Open Communication, or Open Access to Communication resources, means that anyone, on equal conditions with a transparent relation between cost and pricing, can get access to and share communication resources on one level to provide value added services on another level in a layered communication system architecture. Simply put, Open Access plans are to deregulate oligarchy of telecom operators in a bid to give consumers more choices for equipment, services and service vendors or carriers. It will also provide some breathing room for the controversial Net Neutrality that has been the central issue between mobile carriers, like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Nextel, and web media moguls, like eBay, Amazon.com and Google.
Socioeconomic Impact Edit
The concept of Open Access to Communication Resources is central in the ongoing transformation of the communication market from a "vertically integrated" market with a few operators owning and operating everything between the physical medium and the end-user, to an "open horizontal market" with an abundance of actors operating on different levels and providing value added services on top of each other.
Open Access is also a broad approach to policy and regulatory issues that starts from the question: what do we want to bring about outside of purely industry sector concerns? It places an emphasis on:
- empowering citizens
- encouraging local innovation, economic growth and investment
- getting the best from public and private sector contributions.
It is not simply about making micro-adjustments to the technical rules of the policy and regulatory framework but seeking to produce fundamental changes in the outcomes that can be delivered through it. Since the advent of World Wide Web (WWW) in the early 1990s, the greatest advantage the web culture has brought about through dot.com boom-and-bust cycles is decentralization that has created more user-centric society, embracing diversity, practicality, voluntarism and egalitarianism in every field across the planet.
The FCC is scheduled to hold auctions on this 700 MHz frequency spectrum and seems to move toward auction rule change in favor of a partial Open Access plan that will require the highest bidder to use a third of the airwaves to build a network that is available to all wireless devices and services. It is most likely the FCC will decide for the partial Open Access.
Google indicated its participation in the forthcoming auction in efforts to achieve full open access plans, also known as "wholesale measures", which are neither fully accepted by FCC nor by mobile carriers, like AT&T and Verizon. However, AT&T and Verizon opted for the partial Open Access, while Sprint Next is bent on building WiMAX networks across the continental USA. WiMAX stresses the interoperability in terms of equipment and applications.
By and large, mobile technology takes center stage in communications and is unpredictable about its future course for now, and makes "what had been unthinkable a few years before" happen. Its cladogenetic evolution is proceeding at a dizzying pace, and this is why mobile content providers are concerned that 'network gatekeepers' like mobile carriers might end up stifling innovation and freer content distribution. Mobile search, mobile marketing, and mobile advertising are the fast-growing segments of the telecommunications industry and, as one industry executive said, 'blurring borderline between telecom and media industries' is getting more conspicuous.
Layers in Data Communication System ArchitectureEdit
The interesting layers in a data communication system architecture for terrestrial Optical Fibre Communication include:
- Physical passive infrastructure: right of way, ducts, fibre cables, fibre core terminated in an optical distribution frame with patch panels. Actors on this level includes real estate owners, both public and private, other infrastructure actors, such as power utility companies, railway companies, pipeline companies (water, gas, oil, etc). Several fibre owners lease dark fibre to operators or end-users.
- Optical transmission including wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) providing several communication channels in the same fibre core. Fibre owners sometimes provide wavelengths rather than dark fibre, sometimes both.
- Link level: includes a variety of link level services for Local Area Network LAN, Metropolitan Area Network MAN and Wide Area Network WAN implemented by switches, etc. Operators on this level include "service operator-neutral" network operators.
- Network level (IP), including unicast, multicast, anycast. Operators on this level include Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
- End-to-end transport level, including connection-oriented Transfer Control Protocol (TCP) and datagram (UDP). Commercial services on this level are rare.
- Services including session, presentation and application functionality, such as email (SMTP, POP, IMAP), web services (HTTP), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), terminal access (TELNET), etc. Typical commercial actors on this level include Internet Cafes.
See also Edit
- Report by Spintrack Consulting (funded by Infodev) on Open Access Models Open Access Models: Options for Improving Backbone Access in Developing Countries -with a Focus on Sub-Saharan Africa
- OECD's Competition Law and Policy Committee recommends structural separation for increased competition in public utilities Recommendation of the Council concerning Structural Separation in Regulated Industries
- FCC Majority Backs Open-Access Plan for Airwaves
- Google's battle for wireless spectrum
- FCC approves rules for airwaves sale