March 2, 2015 (What happened? The people happened.)

“What happened? The people happened. Organizing happened”
- Malkia Cyril, the executive director of the Center for Media Justice, on the net neutrality decision


This week’s agenda

   Net Neutrality Is Here -- Thanks To An Unprecedented Guerilla Activism Campaign
   For Net Neutrality Advocates, a Moment to Celebrate [links to web]
   So They Voted On Network Neutrality, But What Happens Next? - Andrew Jay Schwartzman analysis
   What's Not To Like About Open Internet Rules? - Kevin Taglang analysis
   The Battle for an Open Internet is Not Over - Internet Infrastructure Coalition press release
   What the new net neutrality rules really mean for ISPs - Jon Healey analysis
   Net Neutrality: A Victory for Digital Innovation - WANdisco op-ed
   Liberals Mugged by Obamanet - L Gordon Crovitz editorial [links to web]
   After net neutrality vote, an uncertain future for the Internet - Larry Downes op-ed
   It's not really net neutrality - Michael Wolff op-ed [links to web]
   'Old guard' civil rights groups blew it on net neutrality - Van Jones analysis
   Why the FCC’s Decisions This Week Matter for Ed Tech - analysis
   Net neutrality rules set level playing field for data-intense healthcare users [links to web]
   Broadcasters Benefit From Net Neutrality - Harry Jessell editorial
   Hollywood cheers FCC's new net neutrality rules [links to web]
   After FCC Passes Net Neutrality, Fox Attacks New Rules As Government Power Grab That Will Slow Down The Internet [links to web]

   FCC Tests Its Authority Over States [links to web]
   This FCC Rule Will Matter More Than Net Neutrality Will - MIT analysis [links to web]
   US fiber cross-connect pricing is higher than Europe [links to web]

   With deadline looming, President Obama renews NSA program
   White House releases draft of consumer privacy bill
   Apparently White House Privacy Bill Does Not Undercut FCC [links to web]
   Guidance Issued on Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services - press release
   House members push bill limiting government access to e-mails stored overseas [links to web]
   Can Silicon Valley and Fort Meade work out their differences? - Brookings analysis [links to web]
   Rand Paul: Your phone records are none of the government's 'damn business' [links to web]
   How journalists should reframe the encryption debate - op-ed [links to web]
   Privacy and cybersecurity get political legs - Brookings/ Cameron Kerry analysis [links to web]

   Big Carriers Will Want Small Ones to Support VoLTE Roaming [links to web]
   Qualcomm readies the first 4G chips to use the Wi-Fi airwaves [links to web]
   Verizon brings small cells indoors using these cute little dots [links to web]
   Ditching Your Smartphone Bill and Going Wi-Fi Only - analysis [links to web]

   Ericsson Again Sues Apple Over Wireless Patents [links to web]
   Compatibility is About Competition, Too - analysis [links to web]

   FCC Plans $9 Million Fine Against GPSPS for Illegally Billing Customers and Switching Their Phone Companies - press release [links to web]

   Twitter rolls out a few more anti-abuse measures [links to web]

   Technology Has Heart - FCC press release [links to web]

   Broadcasters Praised On House Floor [links to web]
   National Association of Broadcasters to FCC: Save Our Translators [links to web]

   Think you’re locked into a mobile OS now? Wait until it runs your car [links to web]

   How one town’s government brought the local paper back to life [links to web]

   The net neutrality rules might not be available for weeks. That's ridiculous. - Timothy Lee analysis
   Playing Politics With the Internet? - Philip Weiser, Kevin Werbach op-ed
   FCC Chairman Wheeler agrees to testify to House Oversight on White House influence [links to web]
   Presidents and Influencing the FCC - Mark Fowler op-ed [links to web]

   Silicon Valley increasing its lobbying in California's Capitol [links to web]

   The Increasing Politicization of the FCC
   Why Silicon Valley is the new revolving door for President Obama staffers

   World Telecom Meeting to Focus on Regulation
   An Uneasy Relationship Between Telecom and Tech
   Telcos seek to redefine role as digital competition intensifies
   NXP, Freescale Agree to Merger [links to web]
   Vivendi exits telecommunications in €3.9bn deal [links to web]
   Digital divide: Improving Internet access in the developing world through affordable services and diverse content - Brookings/Darrel West analysis [links to web]
   Broadband the key to bringing ‘education to all’, says UN Broadband Commission - ITU press release [links to web]
   China censorship sweep deletes more than 60,000 Internet accounts [links to web]
   US Presses China on Technology Rules [links to web]

   Pentagon Shops in Silicon Valley for Game Changers [links to web]
   How much profit is too much? Tech companies and the surprising truth about their returns. - analysis [links to web]

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[SOURCE: The Intercept, AUTHOR: Lee Fang]
With the Federal Communications Commission voting to reclassify Internet access providers under Title II of the Communications Act, network neutrality rules are stronger than ever. The credit for such a seachange, say activists who agitated for the decision, belongs to a mix of online and traditional activism. Three activist groups that strongly backed net neutrality -- Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Free Press -- on the morning of Feb 27 flew a victory lap, literally, around Comcast’s corporate headquarters in Philadelphia. A banner towed by an airplane mocked the corporate Internet service provider with a picture of Internet-famous feline “Grumpy Cat” and a message “Don’t Mess With The Internet. #SorryNotSorry.” Malkia Cyril, the executive director of the Center for Media Justice, stresses that the strength of the net neutrality movement relied on the diversity of its coalition. She says Color of Change, National Hispanic Media Coalition, immigrant rights’ groups, activists from Black Lives Matter and communities of color “took it to the streets, to the doorstep of the ISPs.”“What happened? The people happened, organizing happened,” Cyril says. | Intercept, The
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[SOURCE: Benton Foundation, AUTHOR: Andrew Jay Schwartzman]
[Commentary] It is doubtful that anyone reading this post doesn’t know that on Thursday, February 26, the Federal Communications Commission voted to reclassify broadband under Title II of the Communications Act and adopt strong Network Neutrality rules covering both wired and wireless Internet service providers (ISPs). That vote marked the end of a long debate, but it is only the start of what will be a multi-pronged fight over whether the FCC could, or should, have done what it is about to do. This is a necessarily oversimplified guide to what happens next. | Benton Foundation
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[SOURCE: Benton Foundation, AUTHOR: Kevin Taglang]
[Commentary] In an historic decision on February 26, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission voted to adopt rules to protect the Open Internet. The FCC’s order have not been released yet, so we can’t offer you a detailed summary of the new network neutrality rules. As Andrew Jay Schwartzman noted in Benton Digital Beat, the vote marks the end of a long debate, but it is only the start of what will be a multi-pronged fight over whether the FCC could, or should, enact these new rules. Today we take a closer look at the opposition to the new rules as voiced by FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly who both voted against the FCC order. Their dissents may offer a road map for parties who take their opposition to Congress and the courts.
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[SOURCE: Internet Infrastructure Coalition, AUTHOR: Dave Burstein, Andy MacFarlane]
[Commentary] Congratulations on a hard-fought victory on net neutrality this week. Unfortunately, much hard work protecting the open Internet remains to be done. The longstanding fight to protect the Open Internet will continue to be hashed out in court rooms, on Capitol Hill and Federal Communications Commission over the next few years. We need to be diligent about staying on top of this issue, and ensure that the progress made is not lost. Last mile providers were seeking to take maximum advantage of their dominance and market power, and were finally told they could no longer do so. That is great news. But as we solve this huge problem, we need to make sure that we protect the whole Internet ecosystem. We do that by standing up for an open Internet, but we also do that by teaching people how the Internet works -- because what we DON’T need is FCC jurisdiction and new regulation across the entire competitive Internet. Last mile access to the Internet isn’t like the rest of the Internet, and it must be treated consistent with its attributes. We also need to make sure that ‘interconnection’ isn’t a slippery slope that will ultimately add a FCC regulatory framework around the rest of the competitive Internet, and that’s going to take years of education and effort in courtrooms and in Congressional offices. | Internet Infrastructure Coalition
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[SOURCE: Los Angeles Times, AUTHOR: Jon Healey]
[Commentary] Based on what the Federal Communications Commission has said so far, it's clear that the new network neutrality rules apply only to the on-ramp people use to connect to the Internet, not the content flowing over it. They don't regulate the Internet, they regulate the companies that connect you to it. The comparison to local phone companies is instructive. Over the course of the 20th century, the FCC and state utilities commissions used Title II of the Communications Act to apply a mountain of rules to the Ma Bell family and other local phone monopolies that regulated their prices, service areas and quality. But those rules never affected what people could say on the phone. To the extent that the content of those conversations was regulated -- for example, the "do not call" rules for telemarketers and the strictures on phone sex services -- those regulations stemmed from other laws, not Title II. Similarly, the FCC is applying Title II only to "broadband Internet access services," not the sites, applications or services that people connect to through their broadband ISP. The agency is regulating the people who operate the communications equivalent of an essential toll road, not the vehicles or people traveling over it. But what about the aforementioned mountain of Title II rules? Won't they crush ISPs? In a word, no. | Los Angeles Times
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[SOURCE: Revere Digital, AUTHOR: David Richards]
[Commentary] The competitiveness of the online world, the ability of startups to challenge the biggest of tech titans -- was under threat had net neutrality ended and new rules come into play that allowed Internet providers to charge for premium services. The Internet has been one of the greatest engines of progress and economic growth that we have known, but anything that threatens net neutrality will make the online world a far less democratic space. A two-tiered service would bring this trend to a crashing halt and disadvantage online challengers. Were broadband providers able to charge for premium access, it would likely bring an end to the disruptive impact of startups, insulating incumbent Internet giants and paving the way for a world where monopolies become increasingly common. While today’s online world is a level playing field, any tampering with the status quo would only increase the barriers to entry. It would make it extremely difficult for online startups to compete, while allowing the establishment to grow bloated and cumbersome. In the end, this will only result in the consumer getting a raw deal. The net neutrality decision marked a milestone in preserving online integrity. Unless we have an open, neutral Internet we can rely on without worrying about what’s happening at the back door, we can’t hope for open government, good democracy, good health care, connected communities and diversity of culture.
[David Richards is the Co-Founder and CEO of WANdisco] | Revere Digital
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[SOURCE: Washington Post, AUTHOR: Larry Downes]
[Commentary] Uncertainty -- of what the Federal Communications Commission intends to do, of how the courts will view their efforts, and how private investors in broadband infrastructure will respond -- is now the order of the day. That is both a significant and unfortunate course change. For most of the Internet era, tech policy has been a bright spot in Washington (DC). Not only has it been a rare example of bipartisanship, but also of regulatory wisdom. The governance of the Internet, for the most part, was left to the engineers who invented it, rather than to the whims of lawmakers and regulators. It’s entirely possible that Feb 26’s historic vote will end up a historic footnote. The legacy of the Title II order, in fact, may be little more than a period of costly and unnecessary uncertainty. In the meantime, there’s still both time and hope for a return to the bipartisan policy that has made the Internet the greatest generator of innovation since the Industrial Revolution. And if not a political solution, there’s always a chance at a technical one. The Internet has a long history of innovating around rules and regulations that slow it down, whether those rules were designed with the best of intentions, or otherwise.
[Larry Downes is project director at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy] | Washington Post
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[Commentary] The Federal Communications Commission got it right on "net neutrality." And so did countless progressive, people-powered groups, such as Color of Change, an online community (which I helped to found) dedicated to bringing about positive change for African-Americans. Ditto for tiny, grassroots dynamos like Oakland's Center for Media Justice, led by Malkia Cyril. You know who got it dead, dead wrong? As much as it pains me to say it: Far too many of our old-school civil rights organizations. Internet service providers like Verizon and Comcast stood to make a killing from blocking this change. But what is shocking is that some trusted civil rights organizations -- including the National Urban League, NAACP, and Rainbow Push -- actively helped the ISPs make their case. Worst of all, it was a completely avoidable error. They should have known that the argument that large ISPs would expand access to under-served communities if they enjoyed higher profit margins was out of line with history and common sense. It was essentially "trickle-down dial-up," and you would not expect civil rights leadership to fall for it. The one hope is that it is not too late. Republicans and ISPs have given no indication that they will stop fighting or cease seeking to relitigate this battle. They will undoubtedly be eager to use civil rights groups as cover. In other words, some of the legacy civil rights groups got it wrong. But it is not too late for them to get on the right side of history. | CNN
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[SOURCE: New America Foundation, AUTHOR: Lindsey Tape]
[Commentary] As New America’s Learning Technologies Project has emphasized, the Federal Communications Commission's network neutrality decision is critical for enabling innovation in the burgeoning field of education technology. It’s not hard to imagine an environment where the current dominant companies producing online educational materials could afford to pay Internet service providers for faster access to customers, leaving behind innovative new start-ups. Under such an arrangement, emerging new content providers would be at an extreme disadvantage. To keep the Internet a level playing field, where new start-ups stand or fall on the merit of their content alone, it’s worth promoting and protecting a strong, open Internet. | New America Foundation
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[SOURCE: TVNewsCheck, AUTHOR: Harry Jessell]
[Commentary] Broadcasters scored a great victory in Washington yesterday and it didn't cost them anything -- not one, solitary political chit. Make no mistake, broadcasters are winners. Sure, they are going to develop and implement a new broadcast standard -- ATSC 3.0 -- that is going to allow them to bypass the Internet and maintain their independence in the delivery of TV to every screen, big and small. But they will also remain in the digital business through websites, apps and involvement in TV Everywhere and budding services like CBS All Access. The new regulations say that the broadcasters' services will reach consumers with the same speed as any of their rivals, regardless of size or ownership. Among other things, broadcasters won't have to worry about Comcast or Verizon favoring their own content as it passed through their pipelines. The National Association of Broadcasters was on the right track then and I once thought that it should become involved in net neutrality when President Barack Obama's first Federal Communications Commission Chairman, Julius Genachowski, bought it up. In retrospect, I see that NAB was wise to stay out of the fray. It's highly controversial and partisan. Backing net neutrality, especially as defined by Obama and Wheeler, would have put NAB at odds with their Republican allies in Congress and at the FCC. As it is, they came out on the side of the winners. They still get to pretend they are anti-regulation and they didn't have spend any of their political capital. | TVNewsCheck
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[SOURCE: The Hill, AUTHOR: Julian Hattem]
The Obama Administration received court reauthorization for a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program, weeks before a legal deadline will force Congress to act. The government filed a request with the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to renew the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records, as it must do every 90 days to keep the program active. The current approval will be the final one before the portion of the Patriot Act undergirding the contested program expires. By June 1, Congress either needs to reauthorize the existing law, replace it or allow the program to expire — which officials say would badly damage national security. “Congress has a limited window before the June 1 sunset to enact legislation that would implement the president’s proposed path forward for the telephony metadata program, while preserving key intelligence authorities,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said. “The Administration continues to stand ready to work with the Congress on such legislation and would welcome the opportunity to do so.” “Given that legislation has not yet been enacted, and given the importance of maintaining the capabilities of the telephony metadata program, the government has sought a reauthorization of the existing program, as modified by the changes the president directed [last] January,” the Justice Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence said. | Hill, The | White House
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[SOURCE: The Verge, AUTHOR: Adi Robertson]
The Obama Administration released a draft of legislation that would make it easier for consumers to see or remove the personal data that companies keep. The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2015 would address the large amounts of data that companies can collect from customers -- whether it's used internally, analyzed by advertisers, or sold to a third-party aggregator. It would require companies to provide "concise and easily understandable" explanations of how data will be used, as well as options for customers to see, correct, or remove information. Specifically, this covers information like names, addresses, social security or passport numbers, fingerprints, or credit card numbers; it does not cover "de-anonymized" data that theoretically couldn't be traced back to a specific person, or information involved in identifying a cybersecurity problem, as long as companies make "reasonable efforts" to remove identifying information. Companies have to make clear what information is collected, who it will be shared with, when and if it will be destroyed, how it's kept secure, and how customers can see or remove it. Companies are also required to take "reasonable steps" to mitigate privacy risks and make them clear to users, and the FTC will need to establish rules for privacy reviews. If a company violates the terms of the act, it's subject to lawsuits from the FTC, users, and state attorneys general. The bill creates exemptions for small operators, including people who process data for 10,000 or fewer people a year or have no more than five employees, which the White House says can ease the burden for small businesses. | Verge, The | White House | The Hill
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[SOURCE: Department of Education, AUTHOR: Press release]
The Department of Education released model terms of service guidance and a training video aimed at helping schools and districts protect student privacy while using online educational services and applications. The guidance offers examples of terms of service provisions to help school officials identify which online educational services and applications have strong privacy and data security policies and practices. Among the recommendations:
Marketing and Advertising: Terms of service agreements should be clear that data may not be used to create user profiles for the purposes of targeting students or their parents for advertising and marketing, which could violate privacy laws.
Data Collection: Agreements should include a provision that limits data to only what is necessary to fulfill the terms.
Data Use: Schools and districts should restrict data use to only the purposes outlined in the agreement.
Data Sharing: While providers can use subcontractors, schools and districts should be made aware of these arrangements, and subcontractors should be bound by the limitations in the terms of service.
Access: Federal student records laws require schools and districts to make education records accessible to parents. A good contract will acknowledge the need to share student
Security Controls. Failure to provide adequate security could lead to a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which protects student education records. | Department of Education | Dept of Ed blog | video
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[SOURCE: Vox, AUTHOR: Timothy Lee]
[Commentary] The Federal Communications Commission has established America's strongest network neutrality rules to date. The document, which reportedly weighed in at more than 300 pages, will transform how the nation's broadband services are regulated. But if you want to read it, you'll need to wait a few days. Or maybe weeks. That's ridiculous. It's true that there's nothing unusual about the delay. Administrative agencies often keep drafts of their rules secret while they're working on them, and it's not uncommon for it to take a few weeks for rules to be published. The delay certainly isn't evidence that anything sinister is going on. But the FCC's secretive approach during rule drafting forces media to report on summaries, spin, and snippets. The result is less accurate and less comprehensive coverage. Meanwhile, the lack of transparency gives disproportionate influence to big players who can leverage their connections to insiders to find out what's really going on. The FCC isn't alone. It and other government agencies can and should be more transparent. Publishing draft rules before they're voted on, and publishing final rules as soon as they're approved, will make it easier for voters to understand and influence the process, for the media to provide accurate and comprehensive coverage. It will also curb the unfair advantages of special interests. | Vox
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[SOURCE: Technology Academics Policy, AUTHOR: Philip Weiser, Kevin Werbach]
[Commentary] In the wake of the Federal Communications Commission's dramatic shift toward reclassifying broadband Internet access under Title II of the Communications Act, people are asking whether there is cause for concern about how the FCC reached its decision. For two professors of telecommunications and administrative law, the controversy around the FCC's order provides a teachable moment. We write not to add to the onslaught of commentary on the merits of the rules -- which are not yet public -- but rather to address the legitimacy of the FCC's decision-making process. To cut to the chase: there's no evidence of a process foul in this case. In the case of the Open Internet rules, we have yet to see how the agency's rules stack up in court as a matter of well-reasoned law and economics. That day will come soon enough. And when it does, the strength or weakness of the FCC's analysis, not whether it made a "political decision" that aligned with the Administration, will be determinative of the result.
[Philip Weiser is a Professor and Executive Director of Silicon Flatirons, University of Colorado
Kevin Werbach is a Professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania] | Technology Academics Policy
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[SOURCE: National Journal, AUTHOR: Brendan Sasso]
The Federal Communications Commission is no stranger to controversial issues -- remember the ruckus over the Janet Jackson Super Bowl halftime show? But network neutrality has taken things to a new level, and that has people wondering if the agency is politicized beyond repair. That hostility was on full display Feb 26 as the commission voted 3-2 to approve sweeping net-neutrality regulations to ensure all Internet traffic is treated equally. The three Democratic commissioners celebrated an action that they said would protect Internet freedom, and the two Republicans accused their colleagues of seizing control of the Internet. "I do think it is more polarized than I've ever seen," said Robert McDowell, a Republican who served as an FCC commissioner from 2006 to 2013. "Having said that, if we're judging it purely from today, that probably skews the emotion of the moment." According to Harold Feld, the senior vice president of Public Knowledge and a net-neutrality advocate, the real culprit behind the nastier tone of FCC debates is not President Obama, but FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai. "Pai has been a man of hyperbolic hysterics as a way of driving the agenda since he got there," Feld said. "When you have a bully, it's not like you have a problem with the school yard -- you have a bully," he added. | National Journal
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[SOURCE: Washington Post, AUTHOR: Cecilia Kang, Juliet Eilperin]
Near the end of his Administration, the extent of President Barack Obama’s commitment to Silicon Valley has become clear. And nowhere is that more evident than network neutrality, an issue where the President pressured the government to pass regulations with major implications for how consumers experience the Internet. The affinity between the White House and the tech industry has enriched President Obama’s campaigns through donations, and it has presented lucrative opportunities for staffers who leave for the private sector. Several former administration officials are peppered throughout Silicon Valley in various positions, lobbying on important policy issues related to taxes, consumer privacy and more. Silicon Valley has only grown more powerful over President Obama’s two terms, and it has won the White House’s support at pivotal moments. | Washington Post
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[SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, AUTHOR: Thomas Gryta, Sam Schechner]
When telecom and tech leaders convene in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, one topic will rise above the rest: regulation. Around the world, governments have different approaches to rule-making around the issue of network neutrality -- the idea that all traffic be treated equally -- a critical issue for mobile-device makers, telecom network providers and content distributors. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will give a live keynote address at the annual conference on March 3. It will be his first public appearance at an industry gathering after the landmark vote on network neutrality. At Mobile World Congress, Wheeler’s comments will be closely followed by global counterparts from other countries who are looking to develop their own set of rules. And the stronger Internet regulation in the US may spare other policy makers -- particularly those in Europe -- from US criticism. “Europe wants to use increased regulation as an excuse to regulate,” said Rajeev Chand, a managing director at boutique investment bank Rutberg & Co. “The top-line message is that Obama is regulating.” | Wall Street Journal
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[SOURCE: New York Times, AUTHOR: Mark Scott]
There is a love-hate relationship involving some of the world’s largest mobile carriers and tech giants like Facebook and Google. Both sides rely on each other to provide customers worldwide with high-speed Internet access and online services like music streaming and social networking. Yet as smartphones increasingly become the principal means by which people manage their everyday lives, the telecom and tech giants are jockeying to position themselves as consumers’ main conduit for using the Internet on mobile devices. “There’s a lot of anxiety,” said Adrian Baschnonga, a telecom analyst at the consulting firm Ernst & Young in London. “No one wants to be overshadowed. Everyone is questioning their role in the industry.” “Mobile has become the heart of the Internet,” said Anne Bouverot, director general of the GSMA, an industry body that organizes the annual conference in Barcelona, known as Mobile World Congress. This shift has led to some uneasy relationships between telecom and tech companies. | New York Times | Wall Street Journal
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[SOURCE: Financial Times, AUTHOR: Daniel Thomas]
Telecommunications is fast becoming a dirty word for companies that want to become much more than providers of basic connections in a digital world in which technology is undermining traditional revenues. Companies in the sector are still at risk of being left behind or being pushed to the margins as simple providers of the pipework that technology groups use to make their fortunes. And even the latter holds dangers if the telecoms groups cannot keep up with ever increasing demands from customers for instant videos and entertainment by investing heavily in next generation networks capable of carrying vast quantities of data. The signs are that most groups are rising to the challenge, helped in regions such as Europe by regulators encouraging industrial growth through consolidation. This, alongside better economic conditions, is leading to higher profits and rising share prices. Now companies have the breathing space to invest in their future -- and various strategies are emerging among managements keen not to be left behind. At the heart of most strategies remains the desire to become the gatekeeper of the Internet -- and with it, the provider of services and content such as TV and music. | Financial Times
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