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 Wednesday, October 05, 2005

ITU, together with sponsors BT, Cisco, Motorola, Nortel and Siemens, is holding a one day event to mark a new milestone in ITU’s work on next-generation networks (NGN). The event will present an overview of NGN work so far, details on future directions, and some of the key business drivers for NGN. In addition to announcing completion of work on the Release 1 standards for NGN by ITU-T’s Focus Group on Next-Generation Networks (FGNGN), the event will communicate the next phase of NGN work, dubbed the NGN Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI).

Press are invited to attend for the whole day, specific sessions or just for lunch, which will be preceded by a panel session. There will also be opportunities for one-on-one interviews with key NGN players from the world’s leading telcos and systems vendors.

For more details click here.

Operators from around the globe are implementing NGN strategies and plan to invest billions of dollars in the rollout of new packet-based networks. Their involvement in global standards-making stimulates innovation and more robust technology, fosters interoperability and multi-vendor product offerings, and protects current and future investment.

The operators, systems vendors and governments driving this standardization work believe NGN will deliver substantial cost savings through the economies of scale inherent in a single converged network. They believe international standards will facilitate an open market for systems, lowering costs and providing for mix-and-match implementation and global interoperability. NGN will benefit consumers through innovative new services, greater control and personalization, ease of migration between services, and continuity for existing services.

The event is aimed at professionals involved in product planning and service creation for systems vendors and service providers.

A limited number of places will be made available for journalists. Journalists interested in attending should contact ITU’s Toby Johnson.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005 11:38:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Update on ITU and WSIS Activities Related to Spam and Cybersecurity (PDF) presented at OECD Spam Task Force Meeting, Paris, France on 3 October 2005, Robert Shaw, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit

Tuesday, October 04, 2005 3:32:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 30, 2005

European Commission press release on advancing a single market for radio spectrum:

The new Commission strategy in addition advocates overcoming the rigidity of traditional radio spectrum management approaches, where administrations tie usage rights of individual spectrum bands to specific transmission technologies and too narrow service definitions such as broadcasting or mobile communications. A greater flexibility in access to spectrum will give market players more freedom to use radio resources as they choose. This is an essential condition for achieving the full potential of radio spectrum resources and for keeping pace with technological advances and convergence both of technology platforms and of services.

As part of its spectrum reform strategy, the Commission also proposes that, between now and 2010, the exclusive usage rights for significant parts of the radio spectrum ought to be made tradable according to common EU rules. Independent estimates indicate that significant net gains (around €8-9 billion/year) could be achieved by introducing market mechanisms in order to put spectrum to its most promising uses throughout the EU.

As a de-regulated access to spectrum can encourage the development and use of innovative technologies, the Commission’s new strategy inally foresees investigating further the opportunities to make available licence-free radio frequencies to allow different users to share bands as lready the case for WiFi radio access. This will ultimately widen the choice of the wireless applications for the consumer.

Friday, September 30, 2005 7:31:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     |