Thursday, August 20, 2015

Here’s How a Brazil Bank Is Giving Every Citizen Free Mobile Data

Here’s How Brazil Is Giving Every Citizen Free Mobile Data - Bloomberg Business: "Besides creating an incentive to attract new customers, it’s cheaper than hiring additional bank and call center staff. Each visit to a teller costs the bank more than $4, whereas an online transaction costs pennies, according to a study commissioned by Qualcomm. “This solution easily pays for itself,” says Minas.

Qualcomm, which sponsored a report about the program in Brazil that is expected to be published on Aug. 18, is developing similar free-data software that the government will roll out to citizens. Qualcomm is banking on emerging markets to drive future demand for smartphones, most of which rely on the company’s chips. While Brazil, at 282 million mobile subscribers, has more phone lines than people, some 75 percent are on prepaid plans with little to no data." 'via Blog this'

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Net Neutrality: Israel Regulated Mobile in 2011, Fixed in 2014

Net Neutrality | Israel Technology Law Blog: "Except … Israel already has a net neutrality law!

 In 2011, the Knesset passed a bill that imposed net neutrality obligations on mobile cellular providers as well as on distributors and support providers for mobile cellular telephones.

The law prohibited the “limitation or blocking” of (a) any “service or application available through the internet”, (b) features available on any mobile phone or (c) the ability to use any public cellular network. The law made an exception for reasonable network management, and made some other interesting exceptions that seem to be geared towards particular markets in Israel. That law was part of a general multi-pronged effort to increase competition in the Israeli cellular market." 'via Blog this'

Friday, August 14, 2015

Ofcom publishes detection report on net neutrality - concludes more research needed!

Ofcom publishes scientific report on net neutrality | Martin Geddes | LinkedIn:

"my (highly biased) view is that this report is a masterpiece. It gives a rigorous and scientifically defensible analysis rooted in a profound understanding of the mathematics of statistical resource sharing. It reframes the regulatory performance measurement issue in a way that makes it possible to escape the quagmire.

Speaking of the mucky quagmire, it’s time to wake up and smell the technical manure of the net neutrality debate. It’s all around us, and the clear-up job is a big and dirty one. These findings obsolete several papers and books on the subject by legal scholars. Their understanding of network performance is unsound, and they have been unintentionally fuelling the conflict as a result.

Furthermore, that we can’t yet properly measure the services we are offering in a customer-centric way is an industry embarrassment. The technical weakness of these tools is a cause of industry shame. This should be chastening for all of us in the broadband business to do much better.

 On a more positive note, Ofcom looks heroic, at least compared to other regulators whom we won’t name." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Net Neutrality: India is a Keybattle Ground - Interview with Sunil Abraham

Net Neutrality: India is a Keybattle Ground | Hard News: Interview with Sunil Abraham:

"Network neutrality policies need to consider free speech, privacy, competition, diversity and innovation goals of the markets they seek to regulate. If we are not being doctrinaire about network neutrality we could adopt what Chris Marsden calls forward-looking “positive net neutrality” wherein “higher QoS (Quality of Service) for higher prices should be offered on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory [FRAND] terms to all comers”. FRAND, according to Prof. Marsden, is well understood by the telcos and ISPs (Internet Service Providers) as it is the basis of common carriage. This understanding of network neutrality allows for technical and business model innovation by ISPs and telcos without the associated harms. There are zero-rating services being launched by Mozilla, Jaana, Mavin and others that are attempting to do this. I do not believe that they violate network neutrality principles, unlike Airtel Zero or

Q: While this report attempts to arrive at a middle ground between the TSPs and the OTTs, how is this going to reflect in the government’s ‘Digital India’ programme? 

We know we have a policy solution when all stakeholders are equally unhappy. But we also need an elegant solution that is easy to implement. Scholars like Vishal Mishra have a theoretical solution based on the Shapley Value, that assumes a multi-sided market model, but this may not work in real life. Professor V. Sridhar has a very elegant idea of setting a ceiling and floor for price and speed and also for insisting on a minimum QoS of the whole of the Internet. These ideas I have not heard in the American and European debate around network neutrality. I remain hopeful that the Indian middle ground will be qualitatively different, given that the structure and constraints of the Indian telecom sector are very different from that in developed countries." 'via Blog this'

Monday, August 03, 2015

Vodafone chief suggests joint investment with rivals in ultrafast broadband

Vodafone chief suggests joint investment with rivals in ultrafast broadband - Telegraph:

"Vittorio Colao said his company would be willing to invest with rivals in laying fibre optics into homes and businesses. It came as he continues to hold talks with Liberty Global that could see Vodafone’s UK mobile network combined with the Virgin Media cable network.

He backed calls for BT to be forced to sell off its network division Openreach, dismissing its plans for a multi-billion pound upgrade to broadband technology, called, as “yesterday’s vision and the vision of a monopolist”. aims to squeeze higher speeds from the copper wires that currently make the final connection into premises, saving billions compared with replacing the wires with fibre optics." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Neoliberal UK: Chris Dawes on "Chopping at the licence fee"

The BBC’s independence is fragile and has been sustained by political and civil society commitment. Until 2007 it rested on a Charter and Agreement lasting at least 10 years (covering at least two parliaments); a licence fee set every 5 years in what was an increasingly transparent way; “Nolan”-principles appointments to the Board of Governors (now Trust); and, to provide clarity to licence fee payers, the whole of the licence fee funding BBC services, collected, since 1991, by the BBC itself. Sadly, that didn’t last.
First, we had the raid on the licence fee to deliver digital switchover, a Government policy bringing a State windfall from selling spectrum. The BBC received £200 million of ring-fenced funds for a marketing programme and £603 million in the January 2007 licence fee settlement to 2012-13 to fund the help scheme to assist those whom the Government deemed needed assistance. The rot had set in. Then we had broadband roll out, funded from the surplus of the digital switchover moneys, then the atrocious last minute “austerity” deal of 2010 which lumbered the BBC with foreign policy and security objectives (the World Service and monitoring) and further broadband spend.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Specialized services and net neutrality - European Commission argues it has tightened definitions

Making the EU work for people: roaming and the open internet - European Commission: "The EU's new rules will also prevent unfair and uncompetitive practices. Paid prioritisation will be banned, which means that a startup's website cannot be slowed down to make way for a larger company prepared to pay extra to get such an advantage.

They also address specialised services that need a higher transmission quality than that guaranteed for everyone. Take a healthcare service like telesurgery, which has to be extremely fast and precise to work properly and safely.

National regulators will allow these specialised and innovative services under strict conditions: above all, they should not harm the quality of the open internet (there should be enough capacity) and higher quality should be necessary for them."

Interesting interpretation and it is true that Recital 11 has been strengthened - but is it really so clear that you cannot put video over IP on a guaranteed QoS service? And if so, that it provides an HD channel not possible over standard Euro-VDSL2 speeds? Here's what Recital 11 actually now adds: "optimisation is necessary in order to meet the requirements of the content, applications or services for a specific level of quality. The national regulatory authority should verify whether and to what extent such optimisation is objectively necessary to ensure one or more specific and key features of the content, application or service and to enable a corresponding quality assurance to be given to end-users, rather than simply granting general priority over comparable content, applications or services available via the internet access service and thereby circumventing the provisions regarding traffic management applicable to the internet access service."

Right, do you trust the German or Cyprus regulator to get that technical judgment correct? Does BEREC have the competence to help them?

'via Blog this'

New telecoms rules to force three countries to change laws – POLITICO

New telecoms rules to force three countries to change laws – POLITICO:

"If large telecoms players are offering zero-rated content and there is limited consumer choice, the Slovenian and Dutch authorities may act to ensure a level playing ground.

“They may use that discretion to challenge zero rating, especially when consumers are disadvantaged,” Schaake said.

 Fight over zero rating isn’t over 

Several MEPs said they will continue pushing for a zero-rating ban.

“Further initiatives against zero rating are urgently needed,” Petra Kammerevert, a German MEP from the Socialists & Democrats, said in a statement. “Combating such business practices, especially in the wake of increasing vertical integration of the companies … needs to be addressed quickly.”

 U.K. porn filter also to go 

Despite the best efforts of U.K. Conservatives in the Parliament, the EU-wide regulation will put an end to Internet service provider-level filters for adult content, which will mean new U.K. laws by the end of next year." 'via Blog this'