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Tag Archives: USA

Why don’t Americans think about what Hong Kong has achieved?

There was a time when voice telephony was seen as a public utility, requiring government involvement in supply. In most parts of the world, the end result was waiting lists and poor service. Now the same refrain is being sung re broadband. Why not take a look at Hong Kong? Here is where to start. […]

Anywhere but the USA?

In a recent contribution to a just-published UNCTAD report on cloud computing we said: The other aspect of the problem is whether data are subject to the laws of the jurisdictions where the cloud computing companies are located. For example, take the case of a company in Country A using the services of a cloud […]

Have people’s relationships with their phones changed qualitatively since 1979?

This was a central claim in the highly significant ruling made by Federal District Court in Washington DC: In a 68-page ruling, Judge Leon said the N.S.A. program that systematically gathers records of Americans’ phone calls was most likely unconstitutional, rejecting the Obama administration’s argument that a 1979 case, Smith v. Maryland, was a controlling […]

Finally, a positive innovation story from a developed-country telco

When US competition regulators turned down the AT&T-T-Mobile merger, many thought that would be the end of T-Mobile. Instead, it was the end of business as usual. T-Mobile branded and marketed all this as the “Un-carrier,” rolling out new versions of its plans — already five and counting — even as competitors have struggled to […]

The age-old attraction of spy agencies to communication facilities

To me, the biggest question arising from the Snowdon affair is why everyone is acting so surprised. “Everyone was so focused on the N.S.A. secretly getting access to the front door that there was an assumption they weren’t going behind the companies’ backs and tapping data through the back door, too,” said Kevin Werbach, an […]

What’s good for the NSA is not good for US companies

I remember tweeting several months back about the negative fallout of the drip drip of the Snowden revelations on cloud companies and even on the routing of data traffic (why is it so difficult to find something you’ve written in social media?). In my interactions with industry people across Asia, I could sense the unease […]

Itching to rid themselves of copper

That actually was said by a Verizon executive. Is this the future? Verizon’s move on this sliver of land is a look into the not-too-distant future, a foreshadowing of nearly all telephone service across the United States. The traditional landline is not expected to last the decade in a country where nearly 40 percent of […]

Benefits of technological progress difficult to trace

The US is where most ICTs were invented and put to use. But, it is proving difficult to clearly specify how the benefits flow. If it is difficult in the US, it cannot be easy in our countries. We also have access to far more sophisticated consumer goods, from the iPhone to cars packed with […]

Absolutist versus pragmatic net neutrality debated in US court

Can the telcos work out deals with OTTs about the traffic they carry? Or do they have to be absolutely neutral? These are the questions. The outcome will reverberate across the world. The case, which is expected to be decided late this year or early next year, has attracted enormous interest. On Monday, telecommunications lawyers […]

Another dysfunctional e subsidy program, this time in America

The money comes from everyone with a telecom connection in the US. And the government has trouble pushing it through. Five billion USD is a lot of money to keep unspent. Here, we’ve been griping about India’s USD 4 billion and Brazil’s USD 4 billion plus. The E-Rate program has been faulted for inadequately allocating […]

A tech fix for smartphone theft

US law enforcement is pushing smartphone makers to install a kill switch to deter theft. This is even more important in developing Asia where the value of a smartphone is even higher relative to monthly earnings. We have not had much success with IMEIs deterring theft of feature phones, despite widespread efforts in Pakistan, India […]

Mapbox nifty tool for visualizing the disaster impact before-n-after

MapBox has released its JavaScript code for the public to use in visualizing the recent Moore tornado impact. Simply slide your mouse over the area in the map below. Exerpt from mapbox blog – “Thanks to open aerial imagery provided by the U.S. Government and our MapBox.js javascript library, we can now see — in […]

Sahana software ensures hot meals delivered to Hurricane Sandy victims

“Sahana software is being used to support the collection and fulfilment of requests for assistance and volunteers from the neighborhoods hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy: the Rockaways in Queens, Coney Island and Red Hook in Brooklyn, Staten Island and communities along the New Jersey coast. Sahana allows organizations to more effectively prioritize and dispatch resources […]

Roaming as a disaster response

A significant number of base stations (around 20% or lower) in the Hurricane Sandy affected areas are supposed to have gone down, mainly due to electricity problems. I am sure the systems here in South Asia are a lot more robust in this aspect because our baseline expectations of the reliability of the electricity networks […]

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