10 Apr

Huffington Post – U.S. House Ignores Internet Reality, Again

The U.S. House of Representatives resumed its flight from reality earlier today (April 8th) when it voted to repeal the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules to mandate an open and non-discriminatory Internet.

What was remarkable about the vote was how the Republicans pushing the legislation managed to at once speak in favor of the legislation as helping small business and innovation, while ignoring the testimony and other advocacy from those very businesses that opposed it.

House Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), for example, cited the success of companies from Apple to Zipcar because of the absence of government regulation. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) questioned the future of startups in an environment without government regulation.

It appears that Upton, Scalise and their colleagues missed the article published earlier in the week by Robin Chase, who founded Zipcar. She wrote a well-received article for Politico on how that company wouldn’t exist without an open Internet. None of it mattered to those on an ideological mission to protect the large Internet providers. Other companies have said much the same thing. They similarly ignored the experience of their colleague, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), who made his fortune as an Internet entrepreneur, and who earlier in the week opposed the GOP bill during debate on a procedural motion.

And when Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) said that the FCC had taken control over business plans of big Internet Service Providers, he was partially right. If the business plan’s goal was to drive competitors out of business, he was right. Terry, ironically, said it was the open Internet that allowed Netflix to develop.

His statement was ironic because Netflix sent one of the strongest letters ever seen from the corporate sector to the Congress opposing what Terry wanted to do. As senior Commerce Committee Democrat Henry Waxman (D-CA) pointed out, a cable or telephone company could stop Netflix simply for competitive reasons without it being an antitrust violation. Without Net Neutrality, there would be no stopping phone companies from controlling Netflix’s access to its customers.

Through it all, the Republicans argued that the FCC wanted to take control of the Internet, much as totalitarian governments wanted to do. That argument is so tiresome. The purpose of Net Neutrality is to make sure no one can take control of what’s online — not the government, not the big businesses that control Internet traffic on a day-to-day basis and have the incentive and opportunity to harm competition.

via Huffington Post – U.S. House Ignores Internet Reality, Again. If it wasn’t so frustrating you have to almost admire Republicans ability to ignore their own experts or examples when legislating.

13 Jan

Official Google Blog – World IPv6 Day: firing up the engines on the new Internet protocol

On World IPv6 Day, we’ll be taking the next big step. Together with major web companies such as Facebook and Yahoo!, we will enable IPv6 on our main websites for 24 hours. This is a crucial phase in the transition, because while IPv6 is widely deployed in many networks, it’s never been used at such a large scale before. We hope that by working together with a common focus, we can help the industry prepare for the new protocol, find and resolve any unexpected issues, and pave the way for global deployment.

The good news is that Internet users don’t need to do anything special to prepare for World IPv6 Day. Our current measurements suggest that the vast majority (99.95%) of users will be unaffected. However, in rare cases, users may experience connectivity problems, often due to misconfigured or misbehaving home network devices. Over the coming months we will be working with application developers, operating system vendors and network device manufacturers to further minimize the impact and provide testing tools and advice for users.

via Official Google Blog – World IPv6 Day: firing up the engines on the new Internet protocol. I’m not sure this will do much but it sure would be nice for ISP’s to start supporting IPv6. You should test if you network (from the ISP level down to your computer itself) is capable of reaching IPv6 sites. Though for this upcoming test by the sites, as long as you can reach sites that have a Dual Stack DNS record (ie. sites that have both IPv4 and IPv6 DNS records) you’ll be fine.

22 Dec

A Guide to the Open Internet

Network neutrality is the idea that your cellular, cable, or phone internet connection should treat all websites and services the same. Big companies like AT&T, Verion, and Comcast want to treat them differently so they can charge you more depending on what you use.

The Federal Communications Commision (FCC) is currently debating legislation to define limits for internet service providers (ISPs). The hope is that they will keep the internet open and prevent companies from discriminating against different kinds of websites and services.

via A Guide to the Open Internet. Just in case you need a good solid pointer to over the holiday breaks as to why Net Neutrality is important and what it really means.

02 Mar

U.S. Declassifies Part of Secret Cybersecurity Plan – Wired.com

What may be the most controversial part of the declassified plan is a discussion of a need for the government to define its role in protecting private critical infrastructure networks. Critical infrastructure includes the electrical grid, telecommunication networks, internet service providers, the banking and financial industry, and others.

via U.S. Declassifies Part of Secret Cybersecurity Plan | Threat Level | Wired.com. Is it necessary for the government to protect the civilian  infrastructure, probably though the details will be the sticking point.

11 Feb

Think big with a gig: Our experimental fiber network – Official Google Blog

We're planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States. We'll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We plan to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.

via Official Google Blog: Think big with a gig: Our experimental fiber network. More awesomeness then I can possibly imagine about this.

A few major thoughts however:

  1. Google as an ISP would retain a ton more data than they already do, in fact everything that I do via the web or an internet based service they could harvest and collect.
  2. It also gives them a lot of power over my ability to surf the web. This is both a good and bad thing, they say they will make the web truly neutral, but they could also insert advertising on top of every page that I see.
  3. 1GB internet speed changes the idea of what you can do with the internet and makes the idea of real cloud-computing (dumb terminals with just a monitor, keyboard, mouse and an internet connection) a viable thought for most people.