Networks / Most Commented

Cisco: P2P Flat in North America? Some Experiencing Major Growth

North American p2p went from 370 petabytes in 2006 to only 416 petabytes in 2007 according to Cisco's figures. Since U.S. users increased 16% in the same period, that's a drop in p2p per user and a significant drop in p2p as a percentage of all traffic. There's a major margin of error in these figures, so I'm calling it "flat." That's very different from pre 2007 experience, when p2p grew rapidly. It severely contradicts what many in Washington D.C. are saying... more

Cisco Speaks at FOSE on IPv6 Enterprise Architecture Transition

"The world is flattening," says Dave Rubal at the FOSE Conference and Exhibition this week in Washington, DC. "The race for IT dominance is on, and it is coming west." Mr. Rubal, Cisco's Worldwide Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) Task Force Lead, spoke of the tremendous race in IT dominance that is occurring, stating that the "mainstay technologies at the Beijing Olympics will be IPv6-powered." IPv6 is in line to replace version 4, but Rubal hinted that China and other Far East countries may be adopting the new version faster than the United States... more

Hot Architectural Issues for the Internet

The Internet Architecture Board's (IAB) chair, Olaf Kolkman, asked the members of the IAB to provide a statement paper each on what they believe the current most pressing issues in terms of Internet architecture are... I have thought about this for the past few days, and realised that it's hard to come up with overarching issues and even harder to come up with issues, where the IAB actually could make a difference. But I came with up with two issues. more

IPv6 Deployment: Just Where Are We?

In this article we'd like to look at some measures of the use of IPv4 and IPv6 protocols in today's Internet and see if we can draw any conclusions about just how far down the track we are with the IPv6 part of dual stack deployment. We'll use a number of measurements that have been made consistently since 1 January 2004 to the present, where we can distinguish between the relative levels of IPv4 and IPv6 use in various ways. more

iPhone, Android, 700 MHz: What Maximizes Wireless Innovation?

At the Emerging Communications Conference eComm 2008, I'm moderating a panel "Wireless Innovation, with or without operators." This will be a discussion -- smart people from differing camps responding to (hopefully) probing questions from yours truly, and the audience. Points of view represented include Google Android, J2ME/JavaFX Mobile,, Skype and Trolltech Qtopia (Nokia), plus Chris Sacca, formerly head of Google's wireless initiatives. I've been thinking about subjects and questions for the panel. As a start, I'll set down my current views, then seek others' views and questions. more

Client-based WDS: Providing Application Acceleration in Mobile and VPN Environments

Wide-Area Data Services (WDS), aka "WAN Optimization" is becoming the most effective way to improve application performance while reducing network traffic. In scenarios where there is significant network latency that would otherwise render many applications unusable, WDS can deliver almost LAN-like speed. Where bandwidth constraints exist and there is no practical or economical option, WDS can help reduce network traffic, allowing you to postpone or avoid circuit upgrades altogether. The technology provides the ability to centralize applications and servers, furthering the cost savings on hardware, software licensing, maintenance and the operation of a distributed architecture. more

The Network Management Excuse

Telco front-man Scott Cleland, in a recent blog post, thumbs his nose at the Four Internet Freedoms and says that the FCC should too. Under current leadership, it probably will. Referring to the recent submissions to the FCC by Free Press and Public Knowledge and Vuze complaining about Comcast's use of reset packets to block applications that compete with Comcast's own proprietary video entertainment offering, Cleland says "Network management trumps net neutrality." There are lots of reasons for, ahem, managing. Cleland neglects to observe that controlling congestion the way Comcast does it is like scattering nails in the road for traffic control. more

Will 2008 be the WiMAX Year?

There has recently been some good and bad news about WiMAX. On the good news part, an announcement made by the WiMAX Forum this month regarding the launching of the Mobile WiMAX certification program through which vendors can get their IEEE 802.16e-2005 equipment tested and possibly certified... On the bad news part, there was the Sprint-Clearwire breakup after three months of announcing a plan to join forces in building a nationwide WiMAX network in the US. Although it is anticipated that each company would carry on with its own WiMAX plans, analysts believe that the breakup would have negative impact on WiMAX deployment in the US... more

IPv4 Address Exhaustion and a Trading Market

There are discussions starting within the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) about the creation of trading market in IPv4 addresses as we approach the inevitable exhaustion of unallocated addresses. The view being put forward is basically "this is likely to happen anyway and by discussing it now, we can ensure it happens in an orderly way". When I first heard this idea I was a bit surprised. The RIRs are policy based bodies and so a shift to a trading market appears to be an abandonment of that policy base. However I have been partly corrected on that. more

The Myth of Infinite Bandwidth

Back in the late 1990s I was often asked what I thought would happen if Internet bandwidth was infinite -- what would that change about the Internet itself? Level 3's (LVLT) recent decision to slash prices on its content distribution network and rumors of new multi-terabit cables across the Pacific have me wondering if we are actually getting closer to having infinite bandwidth. But when replying to the infinite bandwidth question I was prone to posing a return question -- what does infinite bandwidth actually mean? more

Myanmar Internet Shutdown

There have been lots of press stories in the last day reporting on what the Internet shutdown in Myanmar looked like for people there, and that's the important story. This is what it looked like to the rest of the world, from an Internet infrastructure standpoint. The connection between Myanmar and the rest of the world appears to be turned back on, at least temporarily. The 45 megabit per second circuit connecting Myanmar to Kuala Lumpur that is Myanmar's primary connection to the Internet came back up at 14:27 UTC today. It had mostly been "hard down," indicating either that it had been unplugged or that the router it was connected to was turned off, with the exception of a few brief periods since September 28. Myanmar's country code top level domain, .MM, disappeared... more

FON and BT: Wifi Today; Mobile Tomorrow?

A deal announced today between British Telecom and upstart FON allows BT's Internet customers to share their own broadband connections via WiFi and, in turn, be able to access WiFi free at "thousands" (doesn't say how many) of FON hotspots around the world operated by other Foneros... When you buy home Internet access from BT and opt into this plan, you are also buying roaming access at no extra charge. The technology is supposed to assure that the part of the connection which you share is segregated from your own access so that there are no security problems caused by the sharing. more

Is Bandwidth Infinite? It All Depends…

On August 23 ( while I was in China) a list member Lee S. Drybrugh wrote in jest: I happened to bump into Peter Cochrane stating, "The good news is -- bandwidth is free -- and we have an infinite supply." Next by sheer accident I bumped into this in relation to Gilder, "Telecosm argues that the world is beginning to realise that bandwidth is not a scarce resource (as was once thought) but is in factinfinite." Can anyone explain this infinite bandwidth as I think I am getting ripped off by my ISP if this is true? Craig Partridge then offered what I think is a very good commentary of a difficult question where the answer depends very much on context... more

First Square Mile is not the Last or First Mile: Discovery not Just Choices!

The term "last mile" highlights the fact that we are the consumers at the end of a broadband "pipe". Saying "first mile" is a little better but the Internet is not a pipe to or from somewhere else. It's about what we can do locally and then what we can do when we interconnect with other neighborhoods. It's better to describe our neighborhood as the first square mile. Telecom is about selling us services; the Internet is about what we can do ourselves locally and then interconnecting with others everywhere. In writing the First Square Mile - Our Neighborhood essay which I just posted I came to better understand the fundamental difference between the world of telecom which is about giving you choices and the Internet which provides opportunity to discover what we can't anticipate... more

Treating Different Types of Communications Differently

A friend who read my Creating Sustainable Network Neutrality paper wrote to say, "Help me understand what is so bad about treating different types of communications differently." That's a really good question! If you want to offer vertically integrated services on special purpose networks, such as video entertainment or pager service or telephony, I do not have a problem with that, provided you don't use your market power to impede Internet applications that offer competing services... more