Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Recently Commented

Truth in Broadband Advertising

We're all used to crazy advertising about telecom products that make industry folks shake their heads -- many of the ads about 5G come to mind. Most people don't realize that carriers in the industry routinely challenge the claims made by competitors to force them to modify or drop deceptive ads. Most of the largest corporations in the country belong to the National Advertising Division (NAD), which is part of the Better Business Bureau and arbitrates disputes about advertising between participants in the plan. more

Is Technology the Problem?

We do live in turbulent times. There is such a lot happening, with many people feeling overwhelmed and lost. One of the reasons given why we do have these problems is technology. I would argue against that. In all reality, technology is a tool that we can use, and yes, we all know that we can use it for the wrong reasons (cars kill people, atom bombs, killer robots, chemical and biological warfare and so on). However, we have learned to live with it, and in general, the outcome from science, innovation and technology has been positive. more

My Broadband Predictions for 2022

It's that time of the year for me to get out the crystal ball and peer into 2022... I have no idea why it took a year for the administration to tee up a new Chairman and recommend a fifth FCC Commissioner. But once a new Commissioner is seated, the new FCC will tackle reinstating some version of Title II regulation, accompanied by net neutrality regulations. For yet another year, this won't come from Congress, which is the only permanent solution. more

Watch the Online Events Series on “Digital Citizenship and Bill of Rights”

DataPrivacyBR and the Internet Integrity Task Force, IITF, in collaboration with CircleID and IGF recently held 2 online events focusing on digital citizenship, governance, and a digital bill of rights and responsibilities. A diverse group of high-level presenters and speakers spanning all stakeholder groups, addressed questions such as: What are the foundational principles that define and protect the rights and responsibilities of digital citizenship? Do existing internet governance models take digital rights sufficiently into account? Are there alternatives to business models that are based on digital exploitation and servitude? Why do we need a digital Bill of Rights and Responsibilities and how can it be created? more

China Using Cybertechnologies to Expand Their Political Cloud

A few months ago, I mentioned that China’s social code would also be expanded to companies who want to deal with China. I have come across information that shows that China is indeed serious about this. China’s cyberspace regulator has proposed requiring companies pursuing share listings in Hong Kong to apply for cybersecurity inspections if they handle data that concerns national security. Large internet platforms planning to set up headquarters, operating or research centers abroad will have to submit a report to regulators. 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

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

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

Learning in a Multistakeholder Environment: 15 Years of Summer School on Internet Governance

The 15th edition of the European Summer School on Internet Governance (EuroSSIG) took place recently in Meissen/Germany, from August 15 -20, 2021. It was the second hybrid meeting under the challenging condition of the pandemic. Eighteen fellows from 15 countries representing all regions of the world traveled to Germany, as well as five faculty members. Fifteen faculty members joined via Zoom from California to Beijing. The agenda of the one-week course included a broad range of topics such as cybersecurity, digital diplomacy, IGF+, DNS Abuse, human rights, digital trade and taxation, as well as artificial intelligence. more

The Big Questions Facing the Telecom Industry

I took a pause the other day to think about the big issues facing the telecom industry. When I've done that in past years, I always came up with a few major issues and more smaller ones. But we are in such turmoil right now that I rattled off the following list quickly. I can't remember a time when our industry was wrangling with so many major issues at the same time. The industry's performance over the next decade is going to depend upon how we handle these issues. more

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

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