Archive for February, 2008

More about my current Cyberlaw class and the FCC hearing

Posted in The Law on February 25th, 2008

These are two other live blogs on the hearing, the first being the course’s blog as a whole.  The direct link to the live blog on the course website is here.

LiveBlogging the FCC Conference Part IV

Posted in cyberlaw, The Internet on February 25th, 2008

Video Comments:

Sarah McKee (retired Federal Attorney): Wanted to hear from non-techies how the ‘net improves their lives, and about ‘net neutrality.  She plays music for cancer and other hospital patients.  To organize them, they need the internet, without it they would not be able to operate.

LiveBlogging the FCC Conference Part III

Posted in The Law on February 25th, 2008


Q: Best case scenario network?

A: Their business follows broadband – hence a lot of oportunity in Asia (i.e. China and Japan) Can work when we understand what is being done to them.  They rely on the structure of the internet to habndle things like basic congestion control.  has been functioning for a long time with Forsythe’s protocols. That is where the purview of basic communications take place.

Q: Is that the basis or one of the points of BitTorrent Technology?

If they can develop technology that works with cable, they will have a competitive advantage. because it is a closed commercial servcive they have innovated a lot in the area.

Q: If your protocol were not to work on a specific type of network, and they were to adopt a disclosure of this – we have public disclosure requirement on food, even though it is competitive, how would you feel about such a requirement?

A: There is considerable disclosure on the function of bittorrent.

Q: Is the application developer or the network operator the one who ought to be adapting?  The expectation is that if you have internet service, your app can function regardless of who is providing it. it is like telling people n ot to speed, but not disclosing the speed limit.  What is missing here from the current disclosures is there is no way for the applicaitons to conform becaus there is no alternative information being provided.  Not a simple problem to solve, but there need sot be more back and forth about how they are expected to behave.

LiveBlogging the FCC Conference Part II

Posted in The Law on February 25th, 2008

* Scott Smyers, Senior Vice President, Network & Systems Architecture Division, Sony Electronics Inc

Competition in the video content distribution space would be advantageous, and allow new providers to enter the market. Sony experiences competition a little differntly.  There are over 80 TV manufactureres, every year costs go down and technology improves.  This is not the case in the video content distributon space.  He hopes the Commission will recognize the alue of competitors entering this new maarketplace.

ISPs make rational busines decisions when designing and deploying their networks. They must make sure t remains useful for at least basic internet traffic.  They must find a means of coping with bandwith scarcity – which can result from over suppy or ver-demand, and overuse.

LiveBlogging the FCC Conference

Posted in The Law on February 25th, 2008

* Eric Klinker, Chief Technology Officer, BitTorrent 

Comcast has introduced the idea of blocking BitTorrent.  The speaker is dicussing the potential of this medium to have beneficial uses for the ‘net.  It has many legitimate uses, including those companies that use it as a free distribution stream for their content, like Fox and Warner.  Blocking this technology under the mantle of ‘network maintance’ would block the potential development that we might see in this area.

There is a lot of congestion on the network, though.  but this is evidence that we are no country for old Broadband. Survival of the ‘net as a whole means that content providers are transparent in the way they deal with the internet.  He wishes there were a way to do this without regulation.

David Reed: (Adjunct Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab) Network Management of High-Speed internet providers.

Potential for worldwide internet to work for all users.  Datagram – there are only four items stamped on the outside: origination address, destination address, protocol indicator, and the directions for how it should be delivered. The content is inside the envelope – this is crucial to the nwtorks ability to adapt to new techniques.

Content is meaningful only to the sending and receiving hosts.  When congestion becomes extreme in autonomous systems it is common to discard the envelope – the sender is responsible for retransmitting the content in a new envelope.

Responsibility for indicating priority s part of this particular TCP. Comcast secretly used a different system.  Proviers must use standard mechanisms – it it doesn’t like them it has to bring its problem to the IEPF along with proposed solutions.   When they participate, they agree to do so according to the standards of the internet as a whole.