public consultation rounds that are to blame. Every Commission proposal is subject to several consultation rounds which, by the way, take up far too much time. But we are not reaching the right people and that is something that concerns my colleagues and myself. The decisions made in Brussels don’t just have to be explained and understood. People should also have the opportunity to have a say and express their support or criticism. The social media make this possible. I receive questions, messages and opinions 24/7. This is no longer a nice fringe activity, it is an integral part of politics and governance. We are moving towards a culture in which transparency and accountability are the norm. That includes the European Commission. " They can try... 'via Blog this'

Brussels threatens to take governments to court to create single 4G mobile data market

Brussels threatens to take governments to court to create single mobile market | Business | ""Europe used to lead the world in wireless," said Kroes. "Yet now we are falling behind, overtaken to the east and the west. We urgently need to catch up. To reclaim a strong wireless industry. To cement a strong economy." The arrival of 4G superfast mobile internet in Europe has been slow and badly co-ordinated. South Korea has more 4G subscribers than the entirety of Europe, and 17 EU member states have yet to install the technology. "We are shooting ourselves in the foot", said Kroes. She criticised the messy way in which different countries have allocated different bands to mobile, saying Europe's spectrum map looked like a "bowl of spaghetti".
The commission is about to initiate what are known as 'infringement proceedings' against states that are resisting airwave sales. Letters will go out to ministers and regulators in the next few weeks which could lead ultimately to the European court of justice imposing fines. Kroes will flesh out how a single market would operate in a Wireless Action Plan to be published on 27 March." 'via Blog this'

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Fastest UK Home Broadband ISPs for February 2013

The UK Top 8 Fastest Home Broadband ISPs for February 2013 - ISPreview UK: "As we’ve come to expect the fastest ISP for internet download speed remains Virgin Media, which secures a healthy lead at 32.094Mbps (down from 33.837Mbps in January). This is largely thanks to the resilience of Virgin’s well established cable platform in urban areas and on-going efforts to double their customers speeds (here). However the story for upload performance is quite different and sees BT take the crown from PlusNet to come top with 4.324Mbps (up sharply from 3.507Mbps in January), which is largely fueled by the growing adoption of FTTC based superfast broadband packages." 'via Blog this'

Friday, March 01, 2013

After Airtel, Vodafone India Seeks Regulation To Charge Internet Companies

After Airtel, Vodafone India Seeks Regulation To Charge Internet Companies: Report - MediaNama: "..several telecom operators in India have increased data prices by as much as 30 percent. What baffles us is that why telcos are neglecting the fact that increase in data consumption will result in increase in revenue. While the telcos hasven’t yet rolled out any any anti-net-neutrality measures, repeated statements from various telcos are definitely a cause of concern. It needs to be seen, how TRAI responds to such demands from telecom operators. Although, we believe that TRAI needs to keep a watch on telcos anti-net-neutrality statements: both in terms of wanting to provide preferential access to services for payment and also in terms of metering consumer access speeds, offering higher speeds (or zero cost of access) to their partners, at the cost of other service providers." 'via Blog this'

#MWC2013: Airtel’s Manoj Kohli Says OTT Players Need To Pay Mobile Networks

#MWC2013: Airtel’s Manoj Kohli Says Telco’s And OTT Players Need To Work Together, But Commercial Negotiations Are Important - MediaNama: "At all the carrier centric sessions at the Mobile World Congress, the worry for telcos has been the impact of services like Whatsapp, Viber and VoIP, which are being provided free of cost to customers, or at a fraction of the cost of telco services; telecom operators are calling for these services to be regulated and/or made to pay telcos for being made available to customers, essentially going against the principles of net neutrality. Airtel has consistently said that services like Google, Facebook and Twitter need to be charged for being provisioned to customers. " 'via Blog this'

Ofcom’s plans to promote ‘participation’, but whose and in what?

Ofcom’s plans to promote ‘participation’, but whose and in what? | LSE Media Policy Project: "We urge that Ofcom build strategic alliances with organisations expert and experienced in matters of participation and citizenship in order to bring its specific expertise on media and communications technologies and uses to bear in spheres where wider benefits may be promoted. At present, no partnerships or collaborations with any citizen groups or public bodies or community organisations are mentioned as part of the wider strategy on citizens’ interests – with whom will Ofcom work in advancing this? Is Ofcom confident that it has identified a sufficiently diverse, representative and effective set of partners for such work? The public should be told who they are." 'via Blog this'