QuickLinks - Internet access and use
QuickLinks - Internet access and use
Issue no. 310 - 16 May 2004
- UK - Broadband 'set for speed boost'
Broadband may be today's technology but the future lies with 'broaderband'. So says the media-to-telecoms regulator Ofcom as it plans what the UK's telecoms and broadcast landscape will look like for the next decade. The regulator is keen to get its role in the changing broadband landscape right as the UK moves towards superfast internet networks. It is currently consulting the industry on how to prepare for the world of what it dubs 'broaderband'.
- EU - Member States submit overdue broadband strategies
All fifteen of the old Member States have now submitted their national strategies to support widespread roll-out and take-up of high-speed Internet connections (broadband), the Commission announced on 11 May. It is expected to issue a more detailed report on the strategies in June 2004. Commission Press Release and draft Communciation. See also the Staff Working Paper Annexes of the National Broadband Strategies Communication.
- OECD - Britain will 'lead the world' in broadband
The UK will become a world leader in the rollout of high-speed Internet services, according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). After years of lagging behind other countries in terms of both availability and take-up, Britain now looks like a trailblazer, at least in terms of coverage. According to the OECD's report, DSL will be available on 95 percent of UK telephone lines by the end of this year. No other major industrialised nation is expected to boast such high availability. This percentage is only expected to be matched by Finland, and bettered by Belgium, Denmark and Switzerland. The OECD's figures are largely based on projections for the rollout of BT's ADSL network.
Issue no. 309 - 9 May 2004
- IRC - Pirates and hackers roam in the Internet's Wild West
(New York Times)
Even as much of the Internet has come to resemble a pleasant, well-policed suburb, a little-known neighborhood known as Internet Relay Chat remains the Wild West. While copyright holders and law enforcement agencies take aim at their adversaries on Web sites and peer-to-peer file-sharing networks like Kazaa, IRC remains the place where people with something to hide go to do business. Probably no more than 500,000 people are using IRC worldwide at any time, and many of them are engaged in legitimate activities, network administrators say. Yet that pirated copy of Microsoft Office or Norton Utilities that turns up on a home-burned CD-ROM may well have originated on IRC. And the Internet viruses and "denial of service" attacks that periodically make news generally get their start there, too. see also NY Times Discovers IRC, Freaks Out (Silicon Valley - Dan Gillmor's eJournal).
- With digital cameras, the world is watching
(New York Times)
To the legions of Internet photo-bloggers who make a habit of snapping and circulating digital pictures of everyday life, the unofficial images of Iraqi prisoner abuse appearing in news reports recently may be shocking, but the fact of their existence is unremarkable. "People just capture whatever goes on in front of their eyes, and then it's on the Internet two minutes later," said Marc Brown, co-founder of Buzznet, an online repository for amateur photographers. "That's the whole ethos of this technology." "This is as far as I know the first instance where digitally generated images made by an amateur photographer have erupted onto the scene of current events and had an impact," said A.D. Coleman, a photography critic and historian. "But it won't be the last."
Issue no. 308 - 2 May 2004
- EU - Telecoms ministers and CEOs step up Internet efforts
Meeting at a major conference in Ireland, participants placed emphasis on bolstering demand for high-speed broadband connections while keeping the Internet safe from spam and harmful content. The EU broadband conference was convened by the Irish Presidency to provide a forum for EU communication ministers and industry leaders to consider future trends and strategies for the delivery of broadband throughout the EU.
- UK - BT broadens broadband Britain
High speed internet access will be available in the most remote areas of Britain from the Scottish Highlands to Dartmoor in Devon under plans unveiled by BT today. 'Broadband Britain' moved a step closer to reality as BT unveiled a new strategy to accelerate its plans to make high speed internet access available to everyone, including those in most rural areas. The telecoms giant said that 99.6% of British homes and businesses would have access to high speed internet services by summer 2005. "
Issue no. 307 - 25 April 2004
- EU - Ministers take stock of progress in stimulating demand for broadband
Fresh impetus for the drive to roll out high-speed broadband connections, and boost the quality of the content and services they carry to businesses and citizens across Europe, should come from a Ministerial Conference held by the EU's Irish Presidency in Dundalk. Developing content and services to stimulate the take-up of broadband connections is viewed as vital to the take-up of information and communication technology, and hence to competitiveness and productivity growth, across the EU. A little over a year after the first EU-level discussions on broadband issues, Member States will compare progress in rolling out broadband networks at home. They will also discuss issues hampering the development of innovative content with CEOs spanning the broadband value chain across Europe."
Issue no. 303 - 29 February 2004
- Internet access in hotels is fast becoming a standard amenity
Just as they take for granted air-conditioning and cable TV, business travellers increasingly expect to find broadband-internet access in their hotel rooms. Nearly 500,000 hotel rooms around the world will have high-speed internet access by the end of the year.
Issue no. 299 - 24 January 2004
Issue no. 298 - 18 January 2004
- My So-Called Blog
(New York Times)
Teenagers' use of web logs and instant messages.
- UK - The town that turned off BT
The residents of one Yorkshire town, Hebden Bridge, got so fed up with being passed over for broadband access that they set up Britain's first ISP cooperative.
Issue no. 297 - 11 January 2004
- Competition in Broadband Provision and its Implications for Regulatory Policy
by Dan Maldoom, Richard Marsden, J. Gregory Sidak, Hal Singer. This report examines mass-market broadband access and take-up, analyzing the current and prospective level of competition and drawing implications for public policy. The report was commissioned by The Brussels Round Table, a forum for leading European telecommunication operators and equipment manufacturers, including Alcatel, BT, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, France Telecom, Siemens, Telefonica de Espana, and Telecom Italia.
- Broadband for the unbelievers
There was much back-slapping at the end of last year as broadband connections in the UK soared past 3m. And barely a week goes by without BT trumpeting its latest broadband success, whether it is a price reduction or a rise in the number of regional exchanges given the chance to upgrade to the brave new world of broadband. But the relative success in convincing three million customers to upgrade to high-speed broadband was the easy part. The majority of those customers were frustrated internet fanatics just waiting for BT to get its broadband act together and stop prevaricating over reducing the wholesale price. Moving beyond the 3m mark will prove far harder
- US - That Parent-Child Conversation Is Becoming Instant, and Online
(New York Times)
Instant messaging, long a part of teenagers' lives, is working its way into the broader fabric of the American family.
Issue no. 296 - 4 January 2004
Issue no. 294 - 14 December 2003
- FR - ADSL: baisse des tarifs de gros de France Télécom
L´opérateur historique a obtenu du gouvernement la diminution de ses tarifs de gros ADSL. Sa filiale Wanadoo est la première à en bénéficier et peut ainsi diminuer le prix de ses offres grand public. Mais les concurrents Free et LDCom ont déjà répliqué.
Issue no. 293 - 7 December 2003
- CN - Study of Internet use and its impact in China
A two-year study of Internet use and its impact in China, Surveying Internet Usage and Impact in Twelve Chinese Cities, reveals that the key drivers behind its growth are market forces, including people's increasing desire to go online and competition among service providers, and the government's view of the information technology sector as an engine for economic growth. The study also examines the demographics and attitudes of Internet users in China, finding that a majority of them expect the Internet will bring more freedom of speech and create more opportunities to express their political views.
- UK - Kids key to closing the digital divide
BT wants the younger generation to encourage their technology-fearing elders to embrace technology and the Web, so closing the digital divide and boosting e-commerce in the UK. The telco has started a campaign to encourage children to get their families onto the Web. The initiative, called Internet Rangers, gives advice and encouragement on how to get parents and grandparents to swallow the Net bug.
- US - Fiber to the People
by Lawrence Lessig. When customers own the network, everyone wins. Burlington, Vermont, like many municipalities across North America, it has decided to construct an advanced fiber network on its own. The AFN is being deployed first to support city services. Then, as part of the four-phase project, this municipality of just 40,000 will extend blazingly fast Internet service to businesses and residences. To many, this just looks like more socialism from Vermont. Why should government be in the business of providing high-speed networks? The answer, as Cornell economist Alan McAdams argues, has nothing to do with Karl Marx and everything to do with basic economics. AFNs are natural monopolies. Most economists would leap from the premise of a natural monopoly to the conclusion that such a monopoly must be regulated. But regulation is not the end that McAdams seeks. Ownership is.
Issue no. 292 - 23 November 2003
- KR - Korea plans ultra fast broadband
South Korea is embarking on a huge project to make its national broadband network even faster. The government and telecommunication companies will spend 2.1 trillion won (£1.06bn) to upgrade Korea's network. When the project ends in 2010 the top speed of South Korea's core broadband infrastructure will be 100mbps. The government said it would link up with the country's wireless networks to create a ubiquitous system that boosts e-health and education initiatives.
Issue no. 291 - 15 November 2003
- ITU - Results of Meeting on international Internet connectivity
The European Commission has published the results of the ITU Joint Rapporteurs' Group meeing on international Internet connectivity discussions held in Brussels on 20-21 October 2003. There is a proposed modification of ITU-T Recommendation D.50 as well as interesting presentations from Ed Rushton, Cable and Wireless: Internet Interconnection (PowerPoint), Marilyn Cade, AT&T: Global International Internet Capacity and Traffic Data (PDF) and Corporate Maps Showing Global Networks and Connectivity (PDF), Russell Southwood, Balancing Act: Africa - Local IXPs and Regional Carriers (PowerPoint), and Nguyen Xuan Quong, Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Corporation: Scenario of Internet in Vietnam (PowerPoint). The conclusions will be presented to ITU-T Study Group 3 during its forthcoming meeting on 17-21 November 2003 in Geneva.
- UK - Red tape 'stopping broadband coverage'
E-commerce minister Stephen Timms has called on broadband internet providers to hasten its introduction across the country. His plea coincided with an industry demand for lighter regulation. BT submitted evidence to a Commons trade and industry select committee hearing on broadband, asking for less red tape.
- Europe leads U.S. in linking PC 'grids'
(New York Times)
When Novartis, the Swiss-based pharmaceutical company, needed a new supercomputer for designing drugs, it found that it already had one - hidden in the unused computing power in the thousands of personal computers in its offices. Novartis used American software technology to harness the power of its office PC's, but European and American scientists and government officials said Europe was moving faster than the United States to capitalize on the approach, which is called grid computing.
Issue no. 286 - 3 October 2003
- Grid - Huge computing power goes online
The first phase of an ambitious computing network designed to handle huge amounts of data has been launched. The network, dubbed the Grid, has been set up by the Cern labs in Geneva to tap into the processing power of computers in 12 countries. The aim of the project is to handle data from an experiment on how the Universe began. Cern believes the Grid could eventually provide people access to a vast pool of processing power from their desktops.
Issue no. 283 - 14 September 2003
- AOL's Appeal to Youth
Too busy to read your child a bedtime story? Not to worry. America Online wants to come to your rescue, with a new online service for kids that will, among other things, allow your little one to choose a wholesome bedtime story to be read aloud by the computer. It is part of a new business strategy at struggling Dulles-based America Online, which has been losing subscribers who are switching to high-speed Internet connections offered by cable television and telephone companies. The fresh approach is a bid to hold onto more of its existing subscribers by appealing to their 6-to-12-year-old children with new online games and programming, called "KOL," which will be packaged as part of the basic AOL service.
- File swappers face data limits
Net service providers and network managers are struggling to cope with the deluge of data that peer-to-peer systems can generate. Many are adopting tools that limit how much of a network file-sharing systems can sequester. Some organisations are imposing daily limits on how much people can download. Persistent offenders who regularly exceed their quota are being punished with long-term download limits.
Issue no. 280 - 24 August 2003
- UK - Broadband - a consumer guide
A guide to encourage a better understanding amongst residential consumers of what broadband services are available and to enable consumers to take advantage of market opportunities resulting from competition.
Issue no. 279 - 17 August 2003
- Golden blogs
Blogging, to the horror of some, is trying to go commercial. Something is afoot in the still rather geeky world of "blogging" that could make publishing web logs as mainstream as e-mailing or instant messaging. AOL, a big internet service provider, is getting ready to offer its members free blogging in a few weeks' time. This follows Google, the world's most popular search engine, which in February bought the company that makes Blogger, a free programme for publishing web logs.
- Internet traffic growth: Sources and implications
(University of Minnesota)
by Andrew M. Odlyzko. The high tech bubble was inflated by myths of astronomical Internet traffic growth rates. Yet although these myths were false, Internet traffic was increasing very rapidly, close to doubling each year since 1997. Moreover, it continues growing close to this rate. ... Evidence about past and current growth rates and their sources is presented, together with speculations about the future. The expected rapid but not astronomical growth of Internet traffic is likely to have important implications for networking technologies that are deployed and for industry structure. Backbone transport is likely to remain a commodity and be provided as a single high quality service. It is probable that backbone revenues will stay low, as the complexity, cost, and revenue and profit opportunities continue to migrate towards the edges of the network.
Issue no. 277 - 30 July 2003
- Putting All Your E-Mail in One Basket
(New York Times)
For much of the working population, e-mail is not only available but indispensable, a tool not just for work but for maintaining personal bonds. Many workers are accustomed to using a work computer and e-mail address to stay in touch with friends and family in the course of the day. Yet with the convenience comes risk. Although many people are aware that they may be sacrificing privacy by using workplace e-mail, they are sometimes indiscreet in what they write. And for those who spend years in a single job, the e-mail address becomes part of their identity. Leaving a job and its e-mail address can cause practical and emotional upheaval.
- UK - Surfing Cornwall, new style
actnow, an EU-funded scheme to encourage broadband take-up in Cornwall has become a beacon of hope to internet users in remote areas across Europe.
Issue no. 275 - 14 June 2003
- Australia's great broadband disaster
Australia faces the prospect of being a broadband desert. With less than 2% of the population using a broadband connection, Australia now ranks 23rd on the global league table of broadband connectivity, behind 18 OECD countries as well as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Estonia. And it is sinking.
Issue no. 274 - 9 June 2003
- Blogs in the frame
It's all very well having a camera in your mobile phone, but what do you do with it? And who can you send pictures to when none of your friends has a similar phone or use a picture messaging network? Last week, a new European venture was launched with the aim of creating a use for all that technology, as well as hitching itself to the latest online bandwagon - blogging. The site, 20six.co.uk, allows mobile phone users to post pictures and text to personal journals or "blogs". It's a process that has come to be known as "mobloggling" or "photo-logging". With the addition of mobile video, it is now even possible to "video-blog" or "vlog".
Issue no. 273 - 1 June 2003
- IR - Blogs Opening Iranian Society?
Iranians are using the latest technology to modernize their society and adopt Western ways without giving up their heritage. There are now roughly 12,000 Farsi blogs created by Iranians, with more coming online every day.
Issue no. 272 - 24 May 2003
- UK - No state handouts for broadband
The government has no plans to subsidise broadband services to ensure they are available in remote areas of the UK, E-commerce Minister Stephen Timms has insisted. Encouraging competition between service providers was a better way than providing hand-outs for getting rural communities online.
- Middle Schoolers, Letting Their Fingers Do the Talking
In what may be a permanent shift, kids are communicating online rather than by phone. And as they get older, when they do use the phone, it's more likely to be a cell, and even that may be for text messaging rather than talking. see also IM from anywhere in your house (MSNBC).
Issue no. 269 - 6 May 2003
- UK - Award for child soldiers site
A website has been honoured for its role in helping former child soldiers in Sierra Leone recover from their ordeal. Childsoldiers.org has won a Cable and Wireless Childnet Award, which recognises the best websites for children from all over the world. The Sierra Leonean site allows former child solders to talk about their experiences through writings, drawing or music, as well as exchange e-mails with other teens from around the world.
Issue no. 267 - 21 April 2003
- UK - Campaigners call for unlimited broadband
A lobby group has been launched in the UK to campaign for unlimited broadband access. AntiCap UK has grown out of cable firm ntl's decision to limit the amount of downloads customers can make to one gigabyte per day. Many of the founders of the campaign are subscribers to ntl's fast net service and have been angered by the capping, which ntl introduced without warning.
- UK - ISPs to cut business broadband charges
A number of internet service providers (ISPs) are cutting the cost of ADSL broadband access to business customers, and more are expected to follow suit.
- WthRemix Winners Announced
The contest to redesign the World Wide Web Consortium's homepage has announced its winners, judged on criteria including standards compliance, accessibility, graceful degradation, and aesthetics.
Issue no. 266 - 6 April 2003
- UK - Oftel pushes for cheaper narrowband Internet
Oftel is pushing for the cost of BT's wholesale unmetered narrowband Internet access products to be cut by 17 percent. The telecoms regulator said that some of the charges that BT levies on the service providers that use its network to offer dial-up services are no longer fair. Oftel wants these costs to be dropped by BT, and claims that this would be good news for consumers. see Intelligent Network (IN) Charge for DLE and ST FRIACO.
- Streaming video hits prime time
Streaming video is coming of age as numerous Internet news and entertainment outlets tout new programming and combined subscription services geared toward broadband audiences.
- UK - Broadband price drop is fix, say ISPs
Internet service providers have reacted angrily to BT's latest broadband price cuts, claiming they will be unable to pass on savings to consumers and calling on regulators to step in. An AOL spokesman said while BT has dropped the monthly wholesale price it has doubled the price it charges to ISPs to activate a new account from £25 to £50. see also BT cuts price of broadband;
Issue no. 264 - 23 March 2003
Issue no. 262 - 9 March 2003
- UK - Wireless net offered with a pint
People will soon be able to surf the internet from the comfort of their local pub as wireless hotspots reach out to the country's favourite location. There are already around 200 so-called wireless hotspots in cafes, hotel and service stations across the UK. In July, this network will extend to 3,000 pubs in the UK.
Issue no. 260 - 23 February 2003
- Europe - More ISPs 'to impose download limits'
Jupiter Research warned that file sharing is growing "at a phenomenal rate", and that the sheer volume of music and movie filesbeing transferred between users is putting a huge burden on broadband service providers. According to Jupiter, some broadband ISPs in Europe are finding that over 50 percent of the traffic on their networks is caused by P2P file-sharing.
- OECD - Broadband Access for Business
With over 50 million subscribers in the OECD, broadband access is key for economic growth and development. This report examines broadband access development for businesses. It focuses on short distance leased lines and new forms of broadband access.
Issue no. 259 - 9 February 2003
- Chat Network Nixes File Sharing
One of the earliest hosts of online file trading has decided to abandon the controversial practice and return to its roots as a real-time chat network. DALnet, one of the largest Internet relay chat networks and a forefather of Napster and Kazaa, announced it would ban channels whose primary purpose is to distribute files beginning March 1.
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