Senate Moves to Roll Back Privacy Rules

Carl Weinschenk

The Senate this week voted to void privacy rules that were promulgated at the end of the Obama Administration by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The Senate used the Congressional Review Act, which allows late date rules of one administration to be rolled back by the next. The FCC has already voted to stay privacy rules.

The rules required internet service providers (ISPs) to get customer permission to share personal information that they gather. ISPs want to be able to sell that data and are two steps away from having that happen: passage by the House of Representatives and President Trump’s signature.

IoT Roaming Small, but Will Expand Quickly

The Roaming Consulting (ROCCO) released a study this week on Internet of Things (IoT) roaming. The finding is that only 5 percent of mobile network operator revenue is from IoT roaming today. That is not the whole story, however. The firm said that responses suggest that the percentage will increase significantly.


By 2020, survey responses indicated, 20 percent to 30 percent of MNO revenue will be generated in this way. Some MNOs will generate half their revenue by IoT roaming. Almost 70 percent said that they find inbound and outbound IoT roaming “interesting” or “very interesting.”

Should Companies Buy 802.11ac Wave 2 Equipment Now?

There is a natural inclination for corporate users to buy the latest available technology. It’s human nature and in many cases makes technical sense.

But not always. Jon Gold at Network World points out that 802.11ac wave 2 access points (APs) are starting to crowd wave 1 devices in sales. The sticking point, he points out, is that these APs are not particularly useful – at least not yet:

But it’s unlikely that wave 2 technology, in and of itself, is something an enterprise really needs right now, according to some experts. The main issue is that, since there are almost no laptops, smartphones or other endpoints on the market right now that use wave 2, the most innovative features of the technology simply won’t work.

The incremental benefits of Wave 2 are also beyond the needs of most businesses. And, finally, the differences between Wave 2 and later version Wave 1 chipsets and filters are not that great.

There’s also a rationale for going with Wave 2 even now, however. Since the refresh cycles for APs is very long – Gold says it can be seven years – buying them now in anticipation of appropriate equipment is not necessarily a bad idea. As usual, companies must decide based on their unique circumstances.

Both Democrats and Republicans Like Dig One Idea

Stop the press: Ars Technica has found a topic on which Democrats and Republicans agree. It is dig once policies, which focus on having construction crews install conduit whenever they are building new roads or sidewalks. The conduit can be empty; inserting cable if it is needed later can be done at a lower cost and with less disruption than digging again.

The idea, the story says, has been around for years. Dig once seems to be getting a boost in Congress. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) held a hearing this week that included discussion of the idea. Nothing is straightforward in Washington, however. Despite the rare bipartisan support, it is unclear if a proposal from Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA), which was used in the hearing, will actually get a vote. Eshoo is a longtime dig once advocate.

The Dangers of the IIoT
There are (at least) two Internet of Things (IoT). The one that includes fitbits and connected surveillance cameras is one. The other, which is more hidden, is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). As the name implies, the IIoT controls the factory floors, industrial loading docks and myriad other places where big machines and processes dominate. The IIoT is hugely valuable for these venues. It offers the ability to collect massive amounts of data that can be fed into Big Data platforms, boiled down and turned into efficiency gains.

As usual, however, there are great dangers. Semiconductor Engineering’s Ed Sperling looks at the benefits and dangers of the IIoT. On the security front, there are many threats. Some can lead to total breaches and others to slow and steady data leaks. The latter, Sperling says that experts say, are more common.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.

 


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