FCC Expects Industry to Voluntarily Maintain Open Internet

    A major philosophical difference between Democrats and Republicans is the way in which goals are accomplished: The former favors government intervention and control while the latter thinks that market forces are better able to get the job done. Generally speaking.

    That distinction could come into play as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moves to roll back net neutrality rules. This week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai suggested that the market can achieve the goals that the broad set of net neutrality rules and regulations established. Reuters reports that Pai told telecommunications trade groups that the FCC wants the industry to “voluntarily agree to maintain an open internet.”

    The FCC offered no comment, but those at the meeting said that Pai wants companies to put open internet wording in their terms of service, which would make them binding. Whether this could be required once the net neutrality laws are abolished is unclear, the story says. The process of changing the rules could begin by the end of this month.

    Security Pros: “Do As I Say, Not As I Do”

    Imagine if you took a safe driving course, then walked with the instructor to the parking lot and watched her pull away – without fastening her seatbelt. That “do as I say and not as I do” attitude was essentially what security firm Thycotic found in the results of a survey conducted earlier this year at the RSA Conference in San Francisco.

    Almost 300 security professionals responded to the survey. Some results: 33 percent have gone more than a year since changing their social network password and 20 percent have never changed it. Thirty percent, the company found, use birthdays, addresses, pet names and kids’ names for their social network passwords, according to Dark Reading.

    OPNFV Debuts Danube

    The OPNFV Project this week released Danube, the fourth iteration of its open source platform. The goal, according to Network World, is to help service providers and organizations “to get a better handle on virtualization, SDN and cloud services.”

    Danube brings DevOps, the new approach to development, to network functions virtualization (NFV). It continues the integration of NFV into the development stack. One new bit of functionality is the capability of NFV networking services to be delivered in an on-demand fashion:

    The idea is to less tightly couple compute and network systems so you can more easily swap in and out various network control mechanisms such as SDN controllers or native Neutron and Open Virtual Network.

    Rural Carriers Still Struggle

    One of the age old issues in telecommunications is supporting rural subscribers in a way that makes financial sense.

    RCR Wireless offered an interesting report on a panel at the Competitive Carriers Association Mobile Carriers Show in Las Vegas. The bottom line is that no solutions have been found, but emerging technology is offering some relief.

    The panel, “Connecting America the Beautiful,” said the financial equations remain difficult. The writer paraphrased a comment by Jay Bluhm, the vice president for Network Planning at Sprint:

    Bluhm added that while advances in network technology like LTE-Advanced and plans for “5G” will continue to drop the price involved in delivering a “bit” of data,” what’s not changing is the service model with siting and leasing costs remaining a significant area for capital expenses.

    The good news is that 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) are helping. 5G, for instance, could bring fixed wireless to more areas and thereby lower costs. The IoT can be useful in rural use cases, such as monitoring and controlling irrigation. That, too, would improve the financial equation.

    Device Prices Set to Rise: Gartner

    Gartner released research this week that predicts end-user spending on devices will grow 2 percent this year.

    The growth will not be uniform. The firm concluded that mobile phone spending will see the biggest increasing. Spending will reach $400 million, a jump of 4.3 percent over last year. In developed economies, end users are upgrading to better and more feature-rich phones. In developing economies, a general move to smartphones is not yet in the cards for most. However, there is a migration to better and more expensive basic phones.

    The firm found that desktop devices and notebook PCs will increase in price by a more modest 1.4 percent. A driving force is the increased cost of components, especially dynamic random access memory (DRAM), the press release said.

    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 and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.


    Carl Weinschenk
    Carl Weinschenk
    Carl Weinschenk Carl Weinschenk Carl Weinschenk is a long-time IT and telecom journalist. His coverage areas include the IoT, artificial intelligence, artificial intelligence, drones, 3D printing LTE and 5G, SDN, NFV, net neutrality, municipal broadband, unified communications and business continuity/disaster recovery. Weinschenk has written about wireless and phone companies, cable operators and their vendor ecosystems. He also has written about alternative energy and runs a website, The Daily Music Break, as a hobby.

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