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Obama takes net neutrality stand; Infonetics reveals top cloud providers

In telecom news, Obama urged the FCC to reclassify broadband Internet, while enterprises chose top cloud providers in an Infonetics survey.

This week in telecom news, President Obama announced his stance on net neutrality rules and called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reclassify broadband Internet as a public utility. Meanwhile, a new survey from Infonetics Research revealed which companies enterprises named the top cloud providers.

A report from Strategy Analytics found that 65% of global households are connected to the Internet through Wi-Fi. Global Wi-Fi adoption is expected to grow exponentially over the next four years.

Obama pushes to set net neutrality rules

President Barack Obama voiced his support for net neutrality on Monday by calling on the FCC to reclassify broadband Internet as a public utility under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.

Obama said the FCC should create a new set of rules to protect net neutrality and to prevent broadband providers from intentionally slowing down content and creating fast lanes.

"For almost a century, our law has recognized that companies who connect you to the world have special obligations not to exploit the monopoly they enjoy over access in and out of your home or business," Obama said in a statement. "The time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services do."

Cable and Internet providers quickly voiced their opposition to Obama's stance on reclassification.

The Telecommunications Industry Association said in a statement that "such a move would set the industry back decades, and threaten the private sector investment that is critically needed to ensure that the network can meet surging demand."

AT&T said if the FCC acts on Obama's suggestion, it would be "a mistake that will do tremendous harm to the Internet and to U.S. national interests." AT&T also said it would expect to participate in a lawsuit if the FCC reclassifies broadband as a public utility.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler issued a careful statement noting that the FCC has moved on from Title II plans only because the issue is so complex and that a hybrid approach that addresses some ISP concerns might be best.

Software and service providers named top cloud providers

A new report from Infonetics found that the top cloud service providers chosen by enterprises aren't telecom providers, but companies offering over the top services, which included some well-known equipment vendors.

Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Google and Cisco were named by the most enterprises when asked which providers they consider the top three cloud service providers.

"The majority of the CSPs [communications service providers] named by respondents as [the] top three cloud providers have a long history as a software vendor and professional services provider or were a very early entrant into the off-premises cloud services market," said Cliff Grossner, directing analyst for data center, cloud and SDN at Infonetics. "Cisco is the one exception, having been able to leverage its dominant position in networking and communications to launch a Web collaboration offering with significant market recognition."

The report found that enterprises are adopting the cloud for increased performance, agility and scalability, and reduced costs.

"Our latest cloud strategies study shows that hybrid cloud will see a significant increase in adoption over the next two years, growing from 30% of respondent enterprises today to 46% by 2016," Grossner said.

The report also found that cloud as a service (CaaS) adoption will grow through 2016. Enterprises are opting for CaaS because it is an automated and preconfigured application execution environment managed by a service provider.

Global household Wi-Fi adoption grows

One-third of global households aren't connected to the Internet through Wi-Fi, according to a report from financial-analytics firm Strategy Analytics.

The report found that by the end of 2014, 690 million global households will be connected to broadband Internet -- an increase of 5% since 2013. But of those 690 million households, 239 million homes are connected to the Internet through cables and wires.

"Contrary to common perception, not all consumers have embraced Wi-Fi networks in their homes, despite the fact that global connected devices per household stand at 5.5 in 2014," said Eric Smith, connected home analyst for Strategy Analytics.

The Netherlands ranked the highest in total household Wi-Fi penetration with 80.4% of households connecting through Wi-Fi. The US ranked 11th with 58% of households connected to Wi-Fi. The Asia-Pacific region overall accounts for 41% of global Wi-Fi households.

Smith said global Wi-Fi adoption will increase over the next few years, reaching 80% household penetration by 2018.

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