Posts Tagged ‘internet’

It is Past Time to Update the 2002 Paper. .


30 April 2014
Loren W

Melbourne Australia

Just typing that gives me goose bumps, not because of the corny line, but because I lead with teams at British Telecom, to do our part and introduce some of the early business Internet products and services back in 1994, that are still used today across the globe, including business broadband, reducing upgrades of business grade Internet services from 65 working days to being done instantly, offering IP Addresses for broadband, to even offering data connectivity for data centers, 1GB asymmetric bandwidth for folks like big brother TV and dark Internet for the military that offered redundancy in case of disasters including 9/11. In 2002, they stupidly sued Prodigy and other ISPs over patents because they believed they owned, a case I had nothing to do with but gave me my nickname for life, ‘MrInternet,’ when a journalist said to me who you think you are, ‘Mr. Internet’ ? .

What is Net Neutrality?

Tim Wu, Columbia law school professor that kicked this off in his paper Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination, in 2003, Professor Wu wrote, his paper based on research done largely in 2002 and the paper was written in 2003. Decades in Internet time, I applaud it immensely, and agree 100% with the messages and the intent, but not the elements missed. As it is written there is some confusion over Open Internet and Net Neutrality as they are not the same necessarily.

Wu wrote the paper has he says, ‘To make an initial case for a broadband discrimination regime as an alternative to the structural remedy of open access to achieve the goal of Network neutrality’. The paper needs to address transit, peering, infrastructure costs, return on investment, cross connects etc. as he has taken this to the carrier and ISP level naturally.

It is time Wu, updated his paper it to reflect some of the technical issues that were not relevant or addressed at the time, due to the evolution of the Internet. Where Professor Wu, compared 3 general approaches I believe there are some clarities that are needed as there is a lot of grey that was not there or not addressed in 2003. Peering / Transit Agreements, Cross Connects, Cost to deliver service, impact by content providers (eyeballs), recouping costs (ROI), all aspects that need updating, or were not even addressed at the time.

Even the major usage restrictions professor Wu addresses in his paper are largely either non issues, or easily addressed in today’s evolved Internet. For instance when this paper was written 40% of the top 10 ISPs in the USA prohibited wireless & home Network usage for the Internet, laughable in today’s marketplace.

Where Net Neutrality Contradicts Itself Perfectly – Tim Wu wrote, “Network Neutrality is best defined as a Network design principle. The idea is that a maximally useful public information Network aspires to treat all content, sites, and platforms equally” To me it makes the Internet sound like it should be a treated as a ‘utility’, in itself a completely good thought. Teasing this out a bit more, if you pick up on the word from Tim Wu uses ‘aspires’, or best intention, the principal of the service, then I agree entirely with the premise, we should ‘aspire’ to treat all sites equally period. If you start to even trickle towards, reducing freedom of speech, or limiting free thought I even agree more with that principal of Net Neutrality.

Unfortunately this does not address the impact of the Internet ‘technically’ based on the infrastructure of the delivery. Specifically in his paper Wu mentions Telco’s are failing to see long term pictures in favor of short term gains. In business this is ROI (return on investment) cannot be ignored.

All Internet is NOT Created Equally – Treating the Internet as a utility with an analogy for a moment, I and my neighbor should be able to get the same electricity to our homes, but the data center 4 blocks away requires a hugely different infrastructure and capacity to get the electricity even there to their door. In some cases the power company might pay for all or some of that, for the power hungry data center will have to make some sort of commitment or payments to address just the infrastructure to their door. If the data centre let’s call it Netflix DC was to somehow bypass the local grid, and tap into another power grid improperly, or local homes, (though it would be illegal of course) then the grid would have to boost the power for that area, and the hypothetical DC would not pay for that upgrade. A stretch on the analogy but not far from where Net Neutrality starts to contradict itself or more so where equality is not the issue and infrastructure is not properly addressed. There all the customers would have to subsidize the cost of Netflix DC, or the power grid would have to. Remember Netflix DC in this case is not paying for any power.

If you further look at what well known advocates of Net Neutrality have proposed, there are several methods to implement a Net neutral Internet:

  • One of the simplest methods for implementation comes from Cardozo Law School professor Susan P. Crawford, who “believes that a neutral Internet must forward packets on a first-come, first served basis, without regard for quality-of-service considerations

  • Another approach offered Tim Berners-Lee allows discrimination between different tiers, while enforcing strict Neutrality of data sent at each tier: “If I pay to connect to the Net with a given quality of service, and you pay to connect to the Net with the same or higher quality of service, then you and I can communicate across the Net, with that quality and quantity of service”. We each pay to connect to the Net, but no one can pay for exclusive access to me.”
  • United States lawmakers have introduced bills that would now allow quality of service discrimination for certain services as long as no special fee is charged for higher-quality service.
  • Some of these ideas complement each other well but one speaks volumes to me, Tim Berners Lee said it best and I paraphrase this above, if all parties PAY the same to connect to the Internet they should enjoy the use equally, but there are different tiers’
  • But the point I have never seen properly addressed, is what happens if the user of the Internet requires a special design or architecture enhancement that due to their volume, scope or amount of content totally impacts the Internet for everyone else. If a smaller customer you start to tip your toe into a fair use policy but for others like Netflix, then it is a whole different kettle of fish (by the way why would you put fish in a kettle).
  • I am not bagging on Netflix I cannot get it ethically in Australia without using a VPN, and spoofing my IP address. Their recent deals to pay for bandwidth in the US funny enough goes against Net Neutrality.
  • Back to the utility analogy, you then start to go down an obvious path and say well the Netflix and other content providers should pay for this impact. Warning, you could be accused with that very thought of breaking an agreed aspect of what Net Neutrality is perhaps. 

On-Net and Off-Net Internet Advantages and Bundling Advantages – Here it gets interesting, if an ISP has content on its servers in its own data center, or owns another service say movies or TV, then any content sent to their customers on their Network (referred to as on-Net), then by its mere nature these services can be delivered potentially faster and definitely cheaper. Any content not on my Network is considered off-Net. The impact of this might be if you are moving content around on the Internet it might not be tallied to any usage limitations you have, but content Off-Net it does. Here there is a lower cost to the provider so why should the customer not be allowed to benefit for this bundling. In a Net Neutrality would it breaks a few guidelines? Furthermore if you live in an area where your ISP does not have direct connectivity to faster Internet services, even the basic speed to your service can be worse or better than your neighbours, hardly fair but part of the facts of Internet life. 

Prioritizing Traffic – Almost ever since there was business grade Internet, there has been issues in ‘prioritizing’ Internet traffic and imposing Network management practices. That is the privileged traffic for some versus other customers. This does not have to be about limiting the speed of the Internet to consumers necessarily (contention). But about peering and transit, that smoke and mirrors part of the Internet and who pays for what part and where some of the aspects of Net Neutrality fails to address impact. If we assume ISPs have capacity to provide non-contended Internet to their users, then you have to query when a tiered service is a nasty thing or just a simple internal Networking management practice.

ISPs manage connectivity differently. We used to Network manage our Networks even contending Internet capacity but not so customers would notice or lose packets, a common practice on pro-actively managing a billion dollar Network .

However, if you have a lot of customers like Netflix and others have then you are simply a special case.

In some cases your customers force carriers to upgrade their Networks capacity to consumers, creating a skewed asymmetrical impact. That impact caused by heavy content providers means someone has to pay for the end to end Network overhead (bandwidth) before it ever gets to the consumer.

Or they have peering / transit agreements in place to address this. When Netflix cut out some of their cross connects, they created a revenue and infrastructure vacuum not seen before. That is a content provider with a lot of eyeballs not paying what was thought was their responsibility to do and as others did in the past. So if cross connects carriers did not get paid and Netflix was not helping upgrade their infrastructure which they obviously would not do, carriers are forced to somehow priorities Internet traffic or just charge more to consumers for a service they might not be using.

There is an old adage you cannot manage what you cannot measure, unfortunately with the Internet usage for these customers not being static but very ‘spikey’ at certain hours even trying to charge customers is not easy. It is only logical carriers wanting to profit more and not let the Netflix continue to impact their revenue and infrastructure would limit somehow the ways the new content providers operate.

These are not simple issues are all about playing well with others and making or for content providers also saving all the money you can, but to date Net Neutrality seems to not be caught up with the impact of content providers impact of the skewed infrastructure, and architecture required to manage this content, that by its own definition shapes the Internet for all of us and impacts underlying aspects of Neutrality that again did not consider this when it was written. As Governments start to finally look closer at this surely it is worthy of revisiting this important document. Sorry I called you surely.

Or a Funny Thing Happened on The Way to the Webisphere ?

I have had more than a few folks ask (especially recently) where I got my twitter tag of @mr_internet due to the arrogance of its perception. That arrogance (not my fault actually) is why I got the nickname, and it stuck and I kept it to remind me that humility is not a bad thing.

The kind of interesting story goes like this, I have been pretty blessed to be on the front line of the creation of business grade Internet in the UK.

I was working for a large telco , (one of the largest and oldest in the world) I was lead on the team that introduced several new products across the globe one being something called

business broadband (perhaps you hear of it). One of the cool things about the Internet has been how it evolved slightly differently in different countries and with what sort of products is that its life cycle is different in different countries.

The US got the internet from DARPA and ARPA, as a result of the USSR and Sputnik etc, meanwhile (and forgotten by many) the UK developed packet switching. Vinton Cerf with others developed TCP in the US, the latter bit was in the 70’s

The WWW , Tim Berners-Lee, CERN  thing happened in 1989. Though hotly debated there is a view that UK invented the Internet (with the first multi-national Internet usage). The first head of state sending an internet communication between countries was Queen Elizabeth II.

So here I was part of the team introducing new Business Internet  products and the face (as ugly as it might be)  for this telcom  giant, with one of my jobs being taking the front line on initial legal issues from customers.

Unknown to me the higher up sin the organisation decided to exercise a patent law it had unearthed, saying they had invented hyperlinks under patent 4873662 in 1989.

The Telco then started discussions with a view of extracting funds from ISPs to license hyperlinks  and hypertexts  http://www . This meant the mere million users of the Internet at the time were likely to face costs and the few ISPs at the time Prodigy facing the highest costs).

This went viral as much as it could in the early days of the Internet, I was first made aware of it when I was called for an interview and was asked (thinking I had something to do with it personally) , ” Who Do you think you are  Mr Internet’ ?

The Telco eventually let the patent enforcement go silent (not dead). But the press (and my colleagues) kept the Mr Internet  nickname for so long I eventually kept it as a reminder of the potential arrogance that can come out of this business and to never forget about the most important part of the business (me.. no) the customer.


Loren (@mr_internet)

 Telstra to benefit the most from iPhone: Not Even Carrying it ! 

Leading telecoms analysts have claimed that Telstra will probably benefit the most from the iPhone’s release in Australia and may not even carry it. Two strategists from financial advisor Merrill Lynch said, despite not carrying it. This is due to the mobile data usage and wireless data services such as web surfing and music downloads, generating sales for Telstra’s Next G network and the hype that Optus, Vodafone and Hutchison, will produce.

It is believed that 1.31 million iPhones will be shipped to Australia by 2012, a figurewhich amounts to approximately 6% of the national population. The IDC report said that Apple’s newly announced 3G iPhone is expected to take 7.38% of the converged device market by the end of 2012.

 Due to the likely shortage of stock immediately after launch it is predicted frustrated buyers will opt for some other new devices like the HTC Diamond and Blackberry Bold that will be launching around the same time as the iPhone. 

It was not widely reported that the $199 US for the 8GB iPhone and $299 (US) for the 16GB model appears to be subsidised in the US by AT&T. Optus will be offering a similar plan and Vodafone may also offer a pre-paid model (charging the full cost of the handset). But it was not clear if any handsets will be unlocked so it can be used form any carrier. This might will lead to more hacking in the Australia Market where thousands already have hacked US and UK I-phones already.  

Optus and Vodafone have said that they will sell the iPhone when released in Australia on July 11.

This story reminds be of the on where my ex-employers at British Telecom tried to enforce the patent that they (we) owned the patent on hyperlinks. Even worse I was managing the Internet Products at the time of attempted enforcement, and was a little bit high profile internally at BT. Folks thought or queried it was my doing so I earned the nick-name ‘MrInternet’ it has stuck ever since.

 Here We Go Again


A Queensland man has begun enforcing international patents which he believes potentially entitles him to a license fee from every website in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States that publishes a URL-linked image, graphic or banner. Ronald Neville Langford of Battery Hill, Queensland successfully filed for patents over the connection of a visual image to an Internet URL between 2001 and 2004. Now a Singapore company, Vuestar, claims to have been appointed by Langford’s RN Technologies company to enforce the patents. It has recently begun sending invoices to Singapore website operators demanding “annual license fees” of about S$5,000 in order for them to have the right to embed URL links in graphics and images on their web pages. Vuestar, unashamedly, promotes itself with the tagline “Good Ideas with Vision.” Vuestar claims “a web site which has been developed by or for a URL addressee/ owner and uses visual images to hyperlink to other pages in which any first or subsequent page provides the contact details of an organisation would in legal terms appear to use the steps and methods outlined in a claim of the patent.” A Internet domain search shows Vuestar’s website at is registered to South Brisbane-based Goldspirit Investments, in turn registered to Langford. Vuestar began issuing the invoices this week, creating a minor storm in the Singapore Internet community who believe, rightly or wrongly, that the patent claims are a scam. One messageboard poster suggested “it seems like the Aussies cannot escape their criminal mentality yet.”


LEGAL WARNING: Bryan Tan, a lawyer with Singapore tech law practice Keystone, issued a note to his clients stating “According to Vuestar, any website with visual images, Internet Service providers, telcos whose phones connect to the web and anybody else contributing to the use of the patent will require the license. In addition all search engine portals and web sites that have search facilities and images will require separate licenses.” Tan added “We believe that this development would have a wide-ranging impact on the Internet

community in Singapore given the wide claims being made by Vuestar on the intellectual property covered by the patents. Parties operating websites, offering web services or developing web-based and WAP based products and services need to be especially careful.” CommsDay has sighted Langford’s claimed patents. His US patent filing, no 7065520, provides an exhaustive definition of what constitutes his “original idea”, covering an “image, video, animation, mini-image of a web page, streaming video, logo of an organization associated with the web page, and trademark of an organization associated with the web page.” Both the US and later Singapore patent also specifically mentions the results generated by image search engines. Similar patents have also been recognised by Australia and New Zealand.

Singapore’s New Paper obtained an interview with the 68-year old Langford yesterday where he said the widespread use of his patents had damaged his company “to the tune of millions of dollars.” “Ironically, we have sat back and watched our technology used to generate millions in advertising revenue.”


To make sure their future is secure in their own right Google is in talks with Asia Netcom to provide a under sea cable to the USA from ASIA. More soon

Analysis: An Open GPhone? Dream On

Posted: November 6, 2007 in Software
Tags: , , , ,

The gPhone is about Developers.. Developers.. Developers.. Developers..

As big a fan of John’s that I am I think he misses a few big points, but in all fairness, it typifies the understanding from the majority of folks.

The phone world doesn’t rotate around the U S of A. Sorry John, but thank god they have a bigger agenda. The ongoing crap around the I-phone, much more digestible in Europe and even better here in Aussie world in Q1 2K8, when/if it releases here, typifies that.

So if you were making a mobile phone (or phones) today the market you would make it for folks where you have the largest market. That today is outside the USA, the numbers prove that.

Mention the word HTC to most Phone fan boys (like me), and salivation soon follows, however most in the US have not heard the name. They are one of the world’s largest phone producers globally, and make the majority of the worlds phones and until recently usually branded it as someone else’s. The Palm Treo 750 is a good example. They know the brands they make phones for :

O2, T-2, Vodafone , CHT , i-mate , Dopod , NTT DoCoMo, Qtek , Cingular 8525, AT&T, Swisscom , Siemens, SoftBank and others.

This whole thing points to no real standards and too many OS’s for handsets, too many for good 3rd party apps, it doesn’t make sense to have all the VHSs and Betamaxs .. it is stupid an evitable that there would be some consolidation of ideas.

As Steve Ballmer screeched and monkey danced some time is developers… developers.. developers.. developers. For global development, distribution, creativity and common sense to to flurish in the eons to come, a massive (yet suttle) change needs to occur… open source apps for phones, but offering (eventually) consistency.

Why would Google want to bring out 1 more phone when they can work on developing many more… via a single (but modular app) for ALL phones. The money is not in hardware.

A New Age Dawns.

For the first time in history, people are seeing Google for the 1st time not on a PC but on a phone.

If you consider that the flavour of mobile phones now fits into 2 groups (everything or nothing). Everything can be PDA/camera/consumer email, business email, 3G, 4G, wi-fi, Internet(s), blutooth, sexy UI or group 2 just a Phone.

Then an open source open app idea makes sense.

I once pushed a view in the old days of selling the internet as IP over everything, everything over IP.

Now and always it has been about eyeballs and now that the next generation of folks will see the Internet(s) for the 1st time not on a PC but on a mobile device, whomever can control mobile content and thus mobile APIs or the catalyst for those apps wins a chance to offer the masses social networking, like myspace, yourspace, facebook, I-google etc.

So this won’t work in the USA WRONG but if it was right who cares move on. Let the USA catch up later. It is behind now the much of the mobile world any how .



The original John Dvorák Story


<blog author> This high profile semi-anonymous pretentious now often senile author is known to have worked professionally in the ISP/Telco Space in the USA, UK, Europe, and Australia, for over 20 years. He has introduced countless new Internet, and Mobile Phone Projects, for the world’s largest Telco’s, and continues to do the same today. Now an alien in every country he visits or lives, if you use a fixed internet connection in the UK or Europe he introduced ‘it’ the product. If you are pissed off at business always on internet (non-dsl) in the UK it is his fault.