Stories from Abroad

Since 2010, the Benton Foundation and the New America Foundation have partnered to highlight telecommunications debates from countries outside the U.S.

Network slicing and net neutrality

Whether network slicing complies with the net neutrality rules currently in force in Europe and previously applicable in the U.S. presents a key issue in the deployment of 5G. In many ways, both regimes frame the issues in a similar manner, with the exceptions for reasonable traffic management and specialised services likely to play the most important roles.

Promotion of high-capacity broadband in the face of increasing global stress

Geopolitical tensions have compounded supply chain disruptions that were already visible during the pandemic in ways that make achievement of ubiquitous broadband even more difficult and potentially more expensive than in the past. Promotion of broadband deploymentadoption and use are all important for both fixed and mobile broadband; however, different policy levers are needed in each case, on both the supply and demand sides. The market will not always deliver complete solutions.

The Rush for Fiber Is Strangling Telecommunications Companies From Louisiana to Lisbon

Telecommunications and cable companies are emerging as some of the biggest losers of the high interest rate era. Buoyed by a sudden increase in demand, many firms took on vast amounts of credit to boost spending on increasing download speeds through expensive fiber rollouts. Now, changing consumer behaviors are causing turmoil and pushing companies in the US and Europe to invest in new infrastructure.

Google, Meta, TikTok defeat Austria’s plan to combat hate speech

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that Austria cannot force Google, Meta, and TikTok to pay millions in fines if they fail to delete hate speech from their popular social media platforms. Austria had attempted to hold platforms accountable for hate speech and other illegal content after passing a law in 2021 requiring tech giants to publish reports as often as every six months detailing content takedowns.

After big drop in Internet Service Provider competition, Canada mandates fiber-network sharing

In an attempt to boost broadband competition, Canada's telecommunication regulator, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), is forcing large phone companies to open their fiber networks to competitors.

Fiber broadband in emerging markets powers growth of digital economies

The rapid spread of fiber broadband connections in emerging markets is set to drive growth in those countries’ digital economies, according to the Financial Times-Omdia Digital Economies Index. India, Brazil, Kenya, and Mexico are among the countries highlighted by Omdia analysts as experiencing rapid take-up of fiber broadband, which is faster and more reliable than mobile or older copper-wire broadband connections.

Finding You: The Network Effect of Telecommunications Vulnerabilities for Location Disclosure

The information collected by, and stored within, mobile networks can represent one of the most current and comprehensive dossiers of our life. Our mobile phones are connected to these networks and reveal our behaviours, demographic details, social communities, shopping habits, sleeping patterns, and where we live and work, as well as provide a view into our travel history. This information, in aggregate, is jeopardized, however, by technical vulnerabilities in mobile communications networks.

Ofcom revises its guidance on how ‘net neutrality’ rules should apply in the UK

The United Kingdom's current net neutrality rules are set out in legislation. Any changes to the rules in future would be a matter for Government and Parliament. Ofcom is responsible for monitoring and ensuring compliance with the rules and providing guidance on how ISPs should follow them. In 2021 Ofcom started a review of net neutrality. The review has found that, in general, it has worked well and supported consumer choice as well as enabling content providers to deliver their content and services to consumers.

EU Proposes Broader Telecom Reform As ‘Fair Share’ Falls Flat

The European Union’s digital enforcer downplayed a push from phone companies to have large technology companies like Netflix and Alphabet help pay for internet infrastructure, while outlining a broader vision for the overhaul of the telecommunications sector. Operators like Orange and Telefonica wanted major streaming sites to help foot the bill to roll out faster 5G networks and fiber.

After More Than Four Years, Has 5G Lived Up to Expectations?

Fifth-generation wireless networks have spread faster and farther than some early advocates predicted, but the technology—despite hundreds of billions of dollars invested worldwide—hasn’t revolutionized whole swaths of the economy the way past mobile technologies did. In the US, about 43% of people had 5G mobile subscriptions as of June, ranking 10th worldwide. Hong Kong had the world’s highest 5G penetration rate, with 74% of its population subscribed to the mobile service.