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Monday, April 29, 2013

The road to monopoly is littered with good intentions: how EC lost the search battle

Regulating Code: The road to monopoly is littered with good intenti...: Three years ago, European Commissioner Neelie Kroes was a ‘Prosumer Champion’, defending European Internet users from Microsoft’s abusive monopoly...

Political election net neutrality violation: Malaysian ISPs throttle access to opposition political parties

BOWING TO THE POLITICAL MASTERS: Local ISPs playing politics?: "If the matter is true, such dirty tactics must be stopped. ISPs should focus on their job to deliver the best service to its customers any desired websites without restriction,” said Zulkifli Sulong, Harakahdaily's editor-in-chief.
Harakahdaily is not alone. Malaysiakini’s IT team reportedly observed similar trend. The portal today questioned whether ISPs had been ordered to reduce access or restrict some websites. nMalaysiakini chief executive officer Premesh Chandran was equally serious in urging ISPs to butt out of politics." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 25, 2013

European Internet Traffic: LSE Analysis

European Internet Traffic: Indicator of Growth and Competition in Digital Services – A summary | LSE Network Economy Forum: "UK big four (other than YouTube) are BBC iPlayer (5.1%), Netflix (2.51%), Lovefilm (1.46%), and 4oD (1.1%), but due to their regional character and restrictions, they fail to be among Europe’s top ten services overall. In the US, Netflix is the main traffic driver with 29% of composite traffic and the analyst firm Sandvine estimate that Netflix alone accounts for one-third of capacity infrastructure costs in the US (Sandvine 2012). Arbor Networks estimated in February 2010 that 60% of Google’s traffic was channeled through direct interconnects that link its data centres to one another. Assuming this share has not decreased, and combined with estimations (Sandvine 2012) of Youtube making up about 20% of aggregate traffic, this would indicate that at least some 12% of peak time traffic in Europe consists of Google’s privately routed YouTube traffic. During interviews we have further confirmed our preliminary belief that privately peered traffic makes up at least 20% of total traffic volume in Europe."
They make the important point that IXCs are the minority of traffic: "internet exchanges only make up about 30% of Cisco’s estimated total traffic on the internet. This is explained by the fact that Cisco includes managed IP traffic and other traffic observed at the end-points of the network that do not necessarily pass through the internet exchanges...The whole community needs accessible data on internet traffic to enable evidence-based policy: while we can measure a great deal about traffic on the internet, there remains a great deal that is obscure, incommensurate or inaccessible."
Hear hear! There will be more at their excellent-looking Network Economy conference on 13 May, from which I will report.  'via Blog this'

British PM Cameron backs 'clean wi-fi' porn block in public places

BBC News - PM backs 'clean wi-fi' porn block in public places: "David Cameron has pledged to promote "good, clean, wi-fi" in public spaces.It follows a campaign by a number of children's charities to get sites with adult content restricted in public areas with wi-fi internet access. Mr Cameron told the Telegraph he wanted people to "have confidence in public wi-fi systems so that they are not going to see things they shouldn't". The Children's Charities Coalition on Internet Safety welcomed the comments and said any deal was "long overdue"." Ever been to the UK high street? The list of chav fashion crimes and goose-fleshed blue legs and worse makes most Internet porn look discrete and tasteful....Cameron is the arch populist. 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

German ISP imposes data caps, discriminates in favour of own services

German ISP imposes data caps, discriminates in favour of own services | EDRI: "22 April 2013, the biggest German Internet operator Deutsche Telekom officially confirmed abandoning all contracts that offer flat rates for fixed Internet connections. Instead of investing in urgently needed broadband infrastructure in Germany, the operator announced starting throttling connections and introducing contracts with the following data caps:
- Rates with a speed up to 16 Mbit/s: 75 GB
- Rates with a speed up to 50 Mbit/s: 200 GB
- Rates with a speed up to 100 Mbit/s: 300 GB
- Rates with a speed up to 200 Mbit/s: 400 GB
As soon as these caps are exceeded, the Internet connection will be slowed down to 384 Kbit/s. However, this will not include Telekom's own streaming services, the so-called "T-Entertain" programs. Moreover, music streaming service Spotify will be favoured ahead of its competitors - limiting the market for legal online music. "

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Average World Internet Speeds Climb to 2.9Mbps as UK drops to 18th place

Average World Internet Speeds Climb to 2.9Mbps as UK Scores 6.5Mbps - ISPreview UK: "Akamai has today published its latest State of the Internet Q4 2012 report, which found that the average global download speed had clawed its way to 2.9Mbps (up from 2.8Mbps in Q3-2012). By comparison the UK reached a speed of 6.5Mbps (up from 6.3Mbps in Q3) to be ranked 18th fastest in the world (down from 17th)." 'via Blog this'

Monday, April 22, 2013

EU digital rights groups demand net neutrality protection

EU digital rights groups demand net neutrality protection | PCWorld: "La Quadrature du Net claimed in January that Kroes had caved in to telecom operator pressure and was giving up on net neutrality. She replied that she would not be bullied by NGOs or lobbyists. “Make no mistake: I am in favor of an open Internet and maximum choice. That must be protected. But you don’t need me or the E.U. telling you what sort of Internet services you must pay for,” said Kroes. Errr, well actually that's called prosumer protection, that's your job 'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Promises on net neutrality and election of new Commission 2014-2019

It's always good to look back at the record, and here's the confirmation for the brand new DG INFSO (now CONNECT) Commissioner, who finally squeeked in as Commissioner on 9 February 2010: "Ms Kroes replied that Commission shares the support of [net neutrality] and will protect it. The core issue is that internet providers "shouldn't be allowed to limit the access to service or content out of commercial motivation but only in cases of security issues and spamming". 
LINX reports in more depth: "Kroes, quipping that she had ‘painted a heart’ in her notes next to the topic, said that she would defend the principle, in particular when operators engage in abusive behaviour for commercial reasons. “It is at the core of the issue, whether internet access providers and operators should be able to exercise control, and limit users’ access to any content. For me it is absolutely, when it is done for commercially-motivated reasons – that is a no-go... The commission has to preserve the open and neutral character of the net. There are a couple reasons for being very vigilant to threats to net neutrality” citing “blocking or discriminating against VoIP services by mobile operators in European countries” as one example of an unacceptable violation of the net neutrality principle.
The EC's main spin doctor explained that "She was happy to come along and underline her commitment to the portfolio." 
Excellent - how's her record on that? Would she be likely to defend those principles if she won an unprecedented third term, alongside President Barroso?

The Plot to Block Internet Freedom - Genachowski and Lee C. Bollinger

The Plot to Block Internet Freedom - By Julius Genachowski and Lee C. Bollinger | Foreign Policy: "the Internet should remain free of gatekeepers and that no entity -- public or private -- should be able to pick and choose the information web users can receive. That is a principle the United States adopted in the Federal Communications Commission's 2010 Open Internet Order. And it's why we are deeply concerned about arguments by some in the United States that broadband providers should be able to block, edit, or favor Internet traffic that travels over their networks, or adopt economic models similar to international sender pays." 'via Blog this'

Monday, April 15, 2013

Regulating Code: Google’s EU battles far from over

Regulating Code: Google’s EU battles far from over: “Some labels would be likely to be ineffective or even affirmatively harmful,” warned Ben Edelman, an associate professor at Harvard Un...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Neelie Kroes: start-ups should 'Be creative and fearless' - Opinion: Neelie Kroes: 'Be creative and fearless': "I met with nine creative, ambitious internet entrepreneurs, among them the founders of Skype, Rovio, Spotify, Tuenti, Seedcamp and The Next Web. These are all young men and women who, in the last five to ten years, developed their original ideas into companies reaching millions of people. It wasn’t easy. They had to find finance, and struggled with administrative obstacles, difficult labour legislation and a lack of qualified staff. But they didn’t give up."
They also had de facto net neutrality back then...lucky devils! 'via Blog this'

Answer to a written question - Implementation of network neutrality in the Netherlands - E-009802/2012

Answer to a written question - Implementation of European telecommunications directives and network neutrality in the Netherlands - E-009802/2012: Ooops, missed this while I was lecturing in Thailand on my birthday (18 December), but no infringement proceeding yet! "In October 2012 the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to the Netherlands concerning amendments to the Dutch Telecommunications and Media Acts which allow for access to broadcasting transmission networks for third parties. In this context the need to ensure the NRAs ability to take independent decisions was raised. Such letters are normally not made public before the closure of the infringement proceedings. Finally, with respect to the newly introduced net neutrality provisions, the Commission shares the objective of preserving the open character of the Internet and has not started infringement proceedings against these provisions. The Commission has however expressed concerns regarding the possible negative effects on innovation and consumers and the risk of market fragmentation in Europe "
The answer goes on to explain that the UK's DPI problems may need monitoring in the Netherlands and that such technologies need to conform with the E-privacy Directive. 'via Blog this'

Markey: Backing net neutrality is prerequisite for FCC chief

Markey: Backing net neutrality is prerequisite for FCC chief - The Hill's Hillicon Valley: "On a conference call with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal advocacy group, Markey said that having an "understanding of net neutrality, an understanding of the non-discriminatory principles that are baked into the Internet from its origin," is a prerequisite for becoming FCC chairman." We'll see. Especially if the DC Appeals Court gives the FCC a bloody nose in the summer... 'via Blog this'

Net neutrality? We've heard of it, says Ofcom

Net neutrality? We've heard of it, says Ofcom • The Register: "Ofcom has [in its Annual Plan] decided that treating all packets of internet traffic as equals without discriminating against particular protocols and services - trendily known as net neutrality - is a non-issue in the UK. While some mobile operators are blocking access to some services, the free market will sort that out - though that market might need a little more greasing to make switching easier. Elsewhere the regulator accepts that the free market - in the form of spectrum auctions - can't always deliver greatest utilisation, so alternatives need to be considered." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Google Competitors Pressure EC To Advance Antitrust Investigation Into Search Manipulation

Google Competitors Pressure EC To Advance Antitrust Investigation Into Search Manipulation: "Google’s competitors in Europe are escalating their pressure on European authorities to finally file formal antitrust charges against Google after an investigation that has been going on there since November 2010. The latest move from some of Google’s rivals is a joint letter from 11 web-based companies that was sent to the European Commission, demanding real progress in the investigation." 'via Blog this'