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

The CRTC vs. Netflix fight is beginning. Its conclusion - unless the Commission backs off -will  mark the end of its claim to regulate the Canadian portion of the Internet.

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Posted by on in Industry News

I can understand why large carriers in the United States are so opposed to municipal networks that they pay off state legislatures to pass legislation banning municipal investment in networks. America is the land with the best legislation money can buy. I understand why their legions of myrmidons applaud this as the only proper course of action. What I cannot understand is why everyone else seems to think this is economically rational and socially beneficial.

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Posted by on in Industry News

Terence Corcoran is the senior editor of the Financial Post. He is a committed opponent of a host of economic follies: unfunded liabilities, statism,  junk science - of which the largest example is anthropogenic global warming, and a host of fashionable fads. On the subject of network industries, however, I regret to say he is persistently wrong, seriously, radically in error.

His latest outburst of rage was vented against the government's decision to reserve spectrum for a smaller player in the Canadian wireless market. He has been waging a long, and so far unsuccessful, campaign to shape public opinion away from the Conservative government's attempts to introduce more competition into domestic wireless communications.

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Posted by on in Industry News

The German subsidiary of Verizon has lost the contract to provide telecommunications services to the Bundestag. The German interior ministry said the cancellation was linked to the "relationship between foreign intelligence agencies and companies" that the rogue US National Security Agency contractor exposed last year.

The Financial Times reported:

"Among the revelations, it emerged that Verizon was required by a court order to hand over information about telephone calls on its network to the NSA on an “ongoing, daily” basis. The order barred the company from publicly disclosing the existence of the request"

As any self-respecting nation state would do, Germany has taken measures to restrict NSA's access to parliamentary telephone calls, through its agent, Verizon. Would you not do the same in their shoes?

 

 

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Posted by on in Industry News

What is the nature of the Internet? I ask this question as I listened to a discussion of Internet security features. The more fundamental answers to the question can be found in one of my articles, "The Internet Illustrated" on this site. But there is another approach to thinking about the Internet, as an addressing system for reaching endpoints. Forgive me if all this is obvious.

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

Mobile television apps are now before the CRTC. They put the question at the heart of Canadian communications policy front and centre: will carriers be able to evade net neutrality rules whenever they declare their signal to be "broadcasting"?

There is a contradiction between the two statutes the CRTC administers. The Broadcasting Act says "go forth and discriminate infavour of Canadian programming". The Telecommunications Act says "thou shalt not discriminate among signals except for very good reason, and the CRTC will rule on the adequacy of that reason".

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Posted by on in Industry News

The Canadian Speech from the Throne (SFT) is the traditional method for the government to announce its policies and proposals for the coming Parliamentary session. The most recent one signals important changes to the regulation of telecommunications and broadcasting, in a strongly interventionist direction.

A wise head of regulatory affairs for a large Canadian multi-media player once told me: "Every so often the politicians of this country abandon market economics and throw the carriers under the bus." It seems like the Cabinet is getting a taste for doing so.

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Posted by on in Industry News

The revelations that the National Security Agency has been spying on the Internet's traffic, and that corporations like Google  would be obliged to lie about the degree of their cooperation, has come as a shock to the naive, and an opportunity for those who would like to detach the governance of the Internet from the United States. That includes many autocratic nations, as well as some constitutional democracies.

When the US established the governing institutions for the Internet in 1998, they had to deal with two different issues: a) how to keep the Internet from falling into the hands of the ITU (International telecommunications Union) which is a treaty-based UN organization, and b) how to arrange the governance so that companies and civil society groups could play an active role.

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Posted by on in Industry News

Let me begin with what I know to be true. Over the course of the time I was there, a Commissioners had growing sense of the inadequacy of facilities-based competition, with a limited duopoly of cable and telco in each market.

There are two problems with moving to a policy of leased access to cable (coaxial) and telephone (optical fiber and copper pair) infrastructure. One is ideological, and I will deal with that shortly. The second is historical.

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