Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Featured Blogs

Ireland’s Solution to the Rural Divide

The pandemic has given the whole world a pause to consider if we should return to business as usual when the pandemic is behind us. Ireland has a unique reaction and is something that could make sense here. Ireland plans to provide incentives to lure people from cities back to smaller rural towns. Like much of the world, Ireland has seen decades of young people moving to cities to find work, leaving behind shrinking and aging rural towns. more

ICANN Is Violating Its Legal Agreements with the U.S. Government – Who’s Next?

In April, I published an article, The Multistakeholder Moment of Truth: Will Stakeholders Hold ICANN Accountable?, alerting stakeholders that ICANN is violating its legal agreements with the U.S. Government -- namely the InterNIC licensing agreement and merged Memorandum of Understanding. At that time, I warned that it is essential for stakeholders not to remain silent in the face of this transgression, "hoping that such behavior left unchecked will end of its own accord." more

Massive Changes to the Chinese Tech Industry

It was on the cards. For weeks, Jack Ma, the digital tycoon of China, founder of Ant and of e-commerce giant Alibaba (the Chinese Amazon), disappeared off the radar after he was summoned by the Chinese Government and most likely lectured on the fact that his company was out of step with official Chinese policy. Consequently, the Government levied a multi-billion dollar antitrust fine against Alibaba, deleted its popular web browser from app stores and took several other actions against the company. more

Multi-Stakeholder Internet Governance Is Captured and Presumed Dead

Technical management of the Internet was delegated to ICANN by the U.S. government because it was believed that the private sector would be more agile and responsive to the needs of globally distributed stakeholders. However, this optimism and the faith it has produced has proven to be misplaced since ICANN's multi-stakeholder governance continues falling far short of the basic expectations set when it was created. more

Let’s Not Forget the Lobbyists

Common Cause recently released a report, Broadband Gatekeepers, that describes the influence that lobbyists have on broadband policies. The numbers are staggering -- the ISP industry spent $234 million lobbying the 116th Congress (2019 and 2020). That number is likely understated since the rules on reporting lobbying are lax, and enforcement is almost nonexistent. That number doesn't include the huge amounts of lobbying efforts at State legislatures. more

Let’s Get the Politics Out of Infrastructure

I believe the infrastructure of our country, states, and counties is critically important to our future. If we can get focused on infrastructure and global warming, the future for our kids and grandkids will be bright. All it takes is vision, leadership, and investment. Unfortunately, the issues have become politicized. In the case of infrastructure, the politicians have a tough time just defining what infrastructure is. more

It’s Time to Change the US’ Cuba-Internet Strategy

In a post last week, I advised Cuban President Díaz-Canel that investment in fixed broadband Internet would benefit both the Cuban people and his regime. This week, I've got advice for US President Biden -- don't try to out-pander the Republicans and call President Díaz-Canel's bluff by offering support for fixed broadband. What won't work... more

It’s Time to Rethink Outage Reports

Much has been said about the criticality of the small coterie of large-scale content distribution platforms and their critical role in today's Internet. These days when one of the small set of core content platforms experiences a service outage, then it's mainstream news, as we saw in June of this year with outages reported in both Fastly and Akamai. In the case of Akamai, the June outage impacted three of Australia's largest banks, their national postal service, the country's reserve bank, and one airline... more

President Díaz-Canel, Cuban Internet Is More Than Facebook on Cell Phones – Don’t Be Afraid of It

As a result of Internet service interruption during the recent anti-government protests in Cuba, Florida Senator Rubio and Governor DeSantis and President Biden have called for measures to strengthen and guarantee Cuban Internet connectivity, but that won't happen until the Cuban government recognizes that doing so is in its long-run interest. I have seen several suggestions that we smuggle end-user satellite terminals from services like SpaceX Starlink into Cuba but attempts to... more

What ICANN Should Do Now to Help Future Applicants of New gTLDs

During ICANN71, the Brand Registry Group (BRG) openly asked potential future applicants what ICANN can do to help prepare them for the next gTLD round. The answer was very clear - commit to opening the next round and provide as much information as possible early on. However, in recent correspondence to the BRG from ICANN Chair, Maarten Botterman, he emphasized that "significant work lies ahead of us: the 2012 Applicant Guidebook must be updated with more than 100 outputs... more