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 Thursday, 16 January 2003

Last July 2002, the OECD updated its Guidelines for the Security of Information Systems and Networks. Last week they made available a related suggested Implementation Plan (PDF), which most significantly, makes specific suggestions on the exact role of government in fostering and promoting security.

Thursday, 16 January 2003 18:54:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Grid Computing Good for Business. Corporations are starting to salivate over grid computing's potential for massive storage and processing power. Its creators -- tech and science geeks -- look forward to a new era. ""Now we're starting to see major industrial players engage in grid computing. That's going to change the nature of what we do." [Wired News]

Thursday, 16 January 2003 18:25:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In a follow-up to my earlier piece, it's finally available: Lufthansa is now offering onboard wireless broadband service on scheduled flights. They've started with the popular Frankfurt - Washington D.C. (Dulles) run. Lufthansa's press release announcing the service is here.

Thursday, 16 January 2003 17:30:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 15 January 2003

ITU's annual World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Meeting opened today. The meeting will cover topics related to the definition, collection, processing, dissemination and use of telecommunication/ICT indicators (statistics). The programme and list of documents is available.

Wednesday, 15 January 2003 11:10:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 01 January 2003

[Computerworld] Wi-Fi spectrum battle pits antiterrorism efforts against commercial growth: "The U.S. position paper, submitted to the ITU at its November meeting in preparation for the ITU's World Radio Conference (WRC) in June, which will make the spectrum decisions, endorses a global allocation for WLANs in the 5.150-5.350 band as long as radars are protected by a technique know as Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS), which shuts down WLAN transmissions when a radar signal is detected."

Wednesday, 01 January 2003 16:35:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, 29 December 2002

[New York Times] Who Owns the Internet? You and i Do: "Mr. Turow, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, studies how people use online technology and how that affects their lives. He has begun a small crusade to de-capitalize Internet — and, by extension, to acknowledge a deep shift in the way that we think about the online world." "Mr. Jones was cool to the idea, until he looked at copies of Scientific American from the late 19th century, and noticed that words for new technologies, like Phonograph, were often uppercased."

Sunday, 29 December 2002 12:42:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 23 December 2002

Countries with high broadband penetration are seeing the development of specialized portals devoted to broadband service delivery (e.g. streaming TV, pay per view video). A good example is Hong Kong's

Monday, 23 December 2002 16:12:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

News on US E-Government Initiatives in the New York Times: Move to Open Government Electronically.

Monday, 23 December 2002 12:02:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 20 December 2002

The ITU-T has announced (Word) the approval of ITU-T Recommendation J.122 (Second Generation Transmission Systems for Interactive Cable Television Services – IP Cable Modems). From the prepublished Recommendation J.122: "As cable operators have widely deployed high-speed data services on cable television systems, the demand for upstream bandwidth has increased, particularly with the popularity of more symmetric data applications. The current Recommendation has been created for the purpose of increasing channel capacity and improving noise immunity. The intended service will allow transparent bidirectional transfer of Internet Protocol (IP) traffic, between the cable system headend and customer locations, over an all-coaxial or hybrid-fibre/coax (HFC) cable network." Cablelabs has issued an associated press release:

  • "The new standard can be used as the foundation upon which IPCablecom IP-communication/telephony services can be offered. The standardization is remarkable due to the fact that work on the specification began less than 18 months ago. The rapid standardization is important to promoting worldwide adoption of this important technology."

CommsDesign also has a related piece.

Friday, 20 December 2002 11:51:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 19 December 2002

[Wired]: Bye Telemarketing, Hi More Spam? "According to Enrique Salem, CEO of Brightmail, which filters 10 percent of Internet e-mail, eight percent of the mail the company filtered in September 2001 was spam. In November 2002, it was 40 percent."

Thursday, 19 December 2002 15:25:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From The Anatomy of the Grid (PDF):

  • "The term "the Grid" was coined in the mid 1990s to denote a proposed distributed computing infrastructure for advanced science and engineering. Considerable progress has since been made on the construction of such an infrastructure, but the term "Grid" has also been conflated, at least in popular perception, to embrace everything from advanced networking to artificial intelligence."
  • "The real and specific problem that underlies the Grid concept is coordinated resource sharing and problem solving in dynamic, multi-institutional virtual organizations."

Also see The Globus Project and the Global Grid Forum.

Thursday, 19 December 2002 14:30:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU Media Advisory: ITU to hold Workshop on Member States' experiences with ccTLDs. More information and contributions to the meeting can be found here.

Thursday, 19 December 2002 14:03:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From News.comSpeedy Net video codec done, but late: "The technical design of a compression technology that promises to stream video over the Internet at DVD-worthy speeds has been completed, according to the international standards team developing it. But the widely anticipated standard, known as Recommendation H.264 of the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union (ITU), won't be ready for public consumption until March--three months behind schedule." This work is done in ITU-T Study Group 16, the ITU-T Lead Study Group on multimedia services, systems and terminals.

Thursday, 19 December 2002 10:16:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 17 December 2002
Tuesday, 17 December 2002 18:43:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

SPAM Conference: Cambridge, MA on January 17, 2003 at the first conference on spam filtering. List of speakers.

  • "The scale and effect of the spam epidemic leads us to suggest that spam is no longer simply a nuisance, but is a type of information security problem."

GIP also held a workshop on SPAM in summer 2002 and the presentations can be found here.

Tuesday, 17 December 2002 18:23:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Tuesday, 17 December 2002 11:44:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 16 December 2002

WIPO has published a new report: Intellectual Property on the Internet: A Survey of Issues. "The Survey focuses on recent developments in the traditional fields of copyright, trademarks and patents, as well as domain names, and progress in private international law and alternative dispute resolution. It also explores the particular concerns that face developing countries in e-development, and outlines the ways in which WIPO is addressing these various issues."

Monday, 16 December 2002 18:01:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 13 December 2002
Friday, 13 December 2002 13:26:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 12 December 2002

On 10 December 2002, I participated (with experts from the ITU BDT) in a brainstorming session hosted at the WMO on the topic of "Triangular Cooperation for Cost Effective Access to the Internet in Africa", sponsored by the Third World Academy of Sciences and the Special Unit for Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (SU/TCDC), part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). I made a presentation and was asked to provide some more references to related resource materials. Here are a few: ITU Workshop on Improving IP Connectivity in the Least Developed Countries, Africa and the Internet, AfrISPA: Association of African Internet Service Provider Associations, The Halfway Proposition (PDF): Proposal for African traffic aggregation and "digital arteries", Mike Jensen's site on African Internet Connectivity, Balancing Act: Newsletter covering connectivity developments in Africa, and Mike Jensen's Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Africa: A Status Report (September 2002 Word Advance Copy). As I come across materials on ICT Development, I'll post them on a general ICT Development page.

Thursday, 12 December 2002 18:34:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

"Sender-keeps-all" or "bill-and-keep" accounting mechanisms are simple accounting schemes common in the deployment of new telecommunication technologies. However, in asymmetric traffic environments or where highly diversified service offerings emerge (e.g. those requiring guaranteed bandwidth), these models tend to shift to revenue sharing mechanisms among operators and/or content providers. In some cases, this can lead to new market dynamics. One example is the success of NTT Docomo's i-mode service, which some argue is mostly related to its billing gateway technology, permitting revenue sharing and encouraging the growth of new external content providers.

Many previously "free" Internet services are shifting to subscription or metered-based schemes and there's a lot of standards activity underway focused on charging, accounting and cross-operator settlement schemes for IP-based networks. In the public switched telephone network (PSTN) world, which is focused on a single service, voice, accounting mechanisms are primarily built around call detail records (CDRs). In the IP-based world, the service offerings can be much wider (voice, email, web, streaming access), so the challenge has been to develop a more flexible format that can capture the relevant metrics for a wide range of service classes. An interesting development is the Internet Protocol Detail Record (IPDR).

ITU-T Study Group 3, who deal with tariff and accounting principles including related telecommunication economic and policy issues, are currently meeting at the ITU. At this meeting, the Internet Protocol Detail Record Organization (IPDR), has given an interesting presentation (PDF) on its latest activities, particularly with regard to the emerging Network Data Management Usage (NDM-U) specification. This is a development to keep an eye on in the future.

Thursday, 12 December 2002 12:24:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 11 December 2002

Looks like Hutchison 3G UK, a unit of Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, will be the first to deploy 3G production services in Europe branded "3" although the launch date is still unclear (there's a "Founder" program for early users). They've released their prices and list of initial and planned services.

Wednesday, 11 December 2002 10:34:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 06 December 2002

Very frank interview on cybersecurity issues at Telecom Asia with Bill Hancock, Cable & Wireless Internet Services chief security officer and chairman of the FCC's NRIC Homeland Defense focus group. Dr. Hancock also gave a presentation on National Infrastructure Protection Issues (PDF) at our Creating Trust in Critical Network Infrastructures workshop held in Seoul, Korea, in May 2002.

Friday, 06 December 2002 14:52:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU News for December 2002 focuses on Asia, including articles on measuring international Internet bandwidth, international Internet bandwidth in Asia-Pacific, and a brief country profile on the Republic of Korea, which has the highest Internet penetration in Asia as well as the highest broadband Internet penetration in the world. There's also an article on the newly established ITU-T Focus Group on “Full Service-Very high speed Digital Subscriber Line” (FS-VDSL).

Friday, 06 December 2002 14:29:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ISP Planet has an article on the standardization work being done in ITU-T Study Group 15 on the next generation of ADSL standards (ITU calls them "Recommendations"). SG15 is the ITU-T's lead study group on access network transport and optical technology. These new SG15 recommendations are being approved under the ITU-T's fast-track approval process (AAP). Here are the Recommendations under AAP last call from from the last meeting.

Friday, 06 December 2002 12:52:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

On 20-22 November 2002, the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit hosted a workshop on Competition Policy in Telecommunications. The workshop offered an opportunity for competition and telecommunications policy-makers, national telecommunications regulators, user groups, experts and industry, to exchange information and experiences on the issue of competition policy and law in telecommunications regulation. The background and objectives of the workshop, workshop documents, which includes country case studies for Denmark (PDF), India (PDF) and the United States (PDF), presentations made at the workshop, as well as the Chairman's report (PDF) (recommended) are available on the ITU web site.

  • "The definitions of markets and dominance are key to the application of competition policy and law in telecommunications and other sectors. In the past, two principal approaches have been taken in defining relevant markets, one based on statutory service classifications commonly used in sector-specific regulation, and the other based on demand and supply substitutability, used in competition law. In the latter approach, a hypothetical monopolist test is typically applied as a tool to identify the range of services and the geographic area that constitute a market. Since markets evolve continually, there is a risk of obsolescence if market definitions are cast in legislation or regulations for the purpose of sector-specific regulation. In this regard, technologically neutral market definitions, such as those underlying the new European Union telecommunications regulatory framework are seen as more flexible than those of countries such as the United States, where traditionally different services, such as fixed, wireless mobile and cable services are regulated under different parts of the US Communications Act."

I discussed the new European Union’s telecommunication regulatory framework, which represents an attempt to move away from technology-specific and service-specific legislation, in this speech I gave in July 2002.

Friday, 06 December 2002 12:29:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 05 December 2002

From the extract (PDF), looks to be very interesting. The soon-to-be-published Networks of Innovation: Change and Meaning in the Age of the Internet (Oxford University Press; ISBN: 0199256985) by Ilkka Tuomi.

  • "As many commentators have observed, the process of science itself is very much based on peer-review, incremental development, non-economic motives, and geographically distributed collaboration. Indeed, tradtional models of innovation often assumed that basis research generates ideas and technologies that are appropriated by entrepreneurs who them to products and money."
  • "The history of Linux allows one to question to what extent existing economic models of innovation and technological development capture phenomena that underlie collective production of new technolgies."
Thursday, 05 December 2002 15:39:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Special report from CERT/CC: Tracking and Tracing Cyber-Attacks: Technical Challenges and Global Policy Issues (PDF). "It is clear that tracking and tracing attackers across a borderless cyber-world, and holding them accountable, requires multilateral actions that transcend jurisdictions and national boundaries."

Thursday, 05 December 2002 14:43:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Somebody once said that the open source movement is a modern-day equivalent of communal barn-raising. It's a surprisingly innovative force that policy-makers worldwide need to understand. Why has open source hit the radar scope of governments? The simple answer is that the public policy stakes have become much higher. The development of advanced info-communication networks is now a key policy objective for almost all governments around the world. Not only are these networks seen as an important determinant of national competitiveness in an increasingly globalized knowledge economy, they are also seen as offering new opportunities in areas such as education, health and social advancement. It’s no surprise that almost every government in the world has put a high priority on improving access to advanced info-communications technologies, promoting digital literacy and improved access to government public services (e-government). Not surprisingly, open source is increasingly seen as another tool toward this goal, in both developed and more particularly in developing countries. O'Reilly Network has recently published an interesting timeline from 1995 to the present documenting the use of open source software by governments around the world.

On that note, in October 2002, I participated in Georgetown University's Open Source Summit: Public Interest & Policy Issues, which was spearheaded by Dr. Linda Garcia and her smart group of students at the Communication, Culture & Technology Program at Georgetown.  Across town, I see that as a follow-up to their October 2002 conference on Open Source for E-Government, the Cyber Security Policy and Research Institute (CSPRI) of George Washington University is organizing a conference on "Open Source for National and Local eGovernment Programs in the U.S. and EU" to be held in Washington, DC, USA, March 17 - 19, 2003. Here is the call for papers. Slashdot has a related thread.

In preparation for the 2003 World Summit on the Information Society, the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit maintains some ICT Success Stories pages which includes one related to e-government.

Thursday, 05 December 2002 14:26:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |