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 Thursday, September 29, 2005

According to Computer Business Review Online, NeuStar Inc has won a high-profile contract to provide internet addressing services for the world's GSM carriers, the company announced yesterday. NeuStar will operate a private root DNS server system serving the .gprs suffix, which will only be usable by participating GSMA member companies.

Update: There has been a lot of subsequent debate about the significance of this deal (mostly on Dave Farber's IP list and Nanog). In this post, James Seng tries to sum up what he sees are the main issues and points to the viewpoints of some other experts.

Thursday, September 29, 2005 2:21:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 28, 2005

PrepCom-3 Highlights: 26-27 September 2005

Internet governance discussions kicked off this morning with delegations getting down to the business of drafting text that will eventually become part of the outcome documents of November’s World Summit.

PrepCom-3 Highlights: 28 September 2005

The European Union signaled a radical shift of position on its support for maintaining the Internet governance status quo, tabling a bold new document (Word) on Wednesday night that proposed a new public-private governance model, including an international multi-stakeholder forum.

Taking the floor half-way through Wednesday evening’s meeting of Sub-Committee A, the UK delegate’s placid delivery belied the ground-shaking import of the proposal, which represented a clear departure from the “status quo” camp led by the US.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005 6:58:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The latest meeting of ITU Study Group 3 saw an agreement that may lead to lower international mobile telephony charges. The move follows a successful initiative in the 1990’s to lower the – then – high cost of international fixed line telephone calls.

Study Group 3 research has found that in some cases mobile termination charges can be five to ten times more than fixed termination charge. Termination charges happen when calls are terminated in a network other than that from which they have originated. And since as many as 75 per cent of all calls now involve the mobile network in some way Study Group 3 has decided to investigate how to lower these costs and make mobile telephony more affordable.

The Study Group will send a questionnaire to members and following analysis of the responses it will develop targets aimed at bringing down the cost of mobile call termination. The same initiative for fixed-line telephony is thought to have significantly reduced costs to consumers. Although some lowering of call costs can be shown to have been due to competition and market conditions, call costs were also seen to drop in areas where there was no competition, indicating that the ITU initiative had worked.

In other news from Study Group 3's last meeting it was announced that an alternative has been agreed to the 140 year old practice of allowing the calling party’s service provider to invoice the call terminator for call termination services. The practice has led to many disputes and there have been calls to review the situation. Study Group 3's meeting agreed to a new model that – it is felt – will be less problematic. Now the call terminator can bill directly for the minutes used by the service provider sending the calls.

For further information on these and other Study Group 3 activites, please click here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005 9:04:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Network World has an article on the evolution of IP-based networks that notes there are divergent views among standards bodies such as the ITU and the IETF, on the future evolution of the internet.

"The current Internet model is the stupid network model, where the network doesn't know what applications you're running and doesn't try to be helpful," he says. "The ITU's model [is] where the network is application-aware and can provide specific extra support for a particular application, such as VoIP. That session will compare what their strengths and weaknesses are, and hopefully out of it we can get some idea of what the future is going to look like."

Bradner says the ITU's model is designed to provide defined and guaranteed QoS, while the Internet is a best-effort model based on bandwidth capacity. He says both are applicable given the network circumstances - if there's plenty of bandwidth, there's no need for QoS controls; if not, there is.

The future of the 'Net could be shaped in large part by the need to support peer-to-peer applications and Web-based services, which use peer-to-peer protocols. This type of traffic is growing in use and importance in enterprise networks and on the 'Net, especially as companies move to SOAs designed to support peer-to-peer and message-based transmissions.

Are we heading for a future of dumb or smart networks? This recent piece in BCR Magazine on Making Networks Smart suggests that industry players on both the network side (e.g., Cisco and Juniper) and applications side (e.g., Microsoft, IBM, Sun, BEA) are making moves in the latter direction. Initiatives like the IPSphere Forum suggest that both the equipment manufacturers and the major service providers are on the same strategy:

The goal of the IPsphere forum is to create an industry call to action to create public networks that combine the reach of the Internet with the assured performance and security of a private network. This new approach is designed to overcome the current limitations of the Internet through the creation of "IPspheres," delivering an enriched experience for consumers, business-critical performance, and opening new markets for service providers.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 11:42:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 26, 2005

Roger Darlington has a post on speeches by European Commissioner Vivianne Reding and Ofcom Chairman Lord Currie at an Audiovisual Conference in Liverpool discussing the draft proposas for reform of the EU's Television Without Frontiers Directive: 

The European Commissioner Viviane Reding has been attacked over her draft proposals for reform of the Television Without Frontiers Directive and accused of wanting in effect to extend elements of broadcasting regulation to the Internet but, at a conference earlier this week, she came out fighting....

Monday, September 26, 2005 3:04:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

To further encourage the development of a ubiquitous network society, the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, the Italian Ministry of Communications, the Ugo Bordoni Foundation and the Aosta Valley are hosting a Workshop on "Tomorrow's Network Today" that will be held in Saint-Vincent (Aosta), Italy on 7-8 October 2005.

This Workshop will discuss specific measures to help overcome potential challenges and determine possible future actions.

One session will be dedicated to Next Generation Networks (NGN) as a framework to harmonize the worldwide technical and functional basis needed to extend the use of integrated ICTs to as many users as possible.

During the workshop there will be an Exhibition which will bring together a wide range of leading industry participants as well as high-level representatives from government and regulators.

Click here for more information about the event.

Monday, September 26, 2005 9:46:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

On the 23 September 2005, the FCC released statements on legal intercept for broadband and VoIP providers as well as stating its jurisdiction over providers of telecommunications for Internet access and IP-enabled services in the United States of America.

FCC Requires Certain Broadband and VoIP Providers to Accommodate Wiretaps.
Order: Acrobat
News Release (8/5/05): Word | Acrobat
Martin Press Statement: Word | Acrobat
Abernathy Statement: Word | Acrobat

FCC Adopts Policy Statement on Broadband Internet Access.
Policy Statement: Word | Acrobat
News Release (8/5/05): Word | Acrobat
Martin Press Statement: Word | Acrobat

"...the Commission has jurisdiction necessary to ensure that providers of telecommunications for Internet access or Internet Protocol-enabled (IP-enabled) services are operated in a neutral manner. Moreover, to ensure that broadband networks are widely deployed, open, affordable, and accessible to all consumers, the Commission adopts the following principles:

  • To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet, consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice.
  • To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet, consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement.
  • To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet, consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network.
  • To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet, consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers."
Monday, September 26, 2005 8:56:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, September 25, 2005

John Levine in his blog describes how, on September 22 2005, Robert Braver, an Oklahoma ISP owner who is a long time activist against both spam and junk faxes, received a default judgement of over $10 million against high profile spammer Robert Soloway and his company Newport Internet Marketing. Soloway has frequently been cited as one of the ten largest spammers in the world.

Details of the case including a copy of the decision and other documents are available on a website that Braver set up.

Sunday, September 25, 2005 8:21:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 23, 2005

The Chair of WSIS Phase 2 Prepcom-3 Sub-Committee A dealing with Internet Governance has released a chair's draft of Chapter 3: Internet Governance for consideration of Sub-Committee A.

Friday, September 23, 2005 10:19:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Highlights from the discussions at WSIS Prepcom-3 19-21 September 2005 can be found here.

Friday, September 23, 2005 8:42:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 22, 2005

From TPRC 2005: Internet Governance: Theories and First Principles by Johannes M. Bauer, Michigan State University.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 5:06:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From TPRC 2005: DNSSEC and Hardening Security in the Internet Infrastructure: The Public Policy Questions by Amy Friedlander, Stephen Crocker, Allison Mankin, W. Douglas Maughan, Douglas Montgomery, Shinkuro Inc.

This is a paper from the practitioner community. We are engaged in an effort to strengthen security in the Internet infrastructure. Our immediate task is to deploy a new Internet protocol, DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC), which promises to harden features of the Domain Name System (DNS), a key element in the infrastructure of the Internet. In our work, we find ourselves at the intersection of the following questions:

  1. How do we stimulate innovation in infrastructure services when those services are provided in a competitive, largely private commercial environment and the returns are likely to occur in the long term and will also be shared?
  2. What is the appropriate role of government in fostering infrastructure development when we are committed to largely privately-owned and operated infrastructure facilities and services?
  3. What is the balance among national and homeland security interests and global Internet management - or governance?
Thursday, September 22, 2005 2:55:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

EC Press Release: The European Commission has adopted today a proposal for a Directive on the retention of communications traffic data. The proposal provides for an EU-wide harmonisation of the obligations on providers of publicly available electronic communications, or a public telecommunications network, to retain data related to mobile and fixed telephony for a period of one year, and internet communication data, for six month. The proposed Directive would not be applicable to the actual content of the communications. It also includes a provision ensuring that the service or network providers will be reimbursed for the demonstrated additional costs they will have. For its adoption, the proposal requires the approval both of the European Parliament and the Council. The Council is currently discussing an alternative text, a Framework Decision which would allow for data retention of up to 3 years and could be adopted by the Council alone. A related memo with additional information is available.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 10:36:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A circular letter (Word) from the Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector's Bureau provides an update on structure of ITU's future NGN standardization activites. The Focus Group on NGN (FGNGN) will have its final meeting on 14-18 November 2005 and it has been agreed that further work on NGN will be progressed under the banner of the NGN Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI) involving, in addition to NGN related Rapporteur Groups of Study Groups 11, 13 and 19, those from Study Groups 12, 15, 16 and other Study Groups as appropriate.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 9:53:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The video archives (Real Video) of yesterday's (20 September 2005) opening discussions on Internet governance in WSIS Prepcom-3 Sub-Committee A which is handling Internet Governance have been made available. They are available in English and in the original language from the Floor.

Access to the all real-time Prepcom-3 streams and archives can be found here.

Update: The archives of the 21 September 2005 discussions on Internet Governance in Sub-Committee A can be found here in English and in the original language from the Floor.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 8:30:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Richard Stastny's blog has post on a panel session at VON on the future of numbering in the context of IP where he states the highlight of the session was a statement from John Klensin that "ENUM is dead, the window is closed".

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 8:33:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to an article in the Washington Post, online search leader Google is preparing to launch its own wireless Internet service, Google WiFi, according to several pages found on the company's Web site on Tuesday. In related news, Google is said to have an issued an RFP for a US national optical network.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 5:02:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

At the recent meeting of Study Group 11 a number of documents relating to the international emergency preference scheme (IEPS) were consented. IEPS aims to provide authorised emergency personnel a higher probability of successful communication under high network load conditions such as those that might occur in an emergency.

Among the topics dealt with at the meeting were signalling for support of IEPS to comply with ITU-T Recommendation E.106. E.106 provides guidelines for extending national emergency preference schemes across international boundaries. Because Recommendations in this area have potential national and regulatory policy implications, it was agreed to consider the documents under the traditional approval process (TAP) rather than under the alternative approval process (AAP). 

ITU maintains a webpage detailing its work in the area of Emergency Telecommunications.

Via ITU-T Newslog

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 11:20:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 19, 2005

Symantec has released its bi-annual Internet Security Threat Report in September 2005:

The Symantec Internet Security Threat Report is an analysis and discussion of Internet security activity over the past six months. It covers Internet attacks, vulnerabilities, malicious code, and future trends. This edition of the Threat Report, covering the first six months of 2005, marks a shift in the threat landscape. Attackers are moving away from large, multipurpose attacks on network perimeters and towards smaller, more focused attacks on client-side targets. The new threat landscape will likely be dominated by emerging threats such as bot networks, customizable modular malicious code, and targeted attacks on Web applications and Web browsers. Unlike traditional attack activity, many current threats are motivated by profit. They often attempt to perpetrate criminal acts, such as identity theft, extortion, and fraud.

Monday, September 19, 2005 5:11:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

SwissInfo is reporting that data-protection commissioners from 40 countries have called on the United Nations to prepare a binding legal instrument to enhance data protection.

A related press release and the final Montreux Declaration are available.

Monday, September 19, 2005 3:26:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The US House Energy and Commerce Committee has released a staff discussion draft legislation (PDF) intended to replace the US Telecommunications Act of 1996.

According to the Committee's announcement, highlights of the staff discussion draft include:

  • "Creates common regulatory definition for broadband Internet transmission services (BITS) which includes Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), cable modems, and other broadband services.
  • Ensures network neutrality to prevent broadband providers from blocking subscriber access to lawful content.
  • Provides a uniform, federal regulatory framework for broadband providers, Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP), and broadband video providers, except in some areas where state or local rules still apply, such as rights-of-way.
  • Authorizes the FCC to determine that VoIP can be required to contribute to the Universal Service Fund.
  • Develops a streamlined franchising process for broadband video providers.
  • Applies many current cable video requirements to broadband video providers.
  • Allows municipalities to develop and deploy BITS, VoIP and broadband video services. However, municipalities can't provide preferential treatment for these services and must comply with all regulations governing private-sector providers.
  • Ensures that VoIP subscribers have access to 911."
Monday, September 19, 2005 12:51:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Top Problems of the Internet and How to Help Solve Them (PDF) by Kim Claffy: Top engineering and operational problems, why they persistently resist solution, how different communities are auspiciously reacting to the above, and implications for research, policy, and builders. Presented as invited keynote at AUSCERT 2005. An older version of this slideset was presented as a keynote address at the CENIC 2005 conference held March 7-9, 2005.

Monday, September 19, 2005 11:47:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In 2003, the Washington Post ran an article on how a Sean Gorman's student Dissertation Could Be Security Threat. His dissertation has now been expanded into a book entitled Networks, Security And Complexity: The Role of Public Policy in Critical Infrastructure Protection (Amazon link). A description of the book follows:

The end of the 20th century witnessed an information revolution that introduced a host of new economic efficiencies. This economic change was underpinned by rapidly growing networks of infrastructure that have become increasingly complex. In this new era of global security we are now forced to ask whether our private efficiencies have led to public vulnerabilities, and if so, how do we make ourselves secure without hampering the economy. In order to answer these questions, Sean Gorman provides a framework for how vulnerabilities are identified and cost-effectively mitigated, as well as how resiliency and continuity of infrastructures can be increased. Networks, Security and Complexity goes on to address specific concerns such as determining criticality and interdependency, the most effective means of allocating scarce resources for defense, and whether diversity is a viable strategy. The author provides the economic, policy, and physics background to the issues of infrastructure security, along with tools for taking first steps in tackling these security dilemmas. He includes case studies of infrastructure failures and vulnerabilities, an analysis of threats to US infrastructure, and a review of the economics and geography of agglomeration and efficiency. This critical and controversial book will garner much attention and spark an important dialogue. Policymakers, security professionals, infrastructure operators, academics, and readers following homeland security issues will find this volume of great interest.

Monday, September 19, 2005 10:31:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 16, 2005

This statement by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin indicates that he intends to propose the creation of a new Public Safety/Homeland Security Bureau in the FCC. This Bureau would coordinate public safety, national security, and disaster management activities within the FCC.

Friday, September 16, 2005 11:38:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 15, 2005

ITU-T, in collaboration with the European Union’s IPv6 Task Force Steering Committee (EU IPv6 TF-SC) and the IPv6 Forum, organized an IPv6 workshop at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, June 22-23, 2005.

A final report of the workshop is now available on the workshop website.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 5:09:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Country Code 1 ENUM Limited Liability Company has published a letter (PDF) from the US State Department concerning the terms and conditions for the US government to approve the delegation of the +1 country code for ENUM trials.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 3:17:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

September has got off to a flying start as far as Next-Generation Networks (NGN) work in ITU is concerned. The important milestone of the Release 1 set of standards is on track for November (2005) and sufficient momentum has been achieved to ensure that the next stages of NGN work will be carried out with similar efficiency.

The continuation of the NGN study by ITU will be re-branded the NGN-Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI).

Houlin Zhao, Director of TSB, ITU-T's secretariat said: "I am very pleased with the progress and the results achieved by the Focus Group on next-generation networks (FGNGN ). These first results will provide the building blocks on which the world's systems vendors and service providers can start to make this monumental shift to NGN. We have the momentum, the tools and the will to continue this significant and important work."

Agreement on a future plan is clear and the Focus Group on next-generation networks (FGNGN) has been putting the finishing touches to Release 1 before formally submitting it into the Study Group system.

The FGNGN met in Geneva 24 August - 2 September alongside meetings of Study Groups 11 , 13 and 19 (2005), themselves all having elements of NGN work. Each FGNGN meeting has seen increased participation and contributions according to management.

The group chaired by Chae-Sub Lee of Korea is expecting to see completion of its Release 1 set of standards, at its November 2005 meeting in London, UK. A one day briefing session following that meeting will serve as an overview of the work, as well as an opportunity to promote future direction and business drivers.

The first draft of an allocation table for the distribution of work following the November meeting was also agreed. This type of activity as well as the development of a prototype project management tool, is seen as important in order to keep NGN work, that cuts across the study groups, aligned, coherent and consistent.

According to FGNGN chairman Lee, an important focus of the work at this Geneva meeting are the quality of service (QoS) aspects that will allow - for example - services like IPTV to be offered with the same broadcast quality as traditional TV. The Focus Group expects that there will be more than ten deliverables on QoS that will be submitted into the Study Group system for approval as ITU-T products such as Recommendations. Additionally the topic of fixed-mobile convergence saw much discussion in the meeting according to Lee.

FGNGN also saw the document that describes the scope for NGN standards in ITU reaching near maturity, an important step, according to meeting insiders. The document that gives an overview of what Release 1 is expected to cover in terms of services, capabilities and high level objectives was described in the meeting's report as 'very stable'. Additionally much progress was made on another crucial document describing Release 1 requirements.

Via ITU-T Newslog.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 2:56:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

WSIS Press Release, 15 September 2005: World Summit on the Information Society - Tunis Phase Preparatory Committee 3 (PrepCom-3): The final preparatory meeting for the forthcoming Tunis Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society will take place at the Palais de Nations, Geneva, from 19-30 September 2005. The meeting, which is expected to welcome some 1'500 participants from UN agencies, the private sector, civil society and the media, will work to finalize the working documents of the Summit, scheduled to take place in Tunis from November 16-18. For full text see: 

Thursday, September 15, 2005 2:04:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Leaders from the leading national and regional telecommunications and radio standards organizations and a delegation from ITU consisting of both high-level secretariat staff and Study Group chairs met 28 August - 2 September, at The Tenth Global Standards Collaboration meeting (GSC-10).

The mission of the GSC is to exchange information between participating standards organizations to facilitate collaboration and to support the process of global telecommunication standardization in the ITU. The event was hosted by ETSI in Sophia Antipolis, France.

Participants at GSC-10 included the Australian Communications Industry Forum (ACIF), Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB) of Japan, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) from the US, the China Communications Standards Association (CCSA), the Telecommunication Technology Committee (TTC) of Japan, the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) of Korea, the ICT Standards Advisory Council of Canada (ISACC), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Guests and observers included representatives from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT), the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) and the Sector Board 4 of International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Specific resolutions on the following topics were agreed at the meeting:

  • Next-Generation Networks
  • Mapping Standards for "Systems Beyond IMT 2000"
  • Cybersecurity
  • Home Networking
  • Emergency Communications
  • Broadband Services in Rural and Remote Areas
  • Open Standards
  • Facilitating Liaison in relation to Measurement Methodologies for Assessing Human Exposure to RF Energy
  • Wireless access including RLANs, Ad-Hoc Networking and Broadband Wireless Access
  • Supporting Automotive Crash Notification ("ACN") by Public Wireless Communications Networks
  • Radio Microphones and Cordless Audio Devices
  • RFID Systems, Services and Networking
  • Public Protection & Disaster Relief
  • Ultra Wide Band
  • Intellectual Property Rights Policies
  • User Interest Working Group

Other areas discussed were:

  • Location-based Services
  • Internet Protocol over Wireless
  • Software defined radio & Cognitive radio
  • Digital Broadcasting including mobile multimedia applications
  • Satellite services

ITU maintains a repository of documents relating to this and all past GSC meetings.

Via the ITU-T Newslog.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 9:22:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 13, 2005

"I spent yesterday at a conference with the title eConfidence - Spam, Scams And Security and posted a short report. I mentioned that a major awareness campaign is due to be launched at the end of next month. It has been nine months in conception and creation and was planned under the name "Project Endurance", but it is being launched under the banner Get Safe Online. At yesterday's event, Tony Neate of the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit described the content as "outstanding", but so far the only public presence is one page on the web. As you can see from this page, eight companies have joined the Home Office and the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit to sponsor the campaign, but more sponsors are sought. I understand that the Netherlands and Norway have run similar campaigns against spam, scams and viruses. Anyone out there got any relevant information? I welcome this initiative. My concern is that there are now a variety of web sites and organisations providing advice on different forms of Internet content and activity - with some major gaps, such as harmful and offensive content -and what the consumer needs is a 'one stop shop' linking all these resources in a high-profile, user-friendly manner."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 4:13:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

"Industry has agreed on the technical direction for NGN" (next generation networks), said Keith Dickerson, BT head of standards and co-leader of ITU-T Focus Group on Next Generation Networks (FGNGN) Working Group 7 on future packet-based networks. "We shouldn't have interoperability problems when the NGN is deployed," he said.

FGNGN's job is to define network architecture and requirements to support fixed-mobile convergence, letting a fixed-line operator provide the same services as a network operator offering 3GPP defined services, for example, using IMS, said Dick Knight of BT vice chairman of FGNGN: "Thus equipment can be connected to either a fixed or mobile network [and] receive the same services, and a dedicated device, such as a phone, may roam between a 3GPP or 3GPP2 network and a fixed line network."

Fixed-mobile convergence will be enabled by extending the 3GPP IMS to provide the same services over the fixed network, said Dickerson: "BT is pushing for emulation of PSTN services to meet the 2009 deadline, when we'll be closing down PSTN... BT plans to move all its customers to its 21st Century Network," BT's version of the NGN, by 2009.

"FGNGN has given strategic and technical direction to industry, and enables a network operator to offer new services in new markets: Presence, IM, maybe in the future broadcast digital TV and video on demand. The design of a flexible service platform enables the networks to innovate to provide almost any capabilities and services we can imagine," Knight said.

FGNGN's main product will be Release 1, which "is a set of capabilities," said Keith Mainwaring of Cisco, co- leader of the FGNGN Working Group on Quality fo Service (QoS) and member of ITU Study Group 11, "one that specifies the mechanisms to provide NGN services. Defining the mechanisms will be assigned back to ITU Study Groups." With most standards "quite stable," the group is getting ready for final comments, "expected to be mostly of an editorial nature," said Chae-Sub Lee of Korea's Electronics Telecom Research Institute (ETRI), FGNGN chairman. QoS documents will comprise about 40% of Release 1. Among the group's 6 or so expected independent releases may be 12-14 QoS documents, said Lee.

Release 1 is due to be completed Nov. 18 in London, and a day later Cisco, Motorola, BT and Siemens will sponsor an industry event at which CTOs plan to speak on how firms will use the NGN standards.

The full text can be accessed through Warren's Washington Internet Daily.

For more information on the topics above, see the ITU FGNGN website.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 4:12:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The recent Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) Symposium on Network Security and SPAM presented background information, detailed the current situation, new developments and steps ahead on network security and fighting spam in the Asia-Pacific region.

TSB presented highlights of ITU-T work on security, also detailing the level of participation of the AP region in Study Group 17, the ITU-T group that looks at security issues. Mr Jianyong Chen (ITU-T SG 17 Vice Chair from China ) also attended the event and made a detailed presentation on current SG 17 work. He also chaired two sessions.

In addition TSB presented the results of the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity held in Geneva , 28 June – 1 July 2005. The meeting was organized in three full-day sessions and was attended by some 70 representatives from the Asia-Pacific area. The first day was dedicated to cybersecurity, the second to countering spam, and the third to cooperation initiatives.

The complete set of presentations given at the APT meeting can be downloaded here. The meeting invited AP countries to step-up their capability building initiatives and encouraged APT to increase its collaboration on network security and spam with international organizations working in the area.

For more information, see the ITU-T Newslog.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 4:07:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The ITU Secretary-General, Yoshio Utsumi has presented a report to the ITU Council 2005 on ITU activities on Countering Spam.

"During the Geneva phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), spam was identified as a potential threat to the full utilization of the Internet and e-mail. Accordingly, WSIS participants recognized that spam is a "significant and growing problem for users, networks and the Internet as a whole" (WSIS Declaration, paragraph 37) and that, in order to build confidence and security in the use of ICTs, there is a need to "take appropriate action at both national and international levels" (WSIS Plan of Action, paragraph C5, d).

The acknowledgement that spam is a problem at the global level, contributed to the fostering of various activities in the field. Countries became aware of the need to take action on this issue, and recognized the fundamental importance of international cooperation and coordination."

For the full report click here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 10:31:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The ITU has released an IP Policy Manual.

"The use of Internet Protocol (IP)-based technologies is now a strategic element in the design, development and use of telecommunication networks. Consequently, there is a growing interest by ITU members in the policy and regulatory issues related to the growth of IP-based networks, such as the Internet, and their convergence with other networks. One example is the rapid uptake of Voice over IP (VoIP), which has given rise to a number of recent national regulatory proceedings and decisions. We are also witnessing a growing interest in the policy and regulatory implications of next-generation networks (NGNs), a key standardization activity in ITU. Convergence across media platforms, such as delivery of television over broadband networks, is also forcing national policy and regulatory reviews spanning what were previously different sectors. This clearly will result in new challenges for national policy makers and regulators and there appears to be a need to build international dialogue on these issues, including the sharing of national experiences and approaches as well as assistance in capacity building for developing economies. There is much opportunity not only to find common technical approaches, as in ITU's standards work on NGNs, but also to discuss and share common policy and regulatory approaches to convergence and network security."

For further information click here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 10:14:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 12, 2005

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), in collaboration with the Attorney-General's Chambers of Singapore (AGC), has issued a second public consultation paper on the proposed Spam Control Bill in Singapore. The proposed Spam Control Bill includes, in addition to email spam, legal measures to manage mobile spam in Singapore. The Bill also proposes that anyone who suffers damages or loss arising from spam be given the right to initiate legal action against non-compliant spammers. The draft Bill also proposes that if found guilty, non-compliant spammers can be directed by the court to stop their spamming activities or pay damages to the affected parties.

Details on the proposed Spam Control Bill can be found on the IDA website.

This information was accessed through James Seng's blog.

Monday, September 12, 2005 5:01:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) recently announced a Public Consultations on Number Portability and as well as results of their Numbers Auction inconjunction with the launch of ENUM pilot trials. 

1. Public Consultation on Number Portability (pdf)
IDA intends to review the implementation for number portability for fixed line and mobile telecommunications services in Singapore. The review is in with IDA's policy objectives of promoting competition in the infocommunications sector to benefit of consumers and businesses in Singapore .

According to James Seng's blog; what Singapore currently has "Call Forwarding" and the country is aiming trying to move to "Onward Routing" or "All Call Query". Both will provide true number portability (ie, the Caller ID will match your number) but the true significance is in the efficiency of the system. If a small percentage of users do number port, then Onward Routing is more efficient and if a large percentage of users do number port, then All Call Query will be more efficient.

2. IDA Announces Results of Numbers Auction & Launches ENUM Pilot Trial
To ensure that Singapore's scarce number resources are managed in an efficient, objective and transparent manner, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) announced the results of its fixed-line, Internet Protocol (IP) telephony and mobile numbers auctions conducted in early September 2005. At the auction, 4 operators got "3" level number (ie. +65 3xxx xxxx).

To leverage on the convergence of Internet and telecommunications technologies and to take advantage of the wide range of applications supported by such convergence, IDA is also inviting companies to participate in an Electronic Numbering (ENUM) pilot trial to see how numbers can be used innovatively for multiple services in addition to IP Telephony. The IP Telephony numbers auction and ENUM pilot trial is a follow-up from IDA's launch of the IP Telephony and ENUM policy framework in June 2005. The framework is designed to facilitate the entry of companies interested in offering IP Telephony services in Singapore and is expected to bring about reduced costs and more choices in providing telephone services.

For further information, see the IDA website and James Seng's blog.

Monday, September 12, 2005 11:22:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |