Archives for April 2015

Three under-appreciated facts about broadband

In this article we explore three under-appreciated facts about broadband: it is stochastic; this constrains its effective performance envelope; and the performance envelope is an emergent property, not an inherent one. These facts have important implications for users, network operators, equipment vendors, and policy makers.

Ten ways the Internet could be better

I am chairing a panel at the TMRW event in Manchester on 20th May. They have titled the session “The Internet is Broken: Who’s Going to Fix It?”. This has made me think: knowing what we now know, how might the Internet become better in future?

The FCC’s “net neutrality” rules are technically unworkable

I have been watching with dismay the commentary and debate following the US Federal Communications Commission’s issuing of its rules on the contentious issue of “net neutrality”. Regrettably, they have proceeded to issue rules without having their science in order first. As a result they have set themselves up to fail. My fear is that other […]

How should regulators measure broadband quality?

One of the surprises in the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed “network neutrality” rules is a requirement for ISPs to report packet loss rates. This additional rule is significant since measurement is always de facto regulation, in this case of ISP service quality.

How far can the Internet scale?

Can the Internet scale indefinitely? Many people, if not most, assume that it can. Here is a cautionary tale of a network that strangely and unexpectedly didn’t scale so well. I hope that you find it of interest.

How golf is (and isn’t) like packet data

“One thing I’ve learned over time is, if you hit a golf ball into water, it won’t float.” – Arnold Palmer I am using an analogy to help you to understand a crucial new idea: the ΔQ calculus. This enables us to “keep score” of the “game” of packet data. So for a moment, if […]

Gender and user experience: some notes

I attended an InterTech LGBT professional event last year on “UX and Gender” at the Skype offices in London. I took some notes from the panel session that I have edited into prose. My apologies if I have mangled any of their ideas in transcription.

The ethics of broadband

Most writing about broadband discusses technology or business issues. For a change, I would like to examine the ethical challenges facing us. My suggestion is that current regulatory and industry approaches are not achieving the best possible outcomes. There are three ways in which we can improve: measure the service given to those who are […]

The Internet is just a prototype

I have been working on a book (of this title) for some time. Here I present my overall thesis. It’s a first rough draft to force me to order my own thoughts. Your feedback is most welcome.