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_Abandoned: A perspective on the modern high street and commerce








10 Interesting Things About The internet


1) The future of the Internet is weird! I found a series of youtube videos that predicted the landscape of the internet in the future and non were anything like it is today. Each video depicted a different scenario for the internet's future, however they all focussed on the theme of the how open the web is and how this might change in the future due to, politics, corporations and the separation of nations wanting to control the flow of information. I found it of particular interest researching into the future of the internet because often we take the internet for granted but there are many political and social factors that could lead to change in the internet and before we know it we may have an internet that is nothing like it is today.

2) Stuxnet. Another short youtube video I found was about the extent of virus that exist within the world wide web, however one in particular is of great significance and that is stuxnet. Stuxnet is the first virus to target system of information that are not public use and system of information that control industrial processes, such as oil rigs, transport networks and so on. Although many in power deny it's existence, it does exist and it is readily available on the internet for anyone to download and play around the code and develop there own version of the virus.

3) The United Kingdom is slow, in comparison with the rest of the world our internet is extremely slow but we are one of the biggest westernised countries so how can this be. Although the EU is ranked highest in the world many easternised countries are way ahead in terms of technology and speed with Hong Kong at the top of the list with there internet speed average reaching 44 Mbps. Before researching into the internet speed I assumed that Britain would be one of the fastest countries but it was interesting to find we are not even in the top ten.

4) The Internet and the environment. One thing that really shocked me the most was how the internet impacts on the environment, its clearly obvious that it has an effect on our planet but you never really associate the use of the internet with drastic contributions to environmental change. For every second of youtube video watched on the internet 0.2g of CO2 is used and we watched in average 2 billions youtube videos a day. I'm interested in subject of the environment on a general but to combine this with the subject of the internet returned some interesting findings, particularly when you consider the vastness of the internet and the huge contributions it make to the environment.

5) Growth. Through looking at statistics its easy to see the dramatic growth the internet sees in every aspect of the technology from severs, to websites to users to amount of viruses. The statistics rise year on year and not but a little but by a lot. There aren't many technologies in our world that grow like the internet, it seems as if it can't stop it just keeps getting bigger and bigger and becoming an evermore integral part of our lives.

6) Censorship is an issue i'm really interested in as I believe the internet should be an open environment as that what's made the internet what is today and why it is so popular, but many countries in the world such as china censor there internet to control what it's society and read and view of the internet allowing the government to stop the flow of information ad freedom of speech, corporations such as google have to abide by these censorship's guidelines.

7) Online retail sales have grown by 113% over the last five yearsEcommerce became the main area I focused my research because I find the relationship between ecommerce, internet shopping and the high street intresting, the statistics show it all, ecommerce is on the rise and the high street is taking a drastic fall in nothingness.

8) An interesting aspect of the internet I found was the types of things people search for and use the internet for, google offer an expansive tool to allow you to search for the most popular search terms for any given year and the change for year to year. Back in 2002 the number one googled term was 'Spider man' in 2012 'Rebecca Black' was the most googled term this suggests how our internet habits have changed for using the internet to find out about commercial entertainment to now viewing user generated content on youtube and looking at and creating memes. 

9) Friendster or Facebook. I have always found the creation of Facebook to be an interesting story, which I still don't think is complete one, but one interesting thing to remember is that Facebook was not the first social network. Before Facebook was Friendster and Facebook maybe has to thank Friendster for some of the work it did in the industry of social networking. Social networking as a whole is really interesting it's something that is still very immature in its lifecycle and has a long future of innovation ahead. 

10) Where does the internet come from? The internet is just there, its on our phones and it's in our homes but it was interesting to find out where it comes from us and how it gets to us.

Summer Brief Feedback


Internet Presentation

Top Brands on Facebook


Fall of the High Street



Habitat: Thirty of Habitat's UK stores were put into administration, leaving just three London-based shops that were bought by Home Retail Group. The creation of Terence Conran, who wanted a vehicle for his designs, Habitat said poor trading conditions were to blame, but acknowledged their products' expense and poorly located stores contributed to their problems.


Oddbins: The quirky wine merchant that aimed to personalise wine shopping failed to beat off mass-market competition and went into administration in April after amassing debts of £20m. Around 400 jobs in total were put at risk, but 37 stores out of 128 stores were bought by the EFB Group and relaunched in October.


TJ Hughes: The Liverpool-based homes discount store, that has been trading for over 100 years, was put into administration in June after a difficult period. Two months later, the company announced that 22 stores would be closed, resulting in the loss of 1,062 jobs - over a quarter of the total workforce.


Thomas Cook: For 170 years, Thomas Cook has been taking British travellers on holiday, easing journeys from the UK to countries the world over. But in November, the travel operator said that the Arab Spring and the crisis in the eurozone all contributed to falling sales, and the company revealed a loss of £400m, as well as announcing the closure of 200 stores.


Thorntons: The much-loved chocolate retailer, which has been trading for almost a century, said in June that it plans to close up at least 120 stores over the next three years, with the possibility of a further 60 closures. The company said it would increase selling via supermarkets and try to be less dependent on seasonal events, such as Easter and Christmas.


Jane Norman: Founded in the 1950s, the upmarket clothing retailer went into administration in June citing "severe cash flow difficulties". However, Edinburgh Woollen Mill bought 33 of its 94 stores in a deal that will allow the company to buy more stores in the future if trading picks up.


Borders: The UK branch of the company went bust back in 2009, and after putting up a tough fight, the US book and music retailer Borders Group finally announced defeat in July. The remaining 400 shops were liquidated in September, with the company blaming the rise of e-books and online shopping for the decline in sales.


Barratts: A familiar name on the high street, the shoe chain Barratts was placed in administration in December, putting 3,840 jobs at risk. The shoe retailer ran into trouble in 2009 when it reduced its number of shops from 380 to 220. Its administrators, Deloitte, said that "difficult economic conditions" were to blame.


HMV: 'His Master’s Voice' started trading in 1921 after the opening ceremony was attended by composer Sir Edward Elgar, confirming the brand's place in the British high street. The struggling music retailer issued a profit warning in the first quarter, then sold its bookseller chain Waterstone’s, and finally this week announced it may sell its live music division to generate sales.

Dominoes

Just over half of Domino’s Pizza takeaway orders are now made online, the company said today.

In the 13 weeks to March 25, ecommerce sales accounted for 50.6% of delivered sales at Domino’s Pizza UK and Ireland, up from 39.3% at the same time last year.

Online sales rose by 44.5% to £59.3m, from £41.3m last time of which 16.4% came through the company’s mobile platform. More than £1m in sales was taken through its mobile platforms in a single week during the period.

Social media followings also rose during the period. Its UK Facebook page has more than 520,000 fans, with another 13,700 in Ireland. Domino’s also has more than 22,000 Twitter followers across its UK and Ireland sites.

The update came as Domino’s reported a 9% total rise in sales, to £144.2m in the 13 weeks in its interim management statement. Sales were up from £132.3m at the same time last year. Both new store openings and like-for-like growth in sales, up by 3.5% during the period, drove the rise.

Lance Batchelor, chief executive officer, said: “We are pleased with the group’s performance in the first quarter and, although they are just part of the growth story, it is good to see our like-for-like sales continue to increase. It is especially pleasing to see sales in the Republic of Ireland return to positive territory.

“We may have a softer comparative for the second quarter of the year – but we will not be taking our foot off the accelerator. We have a number of marketing initiatives and other programmes aimed at ensuring our franchisees can profitably grow their businesses in the coming months. This, combined with a full pipeline of potential new sites, expansion in Germany, a strong management team in place and our ever improving operational gearing, makes me confident and optimistic about the months and years ahead.”

Search and eCommerce

Ebay, Amazon, Argos and Next were the most searched-for retailers in the UK in 2011, according to a new top 10 from Experian Hitwise.

The list of most searched-for brands in 2011 puts eBay in third place, Amazon UK in fourth, Argos in fifth, with Next bringing up the rear at 10th place.

Most searched for branded terms of 2011: The Experian Hitwise top 101 Facebook
2 YouTube
3 eBay
4 Amazon
5 Argos
6 BBC
7 Google
8 Hotmail
9 Daily Mail
10 Next

fCommerce

Overall, the top 25 retailers in the UK by total fan count for May 2011 were:
1. Topshop
2. New look
3. River Island
4. ASOS
5. Next
6. Net-A-Porter.com
7. Marks and Spencer
8. Chain Reaction Cycles
9. JD Sports
10. Phones4U
11. GAME
12. Topman
13. Sainsbury’s
14. Dorothy Perkins
15. Argos
16. Harrods
17. TK Maxx
18. Joules
19. Carphone Warehouse
20. Superdrug
21. Monsoon
22. Miss Selfridge
23. Republic.co.uk
24. Amazon.co.uk
25. Debenhams

Topshop is the unchallenged retail queen of social network Facebook, according to a new index which finds that the brand has almost 50% more fans as its nearest rival. Topshop has 1.4m fans, according to the index, while second-placed New Look has 0.978m

Play.com made sales worth £2m through its Facebook page in 2011, when fans engaged with it on the social media site they spent an average 24% more than customers who did not.

Play.com, owned by Rakuten, found that in the last 12 months it had grown its Facebook following from 75,000 or more than 350,000, growth of more than 370%. That, it calculated, has a potential reach of more than 38m friends of fans.

It also found that the volume of sales coming through Facebook rose by 80% in 2011, compared to the previous year, to £2m of gross merchandise sales.

f-commerce will bring them extra business worth £3.1bn over the next three years






High Street Statistics

Customers will spend 1.4% less in town centres this year because they are buying online and in out-of-town shopping areas instead

Verdict estimates that town centre spending will fall by 1.4% to £117,643m in 2012

Online retail sales have grown by 113% over the last five years

More than 80% of mums said they shop online for their children and themselves at least once or twice a month

and almost 90% said they like to “feel like they are getting a bargain” when they buy.

Some 71% of British people now shop online

only 14.9% of British businesses sell over the internet

81% of the UK population use the internet at least once a week

UK internet users make almost a third of all their purchases online, 32% of their total shopping budget online

The study also found that 96% of European internet users now research their purchases online, while 87% shop online and 19% do all their shopping online.

Europeans, the study found, spend 14.8 hours online each week. Those using a computer spend the most time online, at 13.3 hours, compared to 9.4 hours for those using a mobile phone, 9.3 hours for tablet-users and 6.8 hours for games console users.More than half (51%) of the consumers quizzed said the internet helped them to choose better products and services, with 47% inclined to find out more about products they see advertised online and 46% saying they often visit the website of their favourite brand

A related study this week put a figure of £4bn on the UK’s paid search market. The Econsultancy Paid Search Agencies Buyer’s Guide found the market would rise in value by 14% in 2012 and would reach £4.19bn by the end of this year

shopping centres had lost 38.4% of their capital value since 2007

Around 71% of these centres are more than 20 years old

The UK retail sector has seen capital values fall by 31% since June 2007 and rental values fall by 8.3%

Just over £1 in every £10 spent in a UK retail transaction in February was spent online

10.7% of all UK retail sales were made over the internet – or £1.07 in every £10

The bulletin put the weekly average spent online at £573.6m

Up to four in 10 high street stores will close over the next five years as online shopping becomes more important

40% of shops could close as retailers look to rebalance their portfolios in the light of strong and growing sales through ecommerce and mobile phones

The report comes in the week that the Boston Consulting Group forecast that 23% of UK retail sales would take place online by 2016

Shoppers in the UK spent a total of £6.8bn online during December, 25% more than December 2009

Some 86% of over-55s shop regularly spend online, while 36% say they do most of their shopping on the internet,

53.4% said online goods were better value

British shoppers spend more than 2.4 hours a week shopping online

But though they spend less time shopping, it seems men spend more than women, parting with £273.15 in total (£127.93 online and £145.22 in store) compared to just £212.78 (£105.42 online and £107.36 in store) for women each month.

16% of 18 to 24-year-olds said they preferred the anonymity of buying online.

British online shoppers spent £68bn in 2011, £77bn to be spent online during the course of the year (2012) up by 13%

45 million Britons use a mobile phone and 49% of mobile buyers surveyed by Forrester Consulting use their mobile phones to purchase products at least once every three months

You won’t need your wallet to go shopping on Britain’s high streets in 2016 according to a new report by PayPal, which says in its report ‘Money: The Digital Tipping Point’ that 2016 will be the year when UK shoppers will be able to use their mobile phones to pay for things on the high street with digital money rather than cash, cheques or cards

80% of the 1,360 people they quizzed said the best prices were online

More than a third said they found it easier to spend online, and 15% said they had laid out more than £1,000 on a single purchase. Some 91% of people said they preferred shopping online to the high street, with 40% citing their hatred of queues and 41% opting for greater choice online.

By 2014 less than 40% of retail spending will be on the high street, according to the study, which also found that over the past decade out of town retail floorspace has increased by almost a third while in towns it has shrunk by 14%.

It has been a tough year in the world of retail. The latest government-commissioned report found that a third of high streets are failing,

Future of the Internet

History of E-Commerce

Over the past 12 years, the Internet has changed the way we buy and sell goods and services. Do you remember buying airline tickets before the Internet? Can you imagine buying a new computer or car without doing hours of Web research? And Christmas shopping? You actually had to step foot in the mall…ugh.

By definition, e-commerce means the buying or selling of goods and services over the Internet. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 66 percent of the adults online have purchased something over the Internet, whether it's books, shoes or a Caribbean cruise.

But if you extend e-commerce's definition to include researching products and services online without buying anything, or bidding on an online auction but not winning, then the number of adults who participate in e-commerce jumps to 93 percent [source: Pew Internet & American Life Project]. That's just about all of us.

Even with a slumping global economy, online retail sales continue to rise. According to recent forecasts by Forrester Research, online retail sales will increase 17 percent in 2008 to reach an annual total of $204 billion, with the biggest sellers being clothing, computers and cars [source: InformationWeek].

E-commerce's history is short but fascinating. Over the course of a few decades, networking and computing technology have improved at exponential rates. Powerful personal computers linked to global information networks have powered a whole new world of intellectual, social and financial interactions. And this is only the beginning.

How E-commerce Started

As far back as the 1960s, businesses were using primitive computer networks to conduct electronic transactions [source:123EDI]. Using something called Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), a company's computer system could share business documents -- invoices, order forms, shipping confirmation -- with another company's computer. In the beginning, each company had its own standards for formatting these documents. But in 1979, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) came up with something called ASC X12, a universal standard for sharing business documents over electronic networks.

Prior to that, in the late 1960s, the military developed ARPAnet to ensure that crucial communications were circulated in the event of a nuclear attack. The original ARPAnet connected four large U.S. research universities and relied on huge, unwieldy computers. In 1971, researchers developed the Terminal Interface Processor (TIP) for dialing into the ARPAnet from an individual computer terminal [source: ARPAnet]. But the greatest networking evolution came in 1982, when ARPAnet switched over to Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), the same packet-switched technology that powers the modern Internet.

By the early 1980s, individual computer users -- still mostly at major research universities -- were sending e-mails, participating in listservs and newsgroups, and sharing documents over networks like BITNET and USENET.

CompuServe was one of the first popular networking services for home PC users, providing tools like e-mail, message boards and chat rooms. In the mid-1980s, Compuserve added a service called the Electronic Mall, where users could purchase items directly from 110 online merchants [source:SmartComputing]. While the Electronic Mall wasn't a huge success, it was one of the first examples of e-commerce as we know it today.

In 1990, a researcher named Tim Berners-Lee at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN, from its French name) proposed a hypertext-based web of information that a user could navigate using a simple interface called a browser. He called it the "WorldWideWeb" [source: NetValley]. And in 1991, the National Science Foundation lifted a ban on commercial businesses operating over the Internet, paving the way for Web-based e-commerce.

In 1993, Marc Andreesen at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) introduced the first widely distributed Web browser called Mosaic. Netscape 1.0's release in 1994 included an important security protocol called Secure Socket Layer (SSL) that encrypted messages on both the sending and receiving side of an online transaction. SSL ensured that personal information like names, addresses and credit card numbers could be encrypted as they passed over the Internet.

In 1994 and 1995, the first third-party services for processing online credit card sales began to appear [source: Keith Lamond]. First Virtual and CyberCash were two of the most popular. Also in 1995, a company called Verisign began developing digital IDs, or certificates, that verified the identity of online businesses. Soon, Verisign switched its focus to certifying that a Web site's e-commerce servers were properly encrypted and secure.

The Founding Fathers of E-commerce
In July 1995, Jeff Bezos boxed up the first book ever sold on Amazon.com from his Seattle garage [source: Amazon.com]. Within its first 30 days of business, the self-proclaimed "Earth's largest bookstore" sold books to online shoppers in all 50 U.S. states and 45 countries [source: Amazon.com].

With Amazon, Bezos tapped into a powerful new e-commerce market. Books, he had realized, were cheap to ship and easy to order directly from publishers. Publishers had already created vast digital archives of their titles on CD-ROM, something that could be uploaded to a Web site [source: Time].

Amazon.com set the standard for a customer-oriented e-commerce Web site. Users could search available titles by keyword, author or subject. They could browse books by category and even get personalized recommendations. They could also purchase books quickly and securely with the patented "one-click" checkout system.

But the most popular Amazon.com feature has always been the reader review option [source: E-commerce Land]. On Amazon, any registered member can write and publish a book review. And other users can rank each review, creating a hierarchy of top Amazon reviewers. Amazon's online community feel -- in addition to the steep discounts on many books -- has contributed to the site's popularity.

Amazon went public in 1997, and as the dot-com boom reached its pinnacle in 1999, Bezos was named Time's "Person of the Year." Amazon has expanded its offerings beyond books. It currently offers music, movies, electronics, toys, home and garden equipment, clothing, jewelry, video games and digital downloads. Amazon runs seven different international Web sites, has distribution and customer service centers in seven countries and employs more than 17,000 people worldwide. Yet despite its growth, Amazon hasn't always been a financial powerhouse: It didn't post its first quarterly profit until 2001 and its first annual profit until 2004 [source: Seattlepi.com]. But in the first quarter of 2008, Amazon announced a profit increase of 33 percent over last year, an impressive achievement in tough economic times [source:Associated Press].

Back in 1995, when Bezos was shipping books from his garage, Pierre Omidyar, a software programmer, started coding a simple Web site he called AuctionWeb. Omidyar was curious if people would use the Internet to bid on each other's used items. Looking around for something to sell, Omidyar picked up a broken laser pointer. Within a day, it had sold for $14.83 [source: eBay]. Omidyar e-mailed the buyer to make sure the guy knew it was broken. The buyer's response? "I'm a collector of broken laser pointers" [source: eBay]. Welcome to eBay.

eBay leveled the e-commerce playing field. You didn't have to be a Web entrepreneur or an existing business to sell things online. All you had to do was raid your attic, post a listing, and there was a good chance that someone, somewhere, would pay money for your old junk. In 1996, with two full-time employees, eBay sold $7.2 million worth of goods. By 1997, with the help of a Beanie Babies frenzy, eBay sold $95 million in goods. In 2007, eBay sold $52.5 billion in auctions, had more than 220 million registered users and 13,000 employees [source: eBay].

Both eBay and Amazon paved the way for today's e-commerce merchant. Consumers can buy almost anything online, including shoes, home goods and even a real shark's tooth. Just type "unusual items for sale" in a search engine, and see what comes up.

History of E-Commerce Infographic


Email Use Statistics

  • Email open rates increased 12.6% year-over-year in 1Q12, with an overall open rate of 26.2% 
  • Email opens on smartphones and tablets have increased 80% over the last six months 
  • 91% of US online seniors use email 
  • 61% of emails received at professional email accounts are non-essential 
  • 57.3% of Japanese smartphone owners use email on their devices, compared to 40.8% for the U.S, 35.9% for Canada, and 30% for EU5 
  • For the first time, more than half (53%) of Americans 65 and older use the internet or email98% of smartphone owners use email, compared to 97% for texts 
  • 16.7% of promotional emails with 25 characters or less in their subject lines are opened, compared to 15% of those with 26-50 characters, and 14.3% of those with 51-75 
  • 61% of marketing companies plan to increase their efforts in email marketing in the next year, compared to 53% for social advertising, and 47% for mobile apps 
  • 96.69% of emails opened on tablets are opened on the iPad, compared to 0.95% for the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and 0.65% for the HP TouchPad 
  • 69.15% of emails opened on smartphones are opened on the iPhone, compared to 3.57% on the HTC Evo, and 1.91% on the Motorola DroidX 
  • 2.39% of emails are opened on both a desktop computer and smartphone, compared to 0.69% on both a desktop computer and tablet 
  • 1.43% of B2B emails are opened on the iPad, compared to 0.05% for Android tablets 
  • 6.55% of B2B emails are opened on the iPhone, compared to 1.55% for Android phones 
  • 8.10% of all B2B emails are opened on mobile phones, compared to 1.48% for tablets, and 90.27% for desktop computers 
  • Mobile phones account for 20.63% of all email opens, compared to 6.76% for tablets 
  • 27% of emails were opened on a mobile device during the second half of 2011 up from 20% during the first half of 2011 
  • Revenue per email averages 2x higher for ‘Friends and Family’ campaigns 
  • 57.6MM Japanese users access email on their phone, representing more than half of all mobile phone users 
  • 75% of small to medium-sized U.S. business websites lack an email link on their home page for consumers to contact the busines

Email Facts and Statistics

  • 160 billion emails are sent daily, 97% of them are spam.
  • Spam generates 33bn KWt-hours of energy every year, enough to power 2.4 million homes, producing 17 million tons of CO2.
  • 9 out of every 1,000 computers are invected with spam.
  • Spammer get 1 response to every 12 million emails they send (yet it still makes them a small profit).
  • The first electronic mail, or "email", was sent in 1972 by Ray Tomlinson, It was also his idea to use the @ sign to separate the name of the user from the name of the computer.
  • Queen Elizabeth of Britain sent her first email in 1976.
  • Some 190 billion emails are sent daily - more than 2 million per second - by 1,2 billion email senders.
  • About 70% (133 billion emails) are spam and viruses.
  • There are about 1,4 billion registered email addresses.

Spam Facts
  • 60 billion e-mails are sent daily
  • 90% of all email is spam
  • 64% of spam servers are in Taiwan, 23% are in the US

User Facts
  • The average business user receives 25 email messages per day; increasing 10% per year
  • The average business user spends 2.6 hours per day reading and responding to email
  • 38% of employees have sent an e-mail without the required attachment
  • 34.1% of users open an e-mail by 5 pm
  • It takes 77 minutes a week for an employee to manage their mailbox, such as cleaning out old messages and filing old messages or attachments
  • It takes 27 minutes for a user to delete or archive enough messages in order to be able to use the e-mail system again after hitting a “quota limit”
  • It takes 8.2 minutes for a user to find an email that is older than two weeks

Email Marketing Facts
  • E-mail click through ratio is best on Wednesdays, reaching 3.9%
  • 60% of business correspondence has grammar or spelling errors

Age Facts
  • 75% of adults prefer e-mail to IM, 75% of teens prefer IM to e-mail
  • Less than one-fifth of teenagers use e-mail for communication

Extremely Scary Facts
  • 60% of an organisations's intellectual property is in the e-mail system
  • The typical user stores more than one-half of his/her critical business information within the confines of the e-mail system
  • 38% of US and UK companies monitor and read e-mails written by employees

Where Does the Internet Come From?


Internet Censorship Video

Timeline of Email

1971
Ray Tomlinson, a computer engineer working for Bolt Beranek and Newman in Cambridge, Massachusetts, developed a system for sending messages between computers that used the @ symbol to identify addresses. He now can't remember the first message he sent, or the exact date he sent it.

Tomlinson's system gained popularity by linking up users on Arpanet, the US department of defence system that became the basis for the internet.

1972
Larry Roberts - also at work on Arpanet - writes the first email management program that develops the ability to list, select, forward, and respond to messages.

1976
Queen Elizabeth II sends an email message on Arpanet, becoming the first head of state to do so.

1988
Steve Dorner invents Eudora, an application that gave a popular face to email by providing a graphical user interface for email management.

1989
The first release of Lotus Notes email software. 35,000 copies are sold in the first year.

1996
Microsoft releases Internet Mail and News 1.0, a feature of its third release of Internet Explorer. This is later renamed Outlook.

1996
A few companies - including the fledgling Hotmail - begin to offer free, use-anywhere, internet email.

1997
About 10 million users world wide have free web mail accounts.

1998
Microsoft buys Hotmail for $400m (£283m).

2001
Email celebrates its 30th anniversary with virtually every business in the developed world signed on.

History of Email


What is SPAM?

What is Spam?
Spam is in several ways not harmless. The least it does is taking away bandwidth from the internet users. By 2004 over 30% of all internet traffic is consumed up by spam.

Also consider that each e-mail cost in average the equivalent energy of 50 grams of coal, a lot of energy is wasted here. (quote from anonymous source) In this light it is un-understandable that there is done almost nothing against it.

And it gets worse and worse. Polluting one's mailbox and sometimes snow under messages you do want to receive. In volume spam can take up from 1 or 5 messages a day to almost 99% of you mail box. That of course is depending on how visible you are on the internet.

The original purpose of spam is selling or promoting an article. In the past several years Viagra, penis enlargers, libido enhancers, are the most popular items. Another list can be made of mortgage offerings, lending, offers to alleviate your loans or credit card burden. And lately spam offers nothing in particular but to visit some specific site mostly with content as the above.

It gets harder and harder to recognize spam because most messages appear to be quite normal with ordinary sender names and subjects. Even spam filters think the mail with a nonsensical (re: idiotic) contents are regular e-mail. But installing spam filters forces you to choose between speed over convenience. The tighter your screening is the more risk you have to filter out legitimate mail or slow down your email processing. The latter is the case with virus filtering. How most filters work can be abundantly found on the Internet.

How Spammers work
Many spammers can buy a database from companies with millions of valid email addresses and use them to advertise. These email addressees are composed of addresses used on newsgroups and chat rooms. Many companies have special software that can extract these addresses and put them into a database to sell. Many companies also search the web, looking for web addresses with the symbol @ at the end. From these, they can find valid email addresses. Many of these types of companies work outside countries with legislation against spamming in order to avoid lawsuits. According to Marshall Brain quoting "Detroit Free Press: Spam king lives large off others' e-mail troubles".

Typical spamming company often works like this:

The computers in Ralsky's basement control 190 e-mail servers -- 110 located in Southfield, 50 in Dallas and 30 more in Canada, China, Russia and India. Each computer, he said, is capable of sending out 650,000 messages every hour -- more than a billion a day -- routed through overseas Internet companies Ralsky said are eager to sell him bandwidth.

Many spammers can make up to $700 per hour by simply using lists of email addresses and applying them to their advertisement. As spam celebrates it's 25th year of operation, we must remember that spam takes up about 40% of all email messages sent on the web. How can we prevent this even further?

History of SPAM

1937
The original term Spam was coined in 1937 by the Hormel corporation as a name for its potted meat product: a blend of spiced ham.

From there, the transition from meat product to internet term has a stop with Monty Python's Flying Circus.

In 1970, that BBC comedy show aired a sketch that featured a cafe that had a menu that featured items like "egg, bacon, and spam;" "egg, bacon, sausage, and spam;" " spam, bacon, sausage, and spam;" "spam, egg, spam, spam, bacon, and spam;" and finally "lobster thermidor aux crevettes with a mornay sauce garnished with truffle pate, brandy, and a fried egg on top and spam." To make matters sillier, the cafe was filled with Vikings who periodically break out into song praising Spam: "Spam, spam, spam, spam ... lovely spam, wonderful spam ..."

Computer people adopted the term from the Python sketch to mean overrunning a fixed-sized buffer with too much data, in other words the data was like the Spam in the sketch, something excessive and undesirable.

With the commercialization of the Internet, the term Spam expanded to include the unwanted commercial messages and that became the primary meaning.

There are two common alternative explanations that are certainly false.
The first is that it refers to a quality of the meat product such that when you throw it at a wall, most of it bounces off, but a little sticks--much like commercial spam, most of which is deleted but some is answered. While this is no more silly than the Monty Python explanation, it does not jibe with the original computer sense of overloading a buffer.
The second false explanation is that the computer spam is an acronym of some sort. Various phrases are suggested as the source, such as "stupid pointless annoying mail." All are obviously created after the fact.

1978
The first commercial spam sent intentionally was that of a DEC representative to every Arpanet address on the west coast, or at least an attempt at that.
The sender is identified as Gary Thuerk, an aggressive DEC marketer who thought Arpanet users would find it cool that DEC had integrated Arpanet protocol support directly into the new DEC-20 and TOPS-20 OS.

1982
February, Earliest known email chain letter (quickly stamped out)

1989
Some other form of Spam probably began around 1989 or 1990 in MUD's (multi-user interactive environments) this is to refer to flooding the MUD, its chat or its database with stuff.

1991
February, mass message: Craig Shergold wants cards

1993
March 31 - Usenet administrator Richard Depew inadvertently posted the same message 200 times to a discussion group. this one was coined spam by Joel Furr, a Mudder. Adopting a term previously used in online text games, outraged Usenet users branded the excessive message posting "spam".

First Giant Spam

The first major USENET spam came on January 18 of 1994. Every single newsgroup found it it a religious screed declaring: Global Alert for All: Jesus is Coming Soon.

This one caused a ton of debate and controversy. The Andrews University sysadmin (Clarence Thomas) who sent it generated a flurry of complaints against his institution and some press, though reportedly he never got more than a mild punishment at the time. He did however eventually leave the University, but was also known to have done some more minor religious spams at later dates.

1994
March 4 - Many companies are starting to use the net as a cheap way to advertise. Other companies are using the net to keep in touch with their clients and give support via the internet. Every year the Internet doubles in usage and users. Not all countries do have access to the net.
The Net approaches more or less the Super Information Highway as was meant by Vice President Al Gore and his advisors.

A well publicized case of net pollution, later this use of the internet will be called SPAM, is the case "Canter and Siegel", a law firm in the USA which used the net to advertise practically to all users of all active BBS's of the net. In their advertisement they tried to obtain customers for the application of a Green Card" (a permit for foreigners to stay in the USA). The reaction varied from flames to uncalled subscriptions on tens of magazines, meters of blank faxes and a program of a Norwegian programmer who developed the mechanism of Cancelbot. Cancelbot is a program which erases all e-mail of this firm on any computer before it can reach the user.

CancelMoose: An individual who wages a war against spam ming Anonymous individual who fires off the cancelbot. The CancelMoose (usually written as 'CancelMoose [TM]' on the Net) monitors newsgroups such as alt.current-events.net-abuse and news.admin.net-abuse for complaints about spamming (advertising), usually defined as messages posted to more than 25 newsgroups of widely varying content. The CancelMoose's identity is kept secret for reasons of personal safety.

December, The "good times" email virus hoax.

1995
June,"spamware" (spamming software)

August, List of 2 million email addresses offered for sale

October, abuse@ addresses

November,"remove list" (the first (?) of many that were intended to be universal)

1996
March, Spamblocks (e.g. REMOVE.TO.REPLY) added to addressees to foil spammers

1997
March,"open relay", servers that can be used to send millions of mail anonymously, mostly the admin's of these servers are not aware of this misuse.

1998
April, ISOC (Internet Society) meeting on spam. Organizations like ISOC are beginning to realize how serious a problem spam is becoming.

2000
Nigerian scam spam started around this year. People received an e-mail containing text that promised you to make a quick million just by borrowing your checking account for transferring funds. Even the Nigerian government, annoyed as they were with this very negative publicity, started to check on the originators, opening a special e-mail address, created pages on their embassy sites, and tried to capture them.
In some cases people were even invited to Nigeria by the scammer's gang and got ransacked of every penney they had. Often these criminals left their victims half naked on the street after they had finished their scam. If they were lucky. One of the worst cases registered so far in scamming. Even Time magazine mentioned this Nigerian connection.

November, Taiwan (.tw) becomes the spam capital of the world.

2002
The European Union outlaws spam. But the legeslation is easy to evade so that this ruling has almost no effect.


2003
At least 2 billion spam messages are sent each day.

After a long and fruitless fight against the use of the word SPAM other than for their meat product Hormel came out with a declaration on July 14 and throws the towel in the ring. Therewith finalizing the Don Quixote like fight.

Below follows an extract on their defense as it is displayed on their site:

SPAM and the Internet

You've probably seen, heard or even used the term "spamming" to refer to the act of sending unsolicited commercial email (UCE), or "spam" to refer to the UCE itself. Following is our position on the relationship between UCE and our trademark SPAM.

Use of the term "spam" was adopted as a result of the Monty Python skit in which our SPAM meat product was featured. In this skit, a group of Vikings sang a chorus of "spam, spam, spam . . . " in an increasing crescendo, drowning out other conversation. Hence, the analogy applied because UCE was drowning out normal discourse on the Internet.

We do not object to use of this slang term to describe UCE, although we do object to the use of the word "spam" as a trademark and to the use of our product image in association with that term. Also, if the term is to be used, it should be used in all lower-case letters to distinguish it from our trademark SPAM, which should be used with all uppercase letters.

This slang term, which generically describes UCE, does not affect the strength of our trademark SPAM. In a Federal District Court case involving the famous trademark STAR WARS owned by LucasFilms, the Court ruled that the slang term used to refer to the Strategic Defense Initiative did not weaken the trademark and the Court refused to stop its use as a slang term. Other examples of famous trademarks having a different slang meaning include MICKEY MOUSE, to describe something as unsophisticated and CADILLAC, used to denote something as being high quality. It is only when someone attempts to trademark the word "spam" that we object to such use, in order to protect our rights in our famous trademark SPAM. We coined this term in 1937 and it has become a famous trademark. Thus, we don't appreciate it when someone else tries to make money on the goodwill that we created in our trademark or product image, or takes away from the unique and distinctive nature of our famous trademark SPAM. Let's face it. Today's teens and young adults are more computer savvy than ever, and the next generations will be even more so. Children will be exposed to the slang term "spam" to describe UCE well before being exposed to our famous product SPAM. Ultimately, we are trying to avoid the day when the consuming public asks, "Why would Hormel Foods name its product after junk e-mail?"

Position Statement on "Spamming"

We oppose the act of "spamming" or sending UCE. We have never engaged in this practice, although we have been victimized by it. If you have been one of those who has received UCE with a return address using our web site address of SPAM.com, it wasn't us. It's easy and commonplace for somebody sending UCE to simply adopt a fake header ID, which disguises the true source of the UCE and makes it appear that it is coming from someone else. If you have or do receive UCE with this header ID, please understand that it didn't come from us.

And of course Hormel is right. Their product is not, can not possibly be the same, as what we refer to as spam that is spread over the internet like a pestilence. "Spam is threatening the very existence of the internet as we know it today..." write some columnists. Future will show if they are right.

2004
Definitely 35% of all e-mail consists of Spam

The CAN-SPAM Act goes into effect on Jan. 1. While the law does not prohibit unsolicited commercial email, it does require that unsolicited commercial email senders: - Ensure that the “FROM” line clearly reflects the sender’s identity - Include subject line text consistent with message content - Include the advertiser’s valid postal address - Contain a working opt-out mechanism as a way for the consumer to decline to receive further commercial email from the sender

Hypertouch, a California-based ISP, files the first civil lawsuit under CAN-SPAM against the owner of BobVila.com.

On March 20, America Online, EarthLink, Microsoft and Yahoo! all file the first ISP lawsuits under the CAN-SPAM legislation.

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) creates a working group to examine Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) authentication, including examination of proposals for the domain name system (DNS) publication of data that allow validation of Internet Protocol (IP) address or envelope originator header data for SMTP MTAs.

March 28, A new form of spam gains momentum: Add Spam, or instant-messenger spam, is appearing on computer screens with increasing frequency. And the problem may get worse as e-mail marketers look for new ways to reach consumers as most governments start to prepare anti-spam laws.

This form of pollution manifests itself primarily for users of MSN. According to Radicati, a marketing research company, the number of spam messages rise from 400 million to 1,2 billion. The same source states that this is because of the increase of use in IM (instant messaging - a from of chatting.

In the first quarter of this year Spam is finally declared illegal by some governments and laws come into effect. Some are forbidding Spam completely (China) others let commercial interest prevail above the poisoning of the internet (USA, Holland) and any variation in between. Anti Spam movements are not happy to say the least. But the day that Spam was declared illegal in the USA the amount of spam dropped dramatically. For a few days.

 Michigan conducts the first criminal prosecution under the CAN-SPAM Act, issuing arrest warrants for four men charged with sending out hundreds of thousands of fraudulent, unsolicited commercial email messages advertising a weight-loss product.

 As if the flow of spam isn't problematic enough, here comes another wave. Spammers Get Ready For April Fool's Day Barracuda Networks, a maker of spam fire walls, says E-mail users should prepare for a spike in spam activity leading up to April Fool's Day. Spammers are expected to use subject lines such as "great joke," "free jokes," "prank," or "April fools" to entice users into opening attachments that carry viruses or objectionable content, potentially putting company networks at risk. Spammers increasingly have used holidays such as Christmas or Valentine's Day to take advantage of consumers looking to get good deals on holiday-related purchases. But in the absence of a commercial hook for April Fool's Day, they're likely to use the appeal of jokes to deliver malicious content. Barracuda warns that bogus April Fool's messages may come in large-enough quantities to flood company networks that don't have up-to-date spam and virus filters.

Just another wave of panic caused by the commercial guys that was uncalled for. The wave did not materialize.

 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issues a ruling requiring all unsolicited email with sexually oriented content to bear the label “SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT:” in the subject line.

 Only one in six emails complies with the FTC “SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT” label.

 FTC issues “National Do Not Email Registry: A Report to Congress” on the feasibility of creating a Do Not Email registry. Among the report’s conclusions are that a registry would be nearly impossible to implement today and could create a target for spammers. The report calls for a summit on email authentication.

In June the UN organization International Telecommunications Union (ITU) let us believe that Spam can be controlled within 2 years IF governments and other authorities and software companies cooperate in legislation en anti spam software to tame the spamming. Millions op people will shy away from the internet when this does not happen so the ITU states. ITU has estimated the costs worldwide of spam on 25 billion dollar per year. But it is estimated that the actual costs of cleaning spam: rebooting computers and peripherals, productivity loss etcetera, is costing the community four times as much. But, the ITU states, it will only succeed when all concerned work together.

(editors comment: In that case two years is very optimistic I have not seen any government make a decision so fast. Let alone that software companies and governments will start working together where there has been such an alienation between the two sections the past decades. Now, if it comes, it does from the (international) Open Source community. Since they are generally so fed up with spam there must be a group effort underway)

June - That something can be done against excessive spam is proven by Australia. A stringent law is now effective. Banning all mail for pornography, adds for erection pills etc. that are taking care for over 75% of all email world wide. Companies that send spam are fined for 1.1 million Australian Dollars (670,000 EUR /820,000 USD) each day they continue to do so. And in Australia this is taking effect, almost all spam has disappeared. Unwanted e-mail is costing companies billions a year now.

MX Logic reports that CAN-SPAM compliance reaches a low of 0.54 percent, while 84 percent of all email traffic through the MX Logic Threat Center is spam.

As part of Operation Web Snare, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles announces it filed charges against Nicholas Tombros for sending unsolicited email advertising pornographic Web sites from his laptop computer while driving through Venice, Calif., and using unsecured wireless access points to disseminate spam.

Nicholas Tombros, the “wireless spammer,” becomes the first person convicted under the CAN-SPAM Act.

October - Judge Orders Spam King To disable spyware programs
A federal judge has ordered Stanford Wallace, known as the Spam King, to disable so-called spyware programs that infiltrate people's computers, track their Internet use and flood them with pop-up advertising. United States District Judge Joseph DiClerico issued a temporary restraining order Thursday against Stanford Wallace and his companies, SmartBot.net Inc. of Richboro, Pa., and Seismic Entertainment Productions Inc. of Rochester. SmartBot's principal place of business is Barrington. Prosecutors sought the injunction on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission, which targeted Wallace in its first anti-spyware action.

Jeremy Jaynes, considered one of the top 10 spammers in the world, is sentenced to nine years in prison under Virginia’s anti-spam law for sending millions of spam messages to America Online customers.

A Maryland (USA) judge overturns the state’s anti-spam law (2002 Commercial Electronic Mail Act), ruling that it interferes with interstate commerce.

In the largest judgment against a spammer to date, a federal judge in Iowa orders three companies to pay an ISP $1 billion in damages.

The US one year old CAN-SPAM laws intended to curb Spam have had very little impact; thus stated by an anti Spam software company MX Logic. This company estimates that 77% of all e-mail is Spam while CAN-SPAM compliance hits an all-time high of 7 percent.
Feedback by users of America Online show that 2003's favorite subject Oprah Winfrey, teens and Viagra, were overtaken this year by ID theft scams, mortgage deals and substitutes for a withdrawn anti arthritis painkiller called Vioxx.

2005
1 Jan - Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger legislated a new law against spyware effective per 1 Jan 2005. Though the USA Congress debated on four law proposals California is them one step ahead.

The Consumer Protection Against Spyware Act forbids installation of software that (partly) takes over control of your computer. Companies (and web sites) exploiting such software are now ordered to publish the fact if their software installs spyware. Citizens that are affected with spyware on their computer can now claim a 1000 US Dollar damage from the company that installed the spyware. Though receiving the money will be difficult however the companies are known the owners or people behind it stay in the murk. And the wording of this act is such that it will be hard to prosecute the perpetrator.

Spam is changing its features once again. From complete and often well designed html pages via your mail or pop-ups spammers are now changing their messages to short email texts (again) in order to evade spam detecting software. Or at least they hope to have spread the message millions of times before a spam filter can be adapted.

12 May - Judge Tom Reilly in Massachusetts, USA has ordered several sites to go off-line. The sites were connected to a gang of spammers. Seven suspects and 2 companies are charged with spamming, main suspect is Leo Kuvayev, and 2K Services en Ecash Pay. The spammers were rounded up with help from Microsoft by creating some hundred thousand Hotmail accounts. Within 3 weeks 45.000 spam mails were received that were allegedly originating from the spam gang.

August, Spam still rules the waves. Here is an illustration from Sophos, an antispam software manufacturer, reporting on the first half of 2005.

August, a new trend in cloaking spam surfaces.

Do you remember those funny programs that generated random text as were it prose? Most of it was gibberish, some output had something. Well, spammers seem to have rediscovered this text generation tools to cloak their spam. Though most are nonsensical some are even readable and others even read like a spy message!

Here are some readings, enjoy:

"Got engine safe planet, language large. Always young, early. Done common final has time. Answer list break once warm whether. By, fish river, half, farm. String, made strange rail. Way nation has mouth five she was. Hour able, ready. If children, one moon. Season grass, shine shape, young arm, just. Dog in, divide sound quiet little off. Select, see decide there. Able grass, group set seem fruit. Break so, was, try head."

"Went real, flow. Both carry control book, to, certain floor. Map sound just die train once. Box now dance. Class start part short, from, wash. Stone moment, colony, mark problem ride, let. Born at our suit other. Though answer wall. Took oil engine room. Felt, friend time was. Letter, bright figure. Need gun point life, gave century too. Stop jump sleep village where card. Wire country money here fire locate. Joy twenty man, play save, subtract example."

"Oh, did you buy the hotel; you promised a million … sure. Get out! I wish I knew. Please make it quick; fast and furious; please … fast and furious. Please help me get out; I'm getting my wind back, thank God! Please, please; Oh, please. You will have to, please … tell him, 'You got no case.' You get ahead with the dot and dash system. Didn't I speak that time last night. Whose number is that in your pocketbook, Phil? 13780. Who was it? Oh! … Please, please … Reserve decision, police, police; Henny and Frankie … Oh, Oh, dog Biscuit, and when he is happy he doesn't get snappy … Please, please do this! Henny, Henny, Frankie! You didn't meet him; you didn't even meet me; the glove will fit what I say … Oh, kayiyi, kayiyi! Sure, who cares? When are you through! How do you know this? Well, then … Oh, Cocoa; no … thinks he is a grandpa again and he is jumping around. No, Hoboe and Poboe I think I mean the same thing….

"Police, Mamma! Helen, mother, please take me out. Come on, Rosie. O.K. Hymes would not do it; not him. I will settle … the indictment. Come on, Max, open the soap duckets. Frankie, please come here. Open that door, Dumpey's door. It is so much, Abe, that … with the brewery. come on. Hey, Jimmie! The Chimney Sweeps. Talk to the Sword. Shut up, you got a big mouth! please come help me up, Henny. Max come over here … French Canadian bean soup … I want to pay, let them leave me alone."

And they are just trying to sell pills, drugs and loans or other items!

2006
Though the European Union outlawed spam 2002, most EU-countries do little to fight this nuisance says Reding. „I will review the subject next year to see if additional legislation is needed against Spam". According to internet security advisors spam has increased since last year from 54 to 85 percent from all email. In 2001 it was just 7 percent. While most internetters just see spam as a nuisance, Brussels thinks Spam originates increasingly from criminals. The latter's install unsolicited software on your computer to extort personal or secret information.

The EU asks internet companies to install more filters against Spam. At the same time Brussels officials engage in tougher discussions with countries where this Spam seem tot originate from.

Most spam (21 percent) originates form the USA, research from IT- security firm Sophos points out, (July - Sept.) China is second best with 13 percent, followed by France and South Korea with over 6%.

Web Browser Use Through the Years


History of the Web Browser


History of Search Engines


Search Terms 2004 - 2011

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

Internet Speed: 1879-2011


Cat 1 - 1876

Used for POTS (Plain Old Telephone System), this is your standard phone line. On June 3, 1880, Bell conducted the world's first wireless telephone transmission between two buildings, some 213 meters apart.




Cat 2 - Mid 70's
Used primarily for token ring networks.
-4Mbps





Cat 3
100 pair cabling used for Ethernet 10Base-T
-10Mbps



Cat4
-16Mbps



Cat 5/Cat 5e
Cat 5 is for use with Ethernet 100Base-TX and is rated at 100Mbps.
Cat5e is for use with Ethernet 1000Base-T and is rated at 1,000Mbps



Cat 6
Has a higher frequency of 250Mhz compared to Cat 5e's 100Mhz
-1Gbps



Cat 7
Not widely accepted yet, this standard runs at 10 to 100Gbps



Fiber Optic - 2011
Fiber optics were made by creating the optical signal involving the use of a transmitter, relaying the signal along the fiber, ensuring that the signal does not become too distorted or weak, receiving the optical signal, and converting it into an electrical signal. On 22 April 1977, General Telephone and Electronics sent the first live telephone traffic through fiber optics at a 6 Mbit/s throughput in Long Beach, California.

As of April 29th 2011, researchers were able to reach speeds of 100Tbps. That is the equivalent of sending 3 months of HD video in one second! With dial-up internet (the first few Cat cables) it would take 49 minutes and 55 seconds just to download a 20MB file. For 3 months worth of HD video to be downloaded on a 56k dial-up connection we estimate that it would take about 24 years and double that if you have a 28.8K modem. The internet has come a LONG way in a very short amount of time. The convenience we have now in 2011 is worth being thankful for. I don't know if I can ever complain about a 'slow download' ever again.

Access to Internet as a Right

2003: World Summit on the Information Society
In December 2003 the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was convened under the auspice of the United Nations. After lengthy negotiations between governments, businesses and civil society representatives the WSIS Declaration of Principles was adopted reaffirming the importance of the Information Society to maintaining and strengthening human rights. We, the representatives of the peoples of the world, assembled in Geneva from 10–12 December 2003 for the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, declare our common desire and commitment to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society, where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, enabling individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential in promoting their sustainable development and improving their quality of life, premised on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and respecting fully and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.3. We reaffirm the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelation of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development, as enshrined in the Vienna Declaration. We also reaffirm that democracy, sustainable development, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as good governance at all levels are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. We further resolve to strengthen the rule of law in international as in national affairs.

The WSIS Declaration of Principles makes specific reference to the importance of the right to freedom of expression in the "Information Society" in stating:4. We reaffirm, as an essential foundation of the Information Society, and as outlined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; that this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Communication is a fundamental social process, a basic human need and the foundation of all social organization. It is central to the Information Society. Everyone, everywhere should have the opportunity to participate and no one should be excluded from the benefits of the Information Society offers."

2009-2010: BBC World Service poll
A poll of 27,973 adults in 26 countries, including 14,306 Internet users, conducted for the BBC World Service between 30 November 2009 and 7 February 2010 found that almost four in five Internet users and non-users around the world felt that access to the Internet was a fundamental right. 50% strongly agreed, 29% somewhat agreed, 9% somewhat disagreed, 6% strongly disagreed, and 6% gave no opinion.

2011: UN Special Rapporteur report
In May 2011 the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council "exploring key trends and challenges to the right of all individuals to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds through the Internet." The report made 88 recommendations on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of expression online, including several to secure access to the Internet for all. Other recommendations call on states to respect online anonymity, adopt privacy and data protection laws, and to decriminalize defamation.
Unlike any other medium, the Internet enables individuals to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds instantaneously and inexpensively across national borders. By vastly expanding the capacity of individuals to enjoy their right to freedom of opinion and expression, which is an “enabler” of other human rights, the Internet boosts economic, social and political development, and contributes to the progress of humankind as a whole. In this regard, the Special Rapporteur encourages other Special Procedures mandate holders to engage on the issue of the Internet with respect to their particular mandates.
78. While blocking and filtering measures deny users access to specific content on the Internet, States have also taken measures to cut off access to the Internet entirely. The Special Rapporteur considers cutting off users from Internet access, regardless of the justification provided, including on the grounds of violating intellectual property rights law, to be disproportionate and thus a violation of article 19, paragraph 3, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
79. The Special Rapporteur calls upon all States to ensure that Internet access is maintained at all times, including during times of political unrest.
85. Given that the Internet has become an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress, ensuring universal access to the Internet should be a priority for all States. Each State should thus develop a concrete and effective policy, in consultation with individuals from all sections of society, including the private sector and relevant Government ministries, to make the Internet widely available, accessible and affordable to all segments of population.

Media coverage of the report suggested that La Rue had declared Internet access itself a human right by emphasising that “the Internet has become a key means by which individuals can exercise their right to freedom and expression.” In his report La Rue stressed that “There should be as little restriction as possible to the flow of information via the Internet, except in a few, very exceptional, and limited circumstances prescribed by international human rights law.” La Rue also emphasised that "any restriction must be clearly provided by law, and proven to be necessary and the least intrusive means available for the purpose of protecting the rights of others."

History of Internet Delivery (Technologies)

Local Area Networks
Local area networks (LANs) provide Internet access to computers and other devices in a limited area such as a home, school, computer laboratory, or office building, usually at relatively high data rates that typically range from 10 to 1000 Mbit/s. There are wired and wireless LANs. Ethernetover twisted pair cabling and Wi-Fi are the two most common technologies used to build LANs today, but ARCNET, Token Ring, Localtalk, FDDI, and other technologies were used in the past.

Most Internet access today is through a LAN, often a very small LAN with just one or two devices attached. And while LANs are an important form of Internet access, this begs the question of how and at what data rate the LAN itself is connected to the rest of the global Internet. The technologies described below are used to make these connections.

Dial-up access
Typical noises of a dial-up modem while establishing connection with a local ISP in order to get access to the Internet.
Problems listening to this file? See media help.

Dial-up access uses a modem and a phone call placed over the public switched telephone network (PSTN) to connect to a pool of modems operated by an ISP. The modem converts a computer's digital signal into an analog signal that travels over a phone line's local loop until it reaches a telephone company's switching facilities or central office (CO) where it is switched to another phone line that connects to another modem at the remote end of the connection.

Operating on a single channel, a dial-up connection monopolizes the phone line and is one of the slowest methods of accessing the Internet. Dial-up is often the only form of Internet access available in rural areas as it requires no new infrastructure beyond the already existing telephone network, to connect to the Internet. Typically, dial-up connections do not exceed a speed of 56 kbit/s, as they are primarily made using modems that operate at a maximum data rate of 56 kbit/s downstream (towards the end user) and 34 or 48 kbit/s upstream (toward the global Internet).
Broadband access
The term broadband includes a broad range of technologies, all of which provide higher data rate access to the Internet. These technologies use wires or fiber optic cables in contrast to wireless broadband described later.

Multilink dial-up
Multilink dial-up provides increased bandwidth by bonding two or more dial-up connections together and treating them as a single data channel. It requires two or more modems, phone lines, and dial-up accounts, as well as an ISP that supports multilinking - and of course any line and data charges are also doubled. This inverse multiplexing option was briefly popular with some high-end users before ISDN, DSL and other technologies became available. Diamond and other vendors created special modems to support multilinking.

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), a switched telephone service capable of transporting voice and digital data, is one of the oldest Internet access methods. ISDN has been used for voice, video conferencing, and broadband data applications. ISDN was very popular in Europe, but less common in North America. Its use peaked in the late 1990s before the availability of DSL and cable modem technologies.

Basic rate ISDN, known as ISDN-BRI, has two 64 kbit/s "bearer" or "B" channels. These channels can be used separately for voice or data calls or bonded together to provide a 128 kbit/s service. Multiple ISDN-BRI lines can be bonded together to provide data rates above 128 kbit/s. Primary rate ISDN, known as ISDN-PRI, has 23 bearer channels (64 kbit/s each) for a combined data rate of 1.5 Mbit/s (US standard). An ISDN E1 (European standard) line has 30 bearer channels and a combined data rate of 1.9 Mbit/s.

Leased lines
Leased lines are dedicated lines used primarily by ISPs, business, and other large enterprises to connect LANs and campus networks to the Internet using the existing infrastructure of the public telephone network or other providers. Delivered using wire, optical fiber, and radio, leased lines are used to provide Internet access directly as well as the building blocks from which several other forms of Internet access are created.

T-carrier technology dates to 1957 and provides data rates that range from 56 and 64 kbit/s (DS0) to 1.5 Mbit/s (DS1 or T1), to 45 Mbit/s (DS3 or T3). A T1 line carries 24 voice or data channels (24 DS0s), so customers may use some channels for data and others for voice traffic or use all 24 channels for clear channel data. A DS3 (T3) line carries 28 DS1 (T1) channels. Fractional T1 lines are also available in multiples of a DS0 to provide data rates between 56 and 1,500 kbit/s. T-carrier lines require special termination equipment that may be separate from or integrated into a router or switch and which may be purchased or leased from an ISP. In Japan the equivalent standard is J1/J3. In Europe, a slightly different standard, E-carrier, provides 32 user channels (64 kbit/s) on an E1 (2.0 Mbit/s) and 512 user channels or 16 E1s on an E3 (34.4 Mbit/s).

Synchronous Optical Networking (SONET, in the U.S. and Canada) and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH, in the rest of the world) are the standard multiplexing protocols used to carry high data rate digital bit streams over optical fiber using lasers or highly coherent light from light-emitting diodes (LEDs). At lower transmission rates data can also be transferred via an electrical interface. The basic unit of framing is an OC-3c (optical) or STS-3c (electrical) which carries 155.520 Mbit/s. Thus an OC-3c will carry three OC-1 (51.84 Mbit/s) payloads each of which has enough capacity to include a full DS3. Higher data rates are delivered in OC-3c multiples of four providing OC-12c (622.080 Mbit/s), OC-48c (2.488 Gbit/s), OC-192c (9.953 Gbit/s), and OC-768c (39.813 Gbit/s). The "c" at the end of the OC labels stands for "concatenated" and indicates a single data stream rather than several multiplexed data streams.

The 1, 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE, 10GbE, 40GbE, and 100GbE) IEEE standards (802.3) allow digital data to be delivered over copper wiring at distances to 100 m and over optical fiber at distances to 40 km.
Cable Internet access
Cable Internet or cable modem access provides Internet access via Hybrid Fiber Coaxial wiring originally developed to carry television signals. Either fiber-optic or coaxial copper cable may connect a node to a customer's location at a connection known as a cable drop. In a cable modem termination system, all nodes for cable subscribers in a neighborhood connect to a cable company's central office, known as the "head end." The cable company then connects to the Internet using a variety of means – usually fiber optic cable or digital satellite and microwave transmissions. Like DSL, broadband cable provides a continuous connection with an ISP.

Downstream, the direction toward the user, bit rates can be as much as 400 Mbit/s for business connections, and 100 Mbit/s for residential service in some countries. Upstream traffic, originating at the user, ranges from 384 kbit/s to more than 20 Mbit/s. Broadband cable access tends to service fewer business customers because existing television cable networks tend to service residential buildings and commercial buildings do not always include wiring for coaxial cable networks. In addition, because broadband cable subscribers share the same local line, communications may be intercepted by neighboring subscribers. Cable networks regularly provide encryption schemes for data traveling to and from customers, but these schemes may be thwarted.

Digital subscriber line (DSL, ADSL, SDSL, and VDSL)
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service provides a connection to the Internet through the telephone network. Unlike dial-up, DSL can operate using a single phone line without preventing normal use of the telephone line for voice phone calls. DSL uses the high frequencies, while the low (audible) frequencies of the line are left free for regular telephone communication. These frequency bands are subsequently separated by filters installed at the customer's premises.

DSL originally stood for "digital subscriber loop". In telecommunications marketing, the term digital subscriber line is widely understood to mean Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), the most commonly installed variety of DSL. The data throughput of consumer DSL services typically ranges from 256 kbit/s to 20 Mbit/s in the direction to the customer (downstream), depending on DSL technology, line conditions, and service-level implementation. In ADSL, the data throughput in the upstream direction, (i.e. in the direction to the service provider) is lower than that in the downstream direction (i.e. to the customer), hence the designation of asymmetric. With a symmetric digital subscriber line (SDSL), the downstream and upstream data rates are equal.

Very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line (VDSL or VHDSL, ITU G.993.1) is a digital subscriber line (DSL) standard approved in 2001 that provides data rates up to 52 Mbit/s downstream and 16 Mbit/s upstream over copper wires and up to 85 Mbit/s down- and upstream on coaxial cable. VDSL is capable of supporting applications such as high-definition television, as well as telephone services (voice over IP) and general Internet access, over a single physical connection.

VDSL2 (ITU-T G.993.2) is a second-generation version and an enhancement of VDSL. Approved in February 2006, it is able to provide data rates exceeding 100 Mbit/s simultaneously in both the upstream and downstream directions. However, the maximum data rate is achieved at a range of about 300 meters and performance degrades as distance and loop attenuation increases.

DSL Rings
DSL Rings (DSLR) or Bonded DSL Rings is a ring topology that uses DSL technology over existing copper telephone wires to provide data rates of up to 400 Mbit/s.

Fiber to the home
Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) is one member of the Fiber-to-the-x (FTTx) family that includes Fiber-to-the-building or basement (FTTB), Fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP), Fiber-to-the-desk (FTTD), Fiber-to-the-curb (FTTC), and Fiber-to-the-node (FTTN). These methods all bring data closer to the end user on optical fibers. The differences between the methods have mostly to do with just how close to the end user the delivery on fiber comes. All of these delivery methods are similar to hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) systems used to provide cable Internet access.

The use of optical fiber offers much higher data rates over relatively longer distances. Most high-capacity Internet and cable television backbones already use fiber optic technology, with data switched to other technologies (DSL, cable, POTS) for final delivery to customers.

Australia has already begun rolling out its National Broadband Network across the country using fiber-optic cables to 93 percent of Australian homes, schools, and businesses. Similar efforts are underway in Italy, Canada, India, and many other countries (see Fiber to the premises by country).

Power-line Internet
Power-line Internet, also known as Broadband over power lines (BPL), carries Internet data on a conductor that is also used for electric power transmission. Because of the extensive power line infrastructure already in place, this technology can provide people in rural and low population areas access the Internet with little cost in terms of new transmission equipment, cables, or wires. Data rates are asymmetric and generally range from 256 kbit/s to 2.7 Mbit/s.
Because these systems use parts of the radio spectrum allocated to other over-the-air communication services, interference between the services is a limiting factor in the introduction of power-line Internet systems. The IEEE P1901 standard specifies that all powerline protocols must detect existing usage and avoid interfering with it.

Power-line Internet has developed faster in Europe than in the U.S. due to a historical difference in power system design philosophies. Data signals cannot pass through the step-down transformers used and so a repeater must be installed on each transformer. In the U.S. a transformer serves a small clusters of from one to a few houses. In Europe, it is more common for a somewhat larger transformer to service larger clusters of from 10 to 100 houses. Thus a typical U.S. city requires an order of magnitude more repeaters than in a comparable European city.

ATM and Frame Relay
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and Frame Relay are wide area networking standards that can be used to provide Internet access directly or as building blocks of other access technologies. For example many DSL implementations use an ATM layer over the low-level bitstream layer to enable a number of different technologies over the same link. Customer LANs are typically connected to an ATM switch or a Frame Relay node using leased lines at a wide range of data rates.

While still widely used, with the advent of Ethernet over optical fiber, MPLS, VPNs and broadband services such as cable modem and DSL, ATM and Frame Relay no longer play the prominent role they once did.

World and City Internet Speed



 

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