Although the outcome is not good news, it is gratifying to see the predictions of a model of the Internet ecosystem being validated by the real world. Specifically, the recent spate of ISP consolidations is precisely what our network formation model predicts. First, Level3 acquired Global Crossing in a deal valued at $3B. A few months later, Centurylink (QWEST) acquired Savvis for $2.5B. Our model predicts that this consolidation will continue unless ailing tier-1 providers find a new source of revenue to compensate for their losses on IP transit.
Archive for the 'Policy' Category
I recently remotely attended my second meeting of the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council (slides but no video archives). The chairs of four working groups created at the first TAC meeting (Critical Transitions; IPv6; Broadband Infrastructure Deployment; and Sharing Opportunities) presented their interim results. The FCC then issued a set of “TAC recommendations” (which the TAC never saw); it is mostly a wish list from industry to the FCC. Ironically, IPv6 did not appear anywhere in the recommendations, despite being the most popular topic at the first TAC meeting last November, and despite us running out of IPv4 addresses since the last TAC meeting. But the TAC’s IPv6 WG did commit to (on slide 53) delivering a report by November 2011 on what the FCC could or should do to help promote IPv6 deployment. Specifically, the WG has the following charter:
This month Internet2′s new UCAN project issued a call for white papers on how they could use their $65M BTOP grant in operationally sustainable ways, i.e., so the infrastructure they build will have a chance of surviving when the federal stimulus project money runs out.
My recently submitted public comments on the increasingly controversial issue of ICANN’s plans to expand the generic Top Level Domain namespace indefinitely:
a repeat of my still unaddressed comments from the last (June 2010) economic report,
- an attempt to summarize some public comments to that June 2010 report,
- end an abbreviated historical timeline of ICANN’s economic research commitment to launching new gTLDs.
Among the interesting meetings I attended in 2010 was the principal investigators (PI) meeting for NSF’s new “Future Internet Architecture” (FIA) program. The FIA program builds on the successes of NSF’s previous Future Internet Design (FIND) program, the recommendations of a review panel, and a community summit in October 2009. (The FIND program itself has been integrated into NSF’s new Network Science and Engineering research program, while the four FIA teams are attempting to implement some of the ideas developed thus far.) CAIDA is participating in one of these projects — Named Data Networking (NDN), led by Van Jacobson at Xerox Parc and Lixia Zhang at UCLA. (Background links to 2010 technical report describing the proposed architecture, Van’s August 2006 video lecture and 2009 ACM Queue Q&A on NDN ideas.)
I recently attended my first FCC Technological Advisory Council meeting (video archives). A week before the meeting we received a memo from the chairman of the committee (Tom Wheeler) notifying the committee of a “clear and challenging mandate from Chairman Genachowski: to generate ideas and spur actions that lead to job creation and economic growth in the ICT [information and communication technologies] ecosystem.” Specifically, “The TAC will focus on the short term implementation of innovative ideas to create investment and jobs, as opposed to long term regulatory changes.”
[I submitted the following public comment to ICANN in response to their second attempt at commissioning An Economic Framework for the Analysis of the Expansion of Generic Top-Level Domain Names. I'll link to ICANN's summary of all public comments on this report when available. -k]
This second economic report posted 16 june (pdf) is an improvement over the June 2009 reports by Dennis Carlton (pdf, pdf) but there are still too many — and too fundamental — flaws for it to serve as the basis of any ICANN policy on new gTLDs:
We have performed an analysis of the IP-AS mapping obtained from Routeviews/RIPE collectors.
A crucial step in various research efforts that study the Internet infrastructure is to map an IP address to the Autonomous System (AS) to which it is assigned. The most common approach to map IP addresses to ASes is by using BGP table dumps from public repositories such as Routeviews and RIPE. We assign “ownership” of an IP address to the AS that originates the longest BGP prefix that matches the IP address. Routeviews and RIPE, however, have multiple collectors, each of which peers with a diverse set of ASes. Consequently, the IP-AS mapping obtained by using the BGP table dump from one collector could be different from that obtained from a different collector. The obvious solution is to aggregate views from as many vantage points as possible to obtain the most complete IP-AS mapping possible. In practice, however, it is common to use data from just one or two collectors, as it greatly simplifies the process of collecting and pre-processing data. The goal of our analysis is to compare different collectors, in terms of the different metrics that we are interested in, viz. address space coverage, IP-AS mapping, unique ASes, unique prefixes, unique more specific prefixes, AS links, and AS paths. Further, we study the utility of adding data from more collectors, in terms of the resulting change in the aforementioned metrics. Finally, we compare the IP-AS mapping from Routeviews and RIPE tables with that obtained from Team Cymru’s whois service.
We have studied growth trends in the number of ASes seen advertised in the global routing system from different regional registries (similar to Geoff Huston’s 32-bit AS Number Report, but with per-registry trends). We used Routeviews and RIPE BGP dumps over the last 12 years, and Team Cymru’s WHOIS lookup service to map ASNes to registries as of March 2010. To our knowledge, historical data to map an ASN to a regional registry at any given time in the past is not available, so we cannot account for ASN movement between registries. More information about the data collection and pre-processing is in our IMC 2008 paper, “Ten Years in the Evolution of the Internet Ecosystem” and our supplemental data page.
No one was more surprised than I to see data collection requirements in the NTIA’s Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) for the Rural Utilities Service’s (RUS) Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) and the Broadband Technology Opportunities Programs (BTOP):