On 7 October 2013 the ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau (ITU-D) released the 5th edition of its Measuring the Information Society (MIS) report, which details various metrics of communications adoption worldwide, including the ICT Development Index (IDI). The IDI captures the level of ICT developments in 157 economies worldwide and compares progress made during the last year. The MIS 2013 also presents the first comprehensive mobile-broadband price data set for almost 130 economies. It features a new model and data to measure the world’s digital native population – those young people who were born into the digital age - and a quantitative overview of digital TV broadcasting trends.. An Executive summary is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. An animated video infographic is below:
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In a report released May 2, 2013, Copyright in the Digital Era: Building Evidence for Policy, authors Stephen A. Merrill and William J. Raduchel of the National Acadamy of Sciences call on federal agencies and foundations to support a broad range of empirical research studies to contribute to the comprehensive review of US copyright law recommended by Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallente, and announced April 24, 2013 by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte. The report also urges the federal government to consider instituting two regular, systematic surveys – one of businesses on their acquisition and use of intellectual property of all types and the other of consumers to understand how digital content is created and used.
From the blurb:
Over the course of several decades, copyright protection has been expanded and extended through legislative changes occasioned by national and international developments. The content and technology industries affected by copyright and its exceptions, and in some cases balancing the two, have become increasingly important as sources of economic growth, relatively high-paying jobs, and exports. Since the expansion of digital technology in the mid-1990s, they have undergone a technological revolution that has disrupted long-established modes of creating, distributing, and using works ranging from literature and news to film and music to scientific publications and computer software.
In the United States and internationally, these disruptive changes have given rise to a strident debate over copyright’s proper scope and terms and means of its enforcement–a debate between those who believe the digital revolution is progressively undermining the copyright protection essential to encourage the funding, creation, and distribution of new works and those who believe that enhancements to copyright are inhibiting technological innovation and free expression.
Copyright in the Digital Era: Building Evidence for Policy examines a range of questions regarding copyright policy by using a variety of methods, such as case studies, international and sectoral comparisons, and experiments and surveys. This report is especially critical in light of digital age developments that may, for example, change the incentive calculus for various actors in the copyright system, impact the costs of voluntary copyright transactions, pose new enforcement challenges, and change the optimal balance between copyright protection and exceptions.
On December 11 2012 Manhattan Borough President, and candidate for City Comptroller, Scott Stringer issued “Start-up City: Growing New York City’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for All“. The report delineates 11 areas in which NYC can act to foster growth and access to its developing tech economy. Section 3 is devoted to connectivity, and is reproduced below:
III. THE “FOURTH UTILITY”: IMPROVING INTERNET CONNECTIVITY IN NEW YORK CITY
“It’s like the elephant in the room is that bandwidth here sucks…There has to be ways for the city to construct much better bandwidth availability for start-ups.” – David Pakman, Partner, Venrock111
Defining the Problem: New York’s lack of reliable, high-speed internet is limiting the growth of Tech 2.0. Though entrepreneurs in New York have access to broadband, many of those we interviewed said that the City’s telecom infrastructure is well behind where it should be for a city vying to be one of the nation’s two leading technology hubs. In fact, many start-ups that have looked for affordable space in former industrial districts outside of Manhattan have had to abandon those plans after discovering highspeed internet connections were not available.
Goal: Improve internet speed and reliability by increasing competition throughout the five boroughs and opening up government property to fiber optic cable.
A new Pew survey Cell Internet Use 2012 finds that Americans are increasingly using cell phones to access the Internet.
Some 88% of U.S. adults own a cell phone of some kind as of April 2012, and more than half of these cell owners (55%) use their phone to go online. We call these individuals “cell internet users” throughout this report, and this represents a notable increase from the 31% of cell owners who said that they used their phone to go online as recently as April 2009.
Moreover, 31% of these current cell internet users say that they mostly go online using their cell phone, and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer. That works out to 17% of all adult cell owners who are “cell-mostly internet users”—that is, who use their phone for most of their online browsing.
The survey reinforces the idea of a “new digital divide”:
Young adults and non-whites are especially likely to use their cell phones for the majority of their online activity:
Nearly half of all 18-29 year olds (45%) who use the internet on their cell phones do most of their online browsing on their mobile device.
Half (51%) of African-American cell internet users do most of their online browsing on their phone, double the proportion for whites (24%). Two in five Latino cell internet users (42%) also fall into the “cell-mostly” category.
Additionally, those with an annual household income of less than $50,000 per year and those who have not graduated college are more likely than those with higher levels of income and education to use their phones for most of their online browsing.
Read the full report:
Dave Burstein in Fast Net News – Russia Passing U.S. In “Fiber” – reports that Russia is on the cusp of passing the USA in terms of percentage of residences reached, either directly by fiber, or by some fiber+LAN system.
All in the name. Korea’s #1 in penetration if 100 megabits on copper from fiber to the basement is “fiber.” Japan is #1 if only fiber all the way to the apartment is considered. The U.S. is far behind in either case, with the larger countries of Europe – except Russia – even further behind. Nearly 60% of Korean homes subscribe to one or the other and over 40% of Japanese. So do 27% of Lithuanians.
Yes, Lithuania leads Europe. They, the Russians and other Eastern Europeans generally deliver broadband by fiber to the basement and copper to the apartment, Speeds are often 100 megabits; Russia often is near the top in average Internet speeds.
“Fiber” in the U.S. only reaches 8% of homes. The vast majority of U.S. fiber lines are Verizon, which has essentially stopped building. Russia is at the same level, expanding rapidly. China is only at 4%, although they are expanding at a rate of 10M a quarter.
In October 2011, the ITU’s Broadband Commission for Digital Development set the target that basic broadband service should cost less than 5% of average monthly income in all countries worldwide by 2015. How many countries already make the grade? And what are prices like in the poorest parts of the world, where broadband could be the critical catalyst for meeting the Millennium Development Goals in areas like education and health? The results are mapped in this stylish video..
As it prepared the 2010 National Broadband Plan the FCC commissioned The Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) to write a report summarizing the state of broadband development in the USA. The report, entitled Broadband in America was delivered in November 2009. Now, in July 2011 CITI has issued a follow-up – Broadband in America – 2nd Edition. The 176 page document, which includes plenty of meaty research, maps the explosive growth of wireless service in the interim period plus other developments including:
- Advances in DSL, including ‘bonding’, will lead to speeds of up to 30mbps on copper.
- AT&T and Verizon aim to provide 50 million homes with 10 Mb/s wire line by 2013.
- Verizon expects to have 94% of the country covered by LTE – 10-12mbps – by 2013.
- AT&T, Verizon, and Quest currently have 5.3m FTTH subscribers, but there are another 770 FTTH ISPs collectively serving another 1.9m premises.
- When AT&T & Verizon finish deploying FIOS & U-Verse they will reach 40% of US households.
- DOCSIS 3.0 deployment is patchy.
- Broadband adoption will reach saturation at around 70% in 2014 with a split of 39% cable to 31% telco.
- 12% of U.S. households still use dial-up and 19% don’t use the Internet at all.
- Prices for wire line are expected to increase 2%/yr, and wireless up to 4%/yr.
- Investment runs at about $33b/yr, increasingly on wireless.
- Less than 50% of backbone capacity is being used.
The latter half of the report is taken up by guest essays, including
- Sharply contrasting views from Blair Levin and Eli Noam on the wire line vs wireless issue.
- Raul Katz gives detailed figures on the economic impact of rural broadband.
- D. Linda Garcia and Tarkan Rosenberg give a history lesson on the role of rural co-operatives in rolling out universal phone service, and then expound on the “diffusion model” as a means of getting through to that last 30% of holdouts.
- Bruce Lincoln gives a practical blueprint for such a diffusion model with his “Advancing Community Broadband” scheme, involving setting up wi-fi networks, plus telework/telehealth centers, in low-income neighborhoods.
Cisco’s Virtual Networking Index, in a report Entering the Zettabyte Era (pdf) issued today Jun 1 2011, predicts that annual global IP traffic (Internet and non-Internet) will grow 400% by 2015 to reach 966 exabytes or nearly 1 zettabyte. The chart below represents Internet traffic.
Other predictions for 2015:
- There will be 3 billion global Internet users, with average bandwidth of 27mbps.
- The number of devices connected to IP networks will be twice as high as the global population.
- There will be 6 million Internet households worldwide generating over a terabyte per month in Internet traffic, up from just a few hundred thousand in 2010 (but most of them will be in Asia).
- Traffic from wireless devices will exceed traffic from wired devices.
- Peak traffic will be equivalent to 500 million people streaming a high-definition video continuously.
Over 60% of the traffic will be video, broken down as follows:
Interestingly the report tackles the topic of possible changes to the asymmetric bandwidth status quo:
With the exception of short-form video and video calling, most forms of Internet video do not have a large upstream component.
As a result, traffic is not becoming more symmetric as many expected when user-generated content first became popular. The emergence of subscribers as content producers is an extremely important social, economic, and cultural phenomenon, but subscribers still consume far more video than they produce. Upstream traffic has been flat as a percentage for several years, according to data from the participants in the Cisco VNI Usage program.
It appears likely that residential Internet traffic will remain asymmetric for the next few years. However, there are a number of scenarios that could result in a move toward increased symmetry.
• Content providers and distributors could adopt P2P as a distribution mechanism. There has been a strong case for P2P as a low-cost content delivery system for many years, yet most content providers and distributors have opted for direct distribution, with the exception of applications such as PPStream and PPLive in China, which offer live video streaming through P2P, and have had great success. If content providers in other regions follow suit, traffic could rapidly become highly symmetric.
• High-end video communications could accelerate, requiring symmetric bandwidth. PC-to-PC video calling is gaining momentum, and the nascent mobile video calling market appears to have promise. If high-end video calling becomes popular, this will move traffic toward symmetry again.
Generally, if service providers provide ample upstream bandwidth, applications that use upstream capacity will begin to appear.
In Januray 2010 analysys mason delivered a report Fibre capacity limitations in access networks to UK Internet regulator Ofcom.
The report, full of technical detail, and with very useful appendices of acronyms and a glossary, concludes that, in the short to medium term, fiber could handle double the predicted traffic. What’s more economies of scale and the implementation of photonic integrated circuit (PIC) technology. As new services become available and providers are forced to upgrade point-to point (PTP) networks would be easier to upgrade than passive optical networks (PON), because in a PTP network there is no passive (or active) equipment in the field and users can be upgraded individually. PON networks (such as FIOS) are cheaper to build than PTP, however operational issues regarding upgrades could prove to be a significant bottleneck, which could, in the worst case, prevent them from being upgraded at all.
As ICANN’s new GTLD process grinds forward, one aspect specified is that new applications should be compared to benchmarks. This required that such benchmarks be established by research. The resulting KPMG study has just been published.
Some of the findings include:
- Most use open source database and server operating systems.
- The tech is not difficult. What has been a problem is accurately predicting take-up.
- There generally has been less take-up that anticipated
- Growth curves vary. What is certain is that immediate rates of take-up are a good indicator of the long term success.
- The majority of respondents indicated that their liquidity improved over time.
- Large registries ran operations in-house and had much much cheaper costs per registration ($1.74) than small registries, who normally outsourced operations ($15).
The report also suggests ICANN’s process is lacking in proper financial scrutiny of applicants