Filtering debate at NetHui 2018

Mandatory filtering of our internet by government agencies is appropriate in NZ

Facilitators: Shane Hobson & Andrew Cushen

Good cop Andrew & bad cop Shane will lead a discussion on the topic of internet filtering by NZ Govt agencies. Shane will take the affirmative, explaining that the benefits to society of filtering outweigh the costs, while Andrew will vigorously defend every New Zealander’s right to an open and accessible internet.

Bypass is pleased to announce our promotion to the NZTE F700

According to the NZTE, segmentation into F700 is based on a company’s willingness to engage with NZTE, ambition, capability and capacity to grow internationally and past international growth performance.

Our global network is currently processing 47.5 Billion DNS queries per second at peak.

NZTE has played an essential role in helping Bypass navigate international expansion. Of particular value, we’ve benefitted from the Beachheads advisors, who are a network of private sector experts who offer perspective and insights to help our customers grow internationally.

We’re pleased to see that NZTE has recognised our investment in establishing an office in India.

For Bypass, this means a more intensive account managed relationship, where NZTE provides strategic advice and some judicious, trusted advisor insight based on seeing what works across the export sector.

90% of customers agree or strongly agree that NZTE has added value to their business.

We look forward to continuing to strengthen our working relationship with them to support our international growth.

About NZTE
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is New Zealand’s economic development and trade promotion agency. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise helps companies grow internationally, bigger, better and faster, for the benefit of New Zealand.

Robi Safenet keeps children safe on the internet

Auckland/Mumbai: January 29th, 2018 – Leading digital company, Robi, has once again revolutionised Bangladesh’s digital landscape by introducing Robi Safenet – a unique service that allows parents to protect their children from harmful content on the internet through filtering.

Robi Safenet uses intelligent risk detection algorithm to allow/ block specific sites that are inappropriate for children. The service also allows parents to control when their child can use the internet. This is particularly useful to ensure child’s complete focus on their studies. Besides, it allows custom blocking of non-listed app/ URLs that are harmful for children.

In order to subscribe to the service, Robi customers need to visit www.robisafenet.com. Once subscription is done successfully, the parents can add their child’s number to start protecting them from the negative aspects of internet. Subscription to this service is free till the end of February 2018.

 

Commenting on the launch of Safenet, Robi’s Chief Commercial Officer, Pradeep Shrivastava said: “Digital lifestyle is rapidly becoming mainstream in Bangladesh. The imminent launch of 4G service is expected to accelerate this encouraging trend by manifolds. While such changes certainly bodes well for the socio-economic and personal development, it potentially exposes our children to the harmful aspects of internet. As a responsible company, Robi has empowered the parents to ensure their child’s safety on the internet through Robi Safenet. We are confident that this unique service will emerge as the key tool to ensure proper mental growth of our children in the society.”

This service has been launched by Robi in partnership with Bypass Network Services Limited, New Zealand and Ekaga Futuristics Private Limited, India. For further details about the service, Robi customers can visit www.robisafenet.com.


 

About Robi Axiata Limited

Robi Axiata Limited (“Robi”) is a subsidiary company of the Asian telecom giant, Axiata Group Berhad based in Malaysia. Robi is the second largest mobile network operator in Bangladesh. Robi has introduced many first of its kind digital services in the country and has invested heavily to take its mobile network to the underserved communities even in the rural areas. Other shareholders in the entity are Bharti Airtel International (Singapore) Pte Ltd and NTT DOCOMO Inc.

 

About Bypass

Bypass creates technology for telecommunications marketing teams to differentiate their brand and increase revenue. Bypass provides filtering services which keep kids safe online and helps telecommunications service providers meet industry regulated compliance requirements.

 

About Ekaga

Ekaga Futuristics Private Limited has been setup to address the gap which withholds the latest global innovators to enter into the South Asian market. Ekaga brings in Service Innovation to help such global start-ups enter the market. Ekaga Futuristics Private Limited is a partner of Bypass Network Services Limited for their operations in South Asia.

Netsafe Report – Teens and Sexting: Prevalence and Attitudes

Netsafe has recently released New Zealand’s first ever research report exploring sexting behaviour in NZ teens – ‘Teens and Sexting: Prevalence and Attitudes’. The 37-page report outlines upsetting statistics about the sharing of nudes among young New Zealanders aged 14-17 years old. The report outlines the differences between categories of youths, such as gender, ethnicity and disability. With this complex and evolving behaviour becoming a part of the norm, sexting is a topic parents’ should be increasingly concerned about.

“This report is has been released as part of an ongoing project exploring young people’s experiences of digital risk and harm, carried out by a partnership between Netsafe and the Ministry for Women. We deeply value the contribution of the Ministry for Women team whose encouragement and insights have helped shaped this study.”

Managing kids’ access to technology is a struggle that most parents face on a daily basis. Who are my kids are engaging with? What are they saying to each other? What kinds of things are they learning about? What websites do they have access to? What are they sending to each other? Are they being appropriate? Are just a few of the questions most parents are asking themselves.

Throughout the study, when Netsafe asked the general public what kind of behaviour they assumed 14-17-year-olds participate in, public attention centred on the potential risks faced by young people sharing nude content online, and the apparent pervasiveness of this behaviour. However, there has been no statistical evidence to support or explain how much of an impact technology has had on our youths when it comes to inappropriate behaviour online.

Here are just a few of the statistics NetSafe discovered:

• 4% of teens say they have sent nude or nearly nude content of themselves in the last 12 months. The percentage nearly doubles among older teens aged 17 years old (7%).

• 5% of all boys surveyed have asked someone for nude images or videos of them. In contrast, the percentage for girls is 2% in the last 12 months.

• Almost three-quarters agree that people should be punished for threatening to share images while a third think that available information and advice tackles issues related to the sharing of nude content well.

• Teens with disabilities were more likely to be asked for nude content of themselves and receive unsolicited nude content than those without impairments.

To read the full report, you can view it here!

PITA members address the issue of protecting kids’ online safety in Fiji

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Samoa and Fiji lead the Pacific region regarding potentially harmful internet content, but for opposite reasons. The Samoan Regulator is encouraging Internet Service Providers in Samoa to establish systems to filter child sexual abuse materials and is currently undergoing a six months pilot scheme with the ISPs who have signed on to determine the best way forward and to ascertain legislative measures that need to be made.

On the other hand, according to this article published in the Fiji Times, Fiji leads the Pacific in searches for online pornography, ranking in the top 10 online searchers for adult content worldwide.

This June 2017 editorial from the Fiji Sun newspaper tells us that in May 2017 according to a report released by the Fiji Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, “There were … 21 victims (of rape or sexual assault) … under the age of 18 years.”

These two articles suggest that there is something going on in Fiji that is not conducive to a healthy society. Is there a link between the consumption of online pornography and a high incidence of sexual assaults in Fiji society? We don’t know the answer to that question, but we’re sure that something needs to change if this abuse is to stop.

We congratulate the Samoan Regulator on being proactive in stemming the flow of potentially harmful material available online, and we call upon all Pacific nations to show leadership in this area.

Bypass is a member of the IWF and proudly supports their vision of globally eliminating child sexual abuse imagery online and to make the internet a safer place. Bypass’ customers can have access to the IWF’s list of  blocked websites as a part of their network level parental controls solution Buddy Guard or Regulatory Enforcement products. The list is automatically integrated into our network filtering technology, and provides parents with peace of mind that their children will not be exposed to inappropriate content online.

While we encourage policymakers to take action, we would also say the regions’ telcos should not wait for regulation. We encourage telcos to take a stand today against this horrific crime and implement network-wide blocking of child sexual abuse content.

Telcos missing from Australia Online Safety on the Edge Conference

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We have just returned from the Online Safety conference held in Sydney on Nov 1 – 3. The conference was jointly hosted by the Australian eSafety Commission and NZ’s own Netsafe.

The event was well attended with over 400 delegates and a range of interesting speakers. We shared a table with Antigone Davis, Head of Global Safety for Facebook. She explained some of the tools that Facebook is using to help keep people safe online including their processes for taking down image based abuse after it has been posted online. Antigone went on to explain measures that Facebook is employing that allow people to pre-emptively block private images before they are posted onto Facebook. This is a significant step forward in stopping online image based abuse before it occurs.

The majority of delegates were from groups who provided training or support to young people helping them to be safe online or to assist those who had been victimised online.

There was only a small number of representatives from the online or telco industries suggesting a lack of awareness or sense of responsibility for the role we play helping to keep people safe in the online environment we’re creating.

Nearly all the presenters had an upbeat, positive story to tell about their work. The exception was a case study presented by the Child Exploitation Internet Unit of the New South Wales Police Force. This was a “warts & all” case study that took us through the detection, capture & conviction of five Australian child sex offenders  We were able to read the text messages and chats exchanged by the abusers, listen to their recorded phone calls and watch their police interviews. In this case all five offenders were convicted and imprisoned. This was a truly chilling presentation that gave a small insight into the world of child sex offenders and reinforced the value of our work.

This huge issue in the Australian household, & the perfect organisation to really help is the broadband provider. Bypass’ network level parental control – Buddy Guard is designed to help the service provider with a fast deployment model & tools to help with the challenges that families are currently facing in the home. It’s just one way the broadband provider plays a part in the wider ecosystem, with online content players & government to prevent children from harm online.

WorldLink launches SafeNet – Nepal’s first Safe Internet Service for Families

WorldLink has launched Nepal’s first Clean Internet Service. Being a firm believer of Service Innovation, WorldLink continues to revolutionise Nepal’s broadband market by giving customers a platform which can keep them secure in the online world while providing the freedom to decide their preferences which should not be allowed into the home or workplace.

While the Internet offers Nepal many positive educational, economic and social benefits, unfortunately, there are numerous risks for young people online. By offering self-content filtering integrated into the broadband service, WorldLink is encouraging a healthy dialogue amongst the family, focused on educating young people about the risks of the online world.

WorldLink is also helping its business customers improve workplace productivity and reduce the consumption of unwanted content.

WorldLink Clean Internet Parental Controls VAS Nepal

“WorldLink is committed to providing its customers with the latest digital technology because the digital life of our future generation depends on ensuring their safety online. By launching a content controls service, WorldLink is again standing by its commitment,” says Samit Jana, CTO of WorldLink.

WorldLink selected Bypass Network Services represented by Ekaga Futuristics Pvt Ltd, India. Bypass provides network level parental controls and filtering services which keep kids safe online and helps telecommunications service providers meet industry regulated compliance requirements.

Competition in the Pacific; Pricing factors due to government regulation

We recently returned from the Pacific Islands Telecommunications Assoc Marketing Forum. This forum was well attended by Pacific telco operators.

A common theme with the attendees was they were all incumbents in their home market and only two-faced competition today. All attendees were concerned about the threat of competition.

One of the main concerns in regards to a competitor entering their home market was the likelihood that the new entrant would cherry pick the high value, easy to reach customers. While that behaviour is to be expected in any market, it’s especially challenging in the Pacific. In many cases, the consumers being served are spread across sparse geographic regions separated by thousands of kilometres of ocean. One telco told me of them paying $1600 in airfares to reach a remote island to repair equipment providing mobile phone & internet service to a few hundred customers. These customers taken in isolation do not pay their own way and are being subsidised by those high value, easy to reach customers that are the target of challenger telcos.

pacificislands telco competition value added services

Competitor billboards nearly side by side in Solomon Islands for Vodafone & Telekom

What happens in a market where the regulator simply opens the gates and allows competitors into cherry pick without consideration being given to any form of universal service obligation that ensures their entire population has equal access to telecommunication services?

To answer this question, we suggest you look to the NZ example of the Telecommunications Development Levy*

Another common theme is the high level of religious adherence in the Pacific and with that a strong sense of family values. This flows through into resistance from parents to allow their children internet access via a mobile phone due to concerns about them gaining access to internet content that conflicts with their family values. We have spoken in depth with at least one Pacific ISP who cites this as a significant barrier to uptake of mobile phones. We also understand the need to lock a parental controls solution to the phone handset rather than the SIM due to the low cost of SIMs resulting in a child defeating parental controls by simply replacing the SIM. Our technology works in these markets to remove barriers to uptake by giving telcos the tools required to empower families to limit their child’s exposure to objectionable internet content. Our pricing models are tuned to work in pre-pay, low ARPU markets such as the Pacific, South Asia, and Africa.

NZ Regulatory History (with Speaker notes)

http://www.comcom.govt.nz/regulated-industries/telecommunications/industry-levy-and-service-obligations/telecommunications-development-levy-tdl/

Buddy Guard Recognised – Finalist Best Broadband Innovation

Bypass Network Services is pleased to announce that their network level parental control solution – the Buddy Guard platform has been recognised as a finalist in the Broadband Compare Awards for Best Broadband Innovation. Bypass is the only Value Added Services Provider nominated in this category; the three others are traditional telecommunications providers.

Somewhat ironically, Bypass is not usually in the business of competing with its customers; it’s our role to help broadband providers stand out and differentiate themselves from their competition. The Best Broadband Innovation category is open to consumer and business Internet Service Providers as well as organisations like Bypass that work within the broadband industry.

Every month 30,000 consumers check Broadband Compare to look at the value their provider offers. Our offers are designed to set our customers broadband connection apart so they stop competing based on speed, price and data.

The uptake of the kid-safe Internet is gaining momentum, yet on the comparison site, customers with children can not see if their provider offers an option to block inappropriate content. We’ve contacted the site to see if we can rectify this.*

The awards are supported by Consumer, a trusted source of independent consumer information. We’re proud to be recognized and wish our fellow entrants all the best for the awards.

Our thanks to Chorus for sponsoring the Broadband Innovation Category.

*Update 28th Sept: Great news, we’ve heard back from Broadband Compare and are pleased to tell you they are creating a kid-safe category on their website soon.

 

Is the Aussie ISP a threatened species under NBN regime?

Andrew Khoo, Solutions Architect at AmaySIM spoke at AusNOG in Melbourne last week and explained that Australian ISPs are experiencing high levels of churn and reduced margins as the NBN is rolled out across Australia. Especially for ISPs outside of the “big 4” who don’t have the capacity to connect directly to all 121 NBN inter-connect points and are forced to buy the NBN service through an intermediary.

This is very similar to the NZ situation as the local government rolls out the UFB (Ultrafast Broadband Network) to around 87% of NZ premises. While the NZ UFB has a much lower barrier to entry for smaller ISPs, there is still enormous pressure on the small and mid-tier NZ ISPs from the large ISPs who offer multifaceted services.

Those multifaceted services include mobile and power being offered by a traditional telco (Slingshot), a Vocus brand and internet service being offered by electricity generators (Trustpower). These are all situations where cross-subsidization could occur between different services giving the large ISP an advantage over the smaller operator.

In both NZ & Australia, the fibre rollout has led to a land grab by ISPs as they take advantage of customer churn, driven by the awareness of new services available over the fibre networks not available on the copper networks such as high-resolution video streaming and multi-subscriber video streaming.

The NZ ISP market leads Australia by several years, so it is simple for Australian ISPs to see their future by looking across the Tasman to their NZ peers. There is still room for ISPs in Australia to bring other services into the mix (such as energy retailing) which will hit ISPs hard who are already struggling due to low margins and no significant point of difference from their competition.

ISPs selling over NBN need to evolve too rapidly to avoid extinction.  The quote that comes to mind is from Korean business theorist, W. Chan Kim who said in his Blue Ocean Strategy book, “The only way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition.” This is usually interpreted as instead of trying to beat the competition, do something different; precisely what the NZ ISPs who are crossing over into electricity resale are doing.

New Zealand ISPs are differentiating by adding related services to their internet service. Stuff Fibre (a one-year-old fibre ISP) has found good traction offering a parental controls service to their customers. This has immediate appeal to families with school-age children and provides a tangible point of difference from their competitors who talk about benefits such as internet speed and price.

Instead of competing based on price, speed and data they provide the end user with a point of difference that addresses a key concern in every family home with school-age children, how do we manage screen time?  

Talk to any parent in Australia, and you’ll know their kids see their device as an extension of themselves, as digital natives, and use the demands of homework to justify being online 24/7. They’ll tell you their teens stay up too late chatting with their friends, and this causes health concerns and issues with being tired at school.

We accept the Internet has more pro’s than con’s but have you ever thought about how helping your end users deal with a major breakdown will enhance your offer and improve your financial results?

Read More – Value Added Services Enhance ISP Growth