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Tag Archives: US

FCC releases more frequencies for wireless commons

In 2010, the Obama Administration announced a road map to release 500 MHz of frequencies for mobile broadband. Looks like progress is being made. Perhaps the most significant move by the commission was to allow a broad swath of airwaves to be used for outdoor unlicensed broadband, clearing the way for a new generation of […]

What not having Internet means in a society where the assumption is that everyone is connected

As everyone assumes that everyone is connected to the Internet (not an assumption we have to deal with in our countries at this moment), the consequences of not using the Internet become quite serious. “As more tasks move online, it hollows out the offline options,” said John B. Horrigan, a senior research fellow at the […]

Meta data not limited to telecom

President Obama makes a distinction between the contents of phone calls and the information generated by the call (he calls it meta data, we used to call it transaction-generated data, and now it falls within the scope of big data), here is the analogy that is governing his thinking: Mr. Pickering was targeted by a […]

Novel ideas from the US government on freeing up government spectrum

We have reiterated the need for spectrum refarming. But the most difficult part has been extracting inefficiently used spectrum from government agencies. Looks like the US government is focusing on this problem, not only focusing but applying novel thinking to it. Perhaps the most interesting and highly charged recommendation in the president’s directive is one […]

US gets fully behind cell broadcasting for early disaster warning

People ask me where cell broadcasting has been implemented. I’ve said Netherlands. But it actually had been implemented quietly in the US two years ago. The ad campaign to publicize it is being run only now. “Many people do not realize that they carry a potentially life-saving tool with them in their pockets or purses […]

Access to mobile call detail records by law enforcement: Warrants are needed in Texas. What about the rest?

Smith v Maryland was a 1979 US case that permitted relatively easy access to phone records. Fixed phone records, because that’s all there was, back then. Mobile phone records yield a lot more information. But US law enforcement has been using the old rules to get the call records. But that may be about to […]

Big data gets big funding

US government gets behind big data. We agree, we’re getting into big data too. Difference is that in our countries there are not that many big data streams. Big data refers to the rising flood of digital data from many sources, including the Web, biological and industrial sensors, video, e-mail and social network communications. The […]

Forty percent of searches from mobile phones in India (v. 14 percent in US) says Google

Google sees mobiles as the future, especially in markets like India, according to Business Standard. Mobile Internet fastest growing vertical, says Google India MD. Listing a set of next big trends in the overall technology sector, Google India says mobile Internet is set to lead the way for the industry. As against 14 per cent […]

Is there hope for government postal services?

In Sri Lanka, the window for saving the post has probably closed. According to the latest Household Survey, a Sri Lankan household spends LKR 4/month on postal services and LKR 750/month on telecom services. You cannot build a viable business on that kind of money. There will always be a need to deliver packages (until […]

Good Google? Bad Google?

My entry to telecom policy and regulation was through the AT&T Divestiture case, where the US Department of Justice broke up the world’s largest company with my advisor, Bill Melody, as a key witness. The good guys and the bad guys were clear. While I was teaching the big Microsoft antitrust case came up and […]

If communication is a fundamental right . . .

Here‘s how you enforce it. Developers caution that independent networks come with downsides: repressive governments could use surveillance to pinpoint and arrest activists who use the technology or simply catch them bringing hardware across the border. But others believe that the risks are outweighed by the potential impact. “We’re going to build a separate infrastructure […]

4G rollout cited as rationale for AT&T buying T Mobile

So AT&T is claiming that it can rollout 4G networks only if it is allowed to buy T Mobile (and combine the frequencies assigned to both). So what they really want is spectrum? As smartphones and tablets proliferate, so too have apps like one by Facebook that draw in ever-rising amounts of data. Monday’s letters […]

Crowdsourced broadband QoS, with value added

We thought up the idea of crowdsourcing broadband QoSE, but could not make it work because the AT Tester was too complicated. In the US, they came with the idea two years later but made it work. Now someone has added value to that product. Given many governments in the region (e.g., Bangladesh, India and […]

Cell broadcasting gets a new boost, thanks to Pacific tsunami

The MIT Technology Review is taken seriously by many people, especially those who see technology as part of the policy solution mix. When it more or less endorses cell broadcasting as an effective public warning technology, citing our work to boot, we cannot but be pleased. The technology is also being tested in a very […]

Alfred Kahn, policy intellectual who drove US deregulation, passes away

While he was teaching at Cornell, Alfred Kahn noticed that airfares were lower and frequencies better in the San Francisco-Los Angeles route than in other route pairs in the US. The difference was that SF-LA were both in California and were thus outside the authority of the federal aviation regulatory agency. When President Carter appointed […]

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