EUROPE -- A step forward has been taken in the transition to the larger internet address space, IPv6, this week with news that computers can now find each other without having to use the old IPv4 addressing system at all.This has been exercising policy makers for some time as you can see from the policy section of the very helpful IPv6 Task Force website, though it’s interesting to note that much of this work is now a few years old. The European Commission has been very active in this area and supports a European IPv6 Task Force. It will be interesting to see how governmental activity ramps up again on this issue over the next couple of years as we get closer to full implementation.
The benefits in economic growth, productivity, competitiveness, social inclusion, good government that the power of information and communications technology (ICT) could create are demanding high policy initiatives (Digital Agendas or Digital Strategies) to increase the adoption of ICT and network connectivity.In order to remain competitive developed and developing countries around the world that understand the benefits of ICT are looking on ways to outperforms its peers and get closer to their respective inspirational peers on broadband penetration and ICT sector contribution to GDP. Read More »
The US transition to all-digital television broadcasting is ramping up quickly. For consumers, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration has launched its program to hand out coupons for the purchase of set top converter boxes. Some 30 boxes have been certificated under the program, and will be appearing on store shelves soon -- over the next 4-6 weeks. Consumer education programs are also shifting in to high gear as well, beginning February 17, 2008 — one year ahead of the DTV transition date of February 17, 2009. Soon, consumers will see public service announcements about the transition, as well as a host of materials in newspapers and magazines. Read More »
This year, I missed the annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show due to a cold. For those who have never attended CES, it is the electronics industry’s largest trade show where all the new and interesting products are dangled in public. Having missed the show itself, I have only been able to watch the product announcements from afar. In some sense, this is actually a better way to judge the show than being there in the midst of all the glitz and excitement.So what was this year’s CES all about? Video, video, and more video. Whether it was bigger, smaller, thinner, lighter, or cheaper, flat panel HDTVs were all the rage in CES announcement, as they have been for years. But video is bleeding far beyond just the living room, with cellphones with video, wireless video networking, and video Internet connections being added to TVs. Consumers want their video from any source on any device at any place. And increasingly, that video is going to be delivered across a broadband network. This is a trend that will accelerate over time.Now the flood of demand for video brings up two questions to me. The first is why can’t the industry make these devices compatible and easily interoperable with each other? As I am not a software architect, I have no idea how to solve this problem.The second question is how will the broadband networks handle the increased traffic coming from video? I am a telecom policy geek and have some insight into this question. Video presents new demands on the broadband access networks. It is partly a question the huge volume of data that video requires (several orders of magnitude greater than browsing or audio), but also the need to maintain a quality of service for the video stream itself. Without quality of service, the video packets will not arrive on time when the network is congested and the user will not have a good experience. The flood of video traffic means that service providers will need to increase overall capacity on their networks and also manage the traffic to provide quality of service. These increasing demands make it ever more important the regulators continue a deregulatory approach to broadband that encourages investment in infrastructure and the use of important network management technologies.So what did I learn from CES while stuck in my sickbed in DC? That onerous Net Neutrality regulations are a threat to our great video future.
As we approach the end of 2007, lots of folks and entities are putting out security reports. I’d like to add one that I think should go on the top of your list. Cisco has just issued its first of what will be an Annual Security Report, and even though I’m at Cisco-and because of that you might discount the source-I still commend it to you. Read More »