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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

France’s top internet regulator, Sébastien Soriano, has a message for Americans on net neutrality.

France’s top internet regulator, Sébastien Soriano, has a message for Americans on net neutrality.: "Another point made by critics of net neutrality is that the internet developed just fine without open-internet protections in place. But it is not fair to argue that because the “internet as we know it” grew with no net neutrality rules, we do not need these rules today. Gutenberg did not benefit from any declaration of rights to invent the printing press. Nevertheless, we codified freedom of speech to keep using it.

 In today’s digital world, the main challenge is to make sure that startups, entrepreneurs, and all innovators still have the ability to reinvent our world. Big companies now in place—telecom, cable, media companies, tech giants—have been doing well in recent years, and the issue is not to fight against them. But we know from history that disruptive and game-changing ideas often come from the margins. More than ever, our duty is to give a chance to a future Magellan or Columbus to forge a way in the unknown." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

TeleFrieden: “Restoring” Internet Freedom for Whom?

TeleFrieden: “Restoring” Internet Freedom for Whom?: "To answer my colleague’s question, I believe one has to consider ISPs as platform intermediaries who have an impact both downstream on end users and upstream on other carriers, content distributors and content creators. My research agenda has pivoted to the law, economics and social impact of platforms; see https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2935292.

           

Using the employment, innovation and investment criteria, the FCC also should have considered the current and prospective freedom quotient for upstream players.  Does nearly unfettered price and quality of service discrimination options for ISPs impact upstream ventures’ ability to employ, innovate and invest more?

           

Assume for the sake of discussion that ISPs can block, throttle, drop and prioritize packets.  A plausible, worst case scenario has an innovative market entrant with a new content-based business plan less able to achieve the Commission’s freedom goals.  Regardless whether you call it artificial congestion, the potential exists for an ISP to prevent traffic of the content market entrant from seamless transit.  The ISP could create congestion with an eye toward demanding a surcharge payment, even though the market entrant’s traffic had no possibility of itself creating congestion.  The ISP also might throttle traffic of the innovative newcomer if its market entry might adversely impact the content market share and profitability of the ISP, its affiliates and its upstream content providers that previously agreed to pay a surcharge.

           

Of course network neutrality opponents would object to this scenario based on the summary conclusion that an ISP would never degrade network performance, or reduce the value proposition of its service.  The airlines do this and so would an ISP if it thought it could extract more revenues given the lack of competition and the inability of consumers on both sides of its platform to shift carriers.   

ISPs do not operate as charities." 'via Blog this'

Pioneers for Net Neutrality

Pioneers for Net Neutrality: "It is important to understand that the FCC’s proposed Order is based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology. These flaws and inaccuracies were documented in detail in a 43-page-long joint comment signed by over 200 of the most prominent Internet pioneers and engineers and submitted to the FCC on July 17, 2017.

 Despite this comment, the FCC did not correct its misunderstandings, but instead premised the proposed Order on the very technical flaws the comment explained. The technically-incorrect proposed Order dismantles 15 years of targeted oversight from both Republican and Democratic FCC chairs, who understood the threats that Internet access providers could pose to open markets on the Internet.

 The experts’ comment was not the only one the FCC ignored. Over 23 million comments have been submitted by a public that is clearly passionate about protecting the Internet. The FCC could not possibly have considered these adequately.

 Indeed, breaking with established practice, the FCC has not held a single open public meeting to hear from citizens and experts about the proposed Order.

Furthermore, the FCC’s online comment system has been plagued by major problems that the FCC has not had time to investigate. " 'via Blog this'

Friday, December 08, 2017

The Demise of Net Neutrality Will Harm Innovation in America - MIT Technology Review

The Demise of Net Neutrality Will Harm Innovation in America - MIT Technology Review: "Even the very biggest startups could suffer. In an IPO filing published earlier this year, Snap warned that weakening or ending net neutrality would hurt its business if ISPs limited access to it or favored its rivals (see “Why Snap Is Worried About Net Neutrality”). Young companies that pay up for higher speeds would have to pass those costs on to consumers, making it harder to compete with bigger players.

 Big ISPs say they’re committed to keeping a level playing field, but history and economic realism suggest they won’t. AT&T, for instance, blocked Skype and other Internet calling services on iPhones on its network until 2009. In many markets in America, there are still only one or two high-speed broadband providers. " 'via Blog this'

The FCC Still Doesn’t Know How the Internet Works | Electronic Frontier Foundation

The FCC Still Doesn’t Know How the Internet Works | Electronic Frontier Foundation: "Since the FCC cites them, it clearly read the multiple comments stating that over 50% of Web traffic is now encrypted. Yet, it sticks to the assertion that “truly pervasive encryption on the Internet is still a long way off, and that many sites still do not encrypt,” and use that to dismiss “assertions in record that suggest that ISP-provided caching is not a vital part of broadband Internet access service offerings, as it may be stymied by the use of HTTPS encryption.”

 Although the FCC tries to claim that offering web caching is an integral part of the functionality that ISPs provide, this is not the case. In fact, Sonic, a San Francisco-based ISP, does not run web caching equipment for its customers (although they do host a number of boxes from non-affiliated CDN platforms, including the Google Global Cache, Netflix OpenConnect, and Akamai—but they don't operate those boxes).

 And if the FCC doesn’t understand the Internet in general, it understands mobile telephony and broadband Internet access even less." 'via Blog this'

Stranger Things: Why Netflix Isn’t Behind New Submarine Cable Builds

Stranger Things: Why Netflix Isn’t Behind New Submarine Cable Builds: "But how do we translate that number (190,000 gigabytes of data) to traffic? To make that calculation, let’s make a few simplifying assumptions. First, let’s pretend that Netflix fully refreshes its entire cache each month. Second, let’s say that Netflix does this refresh evenly over the course of 30 days in the month. That translates to 6,333 GB per day…which turns out to be a piddly 577 Mbps. If Netflix were to push this content to its caches only during a daily 12-hour off-peak period, the required capacity would be double: 1.2 Gbps." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Volume-based mobile data monetisation is unsustainable | Pal Zarandy

Volume-based mobile data monetisation is unsustainable | Pal Zarandy | Pulse | LinkedIn: "Case in point: as I mentioned in my post a year ago, Finnish networks – after over ten years of supplying the market with truly unlimited mobile data plans both for smartphones and for data-only devices) – now carry more mobile data volume per capita than fixed-line internet networks in Germany. 


Near zero marginal cost

investment intensity is basically independent of traffic volume growth

While operators invest every year huge amounts of money (~10% of service revenues) into their mobile infrastructure, our research showed that the investment intensity has been basically independent of traffic volume growth. Volumes grew by an order of magnitude, annual Capex stayed flat." 'via Blog this'

SCL: Predictions 2018 - 5

SCL: Predictions 2018 - 5: "Chris Marsden looks back on past predictions and looks forward through 2018 and beyond, with a special focus on net neutrality" 'via Blog this'

Monday, December 04, 2017

Net Neutrality Divide: Canada and the U.S. Go Separate Ways on an Open Internet - Michael Geist

Net Neutrality Divide: Canada and the U.S. Go Separate Ways on an Open Internet - Michael Geist: "While the change in U.S. administration has led to a dramatic shift in net neutrality policy, the same will not occur in Canada. New CRTC chair Ian Scott told an industry conference earlier this month that “as companies continue to innovate in their offerings to Canadians, the CRTC will continue to ensure that Canada’s Internet neutrality provisions are respected … the owners and operators of the country’s communications may not discriminate against content based on its origin or destination.” 


Canadian consumers may be shielded from net neutrality abuses, but the effects of the U.S. decision may still be felt north of the border. Since Canadian Internet traffic often transits through the United States, there are concerns that Canadian data could get caught by non-neutral policies. Moreover, Canadian internet services hoping to attract U.S. customers may face demands for payments to have their content delivered on the fast track.

Since the renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement include a chapter on digital trade, Canadian negotiators should be pushing for the inclusion of a strong, enforceable net neutrality provision." 'via Blog this'

Friday, December 01, 2017

Net neutrality: Trai’s recommendations regarding internet services may be the strongest in the world

Net neutrality: Trai’s recommendations regarding internet services may be the strongest in the world: "The recommendations also require internet providers to declare whether they discriminate among various kinds of web traffic, like video and text.

 Nayantara Ranganathan, a researcher at the Internet Democracy Project, said this recommendation is not as specific as the one the regulator had floated in its consultation paper, which was circulated among stakeholders in the last few months.

 Ranganathan said that in the consultation paper, “they recognised the importance of meaningful disclosures, and went as far as including a sample disclosure format”. She added, “So it is surprising they haven’t really recommended anything more specific than saying that disclosures need to be given.”

 Yet another proposal of the regulator is that a committee of internet service providers, academics, civil society representatives and consumer groups be set up to detect net neutrality violations and communicate them to the government. It said it would elaborate on the specifics of this committee once the recommendation is accepted by the government." 'via Blog this'

Scrapping FCC net neutrality rules would be a mistake | openDemocracy

Scrapping FCC net neutrality rules would be a mistake | openDemocracy: "Christopher Marsden: I agree with Terrell McSweeny – this is a local US issue, so no change for Rest of World – in fact Tim Wu points out the draft Order is so egregious it will fall early under judicial challenge." 'via Blog this'

As FCC Contemplates Repealing Net Neutrality Protections, Indian Telecom Regulator Reaffirms Support for Principles of Non-Discrimination | Electronic Frontier Foundation

As FCC Contemplates Repealing Net Neutrality Protections, Indian Telecom Regulator Reaffirms Support for Principles of Non-Discrimination | Electronic Frontier Foundation: "In February 2016 TRAI issued an order prohibiting differential pricing which led to Facebook's Free Basics programme to be banned in India. TRAI's latest recommendations on net neutrality focus on modifying licensing terms fall under this second category of TRAI's interventions.

 Unlike its order on differential pricing order TRAI's latest recommendations on licensing issues are not binding. This is because while TRAI has the power to frame regulations on issues such as pricing, QoS, and interconnection, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has final authority on matters related to granting or modification of licences in India. But if TRAI's recommendations are accepted by the DoT, ISPs in India will be explicitly prohibited from and penalised for blocking, throttling, slowing down, or granting preferential speeds or treatment to any content on their networks." 'via Blog this'

Comcast deleted net neutrality pledge the same day FCC announced repeal | Ars Technica

Comcast deleted net neutrality pledge the same day FCC announced repeal | Ars Technica: "Under the FCC's previous Democratic leadership, the net neutrality rules allowed ISPs to implement zero-rating, but with some exceptions. Under its new Republican leadership, the FCC has allowed all manner of zero-rating. With the net neutrality rules eliminated, Comcast would be able to charge online providers for data cap exemptions without any fear of punishment from the FCC.

 But the question of whether paid prioritization is "anti-competitive" or "pro-competitive" may be moot. Pai's plan will eliminate the ban on paid prioritization altogether.

Without FCC rules, ISPs will basically be free to handle their network however they want as long as they disclose network management practices publicly. The Federal Trade Commission could punish ISPs that renege on their promises, but there won't be any specific rule requiring them to make the promises in the first place.

Comcast might really have no specific plans to enter paid prioritization agreements today.

But since Comcast's net neutrality promise now contains no pledge related to even "anti-competitive" paid prioritization, the company may be preparing for a future in which it does implement paid prioritization.

 Conditions on the NBCUniversal merger that place some limits on Comcast's ability to implement paid prioritization will expire in September 2018. If the FCC vote next month happens as expected, then Comcast will have free rein to charge websites and online application providers for priority access later next year." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Net neutrality: A spambot made over a million anti-net neutrality comments to the FCC — Quartz

Net neutrality: A spambot made over a million anti-net neutrality comments to the FCC — Quartz: "It may seem like a struggle to get to 1.3 million unique comments in this way, but the math is pretty straightforward. The statement has around 20 chunks of text that get expressed with different synonyms. If each of those has three possible options, then there are 3 to the 20th power combinations, or about 3.5 billion. It would be “incredibly simple from a code perspective” to write a program to compose and submit all of these comments, Kao told me via email. He said he could probably do it “in an hour or so.”" 'via Blog this'

FCC chair says social networks threaten the free internet

FCC chair says social networks threaten the free internet: "In particular, he criticized a graphic of Portuguese mobile-broadband pricing that went viral in a tweet from Rep. Ro Khanna (D.-Calif.) showing surcharges for video, social, music and other categories of apps.

 The actual offer, as you can see at Portuguese telco MEO’s site, lets subscribers pay to exempt particular apps from their plan’s data cap.

That’s acceptable under current European Union regulations — and under U.S. rules too, as seen when wireless carriers exempted streaming-video services from their data caps under Wheeler’s term.

Yahoo Finance’s parent firm, Verizon (VZ), was among them." 'via Blog this'

Portugal's internet shows us a world without net neutrality, and it's ugly - LA Times

Portugal's internet shows us a world without net neutrality, and it's ugly - LA Times: "Khanna’s tweet displayed the mobile internet service offerings from the Portuguese telecommunications company MEO. After paying a fee for basic service, subscribers can add any of five further options for about $6 per month, allowing an additional 10GB data allotment for the apps within the options: a “messaging” tier, which covers such services as instant messaging, Apple FaceTime, and Skype; “social,” with liberal access to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and so on; “video” (youTube, Netflix, etc.); “email and cloud” (Gmail, Apple’s iCloud); or “music” (Spotify, Pandora). Portugal isn’t the only country allowing tiering of internet services. In Britain, the internet service provider Vodaphone (sic) charges about $33 a month for basic service but offers several “passes” allowing unlimited video or music streaming, social media usage, or chat, at additional tariffs of up to $9/mth" 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Go Binge | User Guide | Three - extreme zero rating

Go Binge | User Guide | Three: "Who can get Go Binge and how can they get it?
Go Binge is available to all new and upgrading Three customers on the following tariffs:

All handset Advanced plans of 4GB and above.
All Sim Only Advanced plans of 4GB and above.
All Pay monthly Mobile Broadband plans of 5GB and above.

If you’ve taken out a new contract with us, or if you’re upgrading, you’ll automatically have the Go Binge Add-on as part of the sale.

Existing customers.

Existing customers can get Go Binge by changing plan to one with more data/minutes provided that the new plan is an eligible one (see above). Existing customers who are already on an eligible plan (see above) will still need to change plan to one with more data/minutes to get Go Binge. If you subsequently change your plan back to your original plan, you will no longer get Go Binge.'via Blog this'

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Tim Wu: Why the Courts Will Have to Save Net Neutrality - NYTimes

Tim Wu: Why the Courts Will Have to Save Net Neutrality - The New York Times: "Mr. Pai faces a more serious legal problem. Because he is killing net neutrality outright, not merely weakening it, he will have to explain to a court not just the shift from 2015 but also his reasoning for destroying the basic bans on blocking and throttling, which have been in effect since 2005 and have been relied on extensively by the entire internet ecosystem.

This will be a difficult task.

What has changed since 2004 that now makes the blocking or throttling of competitors not a problem? The evidence points strongly in the opposite direction: There is a long history of anticompetitive throttling and blocking — often concealed — that the F.C.C. has had to stop to preserve the health of the internet economy.

Examples include AT&T’s efforts to keep Skype off iPhones and the blocking of Google Wallet by Verizon. Services like Skype and Netflix would have met an early death without basic net neutrality protections.

Mr. Pai needs to explain why we no longer have to worry about this sort of threat — and “You can trust your cable company” will not suffice." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The net neutrality farce - NY Daily News

The net neutrality farce - NY Daily News: "But wait — there's more. AOL offered a curated service featuring proprietary content. This "walled garden" attracted the ire of network neutrality champions, who sought to block it by law. Yet AOL's experiment started small and grew huge, discovering progressively better ways to serve consumers.

Wheeler's chosen example of innovation demonstrates how dangerous it is to impose one particular platform, freezing business models in place.

Deep confusion reigns on this point.

In an explainer video posted earlier this year by the Wall Street Journal, net neutrality is analogized to package delivery. The overnight shipper, FedEx, delivers boxes to Amazon's customers, treating them all the same. This, says the video, is exactly what net neutrality rules applied to ISPs do.

Wrong. FedEx is unregulated. The firm chooses to offer terms and conditions that apply generically.

Its rival, UPS, not so much: "UPS is not a common carrier," says the company's website, "and reserves the right in its absolute discretion to refuse carriage to any shipment tendered to it for transportation."" 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Creating a new relationship in research, science and innovation with the EU

Creating a new relationship in research, science and innovation with the EU: "Dr Papatsiba and Dr Highman point out that the net €3.4 billion the UK receives from the EU research and development (R&D) budget is equal to more than a year’s worth of funds from the UK’s seven research councils. The EU’s announcement in July that it is considering doubling its R&D budget means that maintaining research collaboration with EU partners is more critical than ever.

 The government paper fails to specify the size of the financial contribution the UK will be in a position to make to future research programmes and how it will secure its participation. It also makes no mention of social sciences, humanities, arts and education, which are dependent on the EU for between a fifth and a quarter of their research funding.

 One of the most important areas requiring clarity is researcher mobility. Dr Papatsiba and Dr Highman argue that while the government paper emphasises researchers’ individual freedom, researcher-to-researcher links are influenced by broader policies and perceptions.

Reduced rights to stay in the UK for EU citizens will inevitably lead to less mobility, and therefore a drop in researcher numbers."



'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

An Empirical Evaluation of Deployed DPI Middleboxes and Their Implications for Policymakers by David Choffnes, Phillipa Gill, Alan Mislove :: SSRN

An Empirical Evaluation of Deployed DPI Middleboxes and Their Implications for Policymakers by David Choffnes, Phillipa Gill, Alan Mislove :: SSRN: "This paper presents evidence of deployed middlebox-enabled policies that provide differential service to network applications affecting subscribers of T-Mobile US, Boost Mobile, and others. We used rigorous controlled experiments and statistical analysis of the performance of popular online services to identify traffic differentiation. The observed policies include throttling bandwidth available to video and audio streaming, transcoding video, and selectively zero-rating traffic such as video and music streaming. Such policies may violate the “No Throttling” and/or “No Unreasonable Interference” provisions of the Open Internet Order [15] (OIO), and potentially violate rules in different jurisdictions. Some of these policies were not transparent to consumers and/or were presented in misleading ways, violating the transparency requirement of the OIO. We recommend that providers concerned about traffic loads use application-agnostic techniques to throttle, thus meeting the “reasonable network management” clause of the OIO. Such policies are also easy for consumers to understand, thus providing better transparency."



'via Blog this'

Monday, October 30, 2017

Press release 11 October - BEREC moves forward on future monitoring of mobile and net neutrality issues

Press release - BEREC moves forward on future monitoring of mobile and net neutrality issues and publishes a statement on NRAs competencies: "In its continuous effort to safeguard an open environment throughout Europe, BEREC has decided to develop an opt-in measurement tool. The aim is to help NRAs and end-users to measure the quality of fixed or mobile internet access services and detect potential illegal traffic management practices such as blocking or throttling of specific applications.

A tender will be developed in the coming months with the objective to launch in the first quarter of 2018. A report on specifications for such tools has also been approved for publication.

At the Plenary, BEREC also approved the NN Regulatory assessment methodology. The work on document was built on regulatory best practices and previous BEREC guidance as regards the internet access service quality monitoring. The methodology is developed to assist NRAs in the implementation of the BEREC Net Neutrality Guidelines." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

What is net neutrality? Hot your breath on complaining to Ofcom

What is net neutrality? - Ofcom: "You can also complain to Ofcom. We cannot process or take action over individual complaints but we use complaints data to help us identify cases where enforcement action may be required." 'via Blog this'

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Translation of key paragraphs NRA decision on net neutrality – Bits of Freedom

Translation of key paragraphs NRA decision on net neutrality – Bits of Freedom: "For the ACM, these conditions do not form substantial entry barriers.

The first requirement is, for the ACM, not an unreasonable condition, because the music streaming service would otherwise not be consumable by other end-users at all.

The technical condition with regard to the IP address is, for the ACM, not an unreasonable condition either because it allows T-Mobile to discern between internet traffic that should be zero-rated and internet traffic that should not be zero-rated.

This condition, for the ACM, does not yield a substantive restriction." 'via Blog this'

Dutch NRA: T-Mobile may continue to violate net neutrality – Bits of Freedom

Dutch NRA: T-Mobile may continue to violate net neutrality – Bits of Freedom: "The ACM states in its decision that T-Mobile does not discriminate against music services, “as long as they comply with the conditions that T-Mobile imposes”.

Well, duh, that's exactly the problem! T-Mobile is imposing all kinds of conditions upon these music services and therefore decides which ones are entitled to preferential treatment. For example, if a music service doesn't want T-Mobile to use its logo, they're out of luck. If the music service isn't able or willing to structure its systems to the whims of T-Mobile, they're left out in the cold.

The ACM also thinks that your freedom or the freedom of the music service provider isn't being constrained. That's hardly surprising when you realize that the ACM seems to have no regard for the impact of services like T-Mobile's Data-free Music on the innovative nature of the internet. One of the powerful properties of the internet is precisely that every computer, and therefore every service and user, is as easy to reach as any other.

A service like T-Mobile's flies in the face of that idea by giving some services preferential treatment."'via Blog this'

Friday, October 13, 2017

Press release - BEREC moves forward on future monitoring of net neutrality issues

Press release - BEREC moves forward on future monitoring of mobile and net neutrality issues and publishes a statement on NRAs competencies: "In its continuous effort to safeguard an open environment throughout Europe, BEREC has decided to develop an opt-in measurement tool. The aim is to help NRAs and end-users to measure the quality of fixed or mobile internet access services and detect potential illegal traffic management practices such as blocking or throttling of specific applications.

A tender will be developed in the coming months with the objective to launch in the first quarter of 2018.

A report on specifications for such tools has also been approved for publication.

 At the Plenary, BEREC also approved the NN Regulatory assessment methodology. The work on document was built on regulatory best practices and previous BEREC guidance as regards the internet access service quality monitoring. The methodology is developed to assist NRAs in the implementation of the BEREC Net Neutrality Guidelines.

 To explain the past and future role of BEREC in the implementation of Net neutrality rules, BEREC launches today a video.

 Open internet:

BEREC analyses Impact of content markets and devices on fixed and mobile ECS market

In line with this key objective to safeguard an open environment, BEREC has adopted a draft BEREC report on Impact of content markets and devices on fixed and mobile ECS market that summarises approaches taken by NRAs and competition authorities to address potential competition concerns in this area. BEREC adopted the report for public consultation, inviting the stakeholders to provide their valuable inputs. The public consultation on the preliminary report will run from 11 October to 8 November 2017." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The price of free: why there's no digital free lunch for zero rating or messaging

I've been thinking recently about the re-regulatory moves both in wider market analysis and narrowly in platform regulation (inspired by the un-improvable if somewhat justifiable morally panicked Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017).
I also recently gave many newspaper interviews on a trip to Bogota about why regulators (and politicians) find it so difficult to refuse consumers a free lunch when offered it via zero rating. The unintended side effect is that many poorer consumers, especially in developing markets, get their "news" via snippets on Facebook, not clicking through due to data charges to the hideously bloatware-infected news sites themselves. Not only does this prevent payment for journalism, but more importantly it has the effect of inflating the importance of fake news to the economically (well, digitally) disenfranchised. Digital colonialism, in fact.
More broadly, the 'hipster antitrust' movement (if such it is) has addressed the manifest and myriad failings of the information market, notably the huge market power of such behemoths as Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. The organised lobbying and policy development resistance of the giants to the charges laid are impressively well marshalled intellectually.
The most obvious example of predation by these giants, and regulators' failure to respond appropriately, has been that of Facebook's merger with WhatsApp. Not coincidentally, these are the exact companies to most benefit from the sponsoring of a select few social media apps by mobile operators keen to turn their users on to some data use where uncapped plans are beyond the reach of users in developing countries. The enabler for that Facebook control over zero rated content has been Wikipedia, an apparently 'public service' media organisation which may be non-profit but is run by arch-libertarian Jimmy Wales. The use of Wikipedia to "zero wash" the business model of Facebook has come to prominence as part of the zero rating debate.
Facebook owns WhatsApp, which is the world's most popular free instant messaging app, in part because it has no advertising nor secondary or premium models. Therefore it has no revenues and no business plan at all. Facebook also owns the second most globally popular IM app, FBK Messenger. Thus its purchase of WhatsApp can only be seen as a defensive vertical and horizontal merger of social networking platform with downstream rival IM app. Absurdly the merger was approved subject to it making Facebook no money - because user data from WhatsApp was to be fenced off from Facebook's advertising business. When Facebook blatantly breached these merger terms in 2016, the EC promised ot take action to prevent that. WhatsApp is thus a pure value destruction play - FBK stating "we can't make money but nor can anyone else from IM". Try leveraging into social medfia networks from that, start-ups!

BEREC publishes study on Net Neutrality regulation in Chile, India and USA

BEREC publishes study on Net Neutrality regulation in Chile, India and USA: "The report shows that Quality of service (QoS) clearly has an impact on net neutrality. Regulators in the markets analysed are actively monitoring QoS, but have chosen to rely on a range of different methods to monitor net neutrality.

 For instance, the important role of the complaint systems in the USA and Chile in particular means that enforcement in these two countries has a primarily ex-post character (in contrast to the EU, where Regulation 2015/2120 requires NRAs to monitor proactively, on an ex-ante basis). Moreover, in some regulatory regimes, existing mechanisms and powers to deal with anti-competitive behaviour are preferred to tackle non-neutral practices, which provide regulators with future discretion.

 Third-party organisations can also provide useful complements to the NRAs, in terms of expertise and capacity building in measurement systems suitable for the detection of certain types of net-neutrality violations.

 In the end, the report demonstrates that many different tools are available to detect practices which may violate net neutrality (either ex ante or ex post), although no single tool would be able to provide a comprehensive solution.


Given the obligation in the EU/EEA upon NRAs to actively monitor non-neutral practices themselves, multiple tools or methods are likely to be required, thus calling for the development of a toolkit that can grow over time as new risks are identified and as new forms of abuse are encountered." 'via Blog this'

Telecoms Policy review of 'Net Neutrality'

Review now online (paywall suggests it's worth more than the book!), arguing that:
"This volume represents a truly comprehensive analysis of network neutrality up until June 2016. The meticulous research and referencing means that the text is a complete description at that date and provides the perfect foundation for additional work.
The writing style of the author is readily accessible and exceptionally readable. This is important for a text to have an audience beyond academia. In particular, the description in Chapter 4 of the way in which the European Union, in its various forms, created ‘a messy compromise’ law was fascinating. This chapter provides a fabulous case study in European Union regulatory decision making."
Thanks to the editors and Rob Nicholls for those kind words!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mozilla – Equal Rating - FreeBasics loses out to Telenor Free in Myanmar study

Blog – Equal Rating: "Respondents pursue sophisticated data-cost management strategies that include using multiple SIMs, switching carriers for promotions, and using zero-rated services to access content for which they would otherwise pay. Several respondents use Free Basics regularly to manage data expenses by using free Messenger exclusively or limiting certain Facebook activity to free mode.

Some Telenor Free users continue browsing Facebook by switching to MPT Free Basics after exhausting their daily free data cap on Telenor.

4. Contrasting user experience and content lead to different uses across zero-rated content promotions

In contrast to Free Basics, all respondents who tried Telenor Free continue to use it, and several have switched to Telenor from MPT for the new promotion. Users emphasize the appeal of free full-feature Facebook, and this content leads nearly all users to increase data consumption. Notably, several rural users began watching video for the first time on the promotion, and now use their entire free 150MB allotment each day." 'via Blog this'

Mozilla – Equal Rating Research in Peru - zero rating used by young well-resourced not first-timers

Blog – Equal Rating: "Research findings show that respondents’ understanding of the internet is not conditioned by zero rating promotions. Indeed, most respondents are unaware whether they have or use plans with subsidized data. Most respondents have already learned about the internet before using mobile data, as their first contact with the internet was primarily through computers.

In other words, zero rated services did not serve to bring non-users online for the first time.

However, users’ understanding of the internet is not only affected by their means of access and first exposure, but also their education level, and age. Respondents who have recently begun using the internet place greater emphasis on the negative aspects and hazards that come with use." 'via Blog this'

Wikimedia's #zerowashing - the reality is less than the hype

Wikimedia is in general a "good thing" - or at least the Wikipedia project is, even if the foundation's staff has grown from 3 to 280 salaried employees. But Wikipedia has been seized upon by #FreeBasics to argue for zero rating in general being good - a much less clear prospect given it is supping with Facebook, without a long spoon. As will be well known to readers of this blog, I favour non-exclusive zero rating as a short-term exception to net neutrality.
Wikimedia "works to expand free and open access to knowledge everywhere, including areas where affordable access to the internet is a fundamental barrier" which means zero rating where otherwise access is very expensive and very slow So it is the no-graphics versions that it agrees to zero rate with local telecoms operators - either mobile or zero sites. It claimed in February 2016 that as a result "more than 600 million people in 64 countries can read, edit, and contribute to Wikipedia through Wikipedia Zero partnerships".
What does that mean in practice for the global zero rating story?
There are 65 Wikimedia agreements in place, across a rather smaller number of countries. 41 are with Caribbean operators Digicel and Flow, in notoriously expensive data nations. I presume the expired agreements are not included - such as with Saudi, India, Russia. Orange is also not included, though trumpeted in 2012.
Of the 24 agreements in larger nations, only 6 were made in 2016-17 - so this is now a historic interest. The single 2017 name that jumps out is Nigeria - why is a nation of 200m people in need of a specific agreement with a specific operator? Answers please! The same very much applies to Thailand, though signed in the first rush in 2012.
Chile famously banned #zerorating from 2012 - though Wikimedia claims it received positive answers to excepting Wikipedia in 2014 (not confirmed by government). It is also not in the Table.
Other nations are either very under-developed in mobile data (Mongolia, Myanmar, East Timor), some due to allied bombing (Afghanistan, Iraq), historically under-developed EU (Serbia, Moldova, Montenegro, Kosovo, the former pair via Telenor), or very poor indeed (several Stans).
But some are blatantly anti-competitive - 2 in Morocco, 2 in Angola, 1 in Tunisia,  Ghana, Jordan, Peru, Rwanda, some of these countries with extreme net neutrality breaches.
Of course, that's only a small part of the story - even with Nigeria, Thailand and those blatant examples, the number of subscribers is much less than the 600m
claimed. The real story lies in FreeBasics and its deals in everywhere except India - especially in Latin America and Africa. More research into the numbers needed, please!

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Apple's Real Reason for Finally Joining the Net Neutrality Fight | WIRED

Apple's Real Reason for Finally Joining the Net Neutrality Fight | WIRED: "The real significance of Apple's filing is what it says about the company's future. The company has long aspired to be more than just a hardware company, and now that Apple is in the streaming video business, net neutrality will become increasingly important to the company's bottom line. Apple... reportedly plans to spend $1 billion to produce even more content. If companies like AT&T and Verizon can hobble Apple's streams while boosting their own, it could be a real problem for Cupertino's video (and revenue) ambitions." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Annual country reports on open internet from national regulators - 2017 | Digital Single Market

Annual country reports on open internet from national regulators - 2017 | Digital Single Market: "Annual reports of the national regulatory authorities (NRAs) on compliance with the provisions on open internet in their respective countries.

Today the Commission makes available on its website annual country reports from national regulators on open internet.

The reports were prepared by the national regulatory authorities (NRAs) and sent to the Commission and BEREC.

[Note - Germany and Sweden detail infringement proceedings in English - others are problematic unless you read Slovenian, Hungarian and Dutch]

They cover the first 12 months after the open internet rules became applicable on 30 April 2016.

The reports will serve as a basis for BEREC's Report on the implementation of the net neutrality rules expected by the end of the year. The reports will also be used by the Commission in the next Europe's Digital Progress Report in 2018." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

'It's digital colonialism': how Facebook's free internet service has failed its users | Technology | The Guardian

'It's digital colonialism': how Facebook's free internet service has failed its users | Technology | The Guardian: "Whatever Facebook’s true goal, Free Basics offers the company another treasure trove of data: all user activities within the app are channeled through Facebook’s servers. This means Facebook can tell which third-party sites users are looking at, when and for how long.


Free Basics collects metadata relating to browsing activity. “The program has created substantial new avenues for Facebook to gather data about the habits and interests of users in countries where they aspire to have a strong presence, as more users come online,” said Global Voices.

 In spite of its shortcomings, Free Basics has grown rapidly and, according to Facebook, is used by 50m people. However, it’s mostly used by people who want to extend their mobile data package for free as opposed to connecting those who previously didn’t have access to the internet – an audience Facebook has repeatedly stated it is trying to reach.

 “It is not a great approach for bringing people online, but it’s really good at saving costs for people already online,” said Dhanaraj Thakur, of the Alliance for Affordable Internet.

“The narrative Facebook is concerned with is about increasing access, but there’s a lack of empirical evidence. But that’s the whole point of the project!”

 Facebook refused to answer questions about how many people it had brought online for the first time, how it places content within the apps or how the company measures the success of the scheme. However, the company pointed out the report only looked at a few markets and that it is an open platform for which any content provider can adapt their services." 'via Blog this'

Friday, July 28, 2017

'It's digital colonialism': how Facebook's free internet service has failed its users: Guardian

'It's digital colonialism': how Facebook's free internet service has failed its users | Technology | The Guardian: "“The narrative Facebook is concerned with is about increasing access, but there’s a lack of empirical evidence. But that’s the whole point of the project!”

 Facebook refused to answer questions about how many people it had brought online for the first time, how it places content within the apps or how the company measures the success of the scheme. However, the company pointed out the report only looked at a few markets and that it is an open platform for which any content provider can adapt their services." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, July 27, 2017

¿Quién debe responder por la neutralidad de la red? • ENTER.CO

¿Quién debe responder por la neutralidad de la red? • ENTER.CO: "¡En Colombia la gente paga por enviarse mensajes! ¿Acaso nos encontramos en 1920 como la industria del telegrama? Las empresas de telecomunicaciones crean “bizarre price plans (planes de precios extravagantes)”, en su afán por generar negocio a partir de internet. E internet no funciona así. Necesitan competir y conseguir planes para financiarse (creo que sería bueno que nos preguntáramos más seguido de dónde sale el dinero).

 Al final, el usuario debería poder elegir, pero ante opciones más transparentes. En el Reino Unido las personas ya ni siquiera contratan un plan de telefonía fijo, es raro. Pero he visto que en Colombia las empresas de telecomunicaciones te ofrecen en sus planes cosas como ‘adquiere este plan con teléfono fijo, internet…’ ¿Teléfono fijo? ¿Por qué teléfono fijo? Es raro." 'via Blog this'

Con la neutralidad de la red se juega el futuro de internet

Con la neutralidad de la red se juega el futuro de internet: "La explosión del uso de datos móviles implica que todo baja de precio, la tecnología, el almacenamiento, y todos deberíamos esperar tener condiciones como las de Finlandia en unos tres años. El problema de que los reguladores permitan el “zero rating” sin mayor escrutinio es que puede volverse una condición normal del mercado, cuando deberían obligar a las compañías a ofrecer acceso a datos más barato cada año.

 La normalización de esta práctica también viene por cuenta de algo que he llamado zero washing y funciona de la misma forma en que las compañías de petróleo se pintan como amigables con el medio ambiente: uno ve fotos de niños sonriendo en campos verdes al lado del logo de una petrolera, por ejemplo." 'via Blog this'

Monday, July 24, 2017

SNL: Former BT CTO: 5G not 'as transformative as people like to think'

SNL: Q&A: Former BT CTO: 5G not 'as transformative as people like to think': "The reality is, I don't think 5G is quite as transformative as people like to think. For operators to make a success of 5G, they will need 10 times more towers than they've already got — and this will be a stretch.

Less than 5% of all internet and digital connection is through 3G and 4G. Meanwhile, approximately 55% of all digital connections on mobile devices use Wi-Fi and the rest are on fixed line.

Will 5G change that? I think it is very unlikely.

Will 5G be a big player in the internet of things? Again, very unlikely. It is interesting that all of the mobile companies will offer me Wi-Fi access to their networks in order to encourage me not to use their 4G because they do not have the capacity. So there are a number of impediments." 'via Blog this'

Friday, July 21, 2017

Verizon admits to throttling video in apparent violation of net neutrality - The Verge

Verizon admits to throttling video in apparent violation of net neutrality - The Verge: "Yesterday, we reported that Verizon Wireless appeared to be throttling Netflix traffic, — and today, the company seems to have come clean. In a statement provided to Ars Technica and The Verge, Verizon implicitly admitted to capping the traffic, blaming the issue on a temporary video optimization test.

 “We've been doing network testing over the past few days to optimize the performance of video applications on our network," a Verizon Wireless spokesperson said. “The testing should be completed shortly. The customer video experience was not affected.”" 'via Blog this'

Friday, July 07, 2017

UK mobile carrier copies T-Mobile's Binge On scheme, nearly down to the name - The Verge

UK mobile carrier copies T-Mobile's Binge On scheme, nearly down to the name - The Verge: "A spokesperson from Three responded to The Verge about whether the new policy violates EU net neutrality and its competitiveness guideline:

 “No, we are compliant with regulation. Neither the EU net neutrality regulations nor the Berec guidelines prohibit the zero rating of services. Go Binge does not block content and it does not prioritise or restrict traffic. We are promoting customer choice: customers can opt out of the service if they choose to do so. We are not compelling consumers to participate and we are not charging them anything if they do so. This is an innovative product which adds to a number of zero-rated agreements in place across the industry.”

Virgin Mobile launched a similar program last year in which it zero-rates Facebook apps, like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Twitter Joins Net Neutrality Protest | Multichannel

Twitter Joins Net Neutrality Protest | Multichannel: "Fight for the Future pointed Thursday to a Morning Consult/Politico poll finding a majority of respondents support prohibiting blocking and throttling and paid prioritization.
ISPs have long said they can live with no blocking or throttling, though they are somewhat less emphatic about no prioritizing. What they say they can't live with, or certainly don't want to, is what they argue are Title II regs meant for last-century telephone service applied to this century broadband." 'via Blog this'

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Brazilians Rebel Against Data Caps. The Rest of the World Should, Too. - Morning Consult

Brazilians Rebel Against Data Caps. The Rest of the World Should, Too. - Morning Consult: "The economic structure of this market suggests ISPs may be implementing data caps all over the world. It’s not surprising to learn that almost 2 million Brazilians signed a petition against data caps in 2016, and that 600,000 said “yes,” in an online poll conducted by the Senate, to a bill that creates a new right of “internet access without data caps.” Consumers know that data caps are not for their benefit, and that the technical arguments sustained by the ISPs are flawed.

 The Brazilian Congress is about to change the famous “Marco Civil da Internet” — a federal law that became known as the “Constitution for the use of Internet” — in order to establish a new right: the right to connect at home without data caps imposed by ISPs. This could be a new type of “digital right” for the 21st century." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Finnish mobile operators ask to opt out of free EU-roaming rules due to #netneutrality Yle Uutiset | yle.fi

Finnish mobile network operators ask to opt out of free EU-roaming rules | Yle Uutiset | yle.fi: "Finnish operators say there are far more mobile customers from Finland who travel around Europe and use the internet - as opposed to the other way around - making it a lopsided deal.

Another hurdle facing local operators is that subscribers in Finland are used to having unlimited, uncapped data, while operators in many other countries charge customers based on how much data is actually used, down to the megabyte.

Having access to unlimited data, subscribers from Finland have become accustomed to using a lot of it." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Everyone Should Be Getting Wikipedia for Free - Reason.com

Everyone Should Be Getting Wikipedia for Free - Reason.com: "The lack of clarity about zero-rating could change overnight, however, and it wouldn't require any new laws, any new regulations, any new quasi-formal inquiries from the commissioners—or even Pai's proposed rollback of the 2015 regulatory order. All it would take would be for Pai to call openly (in speeches or interviews, say, or other public appearances) and frequently for internet providers to experiment with adding zero-rated public information to their offerings." 'via Blog this'

Net neutrality: Amazon among top internet firms planning day of action: Guardian

Net neutrality: Amazon among top internet firms planning day of action | Technology | The Guardian: "Amazon, Etsy, Kickstarter, Mozilla and Vimeo all intend to hold a day of protest on 12 July in opposition to plans by Donald Trump’s newly appointed telecoms regulator to neuter tough 2015 rules meant to protect “net neutrality” – the concept that all traffic should be equal online." 'via Blog this'

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Netflix is stepping back from the fight for net neutrality - CNET

Netflix is stepping back from the fight for net neutrality - CNET: "Hastings said Netflix is still supportive of other companies fighting against the net neutrality rollback— and that in a sense, it's their turn to do so.

Plus, all that battling might be for naught.

"I think Trump's FCC is going to unwind the rules no matter what happens," Hastings said. He also expressed some optimism that perhaps internet providers will continue to play fair, even if there are no longer regulations in place. " 'via Blog this'

French regulator (chair of BEREC) extends research to devices & OS

Can't repost but this slide deck is both excellent and very provocative for other BEREC members trying to work out what to do. ARCEP states:
"As the guarantor of net neutrality, Arcep believes that attention must also be paid to end-user devices and their operating systems. Arcep believes that impediments to a fully open internet may derive from factors that are not covered by the Open internet regulation. Among these factors, Arcep has specifically identified devices and their operating systems (OS), whose properties end users are not necessarily in a position to fully assess. After a first round of work and interviews, Arcep has mapped out its initial findings on impediments to an open internet that derive from devices. The map identifies four main types of restriction: those resulting from the characteristics of the device being used (physical fixed or mobile device), those that can be attributed to software developments, those resulting from operating systems' and app stores' editorial policies and, lastly, those resulting from device suppliers' business models.
The published report is the first milestone in an action plan devoted to end-user devices and their operating systems With the publication of this report on end-user devices and their influence on internet openness, Arcep marks a first milestone in the "open devices" action plan announced in 2016 in the report that concluded its strategic review. The purpose of map that Arcep has drawn is to serve as the starting point for future dialogue with stakeholders. Players are thus being asked for their feedback on these initial findings, but also to share their views on how this issue will evolve over time, using the following e-mail address: terminaux@arcep.fr.
Work on this topic will continue, through deeper analysis of the restrictions and their justification. Arcep intends to investigate the actions that may need to be taken, notably regarding the fluidity of end-user device markets, to ensure a truly open internet. This open approach, which should result in a more detailed report and a dedicated event in early 2018, will be coordinated by "Devices" project leader, Jennifer Siroteau."

Monday, May 29, 2017

TeleFrieden: Summary of the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom NPRM

TeleFrieden: Summary of the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom NPRM: Thanks Rob! "The FCC now proposes to apply an information service regulatory classification to broadband Internet access and to treat wireless service as private carriage rather than the existing commercial designation established by Congress. The Commission heavily relies on a questionable conclusion that common carriage regulation stifles investment, innovation and employment in the Internet ecosystem.

While offering a passing reference to contrary studies, the FCC opts to accept unconditionally the conclusion in one study sponsored by incumbent carriers that existing regulation imposed substantial marketplace harms." 'via Blog this'

Sunday, May 28, 2017

These companies spend the most money to kill net neutrality

These companies spend the most money to kill net neutrality: "The top pro-neutrality organizations filed 176 lobbying reports mentioning net neutrality. But the top anti-neutrality organizations far outpaced them, filing 472 reports that mentioned net neutrality. That’s a 2.7-to-1 ratio.

 When we arrange the top-20 net neutrality lobbying organizations by amount of reports on the issue (Figure 1), the disparity is clear. The five most active organizations on the issue since 2005—Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the National Music Publishers Association—are all opposed to neutrality. Verizon and AT&T are heads and shoulders above everyone else, each with an estimated 119 reports mentioning net neutrality." 'via Blog this'

Saturday, May 27, 2017

BEREC will run three public consultations from 7 June till 5 July 2017

BEREC will run three public consultations from 7 June till 5 July 2017: "On 7 June, in Brussels, during the Public debriefing BEREC will launch three public consultations on the following documents: BEREC Medium-term strategy 2018-2020, Internet protocol interconnection practices in the context of Net Neutrality and BEREC regulatory methodology for quality of service assessment for the implementation of Net Neutrality provisions. All the public consultations will run for four consecutive weeks, and will end on 5 July 2017." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

How One Little Cable Company Exposed Telecom’s Achilles’ Heel

How One Little Cable Company Exposed Telecom’s Achilles’ Heel: "So don’t fixate on “net neutrality.” Political talk about high-speed internet access in America is chock full of words like that that have been entirely untethered from their their meanings and history. Even though the state of internet access is an issue that touches the bank accounts and opportunities of hundreds of millions of Americans and gazillions of businesses, very few people understand what’s actually going on. Now you are among them." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Net Neutrality Violations: A Brief History | Free Press

Net Neutrality Violations: A Brief History | Free Press: "In reality, many providers both in the United States and abroad have violated the principles of Net Neutrality — and they plan to continue doing so in the future.

This history of abuse revealed a problem that the FCC’s 2015 Net Neutrality protections solved. Those rules are now under threat" 'via Blog this'

Throttling of websites and online services might help customers, FCC says | Ars Technica

Throttling of websites and online services might help customers, FCC says | Ars Technica: "The NPRM also suggests that customers are being harmed by the ban on ISPs charging websites and other online services for faster access to consumers. "Is there a risk that banning paid prioritization suppresses pro-competitive activity?" the NPRM asks. "For example, could allowing paid prioritization give Internet service providers a supplemental revenue stream that would enable them to offer lower-priced broadband Internet access service to end-users?"

 The NPRM asks whether paid prioritization could "enable certain critical information, such as consumers’ health care vital signs that are being monitored remotely, to be transmitted more efficiently or reliably." But the document fails to mention that the existing rules have an exception that lets ISPs sell isolated network capacity for telemedicine services.

 The FCC also asks whether it should keep rules that require ISPs to make greater disclosures about hidden fees and data caps. The FCC seems to think the broadband market is so competitive that this isn't necessary. "We seek comment on whether the additional reporting obligations from that rule remains necessary in today’s competitive broadband marketplace," the NPRM says. Pai has already exempted ISPs with 250,000 or fewer subscribers from these rules.

 An FCC official acknowledged that it's highly likely the commission will be sued after it makes changes to net neutrality rules, but noted that courts have generally deferred to the FCC on whether Internet providers should or should not be classified as common carriers." 'via Blog this'

Net neutrality going down in flames as US FCC votes to kill Title II rules | Ars Technica UK

Net neutrality going down in flames as US FCC votes to kill Title II rules | Ars Technica UK: "The US Federal Communications Commission voted 2-1 today (18 May) to start the process of eliminating net neutrality rules and the classification of home and mobile Internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act.

 The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposes eliminating the Title II classification and seeks comment on what, if anything, should replace the current net neutrality rules. But Chairman Ajit Pai is making no promises about reinstating the two-year-old net neutrality rules that forbid ISPs from blocking or throttling lawful Internet content or prioritizing content in exchange for payment. Pai's proposal argues that throttling websites and applications might somehow help Internet users.

The FCC plans to take comments on its plan until August 16 (the docket is available here) and then make a final decision sometime after that." 'via Blog this'

Friday, May 12, 2017

AT&T could be punished for unlimited data throttling after all | Ars Technica

AT&T could be punished for unlimited data throttling after all | Ars Technica: "But FTC enforcement isn't a perfect substitute for the FCC. As the FCC is the expert agency for telecommunications and can create specific rules to protect telecom customers, the FTC isn't able to create hard-and-fast rules that ISPs must follow. The FTC can prevent deceptive or unfair practices, but this depends in large part on ISPs promising not to do bad things. If companies make promises in their terms of service and then fail to deliver, the FTC can step in.

 "We are a very hard-working agency, but we’re not a very big agency," FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny recently told Ars. "The FTC doesn't have a lot of expertise in network engineering. We're not the FCC in that regard." The FTC receives "millions of consumer complaints every year" across all industries under its jurisdiction, and "we can’t act on every single complaint."" 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Netherlands Zero Rating Case 20 April

ROT 17/468, ROT 17/1160 and ROT 17/1932 T-Mobile v. Ziggo BV , Ziggo Services BV , Vodafone Libertel BV
Google Translate:  ACM has ordered T-Mobile to discontinue the provision and execution of the Data Free Music service under forfeiture of a penalty payment. At the hearing it appears that VodafoneZiggo disagrees with the far-reaching suspension by ACM of the burden during a possible preliminary question. The objection lodged at the sitting - as part of the plea note - indicates that the court should have been forwarded within the meaning of Article 7: 1a, 6th of the Awb. ACM takes the view that zero rating is contrary to Article 3, second and third paragraphs, of the Network Neutrality Regulation and with Article 7.4a, third paragraph, of the Tw. The court is of the opinion that the neutrality regulation and in particular Article 3 of the Regulation undoubtedly contains no categorical prohibition of price discrimination ("acte clair"). Article 7.4a, third paragraph, of the Tw is therefore unequivocally contrary to the network neutrality regulation. In this connection, the court notes that no other conclusion is possible than the national legislature has acted against by better understanding by Article 7.4a, third paragraph, of the Tw, in spite of the establishment history and the text of Article 3 of the Network Neutrality Regulation , Based on "further examination of the text of the Regulation".

'via Blog this'

FCC website 'targeted by attack' after John Oliver comments - BBC News

FCC website 'targeted by attack' after John Oliver comments - BBC News: ""Mr Pai is essentially trolling the trolls," Chris Marsden, professor of internet law at the University of Sussex, told the BBC.
"If you bait John Oliver, you reap what you sow."
The FCC will vote on Mr Pai's proposals to revoke the legislation on 18 May." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 27, 2017

FCC Chair Ajit Pai Announces Bullshit Plan to Destroy Net Neutrality

FCC Chair Ajit Pai Announces Bullshit Plan to Destroy Net Neutrality: "if Pai wants to enact a rule that will survive a legal challenge, he’ll have to show it isn’t an “arbitrary and capricious” reversal of policy, under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Or, as we outlined previously, it’s possible that Pai’s move to open rulemaking is intended to pressure Democrats on the Hill into making a bad deal on new net neutrality-related legislation.

If the threat of a rule change does bring Democrats to the bargaining table, that too is unlikely to result in strong regulation. Any deal that can pass a Republican majority in both houses and Trump in the White House would likely be favorable to ISPs and Philip Berenbroick, senior policy counsel at Public Knowledge, told Gizmodo that “a bad deal legislatively is the worst outcome here.”" 'via Blog this'

5 Things to Know About the Next Battle Over Net Neutrality | Variety

5 Things to Know About the Next Battle Over Net Neutrality | Variety: "While Pai is in favor of the repeal of title II, what is unclear is what kind of rules would replace the current ones. He has reportedly looked at an approach in which ISPs would voluntarily agree to a set of guidelines, but that would fall far short of what longtime activists have sought. That’s why so many activists say that Pai’s attack on title II is an attack on net neutrality itself.

 He plans to reveal the full proposal on Thursday, and the FCC would then vote on May 18 to officially kick off a proceeding to gather public comment. Pai indicated that a final vote would come later this year." 'via Blog this'

Net Neutrality Alive and Well in Canada: CRTC Crafts Full Code With Zero Rating Decision - Michael Geist

Net Neutrality Alive and Well in Canada: CRTC Crafts Full Code With Zero Rating Decision - Michael Geist: "The Commission established its first net neutrality policy response in 2009 with the Internet traffic management practices. The rules restrict content blocking or slowdowns and require ISPs to disclose how they manage their networks. T

he issue expanded into zero rating in 2013 when Ben Klass, a graduate student in telecommunications, filed a complaint with the CRTC over how Bell approach to its Mobile TV product.

 In January 2015, the CRTC released its decision in the case, siding with Klass. The Commission expressed concern that the service “may end up inhibiting the introduction and growth of other mobile TV services accessed over the Internet, which reduces innovation and consumer choice.”

 Today’s decision largely completes the process by providing a framework for examining future zero rating or differential pricing cases (and rejecting Videotron’s music service plan in an accompanying decision). The ruling opens by examining whether differential pricing (of which zero rating is a form) raises concerns regarding preferences or disadvantages.  The Commission concludes that it often does" 'via Blog this'

Friday, April 21, 2017

Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2017-104: Paras 126-129 on #zerorating

Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2017-104 | CRTC: "Evaluation criteria

 In the context of evaluating whether a differential pricing practice is compliant with subsection 27(2) of the Act, the Commission has established evaluation criteria that will provide all stakeholders, particularly ISPs, with a degree of predictability. The Commission will consider the following evaluation criteria in any future analysis of whether a differential pricing practice involves an undue or unreasonable preference or disadvantage:

The agnostic treatment of data. The Commission will consider the extent to which data traffic is priced or rated equally or agnostically by an ISP with regard to its customers’ retail Internet access services, while having regard to the amount of data involved. Offerings that rate or price data non-agnostically, such as by zero-rating data traffic from certain content providers (including affiliated entities), are likely to raise concerns under subsection 27(2). Differential pricing practices that treat data traffic agnostically (e.g. time-of-day offerings) are not likely to raise the same level of concern.

The exclusiveness of the offering. The Commission will consider the extent to which a differential pricing practice is exclusive to a particular class or group of subscribers, or to a particular content provider or class or group of content providers, while also having regard to the number of subscribers or content providers affected. For example, differential pricing practices that are exclusive to subscribers to a particular data plan are likely to raise concerns under subsection 27(2).

The impact on Internet openness and innovation. The Commission will consider the extent to which a differential pricing practice inhibits or compromises the openness of the Internet for Canadians and the choices available to Canadians. In particular, this analysis will consider (a) whether a differential pricing practice affects the ability of content providers or innovators to enter the market by creating barriers to entry, and (b) the extent to which a differential pricing practice affects innovation. For example, differential pricing practices that require content providers to conform to administrative and technical requirements that are burdensome, costly, or time-consuming to meet are likely to raise concerns under subsection 27(2). Differential pricing practices that favour large, established content providers over smaller ones and new entrants are also likely to raise concerns.

Whether there is financial compensation involved. The Commission will consider whether a differential pricing practice results in financial compensation or other financial benefits between a content provider and an ISP or third-party sponsor (including affiliated entities), having regard to the amount of compensation involved and the extent of the financial interest with any affiliated entity. For example, sponsored data arrangements, where an ISP receives payment from a content provider in exchange for zero-rating the data traffic to and from that provider, are likely to raise concerns under subsection 27(2).

In applying these criteria, the Commission will give primary consideration to the agnostic treatment of data, since differential pricing practices that favour certain content at the expense of other content have the greatest potential for harm. The Commission will look to the other three criteria as additional considerations in any evaluation of a differential pricing practice.

None of the four evaluation criteria will necessarily be determinative on its own, as each assessment of a differential pricing practice will be fact-specific. The weight given to each criterion may also vary from case to case, depending on the circumstances.

Finally, the Commission will consider whether there are exceptional circumstances that demonstrate clear benefits to the public interest and/or minimal harm associated with a differential pricing practice. For example, the Commission may consider whether there are privacy-related, technological, administrative, or other factors that would impact its analysis under subsection 27(2) such that the benefits of allowing a specific differential pricing practice would clearly outweigh any harms." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

ACM SIGCOMM Workshop (2016) on Hot Topics in Middleboxes and Network Function Virtualization (HotMiddlebox 2016) - ACM SIGCOMM 2016

ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Hot Topics in Middleboxes and Network Function Virtualization (HotMiddlebox 2016) - ACM SIGCOMM 2016: "Modern networks heavily rely on advanced in network processing for a wide spectrum of crucial functions ranging from security through traffic management, all the way to Voice over IP (just to name few). Until recently, these network functions were implemented in dedicated hardware "middleboxes" spread within the network. However, the strive to reduce cost and increase agility is motivating a major shift to a paradigm where software-based processing is done over virtualized, shared platforms built on commodity hardware servers, switches, and storage.

This trend towards virtualized middleboxes, called Network Function Virtualization, NFV, with the use of Software Defined Networks, SDN to control the network flows is gaining popularity in the telecommunication industry as well as in academia. Yet, this paradigm shift is at a very early stage and many interesting questions remain open in this regard. " 'via Blog this'

Monday, April 17, 2017

Private Eye Media News: Sky Q degrading BBC iPlayer?

Private Eye Media News: "BOULTON WONDERER…
Sky’s Adam Boulton blames the Beeb when he can’t find an interview with the PM on iPlayer – but his access problems have more to do with Sky’s whizzy new Q box." 'via Blog this'

BBC should NOT necessarily occupy top EPG spot - Elstein

BBC should NOT necessarily occupy top EPG spot |: "Elstein says Purnell’s answer is to ask the UK parliament to force on-demand services to provide “due prominence” for public service catch-up offerings “like iPlayer”.

“This “like” is another weaselly formulation, as the only catch-up service from the designated public service broadcasters (BBC, ITV1, Channel 4 and Five) that provides exclusively public service content is – the iPlayer.

The equivalent services from ITV, Channel 4 and Five all include an array of programmes that never appeared on their public service channels: content from ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, E4, More4, 5USA and so on that are nothing to do with public service television, including all the programmes acquired from abroad that are not even British (which is true of the iPlayer, too). Why should any platform be forced to give these services ‘due prominence’” asks Elstein.

 Elstein concludes by saying it is highly unlikely that today’s Culture, Media & Sport ministry will demand changes to the current status quo. “The Digital Economy Bill is likely to pass with no such encumbrances. But that has never stopped the BBC asking,” states Elstein." 'via Blog this'

‘Nobody’s got to use the Internet’: A GOP lawmaker’s response to concerns about Web privacy - The Washington Post

‘Nobody’s got to use the Internet’: A GOP lawmaker’s response to concerns about Web privacy - The Washington Post: "Sensenbrenner’s statement has since drawn criticism from social-media users. Some accused the 73-year-old congressman of being out of touch in the digital age, when something as basic as paying the bills, buying clothes or finding a job is done online.

 “Nobody has to use indoor plumbing or electricity. They can just use outhouses and kerosene lamps. They have a choice, right?” one Twitter user wrote.

“Nobody has to use the Internet? Many jobs require it. Schools require it. Take his office Internet away, maybe?” said another." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Net neutrality: We are interested in Aadhaar and Make in India: Sebastien Soriano, Chairman, Berec

Net neutrality: We are interested in Aadhaar and Make in India: Sebastien Soriano, Chairman, Berec, Technology News, ETtech: "Is BEREC likely to take a similar decision as India on zero rating or Free Basics?

In the European framework, zero rating is not banned in itself. Our regulation is quite new, and now one-third of us in Europe are concretely looking at practices of zero rating. Some of us have taken decisions, others are still in process, and so we will see the outcome.

Some practices will be banned, others will be cleared.

 The idea is that we will make a panorama of this at the end of this year. BEREC will issue a report on how the net neutrality regulation has been implemented.

 How do you view India’s telecom sector?

Something that I found interesting, which is close to what we are trying to do in Europe, is what Trai is doing with MySpeed app. The Austrian regulator is doing exactly the same thing.

When prices are low, it’s important to give the ability to the consumer that gives more importance to quality. If the end user has the right information about the best network, then they will subscribe to that network, which in turn will make more money for the operator, which he can invest into the networks." 'via Blog this'

BEREC seeks common understanding on net neutrality with India

BEREC seeks common understanding on net neutrality with India: "BEREC Chair Sebastien Soriano (Arcep) took this opportunity to emphasise that European regulators followed with great interest the Indian regulator’s move to ban Free Basics. He also expressed BEREC’s interest in the Indian industry’s dynamism, notably the impact of Reliance Jio on the market, the cost-sharing model through tower companies and the digital enabler Aadhaar. 

 This meeting was the occasion for BEREC Chair and Vice-Chairs to engage a discussion with their Indian counterpart to find the points where they have a common understanding about net neutrality. “India is the most important democracy in the world; Europe is the second one. So, as net neutrality is a democratic issue, it’s really important that the most important democracies stick together to see if we are considering this the same way.” 

In this regard, BEREC Chair informed the Indian regulator that BEREC intends to dedicate an important of its work to net neutrality this year.

In particular, a BEREC report on implementation of the net neutrality rules in the EU is to be issued this year. It is also envisaged that, in 2017, BEREC experts will elaborate a tool kit for quality of service measurements" 'via Blog this'

Friday, April 07, 2017

DT flirts with net neutrality controversy | Telecoms.com

DT flirts with net neutrality controversy | Telecoms.com: "Apple Music, Amazon’s Music Unlimited and Prime Video, napster, Netflix and Sky Go are a number of the services on offer currently, though there is potential for this list to expand substantially. A new partner programme has also been launched which doesn’t seem to have many limitations for the moment, presumably if you are prepared to pay Deutsche Telekom for the privilege.

“There’s no restriction: any provider of legal audio and video content can become a partner,” said Michael Hagspihl, Head of Consumer. “The StreamOn partnership is open to any interested party.”

 It’s an interesting move from a country which would usually be associated with conservativism, as the jury is still out on whether zero-rating offers are contradictory or complimentary to competition in the telco market. While there are valid arguments on both sides of the debate, the move from Deutsche Telekom could certainly prompt intervention from German regulators, known to be one of the strictest worldwide." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

National Media and Infocommunications Authority • NMHH decision on non-discriminatory Internet

National Media and Infocommunications Authority • NMHH decision on non-discriminatory Internet: "The point of EU’s net neutrality rules is that internet service providers shall not block, slow down, alter, restrict, interfere with, degrade or discriminate between specific content, applications or services. The Hungarian Telekom’s TV GO service infringed these provisions, since other similar OTT- and video sharing services were only available for the subscribers’ data traffic package expense. The net neutrality provisions ensure the subscribers right to access and distribute information and content, use and provide applications and services of their choice, without discrimination not restricted by service providers or by third parties without any legal basis." 'via Blog this'

Friday, March 31, 2017

Net Neutrality Is Trump’s Next Target, Administration Says - NYTimes.com

Net Neutrality Is Trump’s Next Target, Administration Says - NYTimes.com: "In a news conference, Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, mentioned the net neutrality rules affecting telecommunications and cable internet services, noting that the Obama administration had “reclassified them as common carriers.”

 Mr. Spicer said President Trump had “pledged to reverse this overreach.” The Obama-era rules, Mr. Spicer said, were an example of “bureaucrats in Washington” placing restrictions on one kind of company — internet service suppliers — and “picking winners and losers.”" 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The 5G policy approach - Pan European Networks

The 5G policy approach - Pan European Networks : Pan European Networks: "The EU net neutrality rules are technologically neutral, and the rules will also apply to internet access services offered over the future 5G networks. If network slices are used to optimise the traffic in the 5G network, this must be done in a way that is consistent with the principle of net neutrality.

Some use cases of 5G will qualify as specialised services – certain forms of M2M communications, for example. Presumably, network slices could facilitate the reasonable traffic management allowed under the Net Neutrality Regulation if they are applied solely to differentiate between the objectively different technical quality of service requirements (e.g. interactive versus bulk traffic).

The concern for civil society, however, is that network slices can also be used to create internet fast lanes with paid prioritisation for certain types of content, such as through vertical integration with specific online video streaming services.

In July 2016, European telecommunication companies presented a ‘5G Manifesto for timely deployment of 5G in Europe’, which was welcomed and published online by the European Commission.3 The 5G Manifesto describes network slicing as a way to accommodate vertical integration with industry business models, and highlights the danger of restrictive net neutrality rules in this context." 'via Blog this'