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Canadians Aren’t Buying Into Net Neutrality

The Tyee, an independent on-line magazine based in BC wrote a story about net neutrality more than a year ago, noting that most Canadians are sleeping through the debate. They followed up again last week. Despite what is called a "perfect storm of events that may crystallize the issue for consumers, businesses, politicians, and regulators," there hasn't been an overwhelming outcry, despite extensive press coverage of the most recent network activities. There are a number of voices who present a conspiracy theory on traffic shaping in Canada... more

An Internet Governance Update

A lot of people (including me) are pretty upset at revelations of the breadth and scale of NSA spying on the Internet, which has created a great deal of ill will toward the US government? Will this be a turning point in Internet Governance? No, smoke will continue to be blown and nothing will happen. Governments are not monolithic. What people call Internet governance is mostly at the DNS application level, and perhaps the IP address allocation. more

The ISP Industry: Concentrated or Diverse?

In August 2010, we looked at the growth in RIPE NCC membership and concluded that the number of new RIPE NCC members is still growing at an amazing pace, even during the recent economic downturn... This time we are looking at the different sizes of RIPE NCC members over time. It is often claimed that there is massive consolidation happening in the ISP community, especially in times of economic difficulties like in the early 2000s and now. We were curious to find out if this is really the case. more

Outages Never Sleep!

Not matter how much robustness and redundancy you build around your multi-tiered infrastructure you are bound to suffer outage(s). I'm not implying the failure of a single server, but a complex outage that's usually external to the operation of the infrastructure. What matters is how you communicate outage notification when things do go awry. I think the words that I'm searching for are transparency and openness. more

Bandwidth: Why Fast is Important in a Global Economy

Bandwidth is the basic foundation for Internet traffic as a connector to everything important in our lives. Whether it is basic bandwidth for connecting to family and friends, or a super fast highway for global reach and competitiveness in the business world, bandwidth constitutes the speed at which we connect as a global presence within the expanding sphere of Internet communication. ... To understand why bandwidth is important to all Americans, including personal and business uses, we must understand the different types Internet traffic. more

Crawford Likes Aussie Utility Network

Susan Crawford, special assistant to the president for science, technology and innovation policy and a member of the National Economic Council, is reported to be favorably inclined towards a U.S. network much like Australia's recently announced $33B broadband plan. Of course, the U.S. is some 15 times bigger than Australia, and that'd make the price tag closer to $500B by straight multiplication. But the U.S. would get a fiber network done right... more

Deep Packet Inspection: When the Man-In-The-Middle Wants Money

Say you're walking down the sidewalk having a talk with your best friend about all kinds of things. What if you found out later that the sidewalk you were using wasn't really a sidewalk -- but instead a kind of false-front giant copying machine, unobstrusively vacuuming up what you were saying and adding to its database of information about you? Or, say you send a letter to a client of yours (to the extent you still do this), and it turns out later that your letter was intercepted, steamed open, and the contents were read... more

An Open Letter to Big Tech CFOs: Save the Internet Before You’re Forced

Dear Chief Financial Officers of tech giants, the internet is in crisis, and you can lead your organization to help solve the problem. You'll be well compensated, and you'll enjoy massive public relations benefits. I fear that if you don't, global governments will force your hand. There is a shortage of available IPv4 addresses but we are years away (possibly a decade or more) from IPv6 viability and adoption in North America. more

The Impact of Rising Sea Level on Internet Infrastructure

A recent study predicts that rising sea level might result in as much as 4,067 miles of fiber conduit being under water and 1,101 nodes (data centers, Internet exchanges, cable landing points, etc.) surrounded by water in U. S. coastal cities in 15 years. Paul Barford, professor of computer science at the University of Wisconsin, and his colleagues have been compiling data on the physical Internet and making it available to the research community at the Internet Atlas Web portal since 2011. more

Behind the Curtain: Making IPv6 Work

Wouldn't it be nice if turning on IPv6 really was 'press one button and the rest is magic' easy? For some things, it is. If you're talking about client-side, enabling an IPv4-only home service on DSL or fibre really can be this simple, because all the heavy lifting is being done inside your ISP: you're not enabling IPv6 in the network, you're turning on the last mile. It was knocking at your door and you just had to let it in. more

Is Today the Beginning of the End of Net Neutrality?

Today, May 15, 2014 a vote will be taken at the FCC. Today the Internet we know can change forever. Today at 10:30 am EST the FCC meets to vote on the issue on whether or not allow the collection of special rates to provide certain services through the Internet for those who can afford it. A "faster lane" has been called... Who will pay for the use of this improved infrastructure? more

Planning for the Ugly End of the Phone Network

Consumers who have a choice are quickly deciding they don't need the old copper-based phone network, often known as POTS for Plain Old Telephone Service. We use our cellphones for talking even when we're not mobile. The cell phones have built in phone directories, easy ways to return calls, the ability to call a number on a web page; and we don't share them with our parents or children... It's a good year for traditional phone companies when they don't lose more than 10% of their POTS lines. more

Are Google, Microsoft and Apple the Next Utilities in Telecoms?

Over the last few years the increasing amount of discussion about telecoms reveals that the real competition for telecoms companies is not from other telcos, but companies such as Google and others. While I agree with this, obviously it is important to analyse it further. more

Just Say No, to Your ISP Subverting Your DNS Queries

Over the past few weeks I have been seeing reports that some ISP's are actually subverting DNS queries to their own DNS server. Oh the humanity! What this means is that when you (your computer) does a UDP or TCP Port 53 DNS query the ISP is intercepting that and directing it to their own servers. Has anyone been told by their ISP that they are doing this? No? I didn't think so... more

Net Neutrality and the Obama Stimulus Package

As long as US telecom is duopoly dominated, a neutral Internet is endangered if not impossible; regulation of this kind of concentrated power is necessary but is unlikely to be sufficient. The solution, IMHO, is to dilute the power of the duopoly so that consumers can buy whatever kind of Internet access they want. Countries like the UK with a competitive ISP market do not seem to have net neutrality problems nor require net neutrality regulation and have better Internet access than we do at lower prices. more