Timothy M. Denton

Success Through Understanding Technology

Timothy Denton's Blog

Commentary and insights on policy issues in telecommunications and the Internet.

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Timothy Denton

Timothy Denton

Timothy Denton is a lawyer by training who practices principally in telecommunications and Internet policy and domain name issues, with a strong concentration on explaining what the technology is and what it means.

Posted by on in Industry News

 

 

There is a moment in the movie Ratatouille, where the food critic, Anton Ego, voiced in Jeremy Irons' upper-class British accent, pens a hymn of praise to the primacy of artistic creators. That scene was the whole point of the movie. The overhead and from-behind perspective of the scene captures the snobbish food critic, writing in a coffin-shaped room, by candlelight, admitting the supremacy of the creator over the critic. The food that had stimulated this appreciation was a humble vegetable stew, the ratatouille. Every artist who has ever suffered a bad review must have rejoiced in the scene.

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

 

The ARIN conference that I am attending has certain lunch tables reserved for specific topics, such as "whither IPv6" or "IANA/ICANN transition". Frankly they leave me speechless, and I thought today we could set up the history table. There we could discuss a variety of larger issues.

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

The Concise Oxford Dictionary:

Authoritarian

1. favouring, encouraging or enforcing strict obedience to authority as opposed to individual freedom;

2. tyrannical or domineering.

-n. a person favouring absolute obedience to a constituted authority

Authoritative

1. Being recognized as true or dependable

2. (of a person, behaviour etc.) commanding or self-confident

3. official, supported by authority

From today's Financial Post, the following:

"Blais, who is known for an authoritative leadership style, steered the CRTC on a consumer-friendly agenda that often rankled big businesses. Some believe he has a shot at an extended term even though he was appointed by the Conservatives, given his positive relationship with the heritage department."

 

 

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News this morning from the American heartland - John Deere tractors have been sold under such stringent conditions that farmers are no longer allowed to make necessary repairs without the manufacturer's permission, and only by going through authorized dealers. Which means that the entire operations of a farm can be brought to halt while the ransom is paid to the manufacturer, who holds a monopoly power. Farmers are seeking Ukrainian software to evade the locks, and legislators are proposing right-to-repair legislation in Nebraska and four other states.

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This is going to be an ongoing series, I can tell. Today's headline is "Women settle lawsuit with Canadian maker of Internet-connected vibrator for US$3.75M" and you are going to ask what this has to do with the Internet of things? Everything. This is the Internet of things at work, or play, if you feel that way inclined.

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

Michael Hirsh, who is CEO of Wow! Unlimited TV, let the cat out of the bag in a recent article in Cartt

He praised the Internet, saying:

"there have never been better opportunities for Canadian made TV programming. For example, digital platforms are allowing producers to make content that viewers want to see, ungoverned by traditional Canadian content constructs, creating a more direct relationship with the viewer, with no broadcaster in between."

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The CBC carries an article today on outrageous charges for data usage imposed by carriers, despite a new code of procedure imposed by the CRTC. There is a way to fix this problem. It is well-known and has produced reasonable outcomes in wired forms of data delivery.

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

I thought that title would get your attention. How often does your computer crash? Right. Does it matter? yes, quite a bit, if you lose data or files or a year's worth of work. But no one dies. Now just think about your house going cold in winter, your brakes failing, the power grid going off, your water supply being contaminated, or airplanes crashing.

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

I met Ajit Pai in the course of conducting my NG 9-1-1 inquiry. I found him friendly, polite, charming even, and highly intelligent. A former telecom lawyer for one of the large US carriers, Pai has been elevated to the Chairmanship of the FCC as a result of Donald Trump's election.

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

Ideas are both necessary to navigate the world with, and sources of misinformation. When you bump into a wall in the dark, you change your idea of the layout of the house. Unfortunately, if you are a slave to your ideology, there are no walls, you never hit anything, and you never have occasion to learn, because you are never wrong. Such is the ideological life of the Montreal Economic Institute and certain members of the economics profession, when it comes to telecommunications.

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The page on the telephone era has finally turned. The relevant question is no longer the affordability and availability of the telephone, but of bandwidth, the substrate that allows everything. Yesterday's decision of the CRTC on basic services marks the turning point, the closing of the public switched telephone network era. Rest in peace, PSTN. You served us well.

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

The CRTC was envisaged to be governed by a chairman making decisions with the assistance and agreement of a number of commissioners, insofar regulatory policies are concerned. Otherwise I could see no need to mention their existence in the CRTC Act.  The law allows for the appointment of up to 13 of them. The Governor in Council appoints one of them to be a chairman and another two may be appointed vice-chairmen of broadcasting and telecommunications.

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I have been impressed with how completely the sorts of issues the CRTC is dealing with have been transformed into Internet and consumer issues. I was struck by this during the recent hearings on differential pricing practices and zero rating.

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I heard today, from someone who is a position to know, that the IANA transition from Department of Commerce oversight cost 3.5 million dollars in campaign donations.

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Prediction is risky, especially about the future. As of 29 September, the US House of Representatives has passed a bill continuing government finances, without the rider that had expressly forbidden the NTIA from discontinuing the IANA functions contract. So the IANA functions contract will expire, and the transition to the management of IANA will now be placed in the hands of the constituencies that concern themselves with names, numbers, and protocol parameters. Halleluiah!

What I wrote before is, to this extent, obsolete. And what was Trump trying to do, anyway?

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Posted by on in Industry News

Image result for sofia bulgaria

 

I have been attending the European Peering Forum in Sofia Bulgaria, and learning much. It feels as if I have inhabited the edges of the Internet- ICANN, ARIN, CIRA - until now, and finally the veil has parted and I find myself in the place where the deals are done, where the agreements are made to exchange traffic. In short, it is peering if you exchange traffic without compensation, and transit when you pay. And though it may involve money, the transaction is essentially about trust. And here is where trust is built. Knowledge of the other guy's network is built over time by personal contacts.

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

This morning's oh-so-21st century news was that a woman was suing the manufacturer of a networked vibrator.

An American woman says the Canadian manufacturer of a smartphone-enabled vibrator has crossed the line by selling products that allegedly secretly collect and transmit “highly sensitive” usage information over the web.

Or, in the words of Leonard Cohen:

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it's moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

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Posted by on in Industry News
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Posted by on in Industry News

 

The CRTC's report, prepared by Nordicity Group,  on Canadian telecom prices shows that we pay some of the highest rates in the world. Citing the National Post,

Canada won gold for the most expensive low-end wireless telephone service and landed silver for premium mobile phone services that include more minutes and data, according to the ninth-annual international telecom price comparison study commissioned by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

It also landed in the Top Three for the most expensive broadband Internet, bundled services and mobile data, which costs about three times as much here as it does in the U.K., Italy and Australia, according to the report by consultancy Nordicity Group Ltd. that compared prices for landlines, wireless telephone and broadband services, broadband Internet and bundled services.

I would like to make some suggestions as to how this comes about, and what might be done to correct it.

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

The forces of opposition to bill 74, Quebec's gambling legislation, continue to assemble. First it was PIAC, on July 11. Now the CWTA has joined the fight. The Mohawks may follow. I have previously described Quebec's legislation as odious, unconstitutional and futile, a rare trifecta. Quebec has sought a delay from the CRTC of 120 days while it gathers  its thoughts on how to deal with the issue. It should read some of Geoff Huston's comments on Internet site blocking, but of course it is too proud to admit error and climb down. Mr. Huston lives in Canberra, is the Chief Scientist for APNIC, and although I have not spoken to him in this regard I am sure he may be contacted to provide parties with further technical advice on name blocking, route filtering, and other distortions of the Domain Name System. Good luck, Quebec, because you will need it. I wonder if Google will intervene?

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