Posts Tagged ‘Net Neutrality’

Will the big boys’ commitment to traffic management transparency help consumers?

Posted on Mar 17 2011 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Will the big boys’ commitment to traffic management transparency help consumers?

In the face of widespread debate about net neutrality and increasing consumer unrest about how Fair Use Policies and traffic management affects their broadband experience , the Broadband Stakeholder group (BSG) and seven of the UK’s largest ISPs have published a new Voluntary Code of Practice regarding broadband transparency. This new code of practice will be piloted by BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, O2, Three and Vodafone throughout 2011, with review and potentially further adoption by other ISPs in early 2012.

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Commenting on the new code Antony Walker, CEO of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, said:
“There has been more heat than light in the debate about traffic management over recent years. This commitment to provide clear and comparable information in a common format is very important. It will not only help to ensure consumers are better informed about the services they buy and use, but will also provide a clearer picture for policy makers of the way in which traffic management is actually used in the UK market.

Consumers need to be able to make informed choices about the services they buy and policy makers need to be able to make informed decisions about the policy and regulatory framework they set. This new commitment provides an essential building block for getting both of these things right.”

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Keeping the Internet safe – What’s the best approach?

Posted on Jan 17 2011 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Keeping the Internet safe – What’s the best approach?

The European Parliament is currently debating a proposed EU directive to prevent the sexual abuse of children and child pornography. One of the main topics of discussion has been the pros and cons of blocking offending websites. Whilst we all agree that this is a very important issue that must be tackled correctly there are many contrasting views over the best approach.

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Historically, in the UK at least, ISPs that implement the voluntary IWF filter block reported websites, meaning standard users will be protected from viewing the illegal material. However, the blocks can be circumnavigated quite easily by the most persistent offenders and the illegal content can still be accessed and distributed. MEP Alexander Alvaro (ALDE, DE) has argued that because of this, blocking is not effective.

In response to this debate EuroISPA has announced its own proposals for tackling the issue. Firstly it agrees with MEP Alvaro and suggests that all offending websites should be completely removed rather than blocked. Malcolm Hutty, President of EuroISPA and Head of Public Affairs at Linx, said: “In order to make the Directive on child sexual exploitation as strong as possible, emphasis must be placed on making swift notice and take down of child sexual abuse material focused and effective. Blocking, as an inefficient measure, should be avoided. Law enforcement authorities’ procedures for rapid communication to Internet Hosting Providers of such illegal material must be reviewed and bottlenecks eliminated.”

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That was the year that was!

Posted on Dec 22 2010 by Elsa Chen | Comments Off on That was the year that was!

What an eventful year 2010 has proven to be! We saw a new coalition Government take power; we lost yet another World Cup; we saw a number of terrible natural disasters including the Haiti earthquake and the Pakistan floods; volcanic ash grounded our planes; students rioted over tuition fees; the iPhone 4 and iPad were launched; and the winter Olympics were held in Vancouver. But enough about all that – what happened in the Internet industry? Our recap of 2010 highlights some of the most topical issues that affected the industry this year.

Elsa Chen, General Manager

Elsa Chen, General Manager

The most controversial of them all
Let’s start with arguably the most controversial story of the year – the Digital Economy Bill. We started covering this highly controversial topic back in 2009 but during 2010 we saw this Bill become an Act (DEA) as it was hastily pushed through the pre-election wash-up, much to the dismay of its opponents, which include Entanet. However, there is some good news. A judicial review called for by BT and TalkTalk was granted in November and is expected to be held in April 2011.

Unsurprisingly, the DEA’s supporters are opposing the review and continue to insist that it is satisfactory. Just last week news broke that FAST (Federation Against Software Theft) has organised an event at the House of Commons on 12th January 2011 to ‘discuss’ the topics surrounding the DEA well before the full hearing is expected.

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UPDATE: Vaizey dishes another painful blow to net neutrality

Posted on Nov 19 2010 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on UPDATE: Vaizey dishes another painful blow to net neutrality

This week the Minister for Communications, Ed Vaizey, backed Ofcom’s decision to step away from regulating net neutrality and leave the market to regulate itself.

Ofcom recently argued that the UK’s ISP market is considered effectively competitive and does not present any evidence of anti-competitive behaviour and should therefore not face restrictions on all forms of traffic management.  We recently covered their claims in more detail in our opinion article (opinion.enta.net: Update: Net neutrality – is Ofcom too timid?).

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

It seems the Government agrees with Ofcom, with Mr Vaizey stating: “The internet has been responsible for an unprecedented level of innovation, which has led to multi-billion dollar companies being formed in just a couple of years.

This is a model that the British government wishes to protect. A lightly regulated internet is good for business, good for the economy, and good for people.

The government is no fan of regulation and we should only intervene when it is clearly necessary to deliver important benefits for consumers.”

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Poll: Should Ofcom enforce net neutrality?

Posted on Oct 27 2010 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | Comments Off on Poll: Should Ofcom enforce net neutrality?

It has been recently reported that net neutrality suffered a further blow when Ofcom announced its decision not to step in as regulator after receiving responses to its traffic management and net neutrality consultation. We would like to know what you think about Ofcom’s decision to stand back from enforcing net neutrality. Therefore, we have added a new poll asking for your feedback. Please also feel free to leave us a comment below.

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Update: Net neutrality – is Ofcom too timid?

Posted on Oct 12 2010 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Update: Net neutrality – is Ofcom too timid?

It seems net neutrality, the principle of treating all Internet traffic equally in order to provide a fair and equal service for all users, suffered a further blow when Ofcom announced its decision not to step in as regulator after receiving responses to its traffic management and net neutrality consultation. The consultation was initiated to discuss Ofcom’s regulatory responsibilities and any future duties under the revised framework, along with a debate on why traffic management and net neutrality is important to both citizens and customers. The regulator’s reasoning behind its decision is that the UK’s ISP market is considered effectively competitive and does not present any evidence of anti-competitive behaviour and should therefore not face restrictions on all forms of traffic management.  Worryingly, Ofcom has made this announcement despite the fact that BT and the TalkTalk Group freely admitted they’d favour any video or content providers that want to make a ‘deal’ in their Ofcom responses.

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Speaking at a Westminster eForum on net neutrality, International director of Ofcom, Alex Blowers, said “Ofcom is committed to dealing swiftly with problems as they emerge, but we are also committed to approaching issues in such a way as not to assume a problem before a problem has emerged.” Surely with BT and Talk Talk blatantly stating their intent in their consultation responses it would not be hard to ‘assume’ that this will become a problem in the near future.

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Update: U2 – Stick to the Music!

Posted on Sep 06 2010 by Darren Farnden | 2 Comments

Back in January 2010, we criticised U2 front man Bono for warning all creative types to beware of the evils of the Internet and especially us greedy ISP types when it came to illegal file sharing.  We recommended Bono should stick to singing.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

It would appear that U2’s manager, Paul McGuinness, didn’t read our opinion as he’s now thrown in his two cents worth of comment within the August issue of GQ magazine. In it he also slams ISPs for “decimating the music industry” and profiteering from online file sharing, whilst also being the cause of recorded music sales falling.

Like Bono, Mr. McGuinness believes illegal file sharing is the reason for ISPs’ increasing profit margins by suggesting “free content has helped fuel the vast profits of the technology and telecoms industries”.  However, as we stated in our original Opinion article ‘Bono – Stick to Singing’ (opinion.enta.net: Bono – Stick to singing), in reality broadband customers continue to demand the fastest broadband at the lowest price which squeezes ISPs’ margins. Those of us within the Internet industry will also know that it is actually more costly to support such infringers due to the extra bandwidth they consume. Our increasing revenues are more likely to be down to the innovative new technologies we deploy and the additional services we provide to add value to customers’ experience.

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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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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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Poll:What do you think about Google’s withdrawal from China?

Posted on Apr 13 2010 by Gemma Dickinson | Comments Off on Poll:What do you think about Google’s withdrawal from China?

We recently published an article discussing Google’s withdrawal from China (Entanet Opinion:  Google flees Great Firewall of China) and the impact this has on the Internet industry, Google and what it means for other countries currently implementing censorship policies. Now we would like to find out what you think about this issue and have published a new poll to do just that.

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