It looks like an ISP finally kicked the hornet's nest. Just when the USG
thinks it can get out of the Internet business, an ISP does this and the
FCC may think it can step in. For those that do not follow NANOG (yes
Michael, I know you're there) A recent announcement, from BBN, has caused a
very large bit of churn. At the bottom-end there are the pipes that keep it
all flowing. It's not about IP assignments, or names, at this level. It's
about whom will talk to whom, and for how much.
Earlier, when we went to CIDR routing, we also got stuck with non-portable
IP addresses. This locked us into certain ISP-based routing hierarchies.
There was a tremour, earlier this year, when Sprint began aggrigating their
BGP announcements differently. That was only a foreshadowing of things to
come. Regardless of how we all view the Internet, if the peering points
stop peering, then we all get segregated into a very few large proprietary
ponds. These ponds will be unable to communicate with each other. All of
these peering points are in the hands of a few commercial entities, mostly
telcos. Mostly they are "gentelmen's agreements". The problem is that this
appears to be becoming unraveled.
For the record, BBN claims that its new owners (GTEI) are coercing this
announcement. Since this is a typical telco move, I'm inclined to believe
There are really two problems here, one is the peering system and the other
is FCC involvement. If the FCC determines that it has jurisdiction over
these issues then it may decide that it also has jurisdiction over names
and IP assignments. In which case the IFWP proceedings are for nought.
Magaziner may as well pack it up and go home too. The problem is that the
FCC only has jurisdiction in the US. How will it work extra-territorially,
existing treaties? If so, then this is the trigger that could cause an
internet version of the marines landing in Panama.
I hope this reaches y'all out there in Singapore.