Showing posts with the label Net Neutrality

2011 Tech Predictions

If you've been following me, you know I've made predictions in 2009 and 2010 . While my first years predictions were rather light, I made 5 predictions as well as included further discussion of issues with my 2010 prediction. My record for 2010 wasn't so good, but that's only in a pure hit or miss view. In fact the subject matters I addressed, I believe were quite good, but change just didn't happen as quick as I had thought. See my recap post for further details and analysis on my 2010 predictions. Now that 2011 has started, I'll make another stab at what I believe will happen in the tech industry this year. This first one is rather easy... Facebook will release an email client , putting them in direct competition with Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo! mail. The current email within Facebook is limited in functionality, but in 2011 this will change as Facebook continues to look for ways to grow and grab more "eyeballs." Last year I predicted Internet Explo

2010 Tech Predictions - Recap

At the beginning of 2010, I made some tech predictions as well as discussed some other technology issues. Here I will summarize how well I did with my predictions. In a nutshell, most did not come to pass, but the issues remain, so you could say I was just early. Amazon will adopt the ePub format for the Kindle. While Amazon has gotten a lot of pressure on the hardware side, their software version of the Kindle for other devices has kept them in the drivers seat for eReaders. With that position, they had no reason to add the ePub format. The iPhone will be on Verizon. This same prediction was made by many, and we still haven't seen it. Of course the rumors is alive that Verizon will get the iPhone this year. Look for my 2011 predictions to hear my position on this. Significant data loss/corruption on a Cloud platform. I couldn't find any evidence that this occurred. While in some cases there may have been a loss of service, it appears there were no data issues reported. In

Time Warner wants to put restrictive usage caps on your Internet access

The cable providers are scared of losing their cash cow by people watching TV over the Internet. In the latest volley from the cable companies, Time Warner is rolling out restrictive caps that are high priced, and extremely high if you go over. Sure, $15 a month for Internet sounds good, until you realize it's for 1 GB of data and an additional $2 for each gig you go over . As Wired points out (in "Congressman Wants to Ban Download Caps"), that's 3 hours of Hulu video or half a standard definition movie delivered online. For a mere (cough, cough) $75 per month, you can get 100 GB per month, and only pay $1 penalty for each gig over. It sure makes Comcasts 250 MB cap at $50 - $55 per month look good. I've heard some folks defend the caps, claiming we don't need that much bandwidth, but each argument has been based on 1 user. The typical claim has been from 50 to 90 GB average usage. Multiply that by a family of 4 and now you're at 200 to 360 GBs. And if t

The Interent fails for Sprint and Cogent customers

If you're a Sprint or Cogent customer, relying on them for your Internet connectivity, you're probably already aware of this article from Scott Woolley of Forbes. In late October, due to differences between these companies, Sprint severed the Internet backbone connection between them. The result was customers on both sides not being able to reach all parts of the Internet. The feud goes back several years, with what appears that Sprint is being a bit of a bully. It is common practice for the Internet backbone carries to exchange traffic between them for no cost. The rationale is that it benefits both companies' customers and the traffic is even enough both ways where there is no profit to be made by one company or the other. In this case, "...Sprint stood to gain $1.5 million or so in annual revenue, which would add .004% to the company's $40 billion in annual revenue." (Note that this was based on Sprint's billing justifications; there's nothing to s

Net Neutrality looks more promising than ever before

Save the Internet reports on the change in position around Net Neutrality with the change of the guard in Washington. With President-Elect Barack Obama understanding of technology, our "representatives" need to finally get-in-the-game and not just sellout to big business. I hope this is just the beginning of much more attention and spending on technology, so the U.S. can be recognized as a leader again.

Obama, McCain, and Net Neutrality in Popular Mechanics

In an effort to tell the stories of Obama and McCain and their positions of Net Neutrality, Popular Mechanics put together a great article describing the various issues involved in the Net Neutrality debate. Though too late in the game for Obama and McCain to devote time to sitting down and discussing with Popular Mechanics, they did get enough information to know the general positions -- Obama wants enough regulation by government to provide an open Internet while McCain does not want government involvement. Popular Mechanics summarized it as "John McCain is against Net neutrality and Barack Obama is for it." The Popular Mechanics article does a good job describing the role of the ISP and the so called "last mile". We're reminded about the ethical issues around conflict in interest the ISPs have. For example, the ISP can provide a slower or throttled bandwidth, which would impact VoIP (Internet telephone) from 3rd parties while making sure their own VoIP solu

AT&T gets on the bandwagon with network slowdown practices

AT&T has released new information that they will also start degrading customer network throughput for those that use more than what AT&T would consider average. You can read all the terms of service on the AT&T site . Here are some highlights in order of appearance, followed by my commentary: Broadband access is provided in speed tiers of: (1) 200 Kbps to 768 Kbps downstream (not available for AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet service) (2) 769 Kbps to 1.5 Mbps downstream (3) 1.56 Mbps to 3.0 Mbps downstream (4) 3.1 Mbps to 6.0 Mbps downstream; (5) 6.1 Mbps to 10.0 Mbps (available only with AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet service) (collectively “Service Capability Speeds”)... ... AT&T Uverse High Speed Internet throughput speeds may be temporarily reduced when a customer is using other U-verse services in a manner that requires high bandwidth. This could occur more often with higher speed Internet access products. ... While this performance optimization process w

Your biggest privacy concern could be from your own ISP

Over the last 6 to 12 months there has been several battles between ISPs, users, and the government. ISPs want to choose what type of content can run on their network and how fast it should be delivered. One such example is Comcast's blocking of P2P traffic . During their FCC investigation, Comcast changed this practice, though after being ruled that it was actually illegal practice, Comcast is now challenging the ruling . For Comcast to block just P2P traffic, it had to scan all the activity on your connection to identify what part of the traffic was P2P. In the Comcast ruling, the FCC implied that it would be legal to monitor user traffic so that illegal content could be blocked such as child pornography and copyrighted material. While we would all like to see child pornography and other nefarious activity stopped, this would require the ISP to inspect everyone's content, from banking to love letters to new job applications and everything in between. It would be interesting t

Comcast announces bandwidth usage cap

Effective October 1st, Comcast is putting a cap on its unlimited usage plan -- instead of unlimited bandwidth, you get 250GB per month. It looks as if first-time offenders will only be given a warning, but then any subsequent violations could result in termination of your service. At first glance, that seems like quite a lot of bits; lets check it out. Comcast claims their average usage is 2 - 3 GB per month. From the Comcast Network Management Policy page, here's how you could use the 250 GBs. Send 50 million emails (at 0.05 KB/email) Download 62,500 songs (at 4 MB/song) Download 125 standard-definition movies (at 2 GB/movie) Upload 25,000 hi-resolution digital photos (at 10 MB/photo) What Comcast didn't publish was a realistic look at usage. For example, Comcast left a few items off such as IM, YouTube, podcasts, and 3rd party VoIP calls. With that being said, estimating usage for a family of 4 still only exceeds the Comcast estimate by 10x (20 - 30 GB p/ month). I did not c

User Generated and Indie, or just Big Media?

Check out this 10 minute video that does a great job in putting the Internet and Net Neutrality in perspective. The big media, telcos, and cable companies are lining the pockets of Washington, so they can control the Internet medium like they already have with TV, Radio, and Newspapers. This will affect us all, whether you're a tech geek, an independent content producer, or just a consumer. Give this 10 minutes of your time, and then pass it on.

How fragile is the Internet?

Update June 3, 2008 Jim Louderback, Revision3 CEO, joined the TWiT podcast on Sunday (posted June 2nd) and talked about the DoS attach quite extensively. Jim's a real class guy; check out what he had to say about the DoS attach, BitTorrent, and MediaDefender. Over the Memorial Day weekend, Internet TV company Revision3 suffered Denial of Service (DoS) attacks from MediaDefender . What specifically did MediaDefender do to Revision3 servers? MediaDefender flooded the Revision3 servers with 8,000 requests per second. With that type of volume, the Revision3 servers couldn't keep of with those requests, let alone legitimate requests for Revision3 content. Revision3 has posted an article with the details . From the MediaDefender website, MediaDefender, Inc. is the leading provider of anti-piracy solutions in the emerging Internet-Piracy-Prevention (IPP) industry. We provide services that stop the spread of illegally traded copyrighted material over the Internet and Peer-to-Peer n

Net Neutrality or no tax breaks

As reported by Ars Technica , Oregon's Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) let tech executives in Washington know that if ISPs move away from a neutral web then the government will move away from the tax breaks and other freedoms they have been benefiting from for the last 15 years as part of the Internet Tax Freedom Act. Wyden delivered his ultimatum at a Computer & Communications Industry Association conference in DC, where he cast the entire network neutrality debate in terms of a legislative compromise. The story goes on as Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) hosts a net neutrality meeting on Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008 . To establish broadband policy and direct the Federal Communications Commission to conduct a proceeding and public broadband summits to assess competition, consumer protection, and consumer choice issues relating to broadband Internet access services, and for other purposes. The premise is to prevent ISPs from put unfair constraints on its customers. For example, if

Comcast and Net Neutrality

Are you still unsure of how Comcast is playing unfair with your Internet access? Remember they paid people to fill seats in an open forum with the FCC where they would scrutinized. Comcast also released a "Bill of Rights," [which] is really about informing the consumer that their Internet traffic could suffer delays. Read all about it in a recent article, Will the feds get it in gear on Web traffic? , from Therese Poletti in MarketWatch. Don't just sit back and let your geek friends try to fight this... if you or your company depends on the Internet for doing business, then you need to get involved too. Want to get another perspective? Larry Hardesty of MIT's Technology Review has also released an article on this subject . Specifically , he has information on a middle-ground proposal that will be coming from Mung Chiang, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Princeton University.

Pay extra to deliver your content

Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett wants to make more money for his company by charging content providers to deliver their content faster to Virgin customers. So if you are a small company that cannot afford the blackmail fees or a Virgin Media customer who accesses content from smaller companies, be prepared for slower connection times. This is why net neutrality is important. For Virgin Media customers, this will be like watching the big 4 networks on TV and picking up your favorite content on your AM radio. If you are an existing customer, its time to let Virgin Media know how you feel about this; if your not a Virgin Media customer, it's a good time to tell them why your not. Learn more about Net Neutrality at .

Goodbye Comcast, Hello Verizon FIOS

In a blog on February 26, 2008 , I told you about Comcast being investigated by the FCC for their network management -- specifically P2P apps. I also suggest that you should quit using Comcast as a vendor. Well today I canceled my Comcast services as I now am using Verizon FIOS . So far, no problems with Verizon's service. Now, only time will tell.

FCC Hearing on Network Management; Comcast Fills the Seats

The FCC held a hearing on Network Management at Harvard on February 25, 2008. Under scrutiny is Comcast's practice of blocking BitTorrent P2P traffic. Comcast claimed to only delay P2P traffic during congested periods -- but they are accomplishing this "delay" through terminating the P2P traffic. This "delay" of the P2P traffic is counter to the service Comcast sells its customers -- Comcast sells a throughput rate ("... 4 times faster than 1.5 Mbps DSL,...") for upload and download of Internet traffic, regardless of protocol being used. You can visit the FCC site to view the entire hearing . Comcast must know its in trouble, as they hired folks to take up all the space at the hearing -- keeping the public from being heard. It's hard to say what will happen next; big business seems to win all too much. Each of us can do our part -- don't use Comcast, when you have a choice; tell your congressman to fight for net neutrality; and join the Sav

BitTorrent is not going to wait for the FCC

It was great to hear that the FCC is investigating Comcast for its disruption of BitTorrent traffic, but the developers of BitTorrent are not going to wait for Comcast to change its practices. The Developers of BitTorrent are building a new encryption layer that will work against Comcast and other ISPs techniques for killing the BitTorrent traffic on their networks. David Downs wrote an excellent article in the San Francisco Weekly that describes BitTorrent and how Comcast was thwarting BitTorrent traffic. Downs describes a visit from Peter Eckersley, a computer science Ph.D. candidate at the University of Melbourne, who works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation . Using Whiteshark, network monitoring software, Eckersley was able to show how Comcast was spoofing both ends of the BitTorrent communication to discontinue the BitTorrent file transfer. This is big in terms of Net Neutrality for all of us. This is more than an issue for users of BitTorrent! If Comcast can decide what

Tim Berners-Lee on Net Neutrality

The Red Ferret Journal recently reminded us (original post June 2006) about Tim Berners-Lee's position on Net Neutrality . I thought it was a good reminder, as we are gradually seeing more and more restriction being placed on activities such as peer-to-peer and Internet telephony. Berners-Lee's video simplifies the issue very nicely: If I pay to connect to the Net with a certain quality of service, and you pay to connect with that or greater quality of service, then we can communicate at that level. But the phone and cable companies are using their deep pockets to keep the government from stepping in and protecting the people. Check out Exposing the Justice Department’s Hit Job Against an Open Internet from Save the Internet blog and decide for yourself. If you're looking for a more independent view, see PC Magazines article released this week: Senate Chair Takes on FTC in Net Neutrality Fight . To conclude, if you haven't notified your Congressional leaders

Net Neutrality is still an issue

As Time-Warner puts packet-shaping technology in place to throttle service, Senators Snowe and Dorgan are still fighting for the public's right for Net Neutrality. Wouldn't it be nice to have more Senators representing the public instead of the huge corporate contributors? -- oh, that's for different blog. For all intents an purposes, Time-Warner's RoadRunner service just change their offering (June 6). Now, regardless of the bandwidth package you purchased, during busy times, they will slow down or throttle back certain traffic. So regardless of the service, instead of improving their infrastructure, Time-Warner will limit your bandwidth of certain tasks. "...implemented for newsgroup applications, regardless of the provider, and all peer-to-peer networks and certain other high bandwidth applications not necessarily limited to audio, video, and voice over IP telephony." I think it's high-time that the government steps-in to at least regulate that the ser

Amber interviews Professor Andrew Clement on the subject of Net Neutrality

In Amber McArthur's new position at CityTV, she has produced a lot of interesting material including her blog, Inside Popnology . Here she interviews Andrew Clement, Professor of Information Studies at the University of Toronto on the subject of Net Neutrality.