Saturday, October 29, 2005

Please, give me a "peer"...

"Strong words, Shaitaangul, and fascinating! I plead ignorance and would like to learn more. But first let me completely agree that peering is a business arrangement that requires economic justification, and that companies have a total right to de-peer with companies they don't deem a peer.

But citizens also have rights to take issue with legitimate business decisions, and such citizen protests have sometimes caused beneficial changes. The boycott of companies doing (legitimate, economically well-motivated) business in South Africa, which ended Apartheid, is a good example."...



in my enormous ignorance, I forsee a Future where big expensive backbones will charge to "peer" and small ones will not.
But,as it happens in other market fields like TV, this WILL bring the majority of customers to the "free" backbones...

We will have different levels and different prices.
But I really do not see it as a negative side.
We will have the "commercial, low level" Internet and the "pay, higher level".

Then somebody will realize that the number of users makes the value of a Network, and the Value of the Network means higher revenues...

Is it better one dollar out of 1 million or 100 dollars out of 100?

At the end THIS is going to be the real matter...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Marco Tronchetti Provera

Egr. dott. Marco Tronchetti Provera,

le scrissi tempo fa dal mio Blog (l'unico modo possibile).
Lei e' sempre dov'e', io pure, e Sanfre' continua ad essere senza DSL, come peraltro la maggior parte dei comuni italiani.
Presto saremo nel 2006 e a Torino vorranno far vedere al mondo quale grande paese e' l'Italia.
Mi permetta di non manifestare la mia opinione, perche' dovrei usare termini non appropriati al gergo di una "signora".

Le vorrei trascrivere alcune parti dell'Atto di Ginevra sulle Telecomunicazioni del 1996, non perche' penso che lei non lo conosca, ma perche' penso lei (come molti altri a cui fa comodo) volutamente lo ignorino.
Se l'Italia fosse un paese diverso in cui la Giustizia e' solo un'opinione e la Democrazia una parola del dizionario, varrebbe forse la pena di discuterne in altro loco.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 dramatically changed the landscape of telecommunications and specifically the relationship between communications providers and local governments. The purpose of the Act was to create competition in the telecommunications industry. In addition, continuing technical advancements in the area of communications have reached the point where it is now possible to merge various communications, information, and video technologies that were historically developed, implemented, and regulated separately.

Le ricordo che la Telecom ha perso il Monopolio.
Mi sento in dovere di ricordarglielo, perche' a tutti gli effetti il comportamento della Telecom e' tale da far pensare che l'Atto di Ginevra, sottoscritto dall'Italia, non sia mai esistito.
E, per piacere, non mi ricordi che le Linee sono di proprieta' della Telecom, perche' qui mette un altro dito sulla piaga.
Se il Governo Italiano non fosse una farsa qual'e', se non fosse guidato da Mafiosi, forse ricorderebbe alla Telecom che le linee sono state strapagate dai cittadini italiani dopo un secolo di "Canoni telefonici".
Non solo il canone e' illegale, e' anche illegale pretendere una quota di 150 Euro per un allaccio.
150 Euro per un click del mouse.

In addition to opening up competition between the various industries, the Act also loosens regulation of the cable system rates and telephone service rates. The Act creates a class of basic telephone service called "Universal Service." These rates must be "just, reasonable and affordable."

A me non sembra che 150 euro per un click di mouse, il canone mensile e il costo astronomico delle telefonate si possano definire "just, reasonable and affordable."

Ma questo non e' tutto.
Non solo la Telecom spadroneggia in fatto di tariffe, spadroneggia anche in fatto di servizi.
Non solo non provvede servizi ormai essenziali come la DSL, ma non permette ad altri operatori di provvederli.

E tutto cio' per l'ottusita' o la malfede (cambiano gli addendi, ma il risultato e' lo stesso) di managers come LEI Marco Tronchetti Provera.

The changes created by the 1996 Act are monumental. It is important that local government understand these changes from several standpoints. Local government officials must be informed and understand the structural reconfiguration of the telecommunications markets. In addition, it is important that officials understand how the new market affects existing and future relationships that they will have with telecommunications and video programming providers .

I cambiamenti in Italia non sono stati monumentali, almeno non per il consumatore.

E per quanto riguarda la Telecom, non so se per dabbenaggine o per corruzione mascherata da dabbenaggine, sembra si voglia investire in cretinate.
Come il video telefono o la TV via cellulare (3 frames al sec. invece delle 25, 28 richieste i risultati parlano da soli) o altre cretinerie costose e che non produrranno mai profitti.

Lei e' noto per ben altri investimenti, per una indubbia acutezza sulle esigenze del mercato.
Lei che crede nella fibra ottica, perche' indubbiamente crede nelle nuove tecnologie, nella nuova trasmissione su IP, nel fatto che l'IP sara' senza dubbi il futuro delle telecomunicazioni, intese non solo come trasmissione di voci, ma di dati e immagini,
Lei che SA, perche' continua a IGNORARE?

Lei ha la responsabilita' di centinaia di migliaia di famiglie, nonche' la responsabilita' di dare un futuro e il progresso all'Italia, LEI CHE PUO', perche' non vuole?
Perche' non fa un piano di informatizzazione, perche' non porta l'Italia ai livelli della Corea, del Giappone, dei nostri grandi concorrenti?
Perche' in Italia non si fa nulla, ma si precipita sempre di piu' nella voragine del regresso tecnologico, economico e culturale?

Io ho un marito tedesco e non le nascondo che mi sento terribilmente depressa vedendo quello che si fa in Germania e quello che NON SI FA in Italia.
Eppure noi Italiani non siamo piu' stupidi, piu' ignoranti, piu' imbecilli dei tedeschi...
Perche' solo NOI in Europa dobbiamo essere malgovernati, mal manageriati?

Lei e' in grado di darmi una risposta?

Fulvia Patrizia Demaria Broghammer

Sunday, October 16, 2005

More about Monopolies

Give Me a Cell Break
By Mike Mills, CQ Columnist

I am not happy with my family's cell phone service.
My wife and teenage daughter complain all the time about spotty coverage and dropped calls.
I've stopped using my mobile phone completely, relying instead on my employer's Blackberry, which uses a more dependable network.
If only I could fire my family's cellular phone provider and get a new one.

But I can't. Doing so would cost me an early termination fee of $150 per phone, or $450. So unless I want to pay their ransom, I'm stuck with this lemon of a carrier until November 2006, when my three two- year contracts expire.

But don't feel sorry for me. Feel sorry for a guy named Jerome in Riverside, Calif., who posted his story on
He signed a two-year deal with his carrier, only to quickly find there
was no coverage within two miles of his home.
"In this situation I will pay for not receiving service, no matter what," he wrote.

Freedom to choose among multiple carriers, of course, was a promise of the 1996 Telecom Act.
We were even supposed to be free to pick someone other than a Bell company for our local land-line service.
But when that didn't happen - instead all the Bells merged back together and blocked rivals from leasing their lines - we heard,"Well, at least consumers can choose among multiple wireless carriers."

True, we do have six major wireless providers nationwide.
Oops, make that four: The market recently consolidated again with the Cingular/AT&T and Sprint/Nextel mergers.
But by imposing hefty early termination fees - from $100 to $240 per user - the Big Four (including Verizon and T-Mobile) make it mighty difficult to exercise choice in the wireless market.

The fees are the wireless industry's revenge after the Federal Communications Commission made carriers offer "number portability" in late 2003 - letting consumers keep their phone numbers even as they switch carriers.
Back then the research firm In-Stat/MDR predicted number portability would lead to 22 million additional customers switching carriers in 2004.
Instead, Merrill Lynch reported in June that customer "churn" over the past year actually declined by 20 percent.
The industry celebrated those figures as evidence of customer satisfaction.
But in an August survey of 1,000 consumers by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, 47 percent said they would seriously consider switching carriers if there were no early termination fees in their contracts.

Who protects consumers when we're being unfairly held to a contract that we feel our wireless carrier has reneged on?
In recent years, state public utility commissions have been cracking down on the most egregious abuses of early termination fees, and class action suits are pending in several states.
California's Public Utilities Commission last year upheld a $12 million fine against Cingular for charging early termination fees and prohibiting refunds at the same time it was aggressively signing up consumers without disclosing significant network problems. (Cingular denied any wrongdoing.)

But now the carriers want the FCC to effectively prohibit states from challenging their shut-off fee practices.
They want the regulators to treat the fees as part of their overall rates, rather than as penalties.

The Company Line

Cell carriers argue the fees are necessary so they can recoup the costs of adding new customers to their networks in the event that customers leave before their contracts expire.
They point, in particular, to their practice of greatly subsidizing the cost of the
phones themselves (a tactic borrowed from the razor blade industry).
Moreover, they argue, in a free and competitive market, states shouldn't be going around telling them what kinds of fees to charge.
Customers should know the terms of the contract when they sign up - and shouldn't complain later if they don't like those terms.

I'm all for this free-market thing: I'm a consumer, after all, and I want as many companies as possible beating each other's brains out to win me as a customer.
But since when, in a free-market, does any company have a guaranteed right to recoup its costs - even when an unsatisfied customer wants to leave early because of shoddy service?
If I buy a car and then return it because it doesn't work, should the dealer be able to charge me a fee for selling it to me?

The wireless carriers' "cost recovery" argument is a reminder that they're owned by the same old land-line phone companies that spent decades haggling with the FCC and state public utility commissions back when their costs - and their profits - were highly regulated.
Though they are now free to earn as much as they can, they seem to not yet grasp the notion of "risk capital."

Interestingly, these telecom giants don't yet have such stiff fees on their broadband Internet services.
Verizon asks only for a one-year contract and has a $79 early termination fee for its high-speed Web access - compared with their two-year contract and $175 early cancel
fee for its cell service.
Why? Their rivals can't charge such fees, as a rule: Cable companies still must answer to local regulators.

How quaint: If you want to fire your cable company, you need only pay off your bill and send back their leased equipment.

Mike Mills is CQ's executive editor for electronic publishing.
Source: CQ Weekly
The definitive source for news about Congress.
© 2005 Congressional Quarterly Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Europe and VoIP

Are the European Telcos different or the Europeans?
... or are the telcos whistling in the dark?

Interesting post of Richard Stastny.

Forrester Research believes that pure plays have no chance of dethroning proactive European incumbent Telco's from their consumer fixed voice market leadership?

Telco's like British Telecom and France Telecom can continue to dominate future voice markets as long as they maintain their proactive and innovative VoIP response strategies.

There is a basic difference between USA and Europe.
The first exists, the second exists only on the paper.
In the first we have 300 millions Americans speaking the same language.
In the second we have 450 millions of "French, Germans, Italians, Uks and so on..." speaking different languages.
In the first the FULL POPULATION has the need to call long distance (California to New York).
In the second, just few companies have the need to call long distance and those few are managed mostly by OLD people, OLD THINKING and BEHAVING people who see the new TECHNOLOGIES as something scaring and damaging.
And indeed damaging they are.
Europe is the OLD WORLD, still shaped in the "Mafia Fashion" where few families (Monopolies) control the economy because they control the Politics.
And this "Mafia" survives and guaranties to all "associates" the right profits.

Why should they embrace "Disruptive Technologies" and change the Status Quo?
The Mafia survives thanks to the fact that there is no fight among the "families" and the profits are equally distributed among all.
The eventual fight is on the "how much" but not the "who".

If they made a referendum through Europe right now, I think ALL would vote NO, but not because they do not believe in Europe, THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN THIS EUROPE.

And as long as they will be able to keep the "Status Quo" there won't be any space for VoIP, for Progress and for innovation.


"Chi e' fonte dei suoi mal pianga se stesso"

The only ones to blame would be ourselves

Open source e Free Software

Buongiono Cesare,

ovviamente tutti siamo per l'open source e per il free software.
La mia perplessita' (e non solo mia) sta nel fatto che, anche se esistono persone in questo mondo guidate da ideali e che considerano il loro lavoro quasi un Hobby (io ho un marito cosi', talmente appassionato che non riuscirebbe a vivere senza un computer) queste persone necessitano di un minimo di compenso per sopravvivere.
La maggior parte degli umani lavora si' per la gratificazione del successo, ma anche per una gratificazione economica.
Per cui, se uno deve lavorare gratis o fa il minimo o non fa niente del tutto.
Con questo non voglio dire che le attuali leggi sul copyright siano giuste.
Vede io faccio sempre l'esempio di Dickens.
Questi scriveva a mano le sue storie.
Ci volevano cinque anni e piu' per scrivere un libro di successo e ci voleva una vita per poter guadagnare coi diritti d'autore uno stipendio minimo.
Per cui all'epoca era giusto concedere i copyright per un'opera per 70 anni.
Oggi un libro come Harry Potter vende milioni di copie in pochi mesi, richiede altrettanto breve tempo per essere scritto, per cui mi sembra giustissimo abbassare la durata dei copyright.
Anche perche' un libro che non vende nei primi mesi o nel primo anno, molto difficilmente vendera' nei prossimi 69.

Lo stesso dicasi dei film.
Anzi aggiungerei che il film di successo e' ampiamente pagato gia' con gli incassi delle sale cinematografiche e il prezzo pagato per affittare o comperare il DVD e' altamente sproporzionato.

E per questi motivi e' un bene che esista la pirateria, anzi dovrebbe addirittura danneggiare di piu', cosi' che si sarebbe finalmente costretti a cambiare le leggi.

Proporrei quindi una lotta per una legge sui copyright piu' equa nei confronti del consumatore, che pero' fosse fatta rispettare cosi' che chi produce software o qualsiasi altro prodotto possa essere tutelato e avere la giusta ricompensa.
Questo sarebbe ovviamente uno stimolo ad una produzione di qualita' sempre piu' alta.

Per quanto riguarda Linux, ovviamente e' un buon sistema operativo, ma Windows e' certamente migliore, per lo meno nell'usabilita'.
Se no perche' la gente comprerebbe Windows?

Tornando all'Open Source io mi batto per un VoIP open source, per combattere ogni tipo di Monopolio perche' credo che l'unico futuro economico possibile dipenda dallo sfascio dei monopoli e dall'entrata sul mercato di milioni di piccoli imprenditori.
Il futuro e' nelle mani delle piccole aziende, piu' flessibili, piu' economiche, piu' gratificanti...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

They have signed their death sentence, let's buy chinese!

The Trusted Computing Platform Alliance (TCPA), founded by Compaq, HP, IBM, Intel and Microsoft,has set themself the goal to create an "extended and operating system-based computer platform, that implements confidence in Clients, servers, networks and communication platforms".

The Big Players defined an ambitious goal. But the confidence into this objective was strongly impaired in the last days.

The technology:

TCPA stands for Trusted Computing Platform Alliance.
For the technology we will speak from TCP (The trusted computing platform).
This plans that every computer will have a TPM (Trusted Platform Module), also known as Fritz-Chip, built-in.
At later development stages, these functions will be directly included into CPUs, graphiccards, harddisks, soundcards, bios and so on.
This will secure that the computer is in a TCPA-conform state and that he checks that it's always in this state.
This means: On the first level comes the hardware, on the second comes TCPA and then comes the user.
The complete communication works with a 2048 bit strong encryption, so it's also secure enough to make it impossible to decrypt this in realtime for a longer time.
This secures that the TCPA can prevent any unwanted software and hardware.
The long term result will be that it will be impossible to use hardware and software that's not approved by the TCPA.
Presumably there will be high costs to get this certification and that these would be too much for little and mid-range companies.
Therefore open-source and freeware would be condemned to die, because without such a certification the software will simply not work.
In the long term only the big companies would survive and could control the market as they would like.
Some could think that it should be possible to get around this security.
But probably they would be proved they're wrong. Until now there're no such hardware-implemented security systems and actual security systems have to work offline.
This would be changed with TCP.
The rights and licenses would be central managed by the TCPA (USA?).
And as soon a violation is noticed, they will get notified.
Read the chapter "The bills" to get an overview about the possible resulting consequences.

The companies:

The TCPA was founded 1999 by Compaq, HP, IBM, Intel and Microsoft. But in the meantime around 200 companies joined them. You will find Adobe, AMD, Fujitsu-Siemens, Gateway, Motorola, Samsung, Toshiba and many other well known companies. IBM already sells first desktops and notebooks with integrated TPM.

Let's buy Chinese!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The future of the Internet and IP

Let's talk about the end of TV, Cinemas, telephony and the beginning of the new ERA of Entertainment.

Everything will be on IP also the Commercials...
And when the commercials will migrate to IP, I would suggest the old broadcasters to begin to think in a new way...

"Optical Entertainment Network (OEN) announced today their plans to deploy fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) to over 1,600,000 households in Houston, Texas, the 10th largest television market in the U.S. The company, who has partnered with leading European and North American vendors plans to launch its United States service offering in December 2005 and begin European operations in Q2 of 2006.

The company has designed the first truly integrated IPTV service for Video, 10 to 100 Mbps Internet, Voice, Video-on-Demand (VOD) and other broadband applications such as, Home Security, videoconferencing and telemedicine. OEN has acquired programming agreements for IPTV distribution from top programming television networks and will deliver over 400 television channels, including 50 plus channels of High Definition Television (HDTV) to subscribers. In addition, OEN will offer video-on-demand, subscription video-on-demand, pay-per-view specials and events and original HDTV programming created by OEN Studios, the creative television production arm of Optical Entertainment Network.

The OEN system provides state-of-the-art integrated services including standard and high definition television, Internet, telephone services and unified messaging. This network delivers innovative new applications such as, videoconferencing, gaming, telemedicine, niche programming, and connected learning to homes in the Houston area.

All of these services have been integrated into IP (Internet Protocol) architecture, designed specifically for Gigabit Ethernet FTTH systems. "