Thursday, September 29, 2011

Verizon Files Legal Challenge to Net Neutrality Rules

Verizon Communications filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit. seeking to block Net Neutrality rules that are expected to go into effect on November 20th. The FCC approved the Net Neutrality rules in December 2010, but they were only published in the Federal Register in late September. Verizon had already challenged the regulations in court but could not proceed with its appeal under the rules were officially published by the Federal government.

"Verizon is fully committed to an open Internet. We are deeply concerned by the FCC's assertion of broad authority to impose potentially sweeping and unneeded regulations on broadband networks and services and on the Internet itself. We believe this assertion of authority is inconsistent with the statute and will create uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers," stated Michael E. Glover, Verizon senior vice president and deputy general counsel.
  • On 21-December-2010, The FCC approved new rules governing the management of Internet traffic, with the three Democrats on the commission voting in favor of the measure and the two Republicans voting against.

    Key elements of the new Order include:

    Rule 1: Transparency -- A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service shall publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services sufficient for consumers to make informed choices regarding use of such services and for content, application, service, and device providers to develop, market, and maintain Internet offerings.

    Rule 2: No Blocking -- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management. A person engaged in the provision of mobile broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block consumers from accessing lawful websites, subject to reasonable network management; nor shall such person block applications that compete with the provider's voice or video telephony services, subject to reasonable network

    Rule 3: No Unreasonable Discrimination -- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic over a consumer's broadband Internet access service. Reasonable network management shall not constitute unreasonable discrimination.

    Significantly, "reasonable network management" is defined as follows: "A network management practice is reasonable if it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service. Legitimate network management purposes include: ensuring network security and integrity, including by addressing traffic that is harmful to the network; addressing traffic that is unwanted by users (including by premise operators), such as by providing services or capabilities consistent with a user's choices regarding parental controls or security capabilities; and by reducing or mitigating the effects of congestion on the network."

    The FCC rules go on to say that "Pay for Priority" delivery of packets on wireline broadband networks is likely to run afoul of the "no unreasonable discrimination" clause because it would represent a significant departure from current practices.

    Mobile broadband is largely exempt from the "reasonable network management" clause, as the document acknowledges that this market is an earlier-stage platform than fixed broadband, and it is rapidly evolving.

WIND Awarded 800MHz and 2600MHz Spectrum in Italy

WIND Telecomunicazioni S.p.A., which is a division of VimpleCom, successfully bid for spectrum in the 800MHz and 2600MHz frequencies following the completion of the competitive spectrum auction initiated by the Italian government on August 29, 2011.

Specifically, WIND has been awarded two blocks FDD (5+5 MHZ paired each) of spectrum in the 800MHz frequency range and four FDD (5+5 MHz paired) blocks in the 2,600MHz frequency range for a total consideration of EUR 1,120 million. WIND will be required to pay an amount of approximately EUR 682 million within 30 days from the completion of the auction while the remaining amount of approximately EUR 438 million will be payable over five yearly installments.

The first spectrum payment will be funded by a combination of cash on hand and draw down under a EUR 600 million bridge loan facility available to WIND and provided by a group of leading international banks.

The 2,600MHz spectrum will be available immediately whereas the 800MHz spectrum will be available for use by the awardees at the beginning of 2013 and both will have a validity until 2029.

WIND said it is planning to launch LTE service.

Intel Labs Opens Center for Pervasive Computing at U of Washington

Intel has opened its latest Science and Technology Center to focus on pervasive computing. The new facility, which is hosted by the University of Washington, will bring together researchers from five other universities as well. will focus on developing applications that are organized into the following themes: low-power sensing and communication; understanding human state and activities; and personalization and adaptation.

"The next generation of pervasive computing systems will continuously learn environments, objects, schedules and preferences of their users," said Limor Fix, Intel's director of academic programs and research. "These future apps will be capable of supporting complex tasks such as cooking a soufflé or building a complicated piece of furniture. Consumers will have a far richer experience than the technologies of today can offer and will be able to spend far more time achieving their goals than figuring out how to make the technology work."

The new Intel ISTC for pervasive computing is the fifth center to open this year.

US DoD Certifies Terremark's Infrastructure-as-a-Service

Verizon's Terremark hosting division announced that its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution has been certified for compliance with Department of Defense (DoD) security requirements, as tested and verified by the DoD Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process (DIACAP). Terremark works with URS Corporation's information technology business URS-Apptis.

DIACAP certification verifies that the information systems the DoD utilizes for its critical applications are highly secure and reliable.

SOFTBANK MOBILE selects Ericsson for Packet Core

SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp. is implementing Ericsson's Evolved Packet Core (EPC) for its next generation mobile broadband network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson noted that its all-IP mobile core network solution also supports various types of access, including both fixed and mobile networks. For example, it supports the operator's existing HSPA, WCDMA and next-generation LTE access networks, as well other network technologies, such as Wi-Fi.

SOFTBANK MOBILE currently has more than 26 million subscribers in Japan.

SOFTBANK's Wireless City Planning Pick Alcatel-Lucent for Backhaul

Wireless City Planning, a new wholesale mobile network operator in Japan led by SOFTBANK, is preparing the launch of its AXGP Mobile Broadband network, which is based on technology developed in Japan that is highly compatible with TD-LTE. Alcatel-Lucent confirmed that it is supplying the IP networking technology to create high-capacity links between base stations throughout the operator's new network. Specifically, the network will use the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router and 7210 Service Access Switch.

Wireless City Planning will launch its mobile broadband service on November 1 in parts of Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka. The service uses the 2.5 GHz band and promises downlinks of up to 110 Mbps and uplinks of 15 Mbps.

Colt Partners with Ciena on Enterprise Managed Services

Ciena announced a partnership with Colt focused on enterprise managed services. The two companies will enrich the performance, reliability and security of Colt's managed High Speed Services portfolio with sophisticated, integrated wire-speed encryption capabilities from Ciena's Packet-Optical Transport portfolio.

Colt is deploying solutions from Ciena's 5000 Series throughout its regional managed metro networks to power its assured encryption data connectivity services, in 14 major European markets – including Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.