As is well known to most CircleID readers — but importantly, not to most other Internet users — in March 2011, ICANN knowingly and purposefully embraced an unprecedented policy that will encourage filtering, blocking, and/or redirecting entire virtual neighborhoods, i.e., “top-level domains” (TLDs). Specifically, ICANN approved the creation of the “.XXX” suffix, intended for pornography websites. Although the owner of the new .XXX TLD deems a designated virtual enclave for morally controversial material to be socially beneficial for the Internet, this claim obfuscates the dangers such a policy creates under the hood.
Archive for the 'Policy' Category
In response to the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s recent Further Notice of Inquiry on the Internet Assigned Names and Numbers Authority (IANA) Functions [Docket No. 110207099-1319-0], I submitted the following comment:
My third FCC Technical Advisory Council meeting (3-hr. video archive here) was the most exciting yet. The TAC’s Critical Legacy Transition working group, studying the legacy public switched telephone network, recommended that the Council advise the FCC to set a concrete date to sunset (shut down) the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). (!) The working group recommended the year 2018 as a starting point for lively discussion.
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.
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: