Author Steve Song

Opinion

The case for Universal Basic Internet

In 2015, Facebook launched its Free Basics app, offering a limited suite of Internet services for free in partnership with mobile network operators around the world. This provoked widespread debate on whether Free Basics violated

Opinion

The case for open data in telecoms

The telecommunications landscape is changing. The mobile revolution is maturing and entering a new phase of slower growth. The rapid spread of fibre-optic networks is increasing the ability of existing operators to deliver

Opinion

A radical proposal for state-owned fibre

“It costs more to get data to the coast than it does to get it the rest of the way to Europe.” Since the arrival of high-capacity undersea fibre-optic cables to African shores in 2009, I have heard this complaint

Opinion

Resolving the Free Basics paradox

Earlier this week, the Indian communications regulator announced it would forbid the provision of differential pricing for data services on the basis of content. This decision effectively bans Facebook’s Free Basics initiative, which offers access to

Opinion

Free Internet for all? It can be done

The worldwide debate about zero rating and network neutrality has brought the issue of affordable Internet access into sharp relief. I recently came back from the Internet Governance Forum

In-depth

Globalising the net neutrality debate

There are many factors that have allowed for the successful scaling of the Internet into a global phenomenon. A consensus-based, voluntary approach to standards, decentralised design and a vast body of openly-licensed software have all contributed. But the element I want to talk about here

Editor's pick

Google, Facebook, and frikkin’ laser beams

I have such a complicated relationship with Google and Facebook that I sometimes find it hard to write about them. I don’t mean complicated in the sense of conflict of interest, although it is true that one of the organisations I do work for now receives funding from Google, so there is that, but what I am really talking about is

Opinion

The mobile industry is broken

You may have seen a resurgence of news about net neutrality in the last few weeks. This is because a US court recently ruled that the communications regulator, the Federal Communications Commission, doesn’t have the power to insist that Internet service providers operate according

Opinion

World at a tipping point on privacy

We are living through a privacy tipping point. Technology is changing dramatically what is possible in terms of surveillance, monitoring, persistence, analysis. We are cracking open the lid of Pandora’s Box. We still don’t really know what’s in the box. Maybe the benefits of the

Opinion

Spectrum auctions for beginners

In the previous column, I looked at the merits of licensed versus unlicensed spectrum and suggested that there might be scope for some new approaches. I’d now like to turn to licensed spectrum and the process of auctioning spectrum which has become the dominant means of assigning popular licensed

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