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Friday, April 29, 2016

Take that, ISPs: FCC declares war on data caps

Take that, ISPs: FCC declares war on data caps | InfoWorld: "While the government's merger conditions aren't permanent, seven years is a long time in the tech world. Netflix, for reference, had only just started streaming video seven years ago, Hulu was barely a year old, and Amazon Prime video didn't even exist.... The hope is that in seven years, streaming video will be the norm, and a company like Charter will have a hard time turning on the meter.

 No interconnect fees

 Streaming services -- and their viewers -- scored another victory with the ban on interconnect fees. Content providers like Netflix previously had to pay Time Warner for better access to its networks. This merger condition guarantees free interconnection for providers that deliver large volumes of Internet traffic to broadband customers.

 Expanded broadband

 The FCC also carved out the merest sliver of a victory for increased broadband competition. Not only did the agency stipulate that Charter must expand its services to 2 million new households, half of that build-out must be in regions where Charter currently doesn't offer service and where there's already at least one broadband provider." 'via Blog this'

Monday, April 18, 2016

Zero Rating: A Framework for Assessing Benefits and Harms

Zero Rating: A Framework for Assessing Benefits and Harms | Center for Democracy & Technology: "Between these perspectives is a view of zero rating as a commercial arrangement in varying degrees of tension with net neutrality, but that nonetheless may confer benefits that outweigh the potential harm caused by this tension.

This paper proposes a framework for advancing the discussion of this middle ground. It approaches zero rating in a manner similar to other key questions in implementing and applying net neutrality laws and regulations, such as network management, usage-based pricing, or specialized services that rely on the same infrastructure as the “public” Internet while serving a separate function. Answering these questions often takes a multi-factored and fact-specific approach. Drawing in part from those approaches, the framework sets forth factors to help determine whether a specific arrangement conveys potential benefits and minimizes inconsistency with or harm to net neutrality such that, on balance, the arrangement benefits users of the open Internet." 'via Blog this'

White House threatens veto of GOP’s anti-net neutrality bill HR2666

White House threatens veto of GOP’s anti-net neutrality bill | Ars Technica: "The bill is titled the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act and was approved by the Energy and Commerce Committee over objections from Democrats last month. The bill would strip the FCC of authority to set broadband rates or review whether a rate is reasonable, and it's controversial mainly because it defines "rate regulation" so broadly that it could prevent the FCC from enforcing net neutrality rules against blocking and throttling. It could also limit the FCC's authority to prevent ISPs from applying data caps in discriminatory ways.

 The House Rules Committee voted yesterday to send the bill to the House floor this week for votes on Democratic amendments designed to preserve FCC authority, Politico reported.

Even if it passes the House and Senate, the rate regulation proposal isn't likely to become law because of the president's veto power. From telephone service to broadband access, US laws for nearly a century have prevented communications companies from exploiting gatekeeper power, the White House policy statement said. But this bill "would undermine key provisions" in the net neutrality order that prevent abuses, it said." 'via Blog this'

Wireless Industry Survey: Everybody Really Loves Zero Rating

Wireless Industry Survey: Everybody Really Loves Zero Rating | Techdirt: "The majority of consumers still don't really understand what zero rating is, much less that there's some obvious hidden costs involved.

As such, when approached with "free" services, they're thrilled.

They generally don't understand that the usage caps selected by their ISP are an arbitrary, artificial construct to begin with, untethered to financial or network congestion reality. Or that the very practice of giving wealthier, bigger companies cap-exempt status puts other smaller companies (and non-profits and educational efforts) at a very real disadvantage in the market. Or that over the years, data has shown that caps aren't an effective way to target network congestion, can hinder innovation, hurt competitors (especially if an ISP's exempting only its own services), and confuse consumers, many of whom aren't even sure what a gigabyte is.

So yes, it's complicated, and requires some education. " 'via Blog this'

Take a bow! Net Neutrality (Manchester UP 2016) - Acknowledgements

This book has been seven years in the writing and researching – beginning with sending the manuscript for the prequel to Bloomsbury in May 2009. I repeat my thanks to those who were acknowledged in that preface.
This acknowledgements section also functions as a partial methodology as there are so many collaborators, inspirations and interviewees to acknowledge. The book is methodologically grounded in empirical interviews and analysis of primary and secondary materials, the latter often accompanied by interviews with the authors in person, by telephone, social media or by email.  
In spring 2009, no-one had written a book about net neutrality, though there have been many since, including several very impressive PhD theses in European policy and law, notably those by my sometime co-bloggers Katerina Maniadaki (2015) and Jasper Sluijs, those I examined by Alissa Cooper (2013) and Angela Daly, and somewhat tangentally the doctorates I examined by Andres Guadamuz (2011) and TJ McIntyre. My own previous book on net neutrality appeared online in January 2010, and I was awarded a PhD at the University of Essex in summer 2010 for that work. I became a professor there, then was appointed to Sussex in spring 2013. 
I have continued to work on net neutrality since 2009, writing about developments in mobile/wireless (2010), privacy (2011/13), Internet engineering (2012/13), European law (2012), human rights and developing countries (2013), censorship and privacy (2014)[1]. But this book is far from a rehash of 2009 with added sections on developments since.
This book was written in part using social media, a new development since the prequel was finished in spring 2009. Many multimedia connections have supplied material, inspiration and networking opportunities. I joined Facebook in 2007 (youu='re free and always will be), Twitter in May 2009 (@ChrisTMarsden), Slideshare in 2010[2], and while the former is only used for actual ‘friends’ (as I do not wish to dilute my Dunbar number further than modern life forces), the latter pair have provided a very economical form of bibliographical alerts and other interactions, and my most recent public presentations.
Similarly my blog on net neutrality, with well over 1200 entries since completing the prequel[3], has had over half a million views, by bots and occasionally real people. To view updates on my thoughts after April 2016, do follow my work on Slideshare and @ChrisTMarsden.
I begin with the projects which formed a background to this work, either directly or tangentially.
The first thank you is to Professor Ian Brown, my collaborator on the interim book “Regulating Code” (MIT Press 2013), in which the chapter on ‘Smart Pipes’ forms the net neutrality case study, and where my views on prosumer law (which dominate this book) were first sharpened. The genesis of that book was our work together at the Cambridge-MIT Institute in 2005/6, and our initial presentation on social media dominance to Gikii (the finest European Internet law symposium) in 2008. The work was mainly written in 2011/12 once I finished working on a book entirely about “Internet Co-regulation” (Cambridge University Press, 2011), finished in Melbourne in February 2012. Some of the ideas were further sharpened in the book tour of spring 2013.
Putting prosumer law at the centre of our regulatory theory, shaped by both consumer, innovator and human rights perspectives, is key to the understanding of Internet regulation generally, and net neutrality in particular. It is why most telecoms regulators just do not “get it” on net neutrality – they don’t care about less than entirely dumb citizens using the pipes they regulate. Ian has been a continued inspiration to my work for over a decade and it is to him as much as anyone that I intellectually dedicate this work.
The second thank you is to the academics and especially the engineers and Internet scientists, the people who made sure I understood the artefact that I discuss in this book. That begins with Cambridge, Professor Jon Crowcroft in particular, and MIT, Professor David Clark in particular, as well as Narseo Vallina Rodriguez and Hamed Haddadi. It also includes the various collaborators in Internet Science[4] and, notably Thanassis Tiropanis, Kave Salmatian at Savoie, Juan Carlos de Martin, Elena Pavan and the fellows at NEXA Torino[5], Ziga Turk, Francesca Musiani, Meryem Marzouki, colleagues at IvIR at the University of Amsterdam, notably Nico van Eijk, Alison Powell, Damian Tambini, Sally Broughton-Micova and Monica Horten at LSE, and my ‘brilliant mind’ economist mentor Jonathan Cave. In particular, my thanks to my sometime research assistant and guide to Brussels and den Haag, Ben Zevenbergen.
I also must acknowledge the brilliant academic technologists at the FCC, notably Scott Jordan and Jon Peha, as well as the US net neutrality law pioneers Barbara Cherry, Barbara van Schewick and Rob Frieden, as well as Kevin Werbach and Andrea Matwyshyn. This area of research would not have been possible without Eli Noam, Mark Lemley, Lawrence Lessig and Tim Wu, of course. I thank Harold Feld, Bill Lehr, Jesse Sowell, Julie Brill, Jonathan Sallet, Lawrence Spiwak, Christopher Yoo, Rene Arnold, George Ford, Sandra Bramann, Tom Hazlett, Roslyn Layton, Milton Mueller and the many other Beltway insider and outsiders who offered advice and critique at TPRC’15, IAMCR’15 (or earlier)[6]. Everyone at Gikii over the years has helped develop my thinking, especially Daithi McSithigh, @technollama and Lilian Edwards.
At Sussex, my new home where I finished the book’s writing, I have been supported by Ed Steinmuller, Ian Wakeman, and the Information Law group (@pillrabbit, @MMFrabboni and the great @technollama). Note that ‘2nd editions’ are not “REF-able”[7] but this is a “sequel with added law”. My thanks to the Law Department for giving me the space on sabbatical in autumn 2015 to complete the manuscript and to make it distinctive from the prequel, with Andres manfully directing our brand-new LLM in IT & IP. Essex, especially Geoff Gilbert and Sabine Michalowski, had been very supportive of the prequel in 2009 and the ‘Regulating Code’ period of 2012.
I must also thank former collaborators who have since moved on to Ofcom, especially where they have since disagreed with me, or rather followed the ‘company line’ that the self-regulatory solution of a Code, combined with switching and transparency, can work. Ofcom conducted some fantastic research in the period, notably in 2015 with four blockbuster reports, two of which were published in December as I finished this book. While I did not agree with the speed of Ofcom’s progress towards implementing net neutrality, I acknowledge that many current and former Ofcom experts provided both critical friendly advice and evidence that the corporate speed of progress was not always what some may have desired.
Similarly, though many may think the European Commission a barrier to net neutrality implementation, there are many colleagues there who have conducted preliminary extraordinary work to make the new Regulation 2120/2015 a reality. They include Herbert Ungerer, the godfather of telecoms law in Europe, Kevin Coates, Anna Buchta, Constantijn van Oranje, Robert Madelin, Bettina Klein, Anna Herold, Kamila Kloc, Loretta Anania, Richard Cawley, Tony Shortall, Christian d’Cunha,  Nicole Dewandre, and Gordon Lennox.
Members of the European Parliament I must acknowledge with great thanks include Amelia Andersdottir, Julia Reda (@senficon), Sabine Verheyen, Michael Reimon and Marietje Schaake, and their staffers past and present.
I also must acknowledge those experts on European legislative affairs and the consumer at BEUC, notably Guillermo Beltra amd Thomas Myhr, and EDRi, notably Joe McNamee, together with La Quadrature du Net, BoF, ORG, Digital Rights Ireland, Statewatch, Article 19 and other EDRi members[8].
For co-regulatory expertise and friendship, I also acknowledge my debt to Linda ‘Soft Law’ Senden, Yves Blondeel, Winston Maxwell. At the EBU, I thank Michael Wagner and Jenny Metzdorf, and the Open Forum Europe, of which I am a fellow. At ICANN Europe, I thank Jean Jacques Sahel, Adam Peake and Frederic Donck. At OECD past and present, I thank Sam Paltridge, Rudolf van der Berg, Taylor Reynolds, Verena Weber.
In chapters on their laws, I also thank experts from Norway, Netherlands, Slovenia, Council of Europe, OSCE, UN CEPAL, Canada, Brazil, South Korea, India and Japan. It would be remiss of me not to mention specifically Frode Sørensen, Carolina Botero, Pranesh Prakash, Sunil Abraham, Michael Joyce, Michael Geist, Craig McTaggart, Greg Taylor, Kevin Martin, Martin Husovec, and corporate experts at Vodafone, BT, Sky, Telefonica, Telecom Italia, Deutsche Telekom, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, BBC, Verizon, Comcast and many other companies, as well as a huge variety of start-ups and shut-downs, venture capitalists and others in the ecology affected by net neutrality.
I enjoyed research fellowships and academic support during this research at Center for Technology & Society at Fundação Getulio Vargas (Rio), Seoul National University, GLOCOM International University of Japan, University of Melbourne School of Law, Foundacion Telefonica, Comitê Gestor da Internet no Brasil (CGI), the South Korean Prime Minister’s office, Irish regulator ComReg, and the Internet Science Network of Excellence[9]. To all my thanks. No-one else is responsible for any errors, omissions in this book.
The book’s heart was written in Brazil during three visits in 2015, especially as Fellow at FGV in October-November. The colleagues and friends there I must thank include Eduardo Magrani, Konstantinos Styliano, Nico Zingales, Nathalia Foditsch, Konstantina Bania, Louise Marie Hurel, Jamila Venturini, Pedro Mizukami, Marilia Maciel, Luiz Fernando Marrey Moncau. Most of all, for fellowship, friendship, intellectual discussion and co-authorship, Machiavellian strategic discourse, and companionship over the years at the Council of Europe, Internet Governance Forum, and FGV, I owe a huge debt of thanks to Luca Belli (and Marion). Abraços to all my friends in Rio, and the CGI in Sao Paolo, especially Flávia Lefèvre, Vinicius Santos, Diego Canabarro (and Pedro Ramos at InterLab).
IGF2015 was also an extraordinary experiment in net neutrality discussion, and I thank all the many discussants there, notably Vint Cerf, Joe Cannataci, David Kaye, Hernan Galperin, Stefaan Verhulst, and the Association for Progressive Communications participants. Here’s to another 25 years of APC, twenty years of CGI, and a second decade of IGF!
If you helped but I forgot to thank you here or in the prequel, email. I will thank you in the blog “roll of honour”.
Finally, I can announce this is my last full-length monograph of this generation. I have authored five monographs in a decade, from ‘Codifying Cyberspace’ (2007, Routledge, with @damiantambini) to the prequel in 2010, to ‘Internet Co-regulation’ (2011, Cambridge UP), ‘Regulating Code’ (2013, MIT Press, with @IanBrownOII) to this. I am writing from the sunset window of our new-old house in Raynes Park, and while the future may hold many exciting open access contributions to the literature on Internet law, regulation and the digital socio-economic environment, they will not be sole-authored monographs. I dedicate that thought and this book with all my love to Kenza, without whom this book could never have been written.
Chris Marsden,
Raynes Park, Surrey
17 April 2016.

[1] Latest papers at
[2] Latest presentations at
[3] Lastest blog posts at
[4] See
[9] Internet Science Network of Excellence funded under the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme: Information and Communication Technologies Grant Agreement Number 288021.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

We need the Gigabit infrastructure for the Gigabit economy - Oettinger

We need the Gigabit infrastructure for the Gigabit economy - CeBIT: "Europe must work together to provide the necessary infrastructure. "We need a Gigabit infrastructure for a Gigabit economy," Oettinger said. This means integrating techniques like vectoring, fiberglass and 5G. Only then can the visions of self-propelled vehicles, e-medicine, e-government and e-learning be realized.

 "We are in a race to catch up," Oettinger said and recalled that although there are no national border controls and a single currency, any traveler can tell by the dead spots in mobile reception when crossing a European border. It is time to overcome the borders originating from the time of Napoleon. At the same time, the EU's European neighbors are invited to participate."

Contrast this with zero UK budget allocation for rural slowspots in their alleged USO strategy consultation.'via Blog this'