Posted at 02:26 PM in Broadband, Cable, Capacity, Censorship, Communication, Competition, Content, Copyright, Devices, Distributed Participation, DSL, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Net Neutrality, Opportunity, Packet Shaping, Public Policy, Regulation, Stakeholders, Throttling, Wireless Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: Broadband, applications, Austin, broadband, Cable, Capacity, Censorship, Communication, Competition, competition, Content, content, Devices, devices, Distributed Participation, DSL, eyeballs, FCC, Filtering, FTTH, Government, Innovation, International acces, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Internet freedom, Monopoly, NANOG, Net Neutrality, net neutrality, nondiscrimination, NPRM, Opportunity, Packet Shaping, Principles, Public Policy, Regulation, services, Stakeholders, Texas, transparency, users, wired, wireless , Wireless Internet | Permalink Technorati Tags: access
Question from a provider: VoIP traffic prioritization from essentially our own service?
Moderator: One thing that won't be allowed is prioritizing your own service over someone else's similar service; that's almost the whole point. FCC person: This is contemplated in the document. Existing services wouldn't have to be reworked rapidly. Seeking input. Reasons to be concerned. Monopoly over last mile has a position to differentially treat such a service. This is one of the core concerns.
Q: Giving the same priority to somebody else's similar VoIP service is essentially creating a trust relationship; how much traffic will the other service provider send?
Posted at 12:48 PM in Broadband, Cable, Capacity, Censorship, Communication, Competition, Content, Devices, Distributed Participation, DSL, Filtering, FTTH, Government, Innovation, International acces, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Monopoly, Net Neutrality, Opportunity, Packet Shaping, Principles, Public Policy, Regulation, Stakeholders, Wireless Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: access, applications, Austin, broadband, competition, content, devices, eyeballs, FCC, Internet freedom, NANOG, net neutrality, nondiscrimination, NPRM, services, Texas, transparency, users, wired, wireless
A huge number of comments have been received already, by Jan 15 deadline. More comments are solicited. See also openinternet.gov.
The general idea is to take six proposed principles and turn them into rules that are enforceable and not unreasonable:
The first four principles have been around for several years. The last two, nondiscrimination and transparency, are the same as the ones Scott Bradner's petition recommended back in June 2009. Back then I mentioned as I always do that the FCC could also stop talking about consumers and talk about participants. Interestingly, their slide at this talk did not use the word "consumer", so maybe they've gotten to that point, too.
Proposed Rules: 6 Principles
- Access to Content
- Access to Applications and Services
- Connect Devices to the Internet
- Access to Competition
The FCC is also making a distinction between broadband and Internet. There are existing rules regarding "managed" vs. "specialized services" for broadband Internet access, but for net neutrality in general, maybe different rules are needed.
Posted at 11:47 AM in Applications, Broadband, Cable, Censorship, Communication, Competition, Content, Copyright, Devices, Distributed Participation, DSL, Filtering, Government, Innovation, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Net Neutrality, Principles, Privacy, Public Policy, Regulation, Stakeholders, Wireless Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: access, applications, Austin, broadband, competition, content, devices, eyeballs, FCC, Internet freedom, NANOG, net neutrality, nondiscrimination, NPRM, services, Texas, transparency, users, wired, wireless
The solution here is not tinkering. You can't fix DNA. You have to bury it. President Obama should get Congress to shut down the FCC and similar vestigial regulators, which put stability and special interests above the public good. In their place, Congress should create something we could call the Innovation Environment Protection Agency (iEPA), charged with a simple founding mission: "minimal intervention to maximize innovation." The iEPA's core purpose would be to protect innovation from its two historical enemies—excessive government favors, and excessive private monopoly power.Lessig gets the connection with his old topic of intellectual property and copyright. Those are monopolies granted by the federal government, and they have been abused by the monopoly holders just like the holders of communication monopolies:
—Reboot the FCC, We'll stifle the Skypes and YouTubes of the future if we don't demolish the regulators that oversee our digital pipelines. By Lawrence Lessig, Newsweek Web Exclusive, 23 Dec 2008
Posted at 03:49 PM in Antitrust, Broadband, Communication, Competition, Consolidation, Copyright, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Economics, Government, History, Innovation, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Net Neutrality, Politics, Public Policy, Regulation, Research, Rural Access, Science, Spectrum Allocation, Wireless Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
So what's up? Was it a simple slip? Or is the guy so out of touch with reality that he doesn't realize that with a few words he has probably deferred -- maybe forever -- at least a million new customers worth to Wall Street at least $1 billion in market cap for his company?Well, it could be either. This is the same AT&T that couldn't produce its own iPhone and had to make a deal with Apple; AT&T could be so out of touch that it doesn't know what it's doing in this announcement. And maybe Stephenson resents that so much that he does want to hurt Apple even if it hurts AT&T. If he thinks he can get away with it, it amounts to the same as being out of touch, because Apple could produce an unlocked iPhone and sell it on all AT&T's networks, especially if Stephenson gives Jobs enough excuse to break Apple's contract with AT&T. Or, as Cringely points out, Apple could join Google in bidding for 700Mhz spectrum, or enable its Apple computers for VoIP, or come up with something else that isn't covered by the existing contract. Jobs and Apple know how to innovate. Telcos don't. No wonder AT&T is scared.
I don't think Stephenson's statement was by accident and I don't think he is out of touch with reality. I think, instead, he was sending a $1 billion message to Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
— When Networks Collide: AT&T suddenly doesn't like Apple so much. By Robert X. Cringely, Pulpit, PBS, 29 November 2007
Verizon Wireless today announced that by the end of 2008 it will "provide customers the option to use, on its nationwide wireless network, wireless devices, software and applications not offered by the company." — Verizon Wireless To Open Its Network, Platform, GigaOm, by Om Malik, Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 6:38 AM PT Comments (12)Reacting to Google bidding for 700Mhz? Responding to customer demand? Of course, it says by the end of 2008, so Verizon will know who won the U.S. elections by then and could change its mind.
Om Malik follows up with some speculations and consequences, including you'll have to pay full price for your phone. He didn't mention that that might mean that Verizon is also reacting to the iPhone, which, while closed (in the U.S. at least, although unlocked in China) already has users paying full price, and plenty of users did.
“It is a life or death issue,” said Harold Hurtt, Houston Chief of Police and President of Major Cities Chiefs, an organization that represents 63 of the nation’s largest police organizations. Hurtt made his comments in a video interview distributed during the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International 71st annual convention in Denver.And some of that spectrum has already been allocated. AT&T just cherrypicked the biggest previous 700Mhz spectrum holder, Aloha Partners, but there are more than a dozen others. Don't be surprised if some of those get gobbled up, too.
— 700 MHz On The Line by samc, dailywireless.org, Monday, September 5th, 2005 at 1:00 pm.
AT&T announced today that it has purchased 12MHz of spectrum in the prime 700MHz spectrum band from privately-held Aloha Partners for close to $2.5 billion. Aloha purchased the spectrum in Federal Communications Commission auctions held during 2001 and 2003, but hasn't done much with the licenses since the auctions ended.And since Aloha got this batch of 700Mhz spectrum in a previous auction with no open access strings attached, AT&T can thumb its nose at Google about that. For the particular geographical locations that Aloha covers.
The licenses to the spectrum cover around 196 million residents of the US and 72 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, including the ten largest markets in the US. AT&T isn't divulging much in the way of specifics for the bandwidth, other than saying that the company will use it for voice, data, and video. "Aloha's spectrum will enable AT&T to efficiently meet this growing demand and help our customers stay connected to their worlds," said Forest Miller, AT&T's group resident for corporate strategy and development.
— AT&T surprises with beachfront 700MHz spectrum purchase By Eric Bangeman, ars technica, October 09, 2007 - 12:29PM CT
Several years ago I wrote a column describing a system I had thought up for sharing Internet hotspots that I called WhyFi. Among the readers of that column were some entrepreneurs in Spain who went on to start the hotspot sharing service called FON, which now has more than 190,000 participating hotspots. Those Spaniards have been quite generous in attributing some of their inspiration to my column. And now this week FON signed a deal with British Telecom that promises to bring tens of thousands more FON hotspots to the UK and beyond. This isn't FON's first deal with a big broadband ISP -- they already have contracts with Speakeasy and Time Warner Cable in the U.S. among others -- but it is one of the biggest and points to an important transformation taking place in the way people communicate.Much like really fast broadband in Japan, FON is an American idea that people in another country adopted and ran with.
— You Can't Get There From Here: The myth of bandwidth scarcity and can Team Cringely really make it to the Moon? By Robert X. Cringely, Pulpit, PBS, October 5, 2007
Posted at 07:13 AM in Broadband, Competition, Distributed Participation, International acces, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Net Neutrality, Rural Access, Travel, Wireless Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: backhaul, broadband, Cringely, FON, hotspots, Japan, rural access, Spain, Time Warner, U.K., U.S., WhyFi, wireless Internet
While Verizon's court case proceeds through the legal system, the company's competitors have grown unhappy with the way that Verizon has handled its FCC lobbying. Frontline Wireless has gone so far as to ask the FCC to bar Verizon from the auction because Verizon has allegedly not disclosed some of its lobbying contacts with the agency quickly enough or in enough detail.Silly Google! Verizon is part of the incumbent duopoly, and you're not!
Despite Verizon's reticence to spell out exactly what it has been talking about with FCC Chairman Kevin Martin in private meetings, Google believes that it has pieced the conversation together. Google's understanding is that Verizon wants the FCC to impose the open access requirements only on the network, not on the devices. That is, Verizon could still sell handsets that are locked and controlled by the company, but its network would have to be open to unlocked handsets from any operator.
According to Google's new public statement on the issue, "From our perspective, this view ignores the realities of the U.S. wireless market, where some 95 percent of handsets are sold in retail stores run by the large carriers. More to the point, it is simply contrary to what the FCC's new rules actually say." Those rules focus on customer freedom to access content and applications from any device.
In a filing with the FCC, Google asks the agency to stick to its original plan. The company points out that while the open access rules might make the spectrum less attractive to Verizon (and thus might bring in less money at auction), the rules actually make it "more attractive, not less" to Google.
— Google attacks Verizon's attempt to water down 700MHz "open access" rules, By Nate Anderson, ars technica, October 04, 2007 - 11:11AM CT
Also coming to light, is the fact that Stickler's nomination to head the mine administration was twice rejected by congress and rejected when republicans were still in charge. Rejected reportedly by senators who were concerned about Stickler's safety record when he operated mines. After his nomination was twice rejected by the Senate, President Bush gave Richard Stickler the mine safety job with a recess appointment. That's a presidential appointment made when congress is not in session.Dead people in mines. Dead people in Hurricane Katrina. Postal rate hikes for small publications. Wireless spectrum handed over to a few big companies. And of course massive consolidation of first mile Internet ISPs in the hands of companies that aren't delivering on their promises and that indulge in repeated political censorship while cooperating with the government in wiretapping.
Finally, congressional investigations and hearings are now expected to look at a key provision of federal mining law, one which requires the U.S. Government to be the main communicator when an accident occurs. ABC News now notes it took the mine safety administration two days to take public control of the Crandall Canyon Mine. ABC also adds, "Others were irate that [mine owner Bob] Murray was allowed to publicly predict success and contradict MSHA itself while agency officials quietly looked on."
— Federal mine safety official's credentials questioned, Chris Vanocur, ABC 4 News, Last Update: 8/20 2007 8:00 pm
The stakes going forward are even higher, including economic competitiveness, control of information, and political discourse and with it the survival of a political system.
At least the traditional media finally noticed the problem with the appointment of the Mine and Health Safety Administrator. Imagine if we had more proactive investigative media that might have actually noticed his appointment when it happened. And imagine if we had none, which is a very real possibility with continuing media consolidation and increasing control over the Internet by a very small number of companies.
Posted at 12:03 PM in Censorship, Communication, Competition, Current Affairs, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Government, Internet Access, Postal Service, Press, Television, Wireless Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: 700Mhz, AT&T, Bellsouth, censorship, competitiveness, Crandall Canyon Mine, FCC, George W. Bush, Katrina, Michael Brown, Mine and Health Safety Administrator, political commissars, political discourse, political ideology, Richard Stickler, wireless spectrum
1. Those Carterfone protections don't mean too much. The no-locking, no-blocking requirements are hedged in by substantial limitations: the winning licensee will be able to lock and block devices and applications as long as they can show that their actions are related to "reasonable network management and protection," or "compliance with applicable regulatory requirements." In other words, as long as the discrimination can be shown to be connected (however indirectly) to some vision of "network management," it will be permitted. (Discrimination "solely" for discrimination's sake is prohibited, but that's not too difficult to avoid.)So it's ILECs vs. CLECs, round two. Guess who'll win?
— Many, many devils in the details: 700 MHz rules, by Susan, from Susan Crawford blog, 13 Aug 2007
And what we really need is some real competition.
Municipalities, cities, states, territories and regions are driving the French municipal (wireless and wired) broadband uptake as newly authorized by law. A new article of French “code général des communications” passed in June 2004 (law ref code is L-1425-1) gives these public entities the following rights :The municipality does have to demonstrate that there isn't already a similar service, but given the "open networks" aspect, that shouldn't be difficult. Could this have something to do with why France is ahead of the U.S. in Internet connectivity and speed?
- build, subsidize and develop “passive” telecom infrastructure and provide/transfer them to carriers or independent local users.
- build open networks on a given territory and provide/transfer them to a territorial carrier.
- operate open telecommunications networks in respect of regulations.
- provide telecommunications services to end users.
— Municipal broadband in France, by Esme Vos, MuniWireless, at 7:42 PM on September 5, 2005
Nowadays there are over a hundred projects, small and big. One famous one One famous one is the plan to do FttH in Hauts-de-Seine, the department chaired by Mr Sarkozy until he became President. Sarkozy was the man personally proprosing the FttH roll out in Hauts de Seine.He points out that picture FCC Commisioner Tate and ARCEP Commissioner Gauthey have met, as in the picture. Perhaps soon we'll get a U.S. president who might be influenced by French president Sarkozy on this subject.
— Some French muni BB inspiration to Maybe Rep's Boucher & Upton? Dirk H. van der Woude, Interesting People, 5 August 2007
Look who Google is up against -- all the largest Internet service providers in the U.S. Google will not win this even if they win the auction, because the telcos and cable companies are far more skilled and cunning when it comes to lobbying and controlling politicians than Google can ever hope to be. The telcos have spent more than a century at this game and Google hasn't even been in it for a decade. And Google's pockets are no deeper than those of the other potential bidders.Cringely is missing the point about who Google is up against. These outfits have not been the largest ISPs for more than a century. They've been telephone companies for more than a century. And being around for a long time isn't necessarily a sure win. Look at the Vatican; it's been around for two thousand years, and it's managed to lose most of its traditional heartland of Europe. Sure, Google is fragile, in some senses even more fragile than Microsoft, as Cringely points out. But even Microsoft is losing market share from IE to an open source browser, Firefox. Google, as a proponent of open source that actually understands it, has a fair chance here. The incumbent duopoly telcos aren't really in the Internet business; Google is.
— Is Google on Crack?: Eric Schmidt bets the ranch on wireless spectrum, Robert X. Cringely, Pulpit, 27 July 2007
Maybe Cringely's right that Google alone couldn't win the auction. But Google and Sprint possibly could. Sure, Sprint is a phone company, too. But that doesn't mean it's going to side with the rest if it scents profit. Maybe with a little help from Apple.
Let's hope that's what Google is really up to, rather than expecting to get Martin to change the rules and then wait for AT&T to deliver another striped bass.
I also don't think Cringely is taking into account the stakes here.
Posted at 09:35 AM in Communication, Competition, Content, Copyright, Duopoly, Government, History, Internet Access, Net Neutrality, Politics, Postal Service, Press, Public Policy, Radio, Regulation, Telephone, Television, VoIP, Wireless Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: AT&T, China, content, copyright, duopoly, FCC, France, Google, India, Kevin Martin, Minitel, Russia, Sprint, Verizon
Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who chairs the subcommittee that handles telecommunications and Internet issues, urged the FCC to "seize this opportunity to create an open-access opportunity for wireless service in this auction." He added that wireless carriers are "exerting far too much control over the features, functions and applications that wireless gadget makers and content entrepreneurs can offer directly to consumers."Some search, VoIP, and computer companies say auctioning off some of that spectrum with open access requirements would promote competition, while telcos claim it would hurt their investments, stifle competition, and reduce revenues to the government from the auction. I think it may well reduce direct government auction revenues, but the economic benefits of real competition should be worth it. You'd think the nominally free market supporting telcos would agree with that.
— FCC Auction Should Allow for Open Wireless Network, Say Lawmakers, By Kim Hart, Washington Post Staff Writer, Thursday, July 12, 2007; Page D08
Tags: 700 Mhz, AT&T, auction, broadband, Brookings Institution, Ed Markey, employment, FCC, franchise reform, google, Intel, market failure, open access, Skype
In recent years, the Internet has grown to touch everything and transform much of what it touches. It's not the answer to everything, but it can powerfully accelerate the best of America. It improves our democracy by making quiet voices loud, improves our economy by making small markets big, and improves opportunity by making unlikely dreams possible.The letter goes on to propose sensible concrete actions. So not only is this letter remarkable in that a presidential candidate sent it, but also that what he writes makes sense.
— Edwards Calls On FCC To Make Internet More Available And Affordable, John Edwards '08, 30 May 2007
PS: Seen on Art Brodsky.
The average broadband download speed in the US is only 1.9 megabits per second, compared to 61 Mbps in Japan, 45 Mbps in South Korea, 18 Mbps in Sweden, 17 Mpbs in France, and 7 Mbps in Canada, according to the Communication Workers of America.And as we've seen, that list of countries could soon include Hong Kong and India, because they're taking the problem seriously. More interesting was this was said to.
— US high-speed Internet is slow, Submitted by Canada IFP, Press Esc, on Sun, 2007-05-20
Tags: broadband speed, Canada, Communication Workers of America, competition, duopoly, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Larry Cohen, OECD, Susan Crawford, Sweden
Worse, much of U.S. "broadband" service is only a smidgen faster than a dial-up modem. Japan leads the world in cutting-edge fiber connections, offering speeds of up to 100 Mbps to 7.9 million home subscribers in 2006. In the United States, only a paltry 700,000 have fiber connections. Moreover, the Japanese pay $35 a month for their ultrafast speed, which is enough to stream full-screen, high-definition video. Most Americans pay the same price for one-twentieth the speed.I was beginning to wonder if anybody else noticed that part about Japan.
— Editorial: We're stuck in the slow lane of the information highway, Valley and U.S. must push harder for a faster Internet, Mercury News Editorial, San Jose Mercury News, Article Launched: 05/07/2007 01:32:59 AM PDT
The upcoming auction of wireless spectrum in the 700MHz band presents an opportunity for wireless technology to be a third broadband pipe beyond just DSL and cable Internet, Martin said.FCC Chair Kevin Martin said this at Microsoft offices in Mountain View, CA. One has to wonder why he's announcing a purported competition measure at the offices of the world's most famous monopoly. But nevermind that.
&mdash FCC chairman champions wireless broadband access, Upcoming spectrum auction viewed as opportunity, By Paul Krill, InfoWorld, May 03, 2007
Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) declared that wireless broadband Internet access service is an information service under the Communications Act (Act). This action places wireless broadband Internet access service on the same regulatory footing as other broadband services, such as cable modem service, wireline broadband (DSL) Internet access service, and Broadband over Power Line (BPL)-enabled Internet access service. It thus ensures that wireless broadband Internet access services are similarly free from unnecessary regulatory burdens. Competition among all of these broadband services will provide consumers with more and better services at lower prices.Well, there is more competition in wireless Internet access than in cable or telco Internet access, but given the track record of this classification thus far in actually promoting more and better services, I have to remain sceptical. Also notice the word "consumers", not participants.
&mdash: FCC CLASSIFIES WIRELESS BROADBAND INTERNET ACCESS SERVICE AS AN INFORMATION SERVICE, Chelsea Fallon, FCC, 22 March 2007
First, Wu writes as if this were a new issue. Just like the broader debate over network neutrality, in reality this is another version of an extensively debated topic: when should a network operator be forced to allow users particular types of access to its network? Wu ignores the history of this type of regulation.Puzzling because the subtitle of Wu's paper mentions Carterfone, as in the FCC decision that began net neutrality as we know it. Wu's paper proceeds to discuss Carterfone on several pages, even including a picture of the actual physical object.
Wireless Net Neutrality? by Scott Wallsten, Progress Snapshot, Release 3.2 February 2007,
A paper published by Columbia University Law School Professor Tim Wu claims that wireless networks don’t play by the same rules that wired networks do and limit consumer choice. Skype, for one, agreed with him and petitioned the FCC to mandate that wireless network operators open their networks to more devices and applications. The CTIA fired back.Skype then filed with the FCC to open wireless networks to non-carrier equipment.
Wu stated that the FCC’s Carterfone rules “continue to affect innovation and the development of new devices and applications for wireless networks.” His comments elicited a large response from the industry and refocused the net neutrality discussion, this time on the wireless networks.
Wu went on to argue that the carriers exert too much control over the design of mobile equipment and said, "They have used that power to force equipment developers to omit or cripple many consumer-friendly features.”
Paper Sparks Wireless Net Neutrality Debate, By Eric M. Zeman, WirelessWeek, February 28, 2007, NEWS@2 DIRECT