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Tag Archives: US

Chinese cloud service companies

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. The Alibaba S.E.C. filing […]

Saving wireline

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 […]

When everyone is on cloud, what’s special about it?

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 […]

Discrimination and big data

Issue of discrimination coming up in big data policy review. The value of big data is in understanding the consumer. But with understanding comes the ability to discriminate. Not all discrimination is bad. But some may be. So that will be the next phase: President Barack Obama requested the review in January, when he called […]

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 […]

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