Wednesday, February 19, 2014

FCC Chairman Calls for New Net Neutrality Rules

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced plans to introduce new Net Neutrality rules saying his intent is to "preserved the Internet as an open platform for innovation and expression while providing certainty and predictability in the marketplace."

The announcement comes a month after the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the FCC overstepped its boundaries in setting Net Neutrality rules that compel broadband providers to treat all Internet traffic the same regardless of source.  In January, the court found that even though the FCC has general authority to regulate the Internet, it has previously chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers and the Communications Act expressly prohibits the Commission from regulating them as such. The court therefore decided to vacate portions of the Open Internet Order because broadband providers do not have to meet common carrier obligations.

In a statement, Wheeler said the D.C. Circuit has also previously ruled that the FCC has the legal authority to issue enforceable rules of the road to preserve Internet freedom and openness.  He plans to propose new rules that cover the following:

Enforce and enhance the transparency rule, which requires that network operators disclose how they manage Internet traffic. This is more significant than many people may realize. An explicit purpose of the rule is to afford edge providers the technical information they need to create and maintain their
products and services as well as to assess the risks and benefits of embarking on new projects.

Fulfill the “no blocking” goal. The FCC will consider ways to ensure that edge providers are not unfairly blocked, explicitly or implicitly,from reaching consumers, as well as ensuring that consumers can continue to access any lawful content and services they choose.

Fulfill the goals of the non-discrimination rule.  The FCC should consider (1) setting an enforceable legal standard that provides guidance and predictability to edge providers, consumers, and broadband providers alike; (2) evaluating on a case-by-case basis whether that
 standard is met; and (3) identifying key behaviors by broadband providers that the Commission would view with particular skepticism.

Keep Title II authority on the table -- this gives the FCC the ability to reclassify Internet access service as a telecommunications service.

Forgo judicial review of the Verizon decision. In light of the Court’s finding that the Commission has authority to issue new rules under Section 706 and the ongoing availability of Title II, the Commission will not initiate any further judicial action in connection with the Verizon decision.

Solicit public comment. A new docket called “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet” has been opened for public input.

Hold Internet Service Providers to their commitment. Major Internet service providers have indicated that they will continue to honor the safeguards articulated in the 2010 Open Internet Order.

Enhance competition -- the FCC will look for opportunities to enhance Internet access competition.

http://www.fcc.gov/document/statement-fcc-chairman-tom-wheeler-fccs-open-internet-rules

Cisco Expands its Service Provider Virtualization Platform

Cisco introduced an Evolved Services Platform (ESP) for Service Providers that leverages its software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) offerings.

The Cisco ESP is a unified virtualization and orchestration software platform that creates, automates and provisions services in real time, across compute, storage and network functions, to deliver desired business outcomes for applications running across multiple domains.

Cisco said the primary characteristics of this virtualization and orchestration software platform are:

  • Open: Cisco ESP is multi-vendor and based on open standards and incorporating Openstack and Open Daylight (SDN) protocol suite, it is fully compliant with ETSI NFV MANO, 3GPP and more. With interoperation of third-party software, Cisco ESP works with Cisco’s virtual functions and with other vendors’ functions and applications such as Metaswitch Networks and Openwave Mobility.
  • Extensible: Cisco ESP offers the most comprehensive broad set of capabilities with more on the way and spanning across the entire service provider architecture – cloud, video, mobile and fixed – to provide service providers greater means to optimize their networks or create, automate the creation of new services as the business needs dictate.
  • Elastic: Cisco ESP allows service providers to seamlessly and dynamically scale their existing services while also dramatically accelerating deployment of new services and network functions. Resources are harnessed in an automated way when and where they are needed to enable providers deliver “On Demand” offerings at web speed.

As part of this ESP framework, Cisco is announcing the the first two modules:

  • Video: Cisco Videoscape Cloud DVR Solution – cloud-driven video recording with capture and storage in the cloud instead of the end device. Consumers can restart shows, catch up on past programs, and play back digital video recorder-captured content from anywhere, on any screen. For the service provider, it enables new multi-screen offers. It is currently deployed in a major North American video operator.
  • Mobility: Cisco Virtualized Mobile Internet – New virtualized mobile services, such as sponsored data, where the content provider pays to deliver data to the user, provide new revenue opportunities for service providers. Such capabilities are now possible in an even broader use case with the introduction of the Cisco Quantum Virtualized Packet Core (vPC), the Cisco Virtual Gi-LAN capabilities and the Cisco Quantum Services Bus. It is currently in trials at China Mobile as well as other service providers.


Significantly, Cisco will sell these SDN + NFV solutions in four ways:

Virtual Functions: Individual virtual functions may be purchased independently as a separate module and run in a network over general computing (e.g., hardware independent and hypervisor independent).

Orchestrated: Virtualized functions and orchestration, which enables the benefits of the all the different capabilities to work in a “networked” or “service chaining” approach  to deliver expanded functionality and address even wider market opportunities.

Pod: Virtualized service functions combined with orchestration and a hardware package -- implementation in a Pod approach -- Cisco leads the deployment of the Cisco ESP and offers service level agreements and guaranteed performance, working atop of Cisco infrastructure and including Cisco integration consulting services.

“As a Service”: A model where complete service offers that include virtualized service functions combined with orchestration and delivered through a hosted or third-party cloud for faster time-to-market, using a pay-as-you-go model.

“Service providers success is dependent on providing a consistent experience, agility to roll out new services and the ease at which these services can be ordered, automated, managed and delivered,” said Pankaj Patel, executive vice president and chief development officer, Cisco. “Service providers globally view virtualization not just to reduce costs but to have it work with their infrastructure to provide even greater value by means of increased agility and elasticity. As the industry leader in networking, we are not only committed to but executing on our strategy to enable our customers through this transition.”

http://www.cisco.com

In January, as part of its recently launched Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) initiative, Cisco introduced an Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) Enterprise Module for extending high-performing applications from the data center to wide-area networks (WAN) and local access networks (LAN). The goal is to provide enterprises with complete visibility into their networks, automating network and policy configuration while managing applications across the WAN and access networks.

The Cisco APIC serves as the single point of automation and fabric element management in
both physical and virtual environments.

The Cisco APIC Enterprise Module is constructed of three elements: a consolidated network information database, policy infrastructure and automation.

To address security concerns, Cisco APIC automates network-wide rapid threat detection and mitigation by integrating and automating Cisco Sourcefire  security solutions.  For compliance management across branches and headquarters, Cisco APIC also provides network-wide Quality of Service (QoS), and accelerates Intelligent WAN (IWAN) deployments. It can also be used with third-party solutions to provide an end-to-end WAN orchestration and management.

Google Looks to Expand Fiber Rollout to 34 More U.S. Cities

The Google Fiber projects is looking to expand it rollout beyond Kansas City, Austin and Provo to include up 34 additional cities over the next few years.

The company is now encouraging cities in 8 metro regions across the U.S. to consider undertake a joint planning process to map out a Google Fiber network in detail and also assess what unique local challenges such a rollout might face.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/

Facebook Pays Billions for Whats Apps

Facebook will pay $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in Facebook shares and an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to acquire Whats App for its mobile messaging service.

Some key stats on Whats App:
  • Over 450 million people using the service each month;
  • 70% of those people active on a given day;
  • Messaging volume approaching the entire global telecom SMS volume; and
  • Continued strong growth, currently adding more than 1 million new registered users per day.
Facebook said WhatsApp shares its mission "to bring more connectivity and utility to the world by delivering core internet services efficiently and affordably.  The combination will help accelerate growth and user engagement across both companies. "

"WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. "I've known Jan for a long time and I'm excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected."

Jan Koum, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO, said, "WhatsApp's extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide. We're excited and honored to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world."

What's App is based in Mountain View, California.

http://www.fb.com

http://www.whatsapp.com

Ericsson: World Reaches 6.7 Billion Mobile Lines, 92% Penetration

The total number of mobile subscriptions worldwide as of Q4 2013 reached 6.7 billion, of which 109 million
were new subscriptions added during Q4, according to Ericsson's latest Mobility Report.

Some key findings:

  • The actual number of subscribers is around 4.5 billion, since many have several subscriptions.
  • Global mobile penetration was 92 percent in Q4 2013. 
  • China and India each accounted for around 20 percent of net additions, adding approximately 20 million subscriptions.
  • Mobile subscriptions have grown around 6 percent 
  • year-on-year and 1.5 percent quarter-on-quarter.
  • In Q4 2013, mobile broadband subscriptions grew by around 150 million to 2.1 billion, reflecting a 40 percent year-on-year increase.
  • WCDMA & HSPA subscriptions grew by around 70 million and LTE subscriptions increased by 
  • approximately 40 million, reaching 200 million. 
  • The total number of subscriptions capable of using GSM grew by 100 million, while GSM-only subscriptions were flat.
  • There is continued strong growth in smartphone subscriptions globally, despite a moderating rate of growth in regions such as North America. 
  • Around 1 billion smartphones were sold in 2013. This device represented close to 60 percent of all mobile phones sold in Q4 2013, compared to around 45 percent in Q4 2012. Of all mobile phone subscriptions, around 30 percent are associated with smartphones, leaving considerable room for further uptake
  • LTE subscriptions reached 200 million in Q4 2013 

The report shows that close to 60% of all mobile phones sold in Q4 2013 were smartphones, compared to around 45 percent in Q4 2012. The report also shows that data traffic grew 70% between Q4 2012 and Q4 2013.

Brocade Signs Australia's Stargate for SDN

The Stargate Group, Australia's leading application service provider (ASP) to the mortgage finance sector, has deployed Brocade's NetIron® CER 2000 Ethernet/MPLS routers as a first step toward applying software-defined networking (SDN) to its operations.

Brocade said its networking solution includes multiple routers deployed at Stargate's two data center sites and headquarters. The sites are linked over a Gigabit Ethernet mesh and also connected to two different ISPs, giving Stargate Internet route redundancy. Stargate is running MPLS across its router mesh to increase network resiliency, load-balance its data centers and also mirror transactions between the sites. At each data center, two routers form a high-availability cluster using the Brocade Multi-Chassis Trunking (MCT) feature to create a single logical device that dynamically load-balances traffic. Each router is connected to both data center firewalls, eliminating any single point of failure. The routers themselves are highly reliable devices built to carrier-grade specifications with redundant hot-swappable power supplies and redundant fans.

The Brocade NetIron CER 2000 Series enables SDN by supporting the OpenFlow protocol, which allows direct access to and manipulation of the forwarding plane from an SDN controller. As a next stage, Stargate is currently evaluating the Brocade Virtual ADX Application Delivery Platform, which enables an on-demand service delivery model and extends application delivery service as an "elastic" network component.

"As an application service provider, it is obviously critical to Stargate that its online services are available at all times," said Greig Guy, Brocade country manager for Australia and New Zealand. "Our partner, Mycom, designed a very elegant solution that simplifies the Stargate routing infrastructure while increasing network resiliency to make it virtually failsafe. We are also now engaging with Stargate on how to move ahead with SDN, which will bring major data center operational benefits."

http://www.brocade.com

Pertino Builds its Team for SDN-powered Cloud Networking Service

Pertino, a start-up based in Los Gatos, California, named Bharath Rangarajan as vice president of product and Ritch Haselden as vice president of inside sales.

Pertinno offers a cloud networking service that lets SMBs “unbox” their networks by replacing traditional VPN and network appliances with cloud-based services that can be deployed in a few clicks. Since launching public beta early last year, the company says more than 5,000 customers have created free or paid Pertino cloud networks.

Bharath Rangarajan previously served as senior director of product management at Citrix Systems, where he was responsible for the product strategy, roadmap, and adoption of Citrix’s enterprise mobility and end-user computing solution. He also held senior positions with WebEx (Cisco Systems), GemStone Systems (acquired by VMware in 2010), and Candle Corporation (acquired by IBM Corp in 2004).

Ritch Haselden previously served as vice president of sales at ResponseLINK, a leader in consumer healthcare-related services. Previously, he was vice president of sales and general manager at Rainmaker Systems, a leader in IT contract management, and the co-founder and president of GolfNow, a provider of golf course marketing services that was acquired by NBC Sports.

http://www.pertino.com

See also