Regulation & Policies

If It's Not Neutral It's Not Internet

May 17, 2006

The success of a proposal by AT&T and Verizon to end net neutrality does not threaten the Internet. The broadband customers of AT&T and Verizon will just no longer have access to the Internet. The development appropriately creates alarm among AT&T and Verizon's customers, but the combined customer bases of these companies represent less than 2% of the billion or so users of the Internet. The fact that access to the Internet requires net neutrality does not depend on laws passed by the US Congress or enforced by the FCC. Neutrality arises as a technical and business imperative facilitating the interconnection 250,000 independent networks that choose to participate in the Internet. ›››

By Daniel Berninger Posted 4:07 PM PDT / Comments: 0 / Views: 1817

Net Neutrality Again!

May 15, 2006

I had hoped to take a longer break from the theme of Net Neutrality, but a piece on Om Malik's blog by Daniel Berninger seems to be screaming for a reply. Berninger hails from ›››

By Mark Goldberg Posted 1:48 PM PDT / Comments: 0 / Views: 2056

Telephony, Regulation, and VoIP

May 09, 2006

A new article by Ken Camp, published at Realtime VoIP, discusses telephony regulations, describing some existing regulatory issues surrounding telecommunications and how they might impact VoIP services. The following is an introduction to this article: "Bringing new technologies such as VoIP into service presents a wide range of technical challenges. Given the highly regulated environment of telecommunications, VoIP presents a set of regulatory challenges. For the most part, these challenges present hurdles to VoIP service providers who want to deliver commercial services to consumers and businesses and don't directly impact business VoIP deployment. ...Businesses that embrace managed VoIP services might want to review some of these regulatory issues, such as E-911 services, with the managed VoIP service provider." ›››

By Ken Camp Posted 11:39 AM PDT / Comments: 0 / Views: 2101

Comparative Broadband Ideas

May 08, 2006

The primary reason that Japan and Korea do so much better than the U.S. on any measurement of broadband (availability, penetration, price, speed) is that there is fierce competition in the market for broadband internet access in these countries. ...How do you increase competition in the U.S. for broadband access? Right now, we have giants fighting with each other -- cable and telephone companies. Small numbers of these companies control 80%-90% of the market for broadband access... ›››

By Susan Crawford Posted 4:24 PM PDT / Comments: 0 / Views: 1861

Network Neutrality Upsetting Worldviews?

Apr 27, 2006

With everyone talking about network neutrality, with all the heat, it didn't feel good to have to be in NY today and miss the goings-on in Washington. I watched part of the late afternoon markup session online, with Rep. Barton sounding awfully effective as he marched steadily through Title III -- quickly taking votes, soothing congress people who were suggesting soon-to-be-rejected amendments, and sounding confident. The only substantive work I heard was the rejection of an amendment that would have left in place all state laws that regulate the subjects of the bill -- like mini wireless networks. But the real news had already happened... ›››

By Susan Crawford Posted 7:03 PM PDT / Comments: 0 / Views: 935


Help! This is Not an Emergency

by Martin Geddes | posted Apr 27, 2006 at 4:25 pm PDT

[+/-] show/hide summary
I like the drift of the ›››

Post-Disaster Communications Petition

by Aswath Rao | posted Apr 18, 2006 at 11:01 am PDT

[+/-] show/hide summary
Recently, FCC placed on public review a petition filed by Evslin Consulting and The petition grew out of the experiences felt during a breakdown in communications network caused by Hurricane Katrina. As you may recall, whole communities were evacuated in the Gulf coast and many families were separated because they ended in different cities. Added to the trauma, many of these evacuees found it difficult to contact and communicate with each other. But those who have VoIP service and those who subscribe to premium features on their PSTN lines were better off because their services were able to forward the calls to the new location... ›››

Forward-Thinking Remedies

by Susan Crawford | posted Apr 06, 2006 at 3:00 pm PDT

[+/-] show/hide summary
Just a year ago, I gave a talk at David Isenberg's 2005 Freedom to Connect conference. I said, essentially, that we should be careful in asking for regulation to protect the net, because the power to protect carries with it the power to constrain. This was a very troubling message for the audience, and the chatroom projected behind me went wild with disapproval. Since then, I've become very concerned about the concentration in broadband service provision in this country, and worried that there won't be any competition for unfettered internet access. ›››

Powell Warns Net Neutrologists Not to Be Naive

by James Seng | posted Apr 05, 2006 at 5:32 pm PDT

[+/-] show/hide summary
Just got ›››

Freedom to Connect

by Frank Paynter | posted Mar 23, 2006 at 12:13 pm PDT

[+/-] show/hide summary
Over the last ten years, Andrew Odlyzko has been writing about a pricing algorithm that would assure reasonable service levels at reasonable prices. If you're going to F2C, you might want to read that brief article or this slightly more complex one to learn (or refresh your sense of) PMP -- Paris Metro Pricing models to deal with network congestion. You'll also get a sense of why throwing bandwidth at the network will not be sufficient. Here's a great article from 1995... ›››

Telecom Policy Review Panel Calls For Net Neutrality Legal Safeguards

by Michael Geist | posted Mar 23, 2006 at 10:55 am PDT

[+/-] show/hide summary
The ›››

David Farber on Net Neutrality: Reaction to the Current "Debate"

by Voiponder Reporter | posted Mar 22, 2006 at 3:08 pm PDT

[+/-] show/hide summary
Dave Farber was recently interviewed as part of the 37th KMB Conference, March 8, 9, &10, 2006 held at St. Petes Beach FL. Dave Farber provides the following background information and link to this video interview: "We have seen the Internet become a truly mass market phenomenon, reaching more than half of all American households. Broadband networks have been and are being deployed that are moving us towards higher levels of speed and capability. My concern with all of the debate and discussion I've reviewed to date is that there is far too little solid, in depth analysis and understanding on all sides and their implications on the future of the Internet." ›››

Communications Policy for 2006 and Beyond: VoIP as a Case in Point

by Voiponder Reporter | posted Mar 15, 2006 at 11:47 am PDT

[+/-] show/hide summary
In this article, published in the Federal Communications Law Journal (›››

Is the U.S. Dancing to a Different Drummer?

by Scott Marcus | posted Mar 13, 2006 at 7:32 am PDT

[+/-] show/hide summary
Is the United States in full retreat from internationally recognized regulatory best practice? Or is it instead headed toward some different destination -- "dancing to the beat of a different drummer"? Where is this likely to lead? The following is an introduction to a paper, published by ›››

Today's Carrier Networks as Trollways?

by Bob Frankston | posted Mar 08, 2006 at 11:38 am PDT

[+/-] show/hide summary
As I keep pointing out -- there is indeed a viable alternative of a real marketplace not a fake one. Today's system is a fake because it depends on capturing the value of the application - communications - in the transport and that is no longer possible because with the Internet the value is created OUTSIDE the network. One example of the collateral damage caused by today's approach is the utter lack of simple wireless connectivity. Another is that we have redundant capital intensive bit paths whose only purpose is to contain bits within billing paths. ›››

Former FCC Chairman Powell Says Net Neutrality 'Doing Great' - Now, Here's the Reality!

by Jack | posted Feb 23, 2006 at 12:07 pm PDT

[+/-] show/hide summary
Yesterday Networking Pipeline reported that former FCC chairman Michael Powell thinks that Net Neutrality is 'Doing Great'. Of course, this is the same person who was also reported as saying that we have too much choice in the media. Yes, there are people who thought we were all better off when we only had three networks to choose from. Sometimes I think there is a fine line between nostalgia and dementia. ›››

Regulation of VoIP Services

by Voiponder Reporter | posted Feb 22, 2006 at 1:23 pm PDT

[+/-] show/hide summary
Ofcom has published a considerable consultation paper for its "approach to regulating voice telephony services in the light of new technological developments". Below is the introductory excerpt from the document: "...Traditional telephone services have existed for over 100 years. However, changes are underway that could significantly affect the way voice services are provided in the future. In particular, Voice over Internet Protocol ("VoIP") services change the way voice services are delivered..." ›››

U.S. VoIP and Broadband Policy: Today's Debate is Off the Mark!

by Brough Turner | posted Feb 17, 2006 at 1:54 pm PDT

[+/-] show/hide summary
Despite rather rapid growth in broadband access, the U.S. is falling further and further behind other countries -- we're now ranked #16 in the world. What's slowing the U.S. down? Two threads dominate U.S. broadband policy debate today. The first focuses on traditional telecom regulation -- reciprocal compensation, universal service, e911, and CALEA (wiretap capabilities). The second focuses on "Internet freedoms," i.e., guarantees that your broadband access provider won't block or inhibit specific applications like VoIP. ›››

Remarkable Leverage

by Susan Crawford | posted Feb 17, 2006 at 11:39 am PDT

[+/-] show/hide summary
One of the big problems with the enormously problematic E911 Order is that it required VoIP providers to hook into the legacy E911 system controlled by the Baby Bells without mandating that the Bells allow the VoIP guys to connect. This was a tailor-made holdup situation for what was already an enormous holdup. (Remember that it took the wireless industry more than ten years to figure out how to work with the legacy E911 world, but the FCC only gave the VoIP companies a few months.) The Bells had full authority to give the appearance of being helpful while slowly dragging their feet and pushing the VoIP providers (their competitors) closer and closer to a deadline that (initially at least) was supposed to trigger mass cut-offs of VoIP customers for whom E911 service wasn't available. ›››