Access Providers

Access Providers / Most Commented

Dr. Peering Commits Malpractice on Net Neutrality

At Tier1 Research, we hate to call out individuals for wrongdoing, but once in a while, it's absolutely necessary. At the moment, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in the middle of the rulemaking process for network neutrality, a complex endeavor. While Tier1 is against interference from regulators as a concept, the proposed rulemaking document from the FCC, while vague, is not completely unreasonable... more

IPv6 and LTE, the Not So Long Term Evolution?

The Wall Street Journal reported that AT&T saw wireless networks about to drown under a deluge of data. To see YouTube content uploaded form an iPhone or Slingbox rerouting a favourite television program to your smart phone gives mobile network operators the shivers. Skype over 3G in the meantime gives sleepless nights, not because of surging megabyte floods but due to nightmares of considerable voice and roaming revenues washing away. Not easy to plan and engineer "managed transitions" under those circumstances. more

Paid Peering: Issues and Misunderstandings

Recently I was asked for my opinion on Google paying France Telecom (FT) to deliver traffic into FT's network, i.e. Google paying to peer with FT. I wasn't aware Google pays FT. I don't even know if it's true. But I do know this is a topic fraught with misunderstandings. Also, if there is a "problem" here, the problem is one of competition (or lack thereof) in portions of the French broadband access market. It is not a problem that can be or should be fixed by "network neutrality" regulations or legislation. more

“It’s The Internet Stupid” ...I Respectfully Disagree

Today, in response to "It’s The Internet Stupid", Richard Bennett highlights (on the IP List) something I've noticed even among other advocates of 'Net Neutrality' (and how I've come to detest the term after its widespread and misguided overuse). Legislating against the concepts of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) or other preferential treatment of packets is not the brightest thing to do. I've seen others draw analogies to gun control using the 'guns don't kill people' argument... more

Carriers Are Trying to Take Back Control of the Home Network

With all the focus on neutrality in the provider networks we must not lose sight of what is happening in our own homes. As with some of the efforts to make the networks work better (as measured in the providers' paternalistic) view, their attempt to retake the home is about serving us better by reducing the operators' costs. "Better" is of course in terms of the operator's own measures. It's not quite the same as in 1995 when providers opposed home networks and want to charge us for each machine... more

Another Wrong-Headed WSJ Editorial

Those wacky editorial writers at the Wall Street Journal just cannot seem to get the facts straight about network neutrality and what the FCC has done or can do on this matter. In the July 30, 2008 edition (Review and Outlook A14), the Journal vilifies FCC Chairman Kevin Martin for starting along the slippery slope of regulating Internet content. The Journal writers just seem to love hyperbole, and are not beyond ignoring the facts when they do not support a party line. Here are a few examples from the editorial... more

Network Neutrality, UPS, and FedEx

I buy a lot of things that are delivered by UPS or FedEx. And I kinda like to watch the progress of the shipments. Now we all know that UPS and FedEx have different grades of service -- Overnight, Two Day, Three Day, etc. And faster deliver costs more. Several years ago UPS and FedEx would frequently deliver a Two Day package the next day, i.e. they would effectively elevate the class of service. more

A Clear Case for ISP Regulation: IP Address Logging

Over on the Network Neutrality Squad yesterday, I noted, without comment, the following quote from the new Time Warner Cable privacy policy bill insert: "Operator's system, in delivering and routing the ISP Services, and the systems of Operator's Affiliated ISPs, may automatically log information concerning Internet addresses you contact, and the duration of your visits to such addresses." Today I will comment, and explain why such logging by ISPs creates a clear case for regulatory intervention, on both privacy and competition grounds. more

The Internet’s Gilded Age

The rise of the Internet has heralded rapid changes in our society. The opportunities presented by a capable and ubiquitous communications system and a global transportation network have taken some corporations from the multinational to the status of truly global mega-corporation. Good examples of these new corporations include Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. There are a handful of large-scale winners in this space and many losers. But this is not the first time we've witnessed a period of rapid technological and social change. more

Plumbing Neutrality

I've been having arguments about Network Neutrality with a lawyer. My position is that you can't adequately regulate ISPs to be neutral, because there's no agreement what "neutral" means in practice. He points out that the courts aren't interested in technical details like what packets are dropped, it's that all traffic has to be treated the same, and ISPs should just figure out how to do that. So I contemplated a city with Plumbing Neutrality with the simple rule that all people must be treated the same... more

Comcast vs the FCC - A Reply to Susan Crawford’s Article

This is a reply to Susan Crawford's circleid article "Comcast v. FCC - "Ancillary Jurisdiction" Has to Be Ancillary to Something". I started writing a reply to her article, adding some comments I had and also reminding her that she'd predicted this herself, in an earlier circleid article, but it turned out long enough that I decided to submit it as a circleid post instead. On the whole, the facts agree with this CNET article. This court decision was correct, and expected... more

The Greatest Free Riders of Our Time

Former Southwestern Bell CEO, now General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre famously accused Google of free-riding his network, despite the obvious truth that Google pays for traffic delivery to peering points and ISPs gladly enter into reciprocal peering agreements in lieu of cash transactions that would likely result in a near zero payment as roughly equivalent traffic balances out. Mr. Whitacre did raise a legitimate question whether there are free riders and I'm seeing one darling and one unexpected group flying below the radar. more

Old New Telco Thinking

Ahh, so the telecom incumbents have come up with a "new" idea for the Internet -- usage-based pricing. That's right, more usage (for things like VOIP and video especially) means more costs to operate the network, so users should pay by the bit, or some similar metric. It's all so logical! But wait a minute. I thought what sparked the consumer Internet revolution was the fact that ISPs didn't charge by the minute, but offered flat-rate monthly fees. And what catalyzed the boom in cellular usage here in the US was the shift from heavily usage-based pricing to the largely flat rates we see today... more

Banning 5G Equipment is a Foolish Strategy

It has become popular today around Washington and the venues of its coerced allies to issue threats to ban telecommunications equipment from certain countries - especially equipment intended for 5G use. The guise is vague assertions of "national security." It is an old tactic dating back to the turn of the last century and recurrent for decades. A combination of treaty instruments and collaborative industry standards activity several decades ago largely put an end to the banning tactic - significantly benefitting the entire world. more

New, Old and Forgotten Frames in the Network Neutrality Debate

One key reason for confusion about Network Neutrality lies in the many different and inconsistent frames used to shape the debate. The Tea Party has entered the fray by characterizing the matter primarily in terms of freedom. Republicans decry the "job killing" impact of the FCC's rules. Network Neutrality advocates appear ambivalent whether the FCC has capitulated to special interests, or shaped a pragmatic compromise. more