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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Zero-Rating Plans are a Serious Threat to the Open Internet: US advocacy letter

Zero-Rating Plans are a Serious Threat to the Open Internet: "In every case, websites that have not negotiated with a particular ISP now face new barriers to reaching that ISP’s Internet users. These practices distort competition, stifle innovation, limit user choice, harm free speech, and drive up prices. In their current iterations, each of these plans run afoul of both the spirit of net neutrality and of the Open Internet rules. Without action from the FCC, zero­-rating plans will continue to expand, and ISPs will continue to seek out ways to monetize capped broadband service at the expense of an open Internet and the communities that rely on it. We urge the FCC to respond to the proliferation of these plans, fulfill its mandate to protect Internet users, and enforce its Open Internet rules." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Evidence-free assertions by Ed Vaizey to Parliament on Digital Economy: 22 March 2016

Oral evidence - The Digital Economy - 22 Mar 2016: "I cannot necessarily give you specific examples of where we have been successful, although in the past, for example, we introduced a code of conduct for net neutrality that was very successful.


I have said for many years, as a mindset and a matter of principle, that self-regulation in this area is a profitable route for two reasons, and they are linked. One is that the landscape moves so quickly that by the time you have gone through the rigmarole of formal regulation, consultation and so on, which can be very time-consuming, you could well be out of date. Secondly, if you work with the technology providers, you set yourself the goal of the outcome you want to see and you can reach conclusions very quickly. That is a good thing." 'via Blog this'

Iceland: on the path to Net Neutrality?

Iceland: on the path to Net Neutrality - Access Now: "As we note in our testimony for the Althingi, the result is “baseline Net Neutrality regulations for the EU,” but “vagueness remains in the text and can lead to misinterpretation.” There remain unresolved issues that will need to addressed by BEREC, the body of European telecoms regulators. Access Now presented a report to BEREC in November, and the finalised guidelines are to be published in August." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Merger control and mobile phone operators, or the limits of competition law and sector-specific reg

Merger control and mobile phone operators, or the limits of competition law and sector-specific regulation | Chillin'Competition: "I can think of many reasons why mobile operators are merging. Some of these reasons have to do with the regulatory choices made by authorities and legislators – there are no free lunches, and the obsession with net neutrality certainly does not come for free. The impression I have from the wave of ‘four to three’ mergers is that the process of consolidation in the industry is... " 'via Blog this'

Akamai Releases Q4 2015 State of the Internet Report

Akamai Releases Fourth Quarter 2015 State of the Internet Report | Akamai: "The global percentage of unique IP addresses connecting to Akamai that met the 4 Mbps broadband speed threshold increased 5.8% to 69%. Year-over-year growth was 17%.

In the fourth quarter of 2015, 32% of unique IP addresses across the world connected to Akamai at average speeds above 10 Mbps, an increase of 15% over the previous quarter. Year-over-year, this was a 34% increase.

19% percent of unique global IP addresses connected to Akamai at average “4K-ready” connection speeds of 15 Mbps or above, up from 15% in the third quarter.

Year-over-year, the global 15 Mbps adoption rate grew 54% with nine of the top 10 countries/regions seeing gains ranging from 3.3% in South Korea (63% adoption) to 102% in Norway (45% adoption)." 'via Blog this'

Ofcom releases SamKnows speed data for Nov2015

Full details here "In November 2015, forty two per cent of residential fixed broadband lines were superfast products (connections with a headline speed of 'up to' 30Mbit/s or more). This represents an increase of nine percentage points compared to a year previously. The proportion of lines with a headline speed of 'up to' 10Mbit/s or higher increased by two percentage points to 93% over this period.
Our latest panel research shows that the average actual UK residential fixed broadband download speed increased from 22.8Mbit/s in November 2014 to 28.9Mbit/s in November 2015. The 27% rise in the average UK download speed was due to growing take-up of higher-speed connections and increasing average speeds for these packages. Our research shows that the average actual speed of superfast products was 56.8Mbit/s in November 2015, a 6.4Mbit/s (13%) increase compared to a year previously. This was mainly due to cable broadband users migrating onto higher-speed packages. 61% of UK fixed broadband connections had an average actual download speed of 10Mbit/s or faster in November 2015 up from 56% in 2014. Whereas connections delivering average speeds of 30Mbit/s or higher rose from 30% to 38%."

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Shine, but not rise - ad blocking and net neutrality

Shine, but not rise | The Economist: "Three is planning to let subscribers opt into its ad-blocking service, which is based on technology developed by Shine, an Israeli startup. But that may still run afoul of “network neutrality” rules, which require that all sorts of online traffic, including ads, should be treated equally. To be on the safe side, the service is likely to be offered directly through Shine.

Three has given itself a few months to figure it all out. Other carriers are likely to wait and see how Three’s ad-blocking efforts fare." 'via Blog this'

Friday, March 25, 2016

Netflix throttles video on AT&T and Verizon to keep users under data caps

Netflix throttles video on AT&T and Verizon to keep users under data caps | Ars Technica: "Netflix has been throttling its video streams on the Verizon Wireless and AT&T mobile networks, reducing the default bitrate to 600kbps in order to help users stay under their data caps.

Netflix's admission yesterday came a week after T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere said that AT&T and Verizon deliver Netflix video at a resolution of only 360p. AT&T and Verizon responded that they don't downgrade the quality of video, and it turns out that Netflix is the one doing the bitrate capping.

Netflix applies this default bitrate worldwide across most mobile carriers and says it has been doing so for more than five years"

[Also: Netflix's past opposition to data cap exemptions doesn't extend to Binge On.] 'via Blog this'

UK: CCIS continued obsession with child safety over net neutrality

UK child safety forum has been running a filtering WG for years - but now a law will have to be passed excepting major ISPs from the EU Regulation. Discussion included:

"The filters working group is long running and has made significant
progress. Does the board feel the group still has work to do and should
continue? And should Dave Miles continue as Chair, as he has
volunteered to do?

16.Discussion followed with these points raised:

16.1. Julian Ashworth – some issues should continue to be
considered, although potentially through other working groups, for
instance around awareness, evidence and education. Net neutrality
regulation impact is a key issue currently - the group could continue to
cover that, and then pass other bits of work to other groups.

16.2. Sonia Livingstone felt a continued focus on over and under
blocking is needed, and wasn’t sure this could be taken forward by
any other groups – it requires a watching brief.

16.3. Iain Wood felt that now filters are established, concerns about
over and under blocking have lessened. The principal issues for
TalkTalk concern are net neutrality and parental awareness of
technical tools. Internet Matters has a huge part to play here. How do
we get to the point where parents are aware of and comfortable using
filters?" 'via Blog this'

Friday, March 11, 2016

Ofcom 'disappointed' over employee's data misuse

Ofcom 'disappointed' over employee's data misuse: "According to media reports, a broadcaster notified Ofcom that one of its new employees, a former Ofcom staff member, had offered to hand over TV company information he had downloaded from Ofcom systems before leaving the organisation. The Guardian reported that the broadcaster's senior management did not exploit the information but instead told Ofcom about the incident.

An Ofcom spokesperson said: "On 26 February we became aware of an incident involving the misuse of third-party data by a former Ofcom employee. This was a breach of the former employee’s statutory duty under the Communications Act and a breach of the contract with Ofcom."
"Ofcom takes the protection of data extremely seriously, and we are very disappointed that a former employee has chosen to act in this manner. The extent of the disclosure was limited and has been contained, and we have taken urgent steps to inform all parties," they said." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Leaked German government document calls for softer telecoms rules

Leaked German government document calls for softer telecoms rules – "Smaller companies will likely be alarmed by the German government’s demands for the EU reform—they argue regulation is needed for them to compete.

The German position paper says there could be “a reduction of the scope and complexity of the telecoms regulation” that would give a boost to national regulators.

It also calls for an “investment incentive by forgoing ex-ante regulation and instead using the instrument of sector-specific ex-post regulation”.

 Deutsche Telekom took a similar position in its response to the European Commission’s public consultation on the telecoms review, which closed in December.

“Substitute the heavy handed, time consuming and intrusive regulatory ex-ante approvals by a light handed regulatory oversight by the NRA [national regulatory authority],” the company’s response read.

A spokesperson for Deutsche Telekom did not respond to a request for comment.

 One source who represents competitors in the German telecoms market said, “We have a hard time to believe that this represents the German government’s official position. It would rather appear as if Deutsche Telekom chose to speak with the government’s voice to make its agenda more appealing.”" 'via Blog this'

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Public Knowledge Files Comcast Stream TV Complaint with FCC to Protect Video Competition

Public Knowledge Files Comcast Stream TV Complaint with FCC to Protect Video Competition - Public Knowledge: "Today, Public Knowledge filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission against Comcast for excluding its Stream TV service from its own data cap. The complaint alleges that Comcast violated its NBC-Universal merger commitments and notes that the company’s behavior is inconsistent with the FCC’s Open Internet rules." 'via Blog this'