WLAN Hearing in the Subcommittee for New Media
Whoever in Germany makes public WLAN Internet access available offers an important service – and risks making themselves liable for the misdemeanors of others. A legal exception from this Breach of Duty of Care for so-called mini-providers was discussed on the 13th May in the Subcommittee for New Media. eco’s Chairman of the Board Prof. Michael Rotert welcomed the endeavor to finally create some certainty for the providers of public WLAN. “The greatest fear of the mini-provider is to be punished as the WLAN provider for the legal violations of guests. After all, we are talking here about cafes, hotels and bookshops – for many of them, with the current fines this would mean a threat to their professional existence.” In his view, this concern has slowed the spread of public WLAN. Continue reading
Germany’s Internet conference re:publica 13 took place on 6-8 May 2013 in Berlin, giving bloggers, activists, researchers and everybody interested in the development of the Internet the chance to discuss politics, the media, technology and Internet-related issues such as privacy, censorship and copyright. eco joined the discussion started by Deutsche Telekom. The country’s largest Internet provider had announced earlier that its ‘flat rate’ plans would no longer be true flat rates. Users would be granted significantly lower Internet speeds after they had used up their monthly quotas.
‘Big Data’ creates mountains so high there’s no word to describe it
Humanity started 2013 with a global data volume of over 2 zettabytes (a 2 followed by 21 zeroes, or 2 billion trillion bytes) –and it’s just the beginning of collecting unimaginably large amounts of data, explained eco, the Association of the German Internet Industry, at their Annual Congress 2013, in Cologne. “Through the squirrel-like collecting mania of people, given potential through the ever-present digitalization of life, the data mass will double every two years, leading to data mountains running into the fantastillions,” said Dr. Béla Waldhauser, Leader of the competence group Datacenter Infrastructure in the eco Association, on the theme of ‘Big Data’.
Germany discussed this question in 2005 and 2009. An Enquete Commission, or Special Committee formed by the Bundestag, the country’s first chamber of Parliament, suggested creating a Permanent Committee called ‘Internet and Digital Society’ as well as an Internet coordination board within the Federal Government. This brought new life to the discussion. The development of the Internet and digitalisation affects every part of our lives and our economy.
Germany’s regulatory authority, the Bundesnetzagentur, has published a document outlining a set of rules that should bring more transparency to the country’s broadband market. The authority’s goal is for providers to give customers more details about the actual bandwidth they can use and how much data they transfer.