Posts Tagged ‘Government’

Google: From advocate to adversary?

Posted on Aug 24 2010 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Google: From advocate to adversary?

The ongoing international debate over net neutrality has been thrown into the limelight once again. This time its news of an unlikely partnership between Google, the once vocal advocates of net neutrality, and Verizon.

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

News broke regarding a ‘deal’ between Google and Verizon which would see the two companies put together a proposal for the tackling of net neutrality in the US. At first glance the two titans appear to support net neutrality and agree with previous plans from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) ensuring all providers are transparent about the management of their networks and prohibit discrimination against certain types of legal content.

“In providing broadband Internet access service, a provider would be prohibited from engaging in undue discrimination against any lawful Internet content, application, or service in a manner that causes meaningful harm to competition or to users. Prioritization of Internet traffic would be presumed inconsistent with the non-discrimination standard, but the presumption could be rebutted.”

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Broadband: BBC license fee killer?

Posted on Aug 18 2010 by Elsa Chen | Comments Off on Broadband: BBC license fee killer?

Earlier this month a discussion broke out in the industry in response to the publication of a report by David Graham from the Adam Smith Institute. Mr Graham’s report suggests universal broadband will lead to the abolishment of the BBC’s license fee and he argues that this will be a positive move as it will force the BBC to become more competitive.

Elsa Chen, General Manager

Elsa Chen, General Manager

Whilst I agree in theory that abolishing the license fee would force the BBC into providing a more competitive and therefore hopefully higher quality service, I struggle to believe that broadband will be the catalyst for this.

Firstly despite the promised, yet now delayed, 2Mbps USC the UK is still a long way off enjoying truly ‘universal’ broadband, especially at the speeds required to easily support IPTV services. Besides which even if UK residents had universal access to high speed broadband they would still (currently) be legally required to purchase a license if they intend to watch programmes as they are broadcast (e.g. streaming). Although, a license is not required for ‘on demand’ services (e.g. BBC iPlayer).

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DEA: The debate continues…

Posted on Aug 05 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on DEA: The debate continues…

In April 2010 the controversial Digital Economy Bill (DEB) was passed through the parliamentary wash-up and hastily implemented into law, much to the annoyance of many ISPs, Internet users and industry bodies. Then in May we saw history made with a new coalition government taking power. We were initially hopeful that the new government would put right the wrongs of the rushed DEA (Digital Economy Act) but have since seen little in the way of progress. Yet despite this lack of government action, over the last three months the industry news has continued to provide a steady stream of DEA related updates. We take a look at what’s been going on and provide you with an update.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

To repeal or not to repeal?

It appears the proposed tackling of copyright infringement is still the main focus of unease within the DEA. At the end of June, Liberal Democrat MP, Julian Huppert, tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) to repeal sections 9 – 18, the sections that cover the issue of illegal copyright infringement. Unfortunately the EDM gained little support and appears to have dropped off the radar.

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Is this the beginning of the end for the Great Aussie Firewall?

Posted on Jun 29 2010 by Elsa Chen | Comments Off on Is this the beginning of the end for the Great Aussie Firewall?

For several years now Stephen Conroy, Australia’s Communications Minister, has been waging war against the evils of the Internet with his proposed net filtering legislation aimed at forcing Australian ISPs to censor the web. As you may expect, he has come up against a significant amount of opposition from ISPs, freedom of speech advocates, the industry, politicians and the like.

Elsa Chen, General Manager

Elsa Chen, General Manager

Possibly most damning of all is the latest report out of Australia which brands the proposed legislation as “politically toxic”. This is not good news for Mr Conroy as he plans to introduce this highly controversial Bill before the next General Election in October.

So what’s wrong with the Great Aussie Firewall?

The ‘Great Aussie Firewall’, as it has been nicknamed, was originally proposed and positioned as a method of tackling child pornography on the Internet and was expected to operate in a similar way to our own IWF watch list, with ISPs blocking access to potentially harmful or offensive sites. Nothing wrong with that you may argue. However, there are two significant differences between the Aussie Firewall and our own IWF list. Firstly, our IWF list is not mandatory or state run and secondly, the scope of the Australian filter is far more wide reaching. This is the real concern for many opposing the Bill. The Australian filter is based on the RC Content (Refused Classification) list which is compiled by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Opponents to the proposed Bill state that only one third of the list is actually made up of child abuse content. The rest, according to the ACMA, includes bestiality, sexual violence, detailed instruction in crime, violence or drug use and/or material that advocates the doing of a terrorist act. However its opponents insist that the list extends beyond these.

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A promising start for the new secretary of state

Posted on Jun 10 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on A promising start for the new secretary of state

Jeremy Hunt, The Secretary of State for Culture, the Olympics Media and Sport has announced the Government’s plans regarding delivering superfast broadband to the UK. In his first speech on the subject he said: “Singapore wants universal access to superfast broadband by 2012, by which time Korea plans to have provided one million homes with 1 gigabit per second connections – a speed which can download a two hour film in just 12 seconds.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

But in this country, the legacy was – in the same timescale – a commitment to a paltry 2Mbps universal connection. Necessary, of course, but pitifully un-ambitious compared to a Korean goal 500 times faster.

It is a scandal that nearly 3 million households in this country still cannot access 2Mbps broadband speeds, and less than 1% of the country is able to access the internet using modern fibre optic technology – compared to an OECD average of around 10%.”

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Out with the old and in with the new

Posted on May 20 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Out with the old and in with the new

What does the new coalition government have in store for the Internet industry?

Well this month has seen history made with the formation of our new coalition government. As David Cameron and Nick Clegg start out on their new partnership we take a look at each party’s previous stance on several topical industry issues and suggest how we think the new coalition government will go about tackling them.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Reviewing the DEA

Let’s start with one of the industry’s biggest issues. The DEA (Digital Economy Act) has been one of the most talked about topics with debate starting right back at its conception, but the most infuriating thing of all about the DEB was the ridiculous way in which this controversial Bill was rushed through the wash-up and into law.

During the election campaign the Liberal Democrat’s Nick Clegg stated that he believed this was a “stitch-up”. He said “We did our best to prevent the Digital Economy Bill being rushed through at the last moment. It badly needed more debate and amendment, and we are extremely worried that it will now lead to completely innocent people having their Internet connections cut off. It was far too heavily weighted in favour of the big corporations and those who are worried about too much information becoming available. It badly needs to be repealed, and the issues revisited.”

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Secrecy shroud lifted on Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

Posted on Apr 26 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Secrecy shroud lifted on Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

The controversial secrecy surrounding the ACTA (Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) discussions has finally been cleared as last week the EU published working text from the last round of discussions held in Wellington, New Zealand earlier this month.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Previously the Governments involved have been severely criticised for the secretive manner in which the talks have been held and their refusal to publish any details. After two years they have finally backed down and a working text document has been released. We expressed our concerns regarding this issue in our previous opinion article:

The working text document starts by positioning the purpose of the talks stating “The ACTA initiative aims to establish international standards for enforcing intellectual property rights in order to fight more efficiently the growing problem of counterfeiting and piracy.”

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Election 2010 – Drawing the broadband battle lines

Posted on Apr 19 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Election 2010 – Drawing the broadband battle lines

It’s election time and at the moment you can’t turn on the TV, read a newspaper or listen to the radio without being reminded of that fact. Last week saw the launch of several political parties’ election manifestos and whilst the majority of them (notably not the Pirate Party UK) cover a wide range of topical issues we have focussed our investigation on what each party has to say about Digital Britain and the Internet industry. Here is what we found:

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

In the red corner: The Incumbents – Labour

Let’s start with the incumbents, Labour. In the past they have been very vocal about their plans for a Digital Britain and their aims to make the UK a world leader in this area. Only last week they controversially rushed through the Digital Economy Bill, now Act (Entanet Opinion: Digital Economy Bill: The end is nigh…). So what are their plans regarding the Internet and Digital Britain if they are re-elected?

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