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A mile wide, an inch deep — Medium

6 Jan

I was recently quoted as saying, “I don’t give a shit” if Instagram has more users than Twitter…


As I ponder my "insight into 2015 and beyond" post for the new year, I’m looking into things regarding the Internet rather than broadband, and this article resonates because as a data buff I know that single-metric analysis never tells you the truth or even close to the truth. I also feel that the "numbers" competition between social networks is ridiculous as a user of twitter, G+ and Facebook: I have different activities on all three, and different expectations of all three. Sure, they overlap somewhat, but by and large considering social interaction tools as interchangeable is missing the point.


Anyway, this is well worth a read and it highlights a number of massively important points: metrics are much too often US centric, the confrontational nature of the numbers competition misses the point on how users are engaged, and a profitable business online does not necessarily need as many users as possible (in the same way that a micro-business on Facebook might not benefit from more sock-puppet followers). 


Time for a more mature way of looking at online engagement. 

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Veniam Wants to Build a Smart City One WiFi Bus at a Time

3 Dec

Startup Veniam lands $4.9 million Series A round to build its WiFi for moving vehicles network to enable municipal WiFi for smart cities


This is something I’m going to have to dig into big time. I can see the potential, I find it interesting, and yet at the same time I fear that this will be seen as "sufficient" infrastructure by short sighted city executives. "Do we need to think about network infrastructure needs?" – "Of course not, we’ve got the bus thingy…" 

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AT&T to FCC: We Aren’t Limiting FTTH to 2M Deal Pledge

27 Nov


The FCC has tried to call AT&T’s bluff on their blackmail attempt (the "we won’t deploy fiber if Net Neutrality is in place"). So far AT&T’s response has been feeble. At the end of the day, until Wall Street is informed of an FTTH investment plan, none of this is actually happening. 

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The Empire Strikes Back: AT&T threatens to pull Paltry US Fibre Investment

14 Nov

In a sure sign that net neutrality won’t be instituted in the US without one hell of a struggle, AT&T CEO, Randall Stephenson, has announced an “investment pau…


Not much to add to this, except to say that the very fact that they are willing to stop an infrastructure investment plan because there’s a lack of clarity on net neutrality (if you take their argument at face value) shows that there is no investment plan. Anyone who invests in infrastructure seriously knows that whatever happens on top of that infrastructure matters not at all about the profitability of the investment. 


But we knew from the start that these announcements were a smokescreen, Fiber to the Press Release taken to the next level. 

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Why Comrade Cameron went all Russell Brand on the UK’s mobile networks

13 Nov

National Roaming Rǝʌolution, innit!


The Telegraph is not exactly a subtle publication, and this article is no exception. For once though, I’m not sure I agree with their read of the situation. Establishing a single shared infrastructure in deep rural not-spots is not a communist solution as the title suggests, it’s actually a sensible approach to providing quality services to expensive coverage areas. How it’s done, and how competent the powers that be in Britain are in implementing something like this is another story (and I’m not too confident about that), but dismissing the principle on political grounds is, frankly, stupid. 

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Google Europe Blog: Dear Rupert

26 Sep


I am sometimes frustrated in the current policy debates because Google tends to not respond to accusations, even when said accusations are just plain stupid. So it’s fun and interesting to read Google’s response to Murdoch’s attacks in the last few days. Murdoch painting himself and his companies as Angels of content and information is hilarious enough, but even down to the specifics, this is worth reading. 

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Offshore Bandwidth Sparks Africa Fiber Boom | Light Reading

12 Sep

Africa is starting to see the knock-on effects of having greater international connectivity via multiple subsea cables.


In developed market, the broadband debate focuses access because for the most part, that’s the last remaining hurdle to better connectivity. In the developing world, as we highlighted in our white paper Connectivity Models for Developing Economies ( we highlighted by example how a solid and affordable backhaul would spark spontaneous access investment (at least in mobile). It’s great to see that in the case of Africa, it’s sparking wireline access investment as well. 

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Why Internet governance should be left to the engineers

4 Sep

It’s simple, keep the engineers in charge, not governments.


If there’s one thing you have to read today it’s this. Larry Downes articulates the uneasy truths of the political side of the Net Neutrality debate much better than I could have, but I wholeheartedly agree with him. 

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The race for place (passive telecoms infrastructure) is over

11 Jul

Why telecom has been a land grab for exclusive telecoms infrastructure – and why this needs to change.


I’m not sure that I fully agree about the degrading value of the last mile argument, but I really like the way Richard looks at it, especially in light of considerations on structural separation: an alternative to value going down is keeping the monoploly separated and regulated. A better (in my opinion) way to keep the investment going. 

NZ govt rejects Vodafone’s NBN offer

7 Mar

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UFB deployment to continue.

Benoit Felten‘s insight:

Sneaky but clever move from Vodafone. Good that the government held it’s ground: implementing structural separation to then let a vertically integrated player provide wholesale would have been a catastrophic move. 

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