Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Featured Blogs

Another Year, Another ICANN NomCom

Another challenging year due to the Corona pandemic is coming to a close, and ICANN has held another virtual annual general meeting (AGM) -- the 6th in a row. Unlike last year, today, we can hope for a better next year. In many regions of the world, the figures look better, and the opening is progressing. That at least gives us hope that ICANN will hold face-to-face meetings again next year -- at least they are planning it so. That should also make it easier for the new Nominating Committee (NomCom). more

Regulating Magic: Why We Need to Establish a Regulatory Framework for Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence

The promises of quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and other advancing technologies sound like magic. However, even magic is subject to the laws of economics. And even quantum computers are “legal things…technological tools that are bound to affect our lives in a tangible manner,” as Valentin Jeutner explains in The Quantum Imperative: Addressing the Legal Dimension of Quantum Computers. Analogous to Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, Professor Jeutner proposes a three-part “quantum imperative,” which “provides that regulators and developers must ensure that the development of quantum computers. more

WHOIS Policy at ICANN Continues to Fail

ICANN has once again acceded to the wants of contracted parties and is at risk of abdicating its duty to act in the global public interest when it comes to WHOIS policy. Its inability or unwillingness to date to reign in bad WHOIS policy, driven by contracted party interests, flies in the face of its previously-expressed policy goal “to ensure the continued availability of WHOIS to the greatest extent possible while maintaining the security and stability of the Internet’s system of unique identifiers.” more

Is Defining Broadband by Speed a Good Policy?

I’ve lately been looking at broadband policies that have shaped broadband, and I don’t think there has been any more disastrous FCC policy than the one that defines broadband by speed. This one policy has led to a misallocation of funding and getting broadband to communities that need it. The FCC established the definition of broadband as 25/3 Mbps in 2015, and before then, the definition of broadband was 4/1 Mbps, set a decade earlier. The FCC defines broadband to meet a legal requirement established by Congress and codified in Section 706 of the FCC governing rules. more

Senator Cotton: Extraordinary Expansion of Huawei Cloud

Huawei's Cloud is growing faster than Amazon, Microsoft, or Google, Iain Morris writes. He cites U.S. Senator Tom Cotton on growth in "Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates." Cotton further says: "In addition, Huawei's cloud services revenues reportedly rose by almost 170 percent in 2020. This accelerating revenue stream threatens to undermine U.S. efforts to curtail Huawei's power, influence, and financial strength." I think Cotton is a little high on Huawei Cloud growth... more

Satellite Companies Fighting Over RDOF

There has been an interesting public fight going on at the FCC as Viasat has been telling the FCC that Elon Musk's Starlink should not be eligible for funding from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). At stake is the $886 million that Starlink won in December's RDOF auction that is still under review at the FCC. Viasat had originally filed comments at the FCC stating that the company did not believe that Starlink could fulfill the RDOF requirements in some of the grant award areas. more

Regulating Big Tech. This Time, for Sure!

United States President Biden has recently commented: “But let me be very clear: Capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism; it’s exploitation. Without healthy competition, big players can change and charge whatever they want and treat you however they want. […] So, we know we’ve got a problem – a major problem.” It’s not every day you hear the President of the United States take on the very industry that supported his national economy remaining the world’s richest over the past couple of decades. Yet his tone resonates with a growing unease within the US... more

Afilias’ Rule Violations Continue to Delay .WEB

As I noted on May 26, the final decision issued on May 20 in the Independent Review Process (IRP) brought by Afilias against the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) rejected Afilias’ petition to nullify the results of the public auction for .WEB, and it further rejected Afilias’ demand to have it be awarded .WEB (at a price substantially lower than the winning bid). Instead, as we urged, the IRP Panel determined that the ICANN Board should move forward with reviewing the objections made about .WEB, and to make a decision on delegation thereafter. more

Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 9: Articles 26-30

As we work on this final CircleID essay addressing the last four Articles in the UDHR, we explore how the UDHR provides the principles on which to build the rights and responsibilities of digital citizenship and bring integrity and trust to cyberspace and the Internet ecosystem. We reflect on what we have learned. For us, the authors of this series, we are reminded that trust in the processes of government, business entities, and society is central to the wellbeing of society, our communities, our families, and ourselves. more

An Update on Telemedicine

I’ve been keeping tabs on the news about telemedicine since it was touted throughout the industry as one of the big benefits of having good broadband. One piece of news comes from a survey conducted by Nemours Children’s Health. This is a large pediatric health system with 95 locations in Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The company treats almost half a million children annually. Nemours released a report on Telehealth in July. The report was based on a survey of 2,056 parents/guardians of children. The survey had some interesting results, more