North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Regulatory intervention

  • From: Michael.Dillon
  • Date: Mon Oct 10 04:44:07 2005

> > Regulations also do not imply the involvement of governments.
> > It is possible for industries to self-regulate such as the
> > ARIN policies which are a product of the ARIN membership,
> > i.e. companies who use IP addresses in their networks.
> > 
> Mostly true.  However, ARIN policies are a product of both
> the ARIN membership and the IP using community at large.
> It is an important and good thing that the policy process is
> not limited to ARIN members.

I suppose the corollary to this in the world of network
peering is that it will be a good thing for end-users to
have some say in the peering agreements which are causing
some of them grief at present. Wise self-regulation of Internet
peering would find a way to incorporate the views of users
who, in the end, pay everyone's bills.

> If I had faith in any of the regulatory organizations that are likely
> to attempt to do this having half a clue about what they were attempting
> to regulate, I might be inclined to agree with you.

Self-regulation is still possible. Network operators meet regularly
in a number of venues such as MAAWG Messaging AntiAbuse Workking
Group and our own beloved NANOG. It only takes
a bit of willpower and elbow grease to start up an industry association
with the aims of monitoring, regulating, improving and reporting on
Internet operator interconnects.

> Sure, but, the likelihood of any of the large ISPs agreeing to such a
> model is very close to zero, 

That's where people like the politicians, and the FCC come in.
When the end-users want to see change, they bother the politicians
and FCC who in turn threaten to impose regulation. The wisest
network operators see the writing on the wall and organize self
regulation as a preemptive strike.

Look at how commodities exchanges and stock exchanges publish the
detailed prices of transactions. Most people have this idea that
price data is "sensitive" and that one does not disclose the 
prices negotiated in contracts. But at the same time, the exchanges
are an accepted part of the business world.

Today we live in a world where peering agreements are "sensitive" 
and both parties are bound by NDAs. The result is that a lot of
garbage is hidden from public view and this garbage does have 
negative impacts on the end users who rely on the Internet as 
a mission critical component of their business plan. Get rid of
the secrecy and you will also get rid of the garbage.

--Michael Dillon