US


In the course of a peer review, I wrote the following: Most people will connect to the Internet wirelessly. Some will be wireless for a few meters (WiFi), others for a few kilometers. All will use fiber for some parts of the connection, some in the form of FTTP, others in the form of backhaul capacity. In many cases, fixed 4G (wireless) is a direct substitute for wired connections. Our research shows that most people in lower-middle-income countries connect to the Internet using smartphones and tablets over mobile networks.
Comcast has for long been cast in the role of opponent of net neutrality. But according to this report, the roles are beginning to blur. “We support permanent, strong, legally enforceable net neutrality rules,” said Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company, which once successfully sued the F.C.C.
Linnet Taylor correctly points out that US case law does not have applicability outside the US. However, the third-party doctrine set out in the Smith v Maryland case differentiated between transaction-generated data on a telecom network and the content of what was communicated. Now there’s likely to be a different governing precedent, for those under US law: The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide whether the government needs a warrant to obtain information from cellphone companies showing their customers’ locations. The Supreme Court has limited the government’s ability to use GPS devices to track suspects’ movements, and it has required a warrant to search cellphones. The new case, Carpenter v.
A US lawmaker’s comment that people should give up their smartphones and pay more for health insurance has led to an outpouring of statements about the utility of the many uses that can be made of smartphones: “A cellphone is a lifeline,” said Myla Dutton, executive director of Community Action Provo, a food bank and social-service nonprofit. Jose Valdivia, 61, said he wouldn’t be able to quickly look up the latest engine modifications when he was repairing sport-utility vehicles at the mechanic’s shop where he works. His wife said they wouldn’t be able to send photos to relatives in Mexico City. The couple spoke as they waited for an appointment at a free health clinic run by volunteer nurses and doctors two nights a week in Provo. Not surprisingly, smartphones abounded in the waiting room.
As we move toward the Next Billion surveys that will cover a lot more ground than the Myanmar we currently cover, it’s interesting to see what demand-side research looks like in other countries. Here’s Nielsen. In third-quarter 2016, 12% of smartphone owners said they had recently acquired their handset (within the last three months). Among recent phone acquirers in general, 93% chose to purchase a smartphone, compared with 90% in the third quarter of 2015. Overall smartphone penetration continues to rise rapidly, growing about eight percentage points year-over-year from 80% in third-quarter 2015 to 88% in third-quarter 2016.
We have been talking about cell broadcasting since 2007, at least. The technology has been used in the US before, but it appears this was the first time it was used to catch a suspect. Frank DiGirolamo was stepping out of a Manhattan deli on 37th Street and Seventh Avenue on his way to work when the alert went out. “All of a sudden, I heard the phones from people walking in every direction,” he said. “Even the fruit stand guy’s went off.
In our article published last year on big data for urban development in the developing world, we said At one extreme of smart-city initiatives lies the vision of a centrally coordinated city resting on pervasive use of specialized sensors (e.g., one under each parking space; multiple sensors at intersections), real-time or non-real-time analysis of the resultant big-data flows, and reliance on mathematical models. South Korea’s Songdo is the exemplar. Reports of plans for green-field developments indicate that the Modi government is leaning toward this vision.
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld what is known as the third-party doctrine: a legal theory suggesting that consumers who knowingly and willingly surrender information to third parties therefore have “no reasonable expectation of privacy” in that information — regardless of how much information there is, or how revealing it is. Research clearly shows that cell-site location data collected over time can reveal a tremendous amount of personal information — like where you live, where you work, when you travel, who you meet with, and who you sleep with. And it’s impossible to make a call without giving up your location to the cellphone company. “Supreme Court precedent mandates this conclusion,” Judge Diana Motz wrote in the majority opinion. “For the Court has long held that an individual enjoys no Fourth Amendment protection ‘in information he voluntarily turns over to [a] third part[y].
It was in 2010, that the Obama Administration announced a roadmap to release 500 MHz of spectrum. With the newest announcement, it looks like the targets are being met. The only thing worse than having no announced roadmap, is having a roadmap where the targets are not met. The Federal Communications Commission on Friday said it reached its greatest hopes for the amount of spectrum it would be able to offer to wireless carriers in an auction scheduled to begin in late May. Television stations flocked to provide the spectrum, promising to sell enough of the valuable airwaves they use for broadcast programming to reach the agency’s maximum target for the auction.

Why not local data storage?

Posted by on September 9, 2015  /  0 Comments

The first I heard of this issue was back in the 1980s when the Government of Canada wanted banks and companies to store data within the country and not in the US where it was cheaper. One of the arguments was the need to simplify access to data for law-enforcement purposes. Technology has changed much, but the issues remain the same. Now it’s the United States Government that wants access to data stored by US companies wherever the data is. Russia wants all companies operating in Russia to store data within Russia.
Luckily, the unlimited/”all-you-can-eat” culture was not part of the Internet landscape in Asia. Even in its birthplace, it has been in decline, except in the imaginations of the passionate and uninformed. Here is a piece that illustrates the retreat from unlimited. T-Mobile also practices what is called network deprioritization. In areas where networks are congested, T-Mobile will look for the highest data consumers — those who have surpassed 21 gigabytes of data — and give priority in providing higher speeds to those who have consumed less data.
The United States has been at the bleeding edge of universal service policy ever since the term was misinterpreted from the early competitive era. It is therefore worth paying attention to the current FCC efforts. We will soon have US Aid and others promoting these ideas in our parts. More than 12 million households now participate in Lifeline, which was created in 1985 by the Reagan administration to subsidize landline telephone service. In 2008, the program was extended to cover the cost of mobile phones.
Net neutrality sticks in one’s mind. Alliteration helps. The guy who cooked up the term ran for Lieutenant Governor nomination in New York and lost, but not too badly. Guess that helps explain its inherent openness to multiple meaning imposition. Net neutrality has an extraordinary range of meanings, not all consistent with each other.
Are still slow, but how will they be lagging behind? And once the Americans screw up the data confidentiality safeguards, cost may be the decider. In terms of performance, Alibaba cannot come close. For a Chinese site, it does impressive work, handling $5.8 billion in commerce on China’s heaviest shopping day.

Saving wireline

Posted by on June 30, 2014  /  1 Comments

It is curious that the ICT4D people still have an affection for wireline, when even in the place where wireline telephony was invented, it has become an endangered technology, kept alive through lobbying and regulation. Sort of like making it mandatory to have at least one petrol/gas station that does not require drivers to pump their own fuel. Asked how much she pays for the landline, Ms. Horn found her latest bill and let out a loud “Ahhh!” She said she was sorry to be reminded that it costs her more than $80 a month.
So it’s not just the companies that actually purchase capacity from cloud service companies. Everyone. Google has a big cloud, too. You’re on it if you use any sort of Google service like email and photo editing. Seventy million Nigerians recently registered for local elections on Google’s cloud and millions more people study on Google’s cloud through the online educational service Khan Academy.