Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Telecoms deal: no net neutrality in Europe

Telecoms deal: Mobile roaming charges ban in 2017 – POLITICO: "In the end, the sides decided that sequestering will be acceptable, as long as it doesn’t affect “general” quality of Internet access, according to the Latvian presidency.

Not everyone will be happy, with net neutrality advocates unlikely to be satisfied with the compromise." 'via Blog this'

Monday, June 29, 2015

How Television Won the Internet - NYT

How Television Won the Internet - The New York Times: "Streaming video is now not only the hottest media draw — 78 percent of United States Internet bandwidth — but, defying the trend, many of its creators are getting paid. Netflix bills itself as a disrupter of television — except that it is television, paying Hollywood and the TV industry almost $2 billion a year in licensing and programming fees."

They might mention net neutrality too? 'via Blog this'

Thursday, June 18, 2015

EU Council confirms it wants to trade net neutrality for end of roaming charges

Council confirms it wants to trade net neutrality for end of roaming charges:

"“Council [is] willing to move on end of roaming if [the European Parliament] engages on all open issues”, Commissioner Oettinger said this morning.

The Council is so vehemently opposed to net neutrality that the whole issue was discussed in the sparsely attended ministerial meeting on 12 June without the words “net neutrality” being uttered by the either the Council Presidency or even Commissioner Oettinger." 'via Blog this'

AT&T faces $100 million fine for quietly throttling data speeds (update: AT&T responds)

AT&T faces $100 million fine for quietly throttling data speeds (update: AT&T responds): "The news comes less than a week since the FCC's new net neutrality rules officially took effect, but this investigation has been in the works for years now. That's why the Commission is hanging its hat on the 2010 Open Internet Order, a troubled basket of oversight that basically got torn apart by Verizon in court last year. Verizon's near-total legal win could have almost stopped the FCC's investigation in its tracks, but the DC circuit court that heard the case upheld the Order's stance on customer transparency so AT&T's.

Naturally, AT&T and sympathetic commissioners like Ajit Pai contend that the telecom did disclose the slowdowns, and that the FCC just ignored them all. Thing is, senior FCC officials didn't think the disclosures AT&T did make were sufficiently straightforward. As far as they're concerned, AT&T could've talked about its throttling program left, right and center, but it would've been meaningless unless those disclosures made clear what unlimited customers might run into." 'via Blog this'

ETNO wants deregulation to charge OTT for specialized services

Newsletters :: European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association: "We believe that both the European Institutions and the European industry share an underlying common objective: to give Europe the best growth opportunities, by supporting European citizens and businesses with smart services and powerful digital infrastructures. The Digital Single Market Strategy represents an opportunity that we should embrace together." 'via Blog this'

Millions let down by broadband speed ads, says Which?

Millions let down by broadband speed ads, says Which? - BBC News: "Which? wants Ofcom to work with the Advertising Standards Authority to ensure that broadband providers advertise only speeds that are available for the majority of their customers.
It also wants the watchdog to publish data annually showing what proportion of consumers receive the advertised speeds for the main broadband packages." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Net neutrality could become law in Italy - unless internet users would rather opt out

Net neutrality could become law in Italy - unless internet users would rather opt out | ZDNet: "Technically speaking, the bill doesn't completely rule out so-called 'fast lanes', but it does impose some strict limitations that should prevent ISPs from exploiting them to make a non-neutral internet the norm.

First of all, the bill states any traffic prioritization should be explicitly requested by the customer and granted by the provider under an agreement that is separate from their normal broadband contract. Additionally, the prioritization cannot be in any way linked to discounts or other deals associated with their normal broadband plan.

 "The premise of the bill is that having neutral access is a right and the providers cannot strip their users of it. At the same time, users can give up that right by voluntarily asking for prioritization of sort, provided that they do it voluntarily and without having been induced to," Quintarelli said.

 For example, a customer might ask that, on top of their normal (neutral) subscription, their VoIP traffic should be treated as privileged on their access loop so that they could keep having conversations even when, say, some heavy file transfer is going on. The same thing could be put in place for IPTV or cloud backup services' traffic.

 "But it must be the customers asking for it because it fulfills their needs," Quintarelli said. "We are not against traffic shaping per se. We just want to avoid any traffic shaping which could harm competition in the market: the net should be neutral in that respect."" 'via Blog this'

Mobile network's ad-blocking plan: to fight Google

Mobile network's ad-blocking plan: who is it really for?:

"mobile operators in the EU were planning to block advertising for their customers with a network level filter.

They’re said to be using a solution created by Israeli firm Shine which is capable of blocking most advertising from appearing, though “in feed” advertisements like those shown in Twitter will still get through.

It’s thought that initially the ad-blocking will be opt-in, giving the end user a choice if they’d prefer to see ads, but that the unnamed network may eventually extend it to everyone.

 Blocking adverts is something many of us do already using tools like the AdBlock browser extension, but a provider clamping down on them across the network is far more aggressive.

Some may welcome the move. Cutting out adverts - particularly videos - for mobile internet could reduce data usage, saving money for both users and the network. And ads can be annoying.

This means you don’t have to come up with your own ad-blocking solution, which can be slightly more complicated on a mobile device than it is on a desktop or laptop.

 But it seems the plan is not driven by the network’s desire to make things better for us - they’re after a cut of the advertising spoils.

The FT report said: “The idea is to specifically target Google, blocking advertising on its websites in an attempt to force the company into giving up a cut of its revenues.”" 'via Blog this'

On telecoms, the Council and the Parliament are soon parted

On telecoms, the Council and the Parliament are soon parted – POLITICO: "“We have expressed our views to the Council very clearly that the objective is an abolition of roaming charges as soon as possible,” said Nathalie Vandystad, a Commission spokesperson, adding, “We also agree with the European Parliament that a clear date should be established in the telecom single market regulation for a complete elimination of roaming.”

Other MEPs have also blamed Council for a lack of ambition.

 Róża Thun, a Polish member of the EPP, told POLITICO she was in favor of a name-and-shame approach, and then said: “As far as I know from the leaks, it’s the south…countries that have many tourists want to keep roaming charges: Spain, Italy, Greece, [Croatia]. Do the citizens know how they behave?”" 'via Blog this'

Monday, June 01, 2015

Why Netflix Traffic Keeps Soaring - Interconnection stops Throttling

Why Netflix Traffic Keeps Soaring | Light Reading: ""The core bandwidth for Netflix had been rather constrained since they didn't have these interconnect agreements," Sumits said. "So as a result, the adaptive bitrate streaming and Netflix's calibration were tuned to that available bandwidth. And then as they reached these interconnect agreements, it opened up, and the bitrates automatically bumped up, so any of the operators in the US who made these agreements saw their streaming traffic increase very significantly."

 In other words, once connections improved, video streaming quality automatically improved as well, with Netflix traffic swelling to take up any newly available bandwidth.

Sandvine Inc. (London: SAND; Toronto: SVC) also noted in its report that a recent Netflix decision to encrypt video delivery means that a majority of traffic in both North America and Latin America will be encrypted starting in 2016." 'via Blog this'

Net neutrality – is the European Parliament ready to accept complete failure? - EDRi

Net neutrality – is the European Parliament ready to accept complete failure? - EDRi: "Negotiations (a so-called “trialogue” procedure) involving the Council, the European Commission and the Parliament started in March 2015. In these negotiations, the Council has shown no respect whatsoever for the European Parliament’s position. The only movement in the negotiations on any of the points in the proposal has involved concession after concession by the European Parliament, which has received absolutely nothing in return.

The result is that we are now potentially days away from an end to net neutrality in the European Union.

The Council has refused to negotiate on the basis of the Parliament’s agreed position. As a result, the Parliament conceded and produced a compromise text based on the Council’s proposal. The following is a summary of the developments so far (the numbering below is based on the Council’s most recent text), based on a confidential proposal sent by the Council to the Parliament on 22 May, 2015." 'via Blog this'

CRTC: SamKnows project measuring broadband

CRTC invites Canadians to participate in a project measuring the performance of their broadband Internet services - Canada News Centre: ""The project we are launching today in collaboration with SamKnows and major Canadian Internet service providers will provide valuable information. This will help Canadians better understand the performance of their Internet services and whether certain Internet services from participating ISPs are delivering speeds as advertised. No information will be collected about the online activities of participants. This project is designed to run tests through an Internet connection to collect data on connection speeds. Of course, this project will only be successful if Canadians participate. We encourage those who are interested to fill out the online form today."" 'via Blog this'

Chile to introduce minimum connection speed rules

Chile to introduce minimum connection speed rules: "Chilean telecoms regulator Subtel has confirmed that the Senate’s Committee on Transport and Telecommunications is in the final stages of revising a draft amendment to the Telecommunications Act that will establish a minimum speed for guaranteed access to the internet.

One committee member noted that the speeds provided by a company were not consistent with the plan, noting that a user might pay for an 80Mbps connection that could drop to as low as 2Mbps at certain times of the day. The committee has proposed an innovative system of ongoing evaluation, where users will be able to check an internet service provider’s (ISP’s) level of compliance regarding advertised and received connection speeds." 'via Blog this'

Friday, May 29, 2015

Ireland's media silenced over MP's speech about Denis O'Brien

Ireland's media silenced over MP's speech about Denis O'Brien | Media | The Guardian: "The owner of the bulk of Ireland’s media outlets is using an injunction to prevent reports on his affairs appearing in the rest of the media he doesn’t control.

Clearly, there are questions to ask about the press freedom implications due to Ireland’s lack of media plurality and diversity." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, May 21, 2015

New glitch in telecoms talks – zero rating

New glitch in telecoms talks – POLITICO: "The Netherlands and Slovenia have banned it, for example, but the practice is still common elsewhere, including Germany, where Deutsche Telekom has a music streaming deal with Spotify.

 Zero rating was never mentioned in any draft, but The Netherlands is now vocally seeking a ban, despite the Council’s previous objections, two sources involved in the negotiations told POLITICO.

“We would rather have no package than a bad package,” warned Marietje Schaake, a Dutch MEP from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. “If we build the digital single market on a weak telecoms single market, we are effectively shooting ourselves in the foot.”" 'via Blog this'