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Current Topic: Telecom Industry

Internet Archive: Details: Professor Lawrence
Topic: Telecom Industry 11:27 am EST, Feb 12, 2007

On June 16, 2006, Professor Lawrence Lessig gave a talk at the Center for American Progress entitled "The Withering of the Net: How DC Pathologies are Undermining the Growth and Wealth of the Net." This talk was the second in a series of three. The first talk was Professor Yochai Benkler, the third featured Dave Farber and Vint Cerf.

In just under 40 minutes, Lessig delivered a stunning performance, documenting his assertion that the Internet was created by Republicans and discussing the Read Only (RO) and Read Write (RW) Internet(s).

In other network neutrality rules, Tim Wu (Columbia) is arguing that wireless carriers need to be more regulated. This is an environment where you can really see what a non-neutral digital network looks like.

1. Network Attachments. Carriers exercise excessive control over what devices may be used on the public’s wireless spectrum. The carriers place strong controls over “foreign attachments,” like the AT&T of the 1950s. These controls continue to affect the innovation and development of new devices for wireless networks.

2. Product Design and Feature Crippling. By controlling entry, carriers are in a position to exercise strong control over the design of mobile equipment. They have used that power to force equipment developers to omit or cripple many consumer-friendly features, and also forced manufacturers to include technologies, like “walled garden” internet access, that neither equipment developers nor consumers want. Finally, through under-disclosed “phone-locking,” the U.S. carriers disable the ability of phones to work on more than one network. A list of features that carriers have blocked, crippled, modified or made difficult to use, at one time or another include:
* Call timers on telephones
* WiFi technology
* Bluetooth technology
* GPS Services
* Advanced SMS services
* Internet Browsers
* Easy Photo file transfer capabilities
* Easy Sound file transfer capabilities
* Email clients
* SIM Card Mobility

Internet Archive: Details: Professor Lawrence

YouTube - Stephen Colbert explains the whole AT&T thing!
Topic: Telecom Industry 11:19 am EST, Jan 23, 2007

AT&T just bought Cingular? Cingular was already owned by AT&T? Bellsouth owns who?! Let Stephen Colbert help you figure this out!


YouTube - Stephen Colbert explains the whole AT&T thing! - AT&T reaches deal to buy BellSouth - Mar 5, 2006
Topic: Telecom Industry 9:32 pm EST, Mar  5, 2006

AT&T Inc. said Sunday it will acquire smaller rival BellSouth Corp. for $67 billion in stock, in a deal that goes a long way toward resurrecting the old Ma Bell telephone system.

Night of the living dead... - AT&T reaches deal to buy BellSouth - Mar 5, 2006

AT&T to Stop [Competing]
Topic: Telecom Industry 10:22 am EDT, Jun 25, 2004

"For consumers and the economy, the consequences could well be dire. The result will be higher prices and fewer choices for consumers, and fewer jobs, less innovation, and reduced investment in the industry."

"We foresee a future with less choice for consumers."

AT&T to Stop [Competing]

Bells loosen their grip
Topic: Telecom Industry 8:07 pm EDT, May 29, 2004

The limited introduction of so-called naked DSL is among the signs that the Bells must face the day when local phone service will no longer be the linchpin to their business.

Its about damn time. I think the "phone line requirement" for DSL service ought to be illegal. In any event, people are increasingly opting for cable because it gives them more options. They don't want to pay $40 a month so telemarketers can call them. Your friends and co-workers call your cellphone, and it gets cheaper long distance.

Bells loosen their grip

Ars Technica: VoIP poses a regulatory challenge to the FCC
Topic: Telecom Industry 6:32 pm EST, Feb 18, 2004

] The Federal Communications Commission is trying to clear
] the road for new Internet technologies to prosper today
] and in the future. Unfortunately, they are trying to
] accomplish this under rules defined in the
] Telecommunications Act of 1996, a law that was drafted
] before the rise of Internet services not carried via
] traditional copper telephone lines.

a short, but interesting commentary on pending VOIP FCC comment period, that will deside how this all ends...


Ars Technica: VoIP poses a regulatory challenge to the FCC

The Many Paradoxes of Broadband | Andrew Odlyzko [PDF]
Topic: Telecom Industry 7:45 am EDT, Sep  3, 2003

There is much dismay and even despair over the slow pace at which broadband is advancing in the United States. This slow pace is often claimed to be fatally retarding the recovery of the entire IT industry. As a result there are increasing calls for government action, through regulation or even through outright subsidies.

A careful examination shows that broadband is full of puzzles and paradoxes, which suggests caution before taking any drastic action. As one simple example, the basic meaning of broadband is almost universally misunderstood, since by the official definition, we all have broadband courtesy of the postal system. Also, broadband penetration, while generally regarded as disappointingly slow, is actually extremely fast by most standards, faster than cell phone diffusion at a comparable stage. Furthermore, many of the policies proposed for advancing broadband are likely to have perverse effects. There are many opportunities for narrowband services that are not being exploited, some of which might speed up broadband adoption.

There are interesting dynamics to the financial and technological scenes that suggest broadband access may arrive sooner than generally expected. It may also arrive through unexpected channels. On the other hand, fiber-to-the-home, widely regarded as the Holy Grail of residential broadband, might never become widespread. In any case, there is likely to be considerable turmoil in the telecom industry over the next few years. Robust growth in demand is likely to be combined with a restructuring of the industry.

This paper also appears in the September 2003 issue of First Monday. You'll want to print it to read it, so I've linked directly to the PDF version.

The Many Paradoxes of Broadband | Andrew Odlyzko [PDF]

Evidence that US regulatory environment is slowing broadband adoption
Topic: Telecom Industry 12:17 am EST, Mar 16, 2003

] Canada's high-speed Internet service providers have been
] far more successful than their U.S. counterparts in
] signing up residential customers, a study to be released
] Monday says.

Evidence that US regulatory environment is slowing broadband adoption

Mercury News | 02/21/2003 | Dan Gillmor: FCC ruling is a blow to the competitive marketplace
Topic: Telecom Industry 11:00 pm EST, Feb 21, 2003

] Under the ruling, the Bells won't have to allow
] competitors fair access to new high-speed fiber-optic
] lines and facilities they say they will deploy in the
] future.
] What this likely means, unfortunately, is that the Bells
] will use their current power in local voice and data
] service to subsidize dominance in next-generation data
] services.

Mercury News | 02/21/2003 | Dan Gillmor: FCC ruling is a blow to the competitive marketplace

Moore's Lore: new technology. Computing, connectivity, mobile, convergence, communications, software, etc.
Topic: Telecom Industry 9:14 pm EST, Feb 21, 2003

] With Covad (or companies like it, or new companies)
] acting as "fiber middleware" suppliers, and Earthlink (or
] companies like it) investing heavily in last-mile WISP
] solutions for customers, the Bells will be effectively
] bypassed. And voice calls are really just a low-bandwidth
] data service.

A radical idea.

Moore's Lore: new technology. Computing, connectivity, mobile, convergence, communications, software, etc.

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