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Tag Archives: USA

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The digital transition is complicated, everywhere

I’ve been asked by several people to comment on the choice of a Japanese standard for digital broadcasting in Sri Lanka, as part of the process of clearing the 700 MHz band of analog TV broadcasting and making the freed up spectrum available for more productive uses. I have not commented, partly because I lack […]

US cloud computing takes a body blow from ruling on extra-territorial jurisdiction

Below is what we said were among critical policy issues in cloud computing: The storage of data in multiple, usually foreign, jurisdictions raises a different set of regulatory issues including data protection and police investigatory powers. The jurisdictional issues are anchored on the location of the firm and the location of the data. In the […]

Who will help developing countries rethink the way they supply electricity?

The New York Times reported some exciting new changes that are in the works in New York, whereby the entire electricity model is being rethought. New York State is proposing to turn its electric utilities into a new kind of entity that would buy electricity from hundreds or thousands of small generators and set prices […]

Metadata is still fair game in the US

A recent case gave hope to those who wanted the n=all collection of telephone transaction-generated data to cease. But only court that can overrule Smith v Maryland is the Supreme Court. Now a FISA court has explicitly declined to follow Judge Leon. So n=all continues. A telephone company asked the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in […]

What’s the difference between broadband “fast lanes” and a CDN?

If someone can clarify why it is wrong to allow “fast lanes” in broadband but not wrong for the same content companies to pay CDNs like Akamai to bring content closer to the user and thereby make access to the paid data faster? If the new rules deliver anything less, he added, “that would be […]

How the world changes (with regard to Internet expectations)?

How fast is fast enough? But DSL service, which is delivered over traditional copper phone lines, does not measure up to the speeds of cable Internet service. The most recent F.C.C. figures available, from mid-2012, show that only 8 percent of DSL connections in the United States transmit at a speed of at least 10 […]

Search engine is like a newspaper; not like a town square

New public policy issues get resolved depending on which analogy wins. In one of the most significant lower-court decisions (this is likely to be appealed up) in recent times, the newspaper analogy won over the town square analogy. If this holds, Google and search engines become the new media. An interesting thought in light of […]

Agriculture big data: Where it exists in datafied form, concerns re what can be done with it

US agriculture was early to use ICTs to improve efficiency. I recall sharing stories of information-savvy farmers with my classes in Ohio in the early 1990s. Now data is available of soil and weather conditions at a micro-level and farmers are beginning to be concerned that this big data when combined with other data could […]

Praise for regulators in US

They say mergers are coming in both India and Sri Lanka. I’d prefer clear guidelines rather than discretion, for reasons like this. A rash of consumer-friendliness has broken out across the mobile data industry. Over the last year, the four major carriers — AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile — have cut prices and offered greater […]

The upside of the net neutrality court ruling. Will the FCC regulate OTTs?

This is stuck at the end of a New York Times article on how the new FCC Chair has been doing in his first months. Worth pondering over. But he has yet to speak plainly about his plans to overcome the net neutrality decision. Critics say that in doing so he has hidden just how […]

Adventures in superfast Internet, Chattanooga Choo Choo

In 1969, this mid-sized city in the middle of the US was named the most polluted city in the US. Some four decades later, it’s one of the few cities where you can get 1 GB Internet for USD 70 a month. This balanced article in the NYT, lays out the lessons. But so far, […]

In 90 days, a report on “big data” and privacy from the White House

John Podesta is no stranger to privacy issues. I can remember some interactions with him in the context of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) during the Clinton Presidency. He has now been tasked with producing a big data-privacy report in 90 days. We are undergoing a revolution in the way that information about our […]

Tim Wu on the future of the FCC

Following the Court of Appeals ruling against its net neutrality order, the FCC is facing an existential challenge, says Tim Wu in an interview with the Washington Post. What could the FCC have done differently? The obvious alternative would have been to do what the FCC should have done and — in the future tense […]

Net neutrality in the US on the ropes?

An old workaround bites back. Seems little alternative but to classify broadband as a utility. In a decision signed by two judges and joined in part by a third, the appeals court acknowledged that the F.C.C. has the authority “to promulgate rules governing broadband providers’ treatment of Internet traffic.” But because, several years ago, the […]

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