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Friday, May 29, 2015

Ireland's media silenced over MP's speech about Denis O'Brien

Ireland's media silenced over MP's speech about Denis O'Brien | Media | The Guardian: "The owner of the bulk of Ireland’s media outlets is using an injunction to prevent reports on his affairs appearing in the rest of the media he doesn’t control.

Clearly, there are questions to ask about the press freedom implications due to Ireland’s lack of media plurality and diversity." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, May 21, 2015

New glitch in telecoms talks – zero rating

New glitch in telecoms talks – POLITICO: "The Netherlands and Slovenia have banned it, for example, but the practice is still common elsewhere, including Germany, where Deutsche Telekom has a music streaming deal with Spotify.

 Zero rating was never mentioned in any draft, but The Netherlands is now vocally seeking a ban, despite the Council’s previous objections, two sources involved in the negotiations told POLITICO.

“We would rather have no package than a bad package,” warned Marietje Schaake, a Dutch MEP from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. “If we build the digital single market on a weak telecoms single market, we are effectively shooting ourselves in the foot.”" 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Telecoms single market package limps to Council

Telecoms single market package limps to Council – POLITICO: "The draft proposal removes the definition of net neutrality from the document, which will be welcomed by some MEPs, who were concerned that a definition that was too specific would lose relevance as technology changed.

The concerns of telecoms companies (and the MEPs they had effectively lobbied) regarding traffic management have been heard, with the compromise proposal having been softened on discrimination of traffic based on type. Internet providers will be able to preference more time-sensitive content if necessary to mitigate the effects of network congestion, as long as they are transparent about it.

 One of the major sticking points in the net neutrality negotiations have been so-called special services. Telecoms operators, largely supported by Council, want to be able to sequester parts of their network for specific purposes, like connected cars. Parliament is concerned that this will reduce the bandwidth available for consumers.

 The presidency has tried to meet both halfway, allowing for the sequestering, but only if it doesn’t adversely affect internet access for general users. This isn’t pleasing either side, with net neutrality purists furious that discrimination will be allowed, while the big telecoms operators complain the measures don’t give them sufficient freedom to innovate." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What a Majority Conservative UK Government Means for the Internet

What a Majority Conservative UK Government Means for the Internet - ISPreview UK: "The only less certain area is the immensely complicated issue of EU membership and the impact that a referendum, which might take us out of Europe, could have on harmonisation of the various telecoms and Internet related rules and regulations. We will have to explore that too in the future.

No doubt we’ve probably overlooked a few things above, but as we said at the start it remains a broad continuation of existing policy."

Ed Vaizey is confirmed to continue as Minister for the Digital Economy so the general competition-plus-censorship tone is likely to continue. 'via Blog this'

Friday, May 08, 2015

UK Internet censorship post-Election

While the Conservative government will have a wafer-thin majority and thus find many policies difficult to deliver, it is likely to have strong evangelical Christian support on its right to put strict Internet censorship in place. The most likely swing seats such as Nadine Dorries are held by Christian anti-science fundamentalists to which we can add the infamously bigoted Unionists in Ulster, and the new leaders of both Labour and the LibDems are likely to be fundamentalist Christians too.
Add to that Theresa may is likely to continue at the Home office, and introduce the Snoopers' Charter, and Claire Perry's quest to achieve ISPs doing government's dirty work for it on porn and copyright.
Whoever takes over as Culture Secretary - investment banker Sajid Javid is clearly heading for greater things and has no time for Culture - may even keep Ed Vaizey as 'Digital Minister'.
So challenging times ahead...starting with UK representation at the next Telecoms Council on 12 June where they will again oppose regulation for net neutrality.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Brussels, 6.5.2015 COM(2015) 192: A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe

Not much in it on neutrality/roaming except this on p9: "with a view to injecting greater ambition in this process, the Commission will review all of the existing legislation and make proposals for changes where necessary.
"A first essential step is the adoption of the Telecoms Single Market package which the Commission expects will provide clear and harmonized rules for net neutrality and will set in motion the final elimination of roaming surcharges in particular for data."

Tone Deaf Zuckerberg Declares Opposition To Zero Rated Apps An 'Extremist' Position That Hurts The Poor

Tone Deaf Zuckerberg Declares Opposition To Zero Rated Apps An 'Extremist' Position That Hurts The Poor | Techdirt: "Zuckerberg has proven to be rather tone deaf to the criticism so far, the CEO arguing repeatedly that creating walled gardens and breaking the very principles of the open Internet is OK -- provided you claim to have good intentions (in this case, aiding the poor by marketing to them in a Facebook walled garden).

To hear Zuckerberg tell it, what is doing can't possibly violate net neutrality because he's providing poor families a fractured, Facebook-dominated version of AOL. He's repeatedly implied that if you oppose Facebook's vision (and what it will turn into for generations to come), you're hurting the poor.

With that defense not working, the CEO has taken to the website to post a video to try again, announcing that is being opened to to a broader selection of websites. And that's great, until you start reading the massive number of restrictions "approved" content must adhere to. Namely, the websites can't integrate "VoIP, video, file transfers, high resolution photos, or high volume of photos." They can't integrate Flash, Javascript or Java applets. They also can't use encryption, something that's increasingly important in developing and developed nations alike.

Now again, Zuckerberg really may have noble intentions here, but the list of restrictions combined with some of the rhetoric from the video suggests an ongoing tone deafness to his critics. After telling a few anecdotes about how Facebook is helping "local fishermen" and "chicken farmers in Zimbabwe," Zuckerberg wades into the meat of his argument, declaring that those opposed to zero rating apps hold an "extreme" definition of net neutrality". 'via Blog this'

Monday, May 04, 2015

Joseph Lechleider, a Father of the DSL Internet Technology, Dies at 82

Joseph Lechleider, a Father of the DSL Internet Technology, Dies at 82 -
"Digital subscriber lines were not an immediate success. Early versions were not capable of video-on-demand services, the market the Bell companies originally wanted to enter. And when the Internet began to take off in the 1990s, most consumers went online using dial-up modems, which increased the demand for second phone lines in homes. That was a good business for the phone companies, and a familiar one.
Why opt for this new DSL technology? “There was considerable skepticism,” Mr. Lechleider said an interview with The Wall Street Journal in 2003. “There were people who didn’t want to deploy it. There were people who didn’t think it would work. Many of them weren’t sure there was a market for it.”
But as the web added more data-rich images, music and video, the demand for affordable, higher-speed communications services surged. And DSL technology afforded the phone companies a path to do that for years without having to undertake the costly alternative of installing fiber-optic cable into homes."
More here on the development of QAM and DMT modems for DSL in the early 1990s. 'via Blog this'

Friday, May 01, 2015

Verizon, T-Mobile, Ericsson Want to take away WiFi Spectrum for LTE

Verizon, T-Mobile, Ericsson Want WiFi Spectrum for LTE:

"Currently, most phone companies charge for traffic on their LTE but not for WiFi traffic. If they did, the average phone bill would double or triple. This gives telcos a powerful incentive to reduce the use and availability of WiFi. That doesn't make them evil, just ordinary businesses looking for maximum profit.

Of course they will try to tilt standards their way.  The suppliers - Ericsson and Qualcomm are the most visible - nearly always go along with the telcos, their largest customers. (Ericsson note below)

 It's crucial that the decisions on WiFi-LTE standards be done in an open fashion, with a strong role for those who put the consumer first. A natural way to do that would be for the IETF, backed by ISOC and governments, to extend their liaison role with those working on standards. At ITU, for example, ISOC can appoint as many delegates as they like to any standards committee, as discussed by Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré and ISOC President Kathy Brown in Busan." 'via Blog this'

AT&T, China Telecom, DT, FT excluding all competition from LTE-U

AT&T, China Telecom, DT, FT excluding all competition from LTE-U: "11 of world's largest telcos want LTE-U blocked except for incumbents with LTE networks. For practical purposes, that's 4 in the U.S., 3 in Germany, 3 in China ...  Since LTE will be the primary mobile phone protocol, this will prevent all but incumbent telcos from the common mobile connection. 

 The title is blunt: Precluding standalone access of LTE on unlicensed carriers. Why is this important? "Standalone deployment in unlicensed spectrum implies drastically different business models from nowadays and might impact the value chain." 

 They fear "Possible disintermediation of cellular operators due to standalone operation." In other words, users and competitors can bypass the telcos, cutting revenue. Even 3-5% of telco revenue is a large number. " 'via Blog this'