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 Sunday, February 05, 2006

According to an article in the IHT, companies will soon have to buy the electronic equivalent of a postage stamp if they want to be certain that their e-mail will be delivered to many of their customers.

America Online and Yahoo, two of the world's largest providers of e-mail accounts, are about to start using a system that gives preferential treatment to messages from companies that pay from a quarter of a cent to 1 cent each to have them delivered. The Internet companies say this will help them identify legitimate mail and cut down on junk e-mail, identity-theft scams and other scourges of users of their services.

Sunday, February 05, 2006 6:24:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

It's just not major telecommunication carriers who appear to want to build separate "internets" with guaranteed QoS and security (aka NGN). Today's UK Times Online has an article on rumours that Google intends to build its own "tiered" internet.

Sunday, February 05, 2006 3:13:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, February 04, 2006
The Country Code Country Code 1 ENUM LLC has issued a press release on the formation of a committee to coordinate testing activities among participants in its upcoming US ENUM trial. The first meeting of this committee, to be known as the LLC's Trial Participants Advisory Committee (TPAC), will take place in Richardson, Texas, on February 21, 2006. Companies who have an interest in participating inthe trial should plan on attending this meeting. Meeting details will beposted on the LLC's web site.
Saturday, February 04, 2006 6:45:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The beta of Internet Explorer 7 handles internationalized domain names in an interesting method to mitigate what is known as homographic spoofing.

When attempting to read a web address with non-standard characters, it blocks the action and puts up a dialogue box asking whether the user would like to specifically add the language (actually the corresponding script) as valid.

The same dialogue box allows the user to specify a locale specific suffix that will be entered with a key combination.

Saturday, February 04, 2006 9:13:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 03, 2006

Link Center has released new report on Towards an African e-Index: Household and Individual ICT Access and Usage across 10 African Countries.

Based on the 2004 e-Access & Usage Household survey that was completed during the course of 2004 and 2005 by members of the researchICTafrica! network under the direction of Prof Gillwald, this report is the result of a demand study of individuals and households and how ICT's are used across 10 African countries. 

For more information on the report, please click here. For the full report in pdf format (6,7mb), please click here.

Friday, February 03, 2006 6:56:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU's Market and Finance Unit has just released publication ICT Market Liberalisation Reports for CEE Countries and Baltic States.

The publication includes seven following contributions:

  • Significant market power in telecommunications: theoretical and practical aspects
  • Increasing the competition in the Polish mobile telecommunication market
  • Lithuanian telecommunication market
  • Liberalization of the ICT Market in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Economic and institutional implications of network convergence in Hungary
  • Implementation of the new act on electronic communications in Slovenia
  • Implementation of the New Regulatory Framework in Lithuania

To download publication, please click here.

Friday, February 03, 2006 6:30:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Act of 29 December 2005 on transformations and modifications to the division of tasks and powers of state bodies competent for communications and broadcasting (Official Journal of 30 December 2005, No 267, 2258), hereinafter referred to as the Act, defines the principles for the transfer of tasks and powers between Polish state bodies responsible for communications and broadcasting and the principles, scope and mode of transformations within the communications administration.

Under the Act, a new central-level government administration body - the President of the Office of Electronic Communications (President of UKE, Prezes Urzêdu Komunikacji Elektronicznej,) was established as of 14 January 2005 in place of the central-level government administration body - the President of the Office of Telecommunications and Post Regulation (President of URTiP) which was liquidated as of 13 January 2005.

The President of UKE shall assume the tasks and powers that have so far fallen within the competence of the President of URTiP as well as certain powers of the President of the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT).

This in particular refers to the following issues:
- reservation of frequencies for the purposes of radio or TV programme transmission or retransmission (in communication with the President of KRRiT),

- competition for a reservation of frequencies for the purposes of digital transmission or retransmission of radio or TV programmes,

- keeping registers of telecommunications undertakings with respect to the provision of conditional access systems, electronic programme guides and multiplexing of digital signals,

- relevant market analysis and the imposition, maintenance, amendment or withdrawal of regulatory obligations with respect to telecommunications undertakings concerning conditional access systems, electronic programme guides and multiplexing of digital signals.

The Prime Minister, having considered three candidatures proposed by the National Broadcasting Council, shall appoint the President of UKE.

The President of UKE shall be supervised by the minister competent for communications (currently the Minister of Transport and Construction who is also competent for communications).

Continuity of cases and rights and obligations

Cases initiated by the National Broadcasting Council, the President of the National Broadcasting Council or by the President of URTiP with respect to tasks assumed by the President of UKE and not completed by the date of entry into force of the Act (i.e. before 14 January 2006) shall be handled by the President of UKE according to the provisions of the Act.

With respect to cases completed within the framework of administrative proceedings, but not completed in the course of court proceedings, the provisions in force to date shall continue to apply.

The rights and obligations of the President of URTiP as a party to cases in which a complaint to an administrative court or an appeal to the District Court in Warsaw - the competition and consumer court - may be lodged or has already been lodged, shall be assumed by the President of UKE.

Frequency reservations made by the President of the Broadcasting Council or by the President of URTiP shall remain valid, unless they are modified or expire under separate provisions.

Entries in the register of telecommunications undertakings as well as decisions and other settlements with respect to tasks assumed by the President of UKE made before the date of entry into force of the Act shall remain valid.

All rights and obligations of URTiP shall become the rights and obligations of UKE.

For more information, please click here.

Friday, February 03, 2006 6:20:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation document on the impact of transition to NGNs (also see press release). TRAI will be conducting open house discussions in Delhi and Bangalore on the NGN consultation paper as well as the recent consultation on convergence and competition.

Friday, February 03, 2006 5:03:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

IDATE has just released material with 2005 statistics on FTTx in Europe.

At mid 2005 IDATE identified 166 FTTx projects in Europe of which 13 are new initiatives since mir 2004.

By the end of June 2005, there were approximately 646 570 FTTx subscribers in EU 181 and
roughly 2.51 millions Homes/Building passed showing a penetration rate of 25.8%. Compared to
mid June 2004 this represents a growth of 18% for subscribers and 28% for Homes/Building
passed. There are still no major deployments in the 10 new members and we should also notice that nearly 97% of these FTTx Subscribers are concentrated in 5 countries (Sweden, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway).

To read brief material with statistics, please, click here.

Friday, February 03, 2006 4:52:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From Bruce Schneier's blog Schneier on Security comes a pointer to an article about someone convicted for running a for-profit botnet:

November's 52-page indictment, along with papers filed last week, offer an unusually detailed glimpse into a shadowy world where hackers, often not old enough to vote, brag in online chat groups about their prowess in taking over vast numbers of computers and herding them into large armies of junk mail robots and arsenals for so-called denial of service attacks on Web sites.

Ancheta one-upped his hacking peers by advertising his network of "bots," short for robots, on Internet chat channels.

A Web site Ancheta maintained included a schedule of prices he charged people who wanted to rent out the machines, along with guidelines on how many bots were required to bring down a particular type of Web site.

In July 2004, he told one chat partner he had more than 40,000 machines available, "more than I can handle," according to the indictment. A month later, Ancheta told another person he controlled at least 100,000 bots, and that his network had added another 10,000 machines in a week and a half.

In a three-month span starting in June 2004, Ancheta rented out or sold bots to at least 10 "different nefarious computer users," according to the plea agreement. He pocketed $3,000 in the process by accepting payments through the online PayPal service, prosecutors said.

Starting in August 2004, Ancheta turned to a new, more lucrative method to profit from his botnets, prosecutors said. Working with a juvenile in Boca Raton, Fla., whom prosecutors identified by his Internet nickname "SoBe," Ancheta infected more than 400,000 computers.

Friday, February 03, 2006 11:47:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 02, 2006

The December 2005 edition of the Internet Protocol Journal has two articles on countering spam:

Thursday, February 02, 2006 10:10:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 31, 2006

WSIS E-Flash No 30 dated 30 January 2006 has been published and includes news on:

  • WSIS Executive Secretariat maintained
  • Meeting on WSIS Action Lines Moderators/Facilitators on 24 February 2006
  • Internet Governance Forum - consultations on 16 - 17 February 2006
  • WSIS Golden Book
  • WSIS Stocktaking
  • The ITU development initiative "Connect the World"
  • WSIS Outcome documents
  • New general WSIS contact e-mail address
Tuesday, January 31, 2006 5:44:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A possible timeline for convening of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has been published on the consultations website on the convening of the IGF.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 5:36:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A practical guide to planning and building low-cost telecommunication infrastructure.

This book was created by a team of individuals who each, in their own field, are actively participating in the ever-expanding Internet by pushing its reach farther than ever before. The massive popularity of wireless networking has caused equipment costs to continually plummet, while equipment capabilities continue to sharply increase. We believe that by taking advantage of this state of affairs, people can finally begin to have a stake in building their own communications infrastructure. We hope to not only convince you that this is possible, but also show how we have done it, and to give you the information and tools you need to start a network project in your local community.

Wireless infrastructure can be built for very little cost compared to traditional wired alternatives. But building wireless networks is only partly about saving money. By providing people in your local community with cheaper and easier access to information, they will directly benefit from what the Internet has to offer. The time and effort saved by having access to the global network of information translates into wealth on a local scale, as more work can be done in less time and with less effort.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 4:14:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 30, 2006

The French telecommunications regulator, ARCEP has published a study (in French) by OVUM on the impact of the deployment of NGNs, migration scenarios as well as the possible impact on regulation.

Monday, January 30, 2006 6:25:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, January 29, 2006

From Richard Stastny's VoIP and ENUM blog comes information out of a recent annual meeting of FTTH Council Europe where an announcement was made that the City of Vienna, together with the city-owned electricity company (Wienstrom) and the sewage company (Wienkanal), will provide all households in the city (~1 million) with FTTH (or FTAH=Fibre to All Homes).

Sunday, January 29, 2006 10:52:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 27, 2006

At an early December meeting of ITU-T's Study Group 2, agreement on the allocation of a high-revenue international short message service (SMS) number to two international organisations for the purpose of fundraising was made. An official announcement in ITU-T's Operational Bulletin will be made following the decision of the Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.

The number +979 0767 was granted following a request from the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). It will allow the two organizations to launch relief campaigns across national boundaries, and will encourage regular donations by introducing a recognisable and non-changing number. The 767 portion of the number spells out SOS.

Texting emerged as a popular way to contribute to relief efforts during fundraising for the earthquake in Bam , Iran , 2003 and the 2004 Asian tsunami. [via the ITU-T Newslog]

Friday, January 27, 2006 12:47:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

If you missed the recent ITU-T web-based seminar (webinar) on NGN you may be interested to know that the whole thing including slides, audio and the question and answer session is available in Light Reading’s archive. Nearly 400 people attended the live event on 23 January, submitting close to 100 questions to the speakers. [via ITU-T Newslog]

Friday, January 27, 2006 12:47:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC) has announced the latest news on its recently established (October 2005) "Study Group on a Framework for Competition Rules to Address Progress in the Move to IP". The Study Group is considering i) basic concepts of competition rules in preparation for a full-fledged IP age, as well as ii) interconnection and tariff policies in the future.

At the first meeting, members of the Study Group discussed an agenda to be deliberated upon and adopted a draft agenda. From the standpoints of i) improved transparency for open deliberations and ii) further enhancement of the themes, the Study Group decided to invite public comments on the draft agenda during November 2005. During the second meeting of the Study Group on December 21, 2005, the Study Group adopted the Consideration Agenda Concerning a Framework for Competition Rules to Address Progress in the Move to IP.

Friday, January 27, 2006 10:11:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 26, 2006

Richard Stastny on his blog VoIP and ENUM brings news that the German ccTLD manager, DENIC has announced in a press release that the responsible ministry (Wirtschaftsministerium) has accepted the proposals from DENIC regarding ENUM operation and production is starting immediately.

DENIC's enum pages are available here.

Thursday, January 26, 2006 7:35:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The ITU-T Newslog is announcing the first release of an ICT Security Standards Roadmap developed to assist in the development of security standards by bringing together information about existing standards and current standards work in key standards development organizations. The Roadmap is a work in progress,

The Roadmap is in four parts:

  • Part 1: ICT Standards Development Organizations and Their Work

    Part 1 contains information about the Roadmap structure and about each of the listed standards organizations, their structure and the security standards work being undertaken. In addition it contains information on terminology by providing links to existing security glossaries and vocabularies.

  • Part 2: Approved ICT Security Standards

    Part 2 contains a summary catalogue of approved standards.

  • Part 3: Security standards under development

    Part 3 is structured with the same taxonomy as Part 2 but contains work in progress, rather than standards that have already been approved and published. Part 3 will also contain information on inter-relationships between groups undertaking the work and on potential overlaps between existing projects.

  • Part 4: Future needs and proposed new security standards

    Part 4 is intended to capture possible future areas of security standards work where gaps or needs have been identified as well as areas where proposals have been made for specific new standards work.

It is hoped that standards organizations whose work is not represented in this version of the Roadmap will provide information to ITU-T about their work so that it may be included in future editions. In the near future provision will be made to allow each organization to manage its own data within the Roadmap.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 5:41:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Wednesday, January 25, 2006 3:11:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Light Reading is reporting that a joint initiative comprised of UPC Netherlands, Casema, MultiKabel, Essent and CaiW, totaling more than 7 million subscribers with more than 450,000 telephony subscribers today awarded a VoIP Peering contract to a partnership of XConnect and Kayote Networks. The agreement enables all participating operators to share VoIP traffic directly over their IP networks, completely bypassing traditional phone networks and thereby eliminating PSTN interconnection fees.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 2:45:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 24, 2006

ITU Press Release: World Telecommunication Development Conference 2006 to agree on telecommunication development priorities to bridge the digital divide

Geneva, 24 January 2006 - The first world development conference following the landmark World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is due to open in six weeks in Doha, Qatar.

The purpose of the conference is to focus on development priorities in telecommunications and agree on the programmes, projects and initiatives to implement them. It will take into account the WSIS Geneva Plan of Action and Tunis Agenda, which aim at bridging the digital divide. A key objective is to promote international cooperation, regional initiatives and partnerships that can sustain and strengthen telecommunication infrastructure and institutions in developing countries. The Doha Action Plan will set out ways to implement these goals over the next four years.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 7:35:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Tuesday, January 24, 2006 7:20:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to the 18 November 2005 Newsletter of Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, they have decided to set up a “Study Group on a Framework for Competition Rules to Address Progress in the Move to IP", with the aim of laying out basic principles on a framework for competition rules applicable as well as clarifying specific directions concerning interconnection and tariff policies.

In other news, Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) has recently announced (Japanese) that they have established a IP-based Next Generation Network promotion forum. About 190 entities are participating in the newly established forum which will feed into ITU's work on NGNs.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 7:15:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The official website of the 1st Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), to be convened later this year in Greece has been launched.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 11:52:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 23, 2006

In preparation for an upcoming ITU workshop entitled What Rules for IP-enabled NGNs?, to be held 23-24 March 2006 at ITU (see workshop concept document), an ITU NGN Policy and Regulatory site is now available and under development.

The new site contains links to the workshop and other resources as well as the most recent NGN-related news from the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit and the ITU-T.

Monday, January 23, 2006 9:42:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

OECD: VoIP - Developments in the Market: From the main points of the study:

The growing importance of VoIP services is reflected in the regulatory debate at both the national and international level among OECD countries. There are a range of issues that need to be addressed surrounding the issue of whether traditional regulations should or should not apply to VoIP services. They include classification of the application/service, interconnection, possible market entry barriers, numbering, universal service issues, customer protection, privacy protection, emergency call capabilities, law enforcement issues, and technical safeguards (e.g. solutions for possible low quality of sound). These issues are complicated by the fact that IP can be utilised in all or some parts of traditional and nontraditional communication networks. Delivering a voice service or application can be provided entirely over IP or partly over IP and partly over non-IP. Depending on how it is defined, the term “VoIP” can seep into the term any voice service which runs over IP at any point of their transmission. This might include services that differ in no respect from traditional circuit-switched analogue voice services provided to customers today other than at some point in the middle of the transmission of the service it traverses an IP-based part of the network. Currently, VoIP is, to a large extent, unregulated in a number of OECD countries, but there are several countries which impose regulations similar to PSTN regulations on VoIP. Some countries distinguish between the types of VoIP services in regulations; for example, VoIP services based on PC-to-PC calls are unregulated, whereas calls from a VoIP phone to the PSTN will be regulated. In the last year, a number of governments have started consultation processes on VoIP regulation.

Monday, January 23, 2006 8:24:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

OECD: Telecommunication Regulatory Institutional Structures and Responsibilities issued January 2006. From the conclusions:

Almost all OECD countries have adopted a regulatory model for the telecommunication sector based on the creation of an independent regulatory authority. Sector specific regulators have often been viewed as temporary institutions created to ensure that effective competition was created in the sector. Once such competition was created regulators would forbear from regulation and over time the sector would be subject, as other industry sectors, only to oversight by the competition authority. Although telecommunication regulators have taken steps to forbear from regulation, and competition has been developing, it would be too premature to view the regulator as only a temporary institution. The development of new technologies, new services, issues such as convergence, and the implications that new voice services may have on universal service, all raise new important regulatory issues. The shift by operators to the “next generation network” may create further pressure to have a single regulatory structure which deals with electronic communications networks and services. New technological developments now allow communications services which historically were regulated differently to appear identical from the consumer point of view. This underscores the regulator’s need to be mindful not only of issues related to companies, but also with the concerns of consumers. An independent regulator with the habit of interacting and learning from consumers will have an advantageous perspective on markets as different technologies vie for new or different regulatory actions.

Monday, January 23, 2006 8:17:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The report Co-Regulation Measures in the Media Sector from the Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research, Hamburg, Germany, and the Institute of European Media Law, Saarbrücken, Germany is a study commissioned by the European Commission, Directorate General Information Society and Media.

The study aims at providing a complete picture of co-regulatory measures taken to date in the media sector in all 25 EU Member States and in three non-EU-countries, as well as of the research already done in this field. The study indicates areas in which these measures mainly apply, their effects and their consistency with public interest objectives. The study also examines how best to ensure that the development of national co- and self-regulatory models does not disturb the functioning of the single market by re-fragmenting the markets.

The Hans-Bredow-Institute and the Institute of European Media Law presented the Draft Final Report on 19 January 2006 in Brussels. The authors will consider all comments which have been submitted by the 5th of February 2006.

More details about the study are available in German and English.

Monday, January 23, 2006 8:09:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

An entry on Richard Stastny's blog (VoIP and ENUM) points to a number of interesting presentations made at an ERO hosted event on scenarios for NGN naming, numbering and addressing, interconnection and QoS.

Monday, January 23, 2006 1:33:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

This UN study on the construction of knowledge societies puts forward "the idea that if societies desire to follow the path of knowledge-based growth and development, a very thorough reconstruction of their institutions must occur. It suggests to political leaders, public administrations and the public at large that a broad, well-informed debate about this institutional shift should be undertaken. The magnitude of such a shift would require the cooperation of all segments of society and their sharing not only of the risk and cost of change, but first and foremost, of common goals and values. It is hoped that this study will inform this debate or at least sketch its parameters."

In an experimental Index of Knowledge Societies, it rates the following countries the highest:

Country Name IKS Index

1  Sweden 0.776
2  Denmark 0.763
3  Norway 0.719
4  Switzerland 0.706
5  Finland 0.704
6  Japan 0.696
7  Germany 0.696
8  Austria 0.692
9  New Zealand 0.692
10 United Kingdom 0.688

Monday, January 23, 2006 1:01:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 18, 2006

France Telecom (FT) has announced plans to launch a very high speed fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) pilot programme to households in Hauts-de-Seine and Paris, which will go live before the summer of 2006. Based on the result of its test phase, it plans to cover other regions of France or abroad in 2007.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 3:26:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

James Seng takes a look at IPTV, its hardware requirements, the value proposition for IP-enabled NGN players, and why he is excited about P2P IPTV which he says can be traced back "to an academic paper called Coolstreaming (see also Wikipedia) published about a year ago (the authors of the paper is rumored to be funded by Softbank after the publication). The release of their python code no doubt spurred the the creation of PPLive, Sopcast and Cybersky."

As several presentations in this FGNGN document show, there is a recognition to bring IPTV into ITU's future work on NGN standardization. The US-based ATIS has already formed the IPTV Interoperability Forum which is part of their NGN standardization activities.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 10:40:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 17, 2006

From MarketWatch comes additional confirmation that a multi-tiered internet or IP-enabled NGNs, where content providers pay for differentiated service levels is emerging:

"BellSouth Corp. confirmed Monday that it is pursuing discussions with Internet content companies to levy charges to reliably and speedily deliver their content and services.

Bill Smith, chief technology officer at BellSouth, justified content charging companies by saying they are using the telco's network without paying for it.

"Higher usage for broadband services drives more costs that we have to recover," he said in a telephone interview.

He suggested that Apple Computer might be asked to pay a nickel or a dime to insure the complete and rapid transmission of a song via the Internet, which is being used for more and more content-intensive purposes. He cited Yahoo Inc.'s plans to stream reality TV shows as an example.

"It's the shipping business of the digital age," Smith said, arguing that consumers should welcome the pay-for-delivery concept.

BellSouth has discussed its idea with MovieLink, a film-download service. He called MovieLink an example of the kind of company that wants customers to have a good experience and would view costs incurred in the strengthening of BellSouth's Internet capacity as worthwhile. Smith also said online game companies are likely candidates for charges.

Over the weekend, Internet entrepreneur and NBA team owner Mark Cuban wrote on his blog at BlogMaverick.com that such fees are critical to the survival of the Internet. "Our ability to consume bandwidth is growing far, far faster than the speed at which it is being added," he said. "The more bandwidth we consume, the more Internet traffic jams we have."

Cuban wants telephone and cable and wireless companies to work out a way to deliver traffic at various levels of service quality. "Yes, that will mean some content will cost more if we want it faster," he conceded. "But that will be our choice."

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 9:20:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to the ITU-T NGN web portal, the ITU-T Focus Group on Next Generation Networks (FGNGN) proceeding are now available:

Additional background on the proceedings

ITU-T Focus Group on Next Generation Networks (FGNGN) was created under ITU-T Study Group 13 in June 2004 to address the emerging needs for global standards for Next Generation Networks (NGN). FGNGN was made-up of seven working groups:

  • Services and capabilities
  • Functional architecture and requirements
  • Quality of service (QoS)
  • Control aspects
  • Security issues
  • Migration of current networks into NGN
  • Future packet based network requirements

During the 18-month life-time of FGNGN, nine meetings were organized, with more than 1,200 input documents and 1,400 participants. FGNGN deliverables cover all those seven fundamental framework areas of NGN. Its final output was a total of 30 documents that will be transferred to the relevant ITU-T Study Groups for their further consideration. Deliverables are classified by release concept. Proceedings contain the deliverables, each with its status indication. The proceedings are now available freely in two parts:

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 1:44:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The International Telecommunication Union is pleased to announce the 2006 ITU Young Minds in Telecoms competition.

The essay topics for this year's Young Minds competition are:

  • What are the key opportunities and threats raised by the growing use of services over IP, such as voice (VoIP) and television (i.e. IPTV)?
  • What are, in your view, the most important regulatory challenges raised by an increasingly wireless world?
  • What does the term "internet governance" mean to you? What needs to change as a result of the World Summit on the Information Society outcomes?
  • What, in your view, are the most important mechanisms available today for bridging the digital divide by bringing connectivity to underserved areas of the world?
  • How can the interests of end-users in the information society (e.g. affordability, privacy protection) be balanced with the interests of business (bottom line, rapid innovation)?

Information on eligibility and how to apply can be accessed on the link below.

Deadline for applications is 17 March 2006.

Click here to learn more about the 2006 ITU Young Minds in Telecoms competition.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 1:40:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Another take on marketing the Internet of Things (via IP). The source can be found here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 9:55:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |