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 Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) is discussing how to improve current Internet governance arrangements in order to bring them more in line with the WSIS principles. In the light of these discussions, this questionnaire has been developed to allow for a structured feed-back. 

The WGIG has also opened a public discussion forum with instructions on how to use the associated Plone software.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 4:34:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

News on VoIP regulatory proceedings since the beginning of 2005 from the ITU-D's Regulatory Reform Unit newsroom.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 11:21:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 09, 2005

Daniel Karrenberg has published an excellent and comprehensive FAQ explaining the operation of the Internet domain name system root server system.

Monday, May 09, 2005 2:45:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Making the world (of communications) a different place (PDF), Report of a working session of the Internet Research Task Force's End-to-End Research Group, January, 2005

Monday, May 09, 2005 9:03:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 05, 2005

NetWizard's Blog has a post on the start-up work on a standard mail abuse reporting format:

  • Since the initial draft two 1/2 weeks ago, a lot of things took place. First of all, Dave was nice enough to open up a public mailing list for anyone who wants to comment on the draft. I will be putting information on it into the -01 draft which is currently in the works. Second, there is now a small public page called "ARF" or "Abuse Reporting Format" which will hopefully contain all the info on this in one easy to find place. Third, I am working on the next (-01) draft which will hopefully explain things better than the current one and put in place a normal extensibility mechanism (an IANA registry similar to what the SIP folks have).
Thursday, May 05, 2005 7:29:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The UK communications regulator OFCOM has done one of the first public consultations on the regulatory implications of Next Generation Networks (NGN), particularly with regard to BT's 21CN NGN initiative. The consultation document, entitled Next Generation Networks - Future arrangements for access and interconnection (overview,complete) explores the implications of Next Generation Networks (NGNs) for access and interconnection arrangements in the UK. The responses to the consultation are available here.

In BT's response to the consultation, it indicates some of its views on 21CN regulation:

Finally BT observes that some key aspects of the strategic positioning, NGN access and interconnect, are not addressed in Ofcom's questions. We wish to point to the following specific points.

  1. We would expect that NGNs will blur many of the boundaries all of us in the industry currently take for granted. For example, the distinction between "operators" and "service providers" will diminish; and one could foresee an increase in pan-European alternative providers leveraging their IP infrastructure using next-generation interconnection more effectively. Further, as the barriers to market entry are lowered through technology advances and open standards, we would expect many new entrants to change the landscape - some with innovative value propositions and others by identifying and exploiting new arbitrage angles.

  2. We believe end user customers will soon demand seamless, ‘any to any’ interworking between mobile and fixed networks. Operators will require the ability to roam on, and interconnect to, other national and international fixed and mobile networks in order to facilitate the provision of next generation services. The regulatory regime needs to become more technologically neutral and focus on economic bottlenecks, irrespective of the underlying network technology.

  3. We believe that innovative services will be heavily reliant on intelligent interworking to provide coherent services. Therefore, cross platform access (including roaming and interconnect) to intelligence capabilities will be essential in ensuring further development of services and competition in the convergent marketplace.

  4. BT is disappointed to see the level of potential regulatory intervention and micromanagement, both in commercial and technical terms, demonstrated in this Consultation. This is particularly inappropriate as it followed so soon after the second phase of the Telecoms Strategic Review, which promulgated a deregulatory agenda and a focus on regulating only bottlenecks. This Consultation also includes some substantive inconsistencies of approach which will need to be addressed.

  5. It is critical that the outcome of this - and any later - consultation processes should be a regulatory regime which rewards investment and does not leave BT with a significant proportion of the 21CN investment risk, whilst distributing the investment returns across the industry. Ofcom will wish to consider this issue as they contemplate the responses to the Consultation.

The ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, in cooperation with the ITU-T and ITU-D, is organizing a workshop on NGN Policy and Regulation in February 2006.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 4:32:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Red Herring reports that: Vonage will spend $10 million to start providing 911-style services for its customers, partly by using Verizon’s infrastructure to connect callers with emergency dispatchers, the VoIP provider announced Wednesday. The investment is Vonage’s first substantial attempt to close the company’s emergency calling gap. The cash is a relatively low price to address a shortcoming.

[via Fergie's Tech Blog]

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 3:32:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

CommsWatch has a post on the challenges to content regulation with convergence:

"It is not obvious why, in a news item today, the "Guardian" should highlight the challenge to conventional regulation of broadcasting posed by the growing trend to put broadcast material over the Internet. After all, it was 20 January 2005 when Ofcom published its Annual Plan for 2005/06 which contained the following statements:

  • "We will prepare for further change, for example, by examining how digital platforms and services are likely to evolve and the implications for regulation, including regulatory withdrawal. (para. 1.5)
  • "We will also look forward by conducting a review of digital, multi-media platforms. We hope this will facilitate a wide-ranging public debate about whether content, including internet content, could or should be regulated in a converged world, and, if so, how. (para. 2.15)
  • "In setting the agenda for media literacy, we will complete a major research programme and seek to identify areas of concern relating to emerging communications technology and services, particularly relating to fixed and mobile internet content. We will encourage public debate and engagement on key issues such as labelling. (para. 3.30)
  • We will carry out a review of digital platforms that will address the regulatory issues associated with content becoming available via a range of different media. (para. 3.47) andWe hope this review will facilitate a wide-ranging public debate about the future development of content and the implications for regulation, if any. (para. 3.48)
  • "Media literacy agenda setting: Identify areas of concern relating to emerging communications technology and services, particularly relating to fixed and mobile internet content, and encourage public debate. (Annex 3, section 3)

There [i]s obviously a theme here: Ofcom wants a debate on Internet content and it intends to encourage, facilitate and inform such a debate. It is now up to broadcasters, Internet service providers, and others to engage in that debate. Today's "Guardian" piece suggests that the issue has "come to a head" because of the European Commission's review of the Television Without Frontiers Directive. However, it was 21 March 2005 when the new European Commissioner Viviane Reding used a speech to the Council of Presidents of UNICE in Brussels to state:

  • "Let me be clear. The Television without Frontiers Directive can no longer just be concerned with broadcasting. Television is now on the Internet; it is also going mobile. Admittedly, for the moment TV on the internet is small scale but it will grow. We have to make sure it grows strongly and correctly. And for this we need the right, modern framework. I will only regulate this new market where absolutely necessary in the concerns of European citizens for diversity, quality, decency and safety from abusive uses. Also, convergence means increased competition between media. This indicates relaxing regulatory restrictions to leave more to the market and to consumer choice than in the traditional media world. In particular, I am thinking about easing advertising restrictions.""
Wednesday, May 04, 2005 11:59:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is hosting a 3-day workshop on anti-Spam strategies from 3-5 May 2005. The workshop is conducted as a result of the last ASEAN Telecommunications Regulatory Council (ATRC) meeting in Vientiane, Laos (July 2004) where the ATRC has agreed to the setting up of a Working Group (WG) to work on anti-SPAM measures led by MCMC.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 9:57:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The programme and presentations at the European Electronic Communications Regulatory Forum held 13-14 April 2005 in Barcelona are available [via ERO and my weblog]

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 5:43:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

AfrISPA appoints regional carriers

As part of its aim to establish true inter-country connectivity within the African continent, the African Internet Service Providers Association (AfrISPA) has appointed two organisations as regional carriers. Transtel and the Africa Online/SkyVision JV are the two bidders that successfully met AfrISPA's criteria to provide an African regional Internet traffic solution, in order to remove the current dependence upon overseas carriers and to promote the establishment and growth of African regional data carriers. The establishment of a network of Internet exchange points (IXPs) within Africa would also result in reduced costs, improved speeds and the improvement of the Internet backbone within Africa as a whole.

According to AfrISPA, Africa Online will offer a fully meshed network, which uses proven and reliable VSAT technology to provide point-to-point connectivity between IXPs. It will also utilise existing terrestrial links between certain countries, such as Kenya and Tanzania, making it possible to create regional hubs whose component countries can share one VSAT link and so reduce installation costs even further.

From IT Web [via my weblog]

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 5:36:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Australian Government Information Management Office has recently released A Guide to Open Source Software for Australian Government Agencies". [via Slashdot

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 3:32:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 02, 2005

The Economist Intelligence Unit has published its annual e-readiness ranking of the word's largest economies. Currently 65 countries are assessed on their ability to promote and support digital business and information and communications technology (ICT) services. A country's e-readiness is essentially a measure of its e-business environment, a collection of factors that indicate how amenable a market is to Internet-based opportunities. The ranking allows governments to gauge the success of their technology initiatives against those of other countries. It also provides companies that wish to invest in online operations with an overview of the world's most promising investment locations. The 2005 rankings

  1. Denmark
  2. US
  3. Sweden
  4. Switzerland
  5. UK

A more comprehensive method is ITU's Digital Access Index (explanation here in English, French and Spanish).

[via Information Policy]

Monday, May 02, 2005 10:39:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Richard Stastny has a post on his take on the 1-2 May 2005 ITU-T workshop on NGN in collaboration with the IETF in Geneva at ITU headquarters.

  • The workshop was very well attended (270 participants), both from IESG and IAB, and also from ITU-T SG groups and other standardization bodies (e.g. ETSI TISPAN). An indication of the high-level attendance can also be derived from the speakers list in the program.

Update: he has some further thoughts in a later post on the different visions of NGN.

[via VoIP and ENUM]
Monday, May 02, 2005 9:59:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

This article by Ian Peter looks at competing views of the historical origins of the Internet and gives his views how this relates to Internet governance.

Monday, May 02, 2005 12:20:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Dissemination and Acquisition of Knowledge in a Mobile Age (PDF), Paper Abstract (PDF), presented by Lara Srivastava, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, 28 April 2005, Seeing, Learning and Understanding in a Mobile Age, Institute for Philosophical Research - Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Budapest, Hungary). The conference website and other papers are available here.

Monday, May 02, 2005 10:19:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, May 01, 2005
Sunday, May 01, 2005 11:22:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Richard Stastny in his VoIP and ENUM has an interesting post on the debate as to whether "SIP is dead" versus Skype versus NGN:

  • So the real fight will take place between the planned IMS NGN and the existing Skype NGN, having a headstart of approx. two years. If the IMS NGN will be able to catch up will be decided finally by the customer, because he will be able to choose on his mobile device if he is using the IMS NGN VoIP or the Skype NGN VoIP. Of course one can download a SIP client also on a Smartphone, try to configure it (good luck) and register with a free SIP provider, , in case there are any left. Then he may be reached via his SIP URI and also contact anybody with a SIP URI, if thery are any. Metcalfe's will be against this approach.
Sunday, May 01, 2005 9:44:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Exploring the Reality of eCommerce Benefits Among Businesses in a Developing Country by Alemayehu MOLLA

The use of e-commerce by businesses in developing countries is related to the potential benefits of participating in international value chains, increasing market access and reach, improving internal and market efficiency, and lowering transaction costs. Belief in such benefits has led to the adoption of e-commerce by some businesses in these countries. However, the questions of what and how much benefits businesses in developing countries are actually reaping from their e-commerce investments are not well covered. This paper attempts to explore the real benefits of e-commerce based on data from 92 businesses in South Africa. The findings indicate that e-commerce benefits are by and large limited to improving intra- and inter-organisational communications. Strategic benefits such as improving relationships across the value chain, increasing market reach, and reducing market, operation and supply chain management costs are not as widely found as the standard model of e-commerce would have us believe. These findings support the argument that cautions against an over-optimistic view of e-commerce for developing countries.

From Institute for Development Policy and Management [via my weblog]

Sunday, May 01, 2005 8:25:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 29, 2005

Business Inaction Could Lead to Cybersecurity Law

U.S. businesses for years have urged the government to let them set computer-security standards of their own, but their inability to do so could now prompt Congress to step in, experts say.

Those who worry that regulation may stifle innovation say the business community may have already missed an opportunity to prove the government's help is not needed. "The market is in a much better position to respond to this challenge ... but corporate America has not provided evidence across the board that they've taken this issue seriously enough to protect consumers," said Bob Dix, a lobbyist for Citadel Security Software Inc., who until last year handled cybersecurity for a congressional subcommittee. The private sector is under scrutiny after a string of incidents at data brokers, retailers and other businesses exposed at least half a million U.S. citizens to identity theft.

The business community for years has argued that any government regulations would quickly become outdated in a rapidly changing field, and a 2003 Bush administration plan called on the private sector to set its own standards.

Working with the the Homeland Security Department, an industry-led task force issued a set of guidelines in April 2004 that called for company chief executives to take direct responsibility for their computer systems. One year later, only two companies have adopted the guidelines: Entrust Inc. and RSA Security Inc., whose chief executives co-chaired the task force.

Corporate lawyers warned that any public security promises could open the door for lawsuits in the wake of a security breach, said Entrust CEO Bill Connor.

From Reuters [via my weblog]

Friday, April 29, 2005 10:50:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The latest EU Competition Policy newsletter has an article on pages 8 - 15 entitled State aid rules and public funding of broadband:

  • In the recent months, the Commission had the opportunity to assess several projects involving public support to broadband  development. The considerations developed in this article reflect the Commission's conclusions in the ensuing decisions and aim at providing guidance on how to design forms of intervention that do not raise competition concerns. A word of caution is, however, necessary. These are the first decisions on State aid relating to broadband projects: the present views might evolve in the light of further experience and in view of the quick pace of economic development and technological evolution in the sector.

[via EuroTelcoblog]

Friday, April 29, 2005 3:47:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Netcraft has announced it is making available a phishing feed: "Netcraft is now making available the list of phishing sites reported by the Toolbar community and validated by Netcraft as a continuously updated feed suitable for ISPs, hosting companies, enterprises, and other companies that operate mail servers and web proxies, or network monitoring systems." [via Fergie's Tech Blog]

Friday, April 29, 2005 2:35:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The ITU-T has prepared a brochure giving an overview of ITU-T's H.264 advanced video coding standard. The increased compression efficiency of the new ITU-T H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) standard will lead to new application areas and business opportunities. Broadcasting over cable, satellite, cable modem, terrestrial, etc., will benefit from the new standard. It is now possible to transmit video signals at about 1 Mbit/s with TV (PAL) quality, which enables streaming over xDSL connections. Another interesting business area is TV transmission over satellite. By choosing H.264, the number of programmes per satellite can be doubled in comparison to current systems using H.262 (MPEG-2). Also, in the field of mobile communication, H.264 will play an important role because the compression efficiency will be doubled in comparison to the coding schemes previously specified by Third-Generation Mobile (3GPP and 3GPP2) for streaming.

The new Recommendation is destined to influence further application areas including but not limited to the following:

  • Interactive or serial storage multimedia (ISM or SSM) on optical and magnetic devices, DVD, etc.
  • Real-time conversational services (RTC), such as videoconferencing and videophone, over ISDN, Ethernet, LAN, DSL, wireless and mobile networks, modems or mixtures of these.
  • Video-on-demand or multimedia streaming services, such as remote video surveillance (RVS), over ISDN, cable modem, DSL, LAN, wireless networks, etc.
  • Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) over ISDN, DSL, Ethernet, LAN, wireless and mobile networks, etc.
  • Multimedia services over packet networks (MSPN), such as multimedia mailing (MMM), etc.
Friday, April 29, 2005 11:59:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The presentations from last month's ITU-T Cybersecurity II Symposium, hosted by RANS in Moscow, are now available, including presentations from:

  • Mr Herbert Bertine, Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 17, presentation
  • Mr Igor Faynberg, Technical Manager, NGN Standards, and Technologies and ITU-T FGNGN WG 5 Leader, presentation
  • Mr Magnus Nyström, RSA Security, presentation
  • Mr Charles Brookson, Head of Technology and Standards, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), UK, presentation
  • Mr Igor Furgel, Common Criteria, T-Systems GEI GmbH, presentation
  • Mr Bill McCrum, Deputy Director General, Telecom Engineering, Industry Canada, presentation
  • Mr Hyun-Cheol Jeong, Senior Research Staff, Korea Information Security Center of KISA, presentation
  • Mr Gary Kondakov, Managing Director, Kaspersky Labs in Russia, CIS and Baltic countries, presentation
  • Mr Eliot Lear, Consulting Engineer, Network Security, CISCO, pesentation
  • Mr Alexander Pogudin, CEO of Center of Financial Technologies, presentation
  • Ms Amal Abdallah, Federal Communications Commission, USA, presentation
  • Mr Andrey Chapchaev, Director General, Infotecs, presentation


Friday, April 29, 2005 11:45:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The May/June 2005 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine has an article entitled Down to the Wire by Thomas Bleha with the summary:

  • Once a leader in Internet innovation, the United States has fallen far behind Japan and other Asian states in deploying broadband and the latest mobile-phone technology. This lag will cost it dearly. By outdoing the United States, Japan and its neighbors are positioning themselves to be the first states to reap the benefits of the broadband era: economic growth, increased productivity, and a better quality of life.
Friday, April 29, 2005 7:40:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Russian security authorities should be given broader powers to control telecommunications and the Internet, argues Dmitri Frolov, of the Federal Security Service's Information Security Center.

Frolov spoke Thursday in the Federation Council, or Russia's upper house of parliament, at a panel discussion devoted to telecommunications and Internet regulations.

The Federal Security Service proposes setting new rules for Internet providers so that it could prevent the spread of extremist ideas, track down illegal online operations, and get access to databases with mobile telephone subscribers' details, such as e-mail addresses, Frolov said. There should be compulsory registration of mobile phone users with Internet connectivity.

The Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications is opposed to the idea of adopting a separate law on Internet operations. Speaking at today's panel discussion in the Federation Council, Deputy Minister Boris Antonyuk said the use of the Internet could be regulated by more general laws already in effect, including those dealing with advertising, the protection of consumer rights, and administrative offenses.

[via Fergie's Tech Blog and RIA Novosti]

Friday, April 29, 2005 7:32:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 28, 2005

The information society: Measurements biased by capitalism and its intent to control-dependent societies—a critical perspective, Sara Hyder

  • The brief communication examines the definition of the information society from economic, political, technological, and social conceptions, which reflect a single model of world development. International organizations use development rankings that naturally position developed nation-states at the top of world development models. The criteria used in current rankings to measure information's effect on societies are inadequate.
Thursday, April 28, 2005 3:56:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC) has published its statistics on the number of Internet Users in FY2004. Over 75 million Japanese access the Internet through mobile phones. [via my weblog]

Thursday, April 28, 2005 12:52:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ZDNET Australia is reporting that Australian regulators have signed an agreement with Asia-Pacific nations to step up the war against spam.

Twelve Asia-Pacific communications and Internet agencies have joined the Australian Communications Authority in signing a memorandum of understanding -- the Seoul-Melbourne Anti-Spam Agreement --on cooperation in countering spam.

ACA acting chairman Bob Horton said the memorandum was "focused on sharing knowledge, information and intelligence about known sources of spam, network vulnerabilities, methods of spam propagation, and technical, educational and policy solutions to the spam problem".

Other agencies involved include:

  • the Internet Society of China;
  • Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau, Hong Kong (CITB);
  • Philippines Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT);
  • Philippines Computer Emergency Response Team (PH-CERT);
  • the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC);
  • the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan (METI);
  • Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan (MIC);
  • New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development (MED);
  • Taiwan Computer Emergency Response Team / Coordination Centre (TWCERT/CC) and;
  • the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Kingdom of Thailand (MICT).

The new document is based on an agreement signed in late 2003 between the ACA, the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE) -- since renamed the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) -- and the Korea Information Security Agency.

Furthering cooperation among international initiatives in countering spam will also be discussed at the ITU's upcoming WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity which will begin with a countering spam day as a following up to ITU's meeting in July 2004 on countering spam.

Thursday, April 28, 2005 9:44:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Intel Corporation has announced the availability of its first WiMAX product, providing equipment manufacturers and carriers the ability to deliver next-generation wireless broadband networks around the world. In addition, several service providers worldwide announced plans to begin commercial WiMAX trials based on Intel silicon products later this year, giving consumers and businesses a glimpse at this emerging wireless high-speed broadband technology. Key equipment providers also announced WiMAX solutions based on Intel's product..

The Register (via Wireless Watch) had a recent review of the WiMAX Summit in Paris, France and the related standards debate.

  • It quickly emerged that the issue preoccupying both vendors and potential operators is the road to mobility and exactly how the transition to the forthcoming 802.l6e mobile standard will be achieved. With a key WiMAX Forum meeting to be held in the coming week in Spain, and 802.16e set to be ratified this year, it is essential to the uptake of the platform that the route to mobility is clarified as soon as possible.
  • All agree that 802.16 will be the platform with which WiMAX hits the big time. Most of the equipment majors are merely licensing fixed 802.16d (now renamed 802.16-2004) gear, while focusing their own development efforts on 'e'. That means that the chances for chipmakers to net the big OEM deals - with Alcatel, Nortel and the others - rely on the mobile standard. But there are two basic schools of thought among the chipmakers and their licensees as to their strategy in the interim.
  • One is that there is a period of at least two years before 802.16e achieves volume, and that the upgrade path will be complex. That means the priority is to make 802.16-2004 as impressive as possible in order to drive short term sales and increase confidence in WiMAX. This will mean creating a so-called 'd+' technology that goes beyond the basic stipulations of the fixed standard, with a focus on aspects such as quality of service for voice and video, and portability with consumer grade subscriber equipment.
  • The other view is that the market needs to move to mobility more rapidly, by offering pre-standard networks that provide most of the functionality promised for 'e'. This strategy rests on the belief - or hope - that the mobile standard will come to market rapidly and that the leap from its predecessor will be a simple one.

In related news, only days before a deadline for its first licensing fee payment, South Korea’s Hanaro Telecom announced Tuesday it will forego a license to roll out a WiBro mobile broadband network (based on 802.16e technology). Hanaro was one of three Korean operators granted licenses by the Korean Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) in January. "We still believe WiBro is commercially viable. We plan to grant the remaining licensee withdrawn from Hanaro to an eligible hopeful,’’ MIC director general Kim Dong-soo said.

[via my weblog, The Register, MIC]

Thursday, April 28, 2005 8:43:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 27, 2005

CAPTEF (Conférence des administrations des postes et des télécommunications d’expression française ) Member States adopted a declaration recognizing the importance of the fight against spam at a meeting held in Paris between the 29th and 30th of April 2005. The main purpose of this meeting on "CAPTEF Internet" was to present the various methodologies adopted by the Member States for securing information systems, fighting spam and managing Internet domain names.

The final declaration emphasizes the collection of national contacts responsible for different areas in the fight against spam, which is to be disseminated to international organizations (OECD, ITU, etc.), and the reinforcement of cooperation and international coordination for sharing information on legislation, specific country needs, and anti-spam technologies.

Nineteen countries are currently members of CAPTEF: Benign, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Central Africa, Congo, Côte.d'ivoire, Djibouti, France, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Maurice, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Chad, and Togo. Six other countries: Algeria, the Comoros, Guinea, Morocco, Tunisia, and Democratic Republic of Congo take part as observers.

For further details, see Direction du développement des médias.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 3:32:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

FCC Chief Wants 911 Service for Internet Phones: FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said on Tuesday he would soon propose requiring Internet-based telephone providers to offer their customers emergency 911 dialing services.

After hearing reports of consumers having trouble getting through to the police when dialing from an Internet telephone, known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), Martin said he wanted to address the problem quickly.

Calls to 911 with traditional telephones provide emergency service dispatchers with the caller's number and address. VOIP providers have limited access to the systems connecting those calls to primary emergency lines and location information is not always available.

"I immediately asked our staff to develop a plan to address this issue," Martin said during a House subcommittee hearing. The proposal would "hopefully require they (VOIP providers) have 911 services being provided," he said.

After the hearing, Martin told reporters he planned to offer a proposal to the other three FCC commissioners so they could vote on it in May, possibly at the May 19 FCC open meeting.

He declined to offer more details about his plan. Martin said since the FCC insulated the Internet phone carriers from many state regulations, the agency had an obligation to act.

In related news, Verizon announced on Tuesday that it would start making its 911 network in New York City available to all voice over Internet Protocol providers this summer.

From Reuters and News.com [via my weblog]

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 3:25:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cybercrime Costs Billions But How to Report It?

Cybercrime costs societies billions of dollars every year, but it is not easy for European citizens to report that their digital identity has been stolen, according to anti-virus software companies and police.

Britain's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) three weeks ago estimated the nation's cost of computer crime at $4.7 billion a year. Yet common computer break-ins such as hacking, phishing and identity theft must be reported to the local police.

Britain's police offer online forms for citizens to report "non-emergency minor crimes" including theft, criminal vandalism and damage to motor vehicles, but there is no special category for computer crime.

Elsewhere in Europe, citizens are also mostly referred to local police forces to report these crimes.

"It really is a problem. These crimes are global, but citizens work with local police. Most of the police are trained to catch bank robbers rather than Internet robbers," said Mikko Hypponen at anti-virus company F-Secure in Finland, where citizens have to report to local police.

Dutch police have admitted that most are ill equipped to deal with cybercrime.

"Victims of high-tech crime experience this every day," wrote Pascal Hetzscholdt, policy adviser of the Dutch police's digital investigation unit, in a recent article for a police detectives magazine.

"When reporting a crime, they find that the police have big problems with taking and processing the technical aspects of the incident. Police and the public prosecution also have trouble estimating the importance," Hetzscholdt said.

Weak police skills lead to low interest, others say. From Reuters [via my weblog]

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 8:43:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 26, 2005

UK laws are failing to deter spam: UK spam laws are failing to stop spammers, say campaigners. According to anti-spam organisation Spamhaus, loopholes in UK law render legislation useless in the fight against spammers. The majority of spam originates from the US but there are a handful of hardcore UK-based spammers. Since the law came into force over a year ago no UK spammers have been fined or prosecuted.

Internet service provider AOL is becoming frustrated by the lack of effective anti-spam laws in the UK. "While the volume of spam originating in the UK may be lower than many countries, strong anti-spam legislation sends the right signal," said a spokesman for AOL. "We would like more legal avenues in the UK to hit spammers where it really hurts - in the pocket," he said.

The problem lies in loopholes which effectively give spammers the right to spam any address in the UK, said Steve Linford, who heads up Spamhaus. "British law allows spammers to spam business addresses and it is up to spammers to determine whether an address is a private one or a business one," he told the BBC News website. "Apparently the Department of Trade and Industry was told that British businesses wanted spam, although we have never heard of any," he said.

The job of enforcing the spam law falls to the Office of the Information Commissioner, which admits that it finds it hard to deal with the problem. "It is hard to prove anything because it is difficult to track spammers down. The power of the Information Commissioner is sadly limited although he is calling for greater powers," said a spokesperson.

Even if the Information Commissioner manages to track a UK-based spammer down, the penalty of fines up to £5,000 is not harsh enough thinks Mr Linford. "Some spammers make that amount in a day," he said. UK spammers account for less than 2% of all junk e-mails with the lion's share of spam coming from the US.

From BBC via [my weblog]

Tuesday, April 26, 2005 1:51:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ENISA’s Seat Agreement signed in Heraklion: ENISA Seat Agreement was signed today in Heraklion, Crete, by ENISA’s Executive Director, Mr Andrea Pirotti, and Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications, Mr Anastasios Nerantzis, in the presence of the Greek Prime Minister Mr Kostas Karamanlis. High level representatives of the Greek Government and Parliament attended the event as well as representatives from the Foundation for Research and Technology, FORTH, and from the ENISA Management Board. From ENISA [via my weblog]

Tuesday, April 26, 2005 12:55:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A Refutation of Metcalfe's Law (PDF) and a better estimate for the value of networks and network interconnections by Andrew Odlyzko and Benjamin Tilly.

  • There have been and continue to be controversies about interconnection policies of ISPs. A particularly sensitive issue is the frequent refusal of large ISPs to peer (roughly speaking, exchange traffic freely without payment) with smaller carriers. (The refusal of AOL to interconnect instant messenger systems is very similar.) This behavior has often been attributed to abusive exploitation of market power. But there may be a more innocent explanation, based on the economic value that interconnection generates. As we show in Section 2, if Metcalfe's Law held, then interconnection would produce equal value for any two network, irrespective of their relative sizes. Hence refusal to interconnect without payment would have to be due to either obtuseness on the part of management or strategic gaming. However, if network value scales like n log(n), as we argue (or by most other rules of this type, the quadratic growth of Metcalfe's Law is very unusual in this regard) then relative gains from interconnection depend on the sizes of the networks. In this case the smaller network gains considerably more than the larger one. This produces an incentive for larger networks to refuse to interconnect without payment, a very common phenomenon in the real economy.

  • Metcalfe's Law and Reed's Law both significantly overstate the value of a communication network. In their place we propose another rough rule, that the value of a network of size n grows like n log(n). This rule, while not meant to be exact, does appear to be consistent with historical behavior of networks with regard to interconnection, and it captures the advantage that general connectivity offers over broadcast networks that deliver content. It also helps explain the failure of the dot-com and telecom ventures, since it implies network effects are not as strong as had been hoped for.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005 8:17:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 22, 2005

ITU-T is hosting a workshop on IPv6 organized in cooperation with the European Union’s IPv6 Task Force Steering Committee (IPv6 EU TF-SC) and the IPv6 Forum. Here is the advanced programme.

Taking place in Geneva, between 22 to 23 June 2005, the event will examine the current status of IPv6, with regards to rollout, policy, technology and applications. An additional aim will be to promote awareness of IPv6 to countries where Internet use is relatively low. The workshop will also follow-up on recent comments sent to the Director of ITU-T’s secretariat, the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) on the management and distribution of IP addresses. .

Friday, April 22, 2005 4:59:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The March 2005 issue of Business Communications Review, pp. 20–21 has an interesting article entitled Which NGN? that debates different visions of the future of the Internet:

  • But this all could change. Major moves are afoot to radically alter the way the Internet operates. If certain organizations and people have their way, the Internet will evolve to look considerably more like the public switched telephone network (PSTN) or today’s mobile/cellular networks. And this could happen much sooner than you might think.
  • To facilitate this migration, many carriers started participating in a major international standards development effort. Working through an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Study Group, the carriers (with vendor and government assistance) are developing their own blueprint that they call the “Next Generation Network” (NGN). Intense standards work is under way at the ITU and other groups such as the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) to further the integration and interoperability of IP networks with the PSTN and mobile networks.
  • Architecturally, the ITU’s NGN relies heavily on the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) framework, developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)/3GPP2 for 3G/UMTS and CDMA mobile networks. The IMS has been extended to cover wireline facilities, to create a converged, seamless mobile user experience. The ITU NGN also mandates IPv6, and uses traffic prioritization end-to-end to deliver service quality. It requires reservation and commitment of network resources before connections are established.

Although the article suggest a conflict of vision on NGN standards, this post also notes that the ITU and IETF are exploring ways of cooperating on NGN standardization. Both ITU's FGNGN (Focus Group on Next Generation Networks) and Study Group 13 (Next Generation Networks) are meeting in the coming weeks at ITU to advance NGN standardization.

Friday, April 22, 2005 4:55:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The latest issue of the WDR e-Brief, an electronic newsletter with pointers to the latest news from the World Dialogue on Regulation is available:

  • "The World Dialogue on Regulation for Network Economies is concerned with regulation and governance for network economies. We conduct research, facilitate online dialogue and discussion among experts, and publish and distribute papers, reports and other relevant information. The dialogue theme for the current research cycle is diversifying participation in network development."
Friday, April 22, 2005 2:44:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecommunications Magazine has an article on ITU's recent Ubiquitous Network Societies workshop.

  • So what does ubiquitous really mean? One take has a future where everything is connected to everything else by some type of wireless network. Alongside this is a future that sees superconvergence of everything from fixed to mobile networks spanning multi-platforms, multi-functions and multi-applications.
  • In short, it sounds like the long-held dream of all telecom professionals everywhere, providing services and applications to everyone regardless of their location. “Technology and network access will become an afterthought to daily activities,” predicts [ITU Secretary-General Yoshio] Utsumi.
Friday, April 22, 2005 11:04:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bleepblog has news of the Skype VoIP Cyberphone.

Friday, April 22, 2005 8:55:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The World Summit in Reflection: a Deliberative Dialogue on WSIS brought to you by the journal Information Technologies and International Development and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School.

Friday, April 22, 2005 8:16:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to an article in The Australian, the Australian Communications Authority will launch a year-long trial starting May 5, 2005 of ENUM, in conjunction with Australia's internet administration authority, AusRegistry.

Friday, April 22, 2005 7:59:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 21, 2005

Research paper: On selecting a technology evolution path for broadband access networks, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 72, Issue 4, May 2005, Pages 449-470, Soo-Hyeon Yoon, Moon-Gil Yoon and Jinjoo Lee

Thursday, April 21, 2005 3:44:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From The Arizona Republic:

"It's the next Internet scam, and it could be the most menacing.

The reason: Even experienced Internet users can become victims and not know it.

The ploy is called pharming - a play off "phishing," the previous Internet fraud - and it involves highly skilled hackers who secretly redirect users' computers from financial sites to the scammers' fake ones, where they steal passwords and other personal information. Even the Web address looks the same."

More...

Thursday, April 21, 2005 1:47:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to new ITU research, here are the top 10 mobile operators by proportionate subscribers in the world, as of December 2004. China Mobile is in first place with over 204 million subscribers.

Thursday, April 21, 2005 1:25:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |