Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Featured Blogs

Questions and No Answers to US Oversight transition, ICANN's Role and Future of Internet Governance

Traditionally, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) coordinates the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions, which are key technical services critical to the continued operations of the Domain Name System (DNS)... ICANN has also evolved in its structures to use the 'Multistakeholder Model' in the dissemination of some of its functions and this has seen the creation of working groups and constituencies. more»

Closed Generic TLDs - The Final Battle?

Over the past couple of years I've posted several times on the issue of "closed generics". In essence these are new TLD applications where the string is a "generic term" AND the applicant wanted to keep all domains in the registry for their own use. The baseline registry agreement with ICANN now contains language that resolves the issue, or at least it would appear to do so. more»

Aligning Broadband and Healthcare

For many years I have been saying that in order to generate business cases that will support the developments of national broadband networks it is necessary to take into account the social and economic benefits of such investments. The reality is that these benefits do not show up on the balance sheets of the traditional telecoms infrastructure companies and this is a key reason they are reluctant to make such investments. more»

The Future of Communications Cross-Subsidies

It used to be so much easier to manage a system of cross subsidies for communications. If a regulator wanted consumer services to be subsidized by businesses, rural to be subsidized by urban, local subsidized by long distance, TV production subsidized by distribution, it could just issue an order to make it so. So let it be written; so let it be done. There were few, if any, other suppliers of those services, so there were limited arbitrage opportunities. more»

Policy Advisory Board Model Now a Test of Multistakeholder Model

In early November 2013, prior to ICANN's Buenos Aires meeting, I published an article at this forum, Policy Advisory Boards – A Cornerstone PICS (Public Interest Commitment Specification), that extoled the advantages of adopting a Policy Advisory Board (PAB) model as a practical, effective, and least burdensome means of effectively implementing the request of ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) for consumer and competitive safeguards at sensitive new gTLD "strings" - especially those that are related to regulated industries and professions. It is deeply gratifying that the article has received nearly 9,000 views since first being posted and inspired considerable discussion. more»

Best Practices in the Global Internet

In an increasingly global environment, the Internet infrastructure industry faces a diverse set of serious issues that we as an industry need to address together. To look at these concerns, an area of focus for the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition) has been best practices for our industry. Our approach to developing best practices encapsulates three areas, always with the goal of striking the right balance between security, safety and privacy: working with experts and industry professionals; identifying like-minded partners; and fostering the growth of the Internet economy. more»

Internet Governance: Why Africa Should Take the Lead

Recently during an afternoon meeting with a friend of mine, Bob Ochieng, who happens to work for ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) Africa Operations, he lamented that at online Internet Governance discussions fora such as CircleID, and 1net.org, there is no serious frequent engagements from African Voices. This got me thinking and I realized that most African Internet Stakeholders would rather use a "wait and see approach" in matters as critical as Internet Governance. more»

ICANN's Uncertain State: 2014

In a recent video interview conducted while he attended the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade stated "legitimacy comes from accountability". That statement is correct. It is also troubling, in that many of ICANN's recent policies and activities raise serious questions regarding whether it is sufficiently accountable and therefore perceived as acting in a legitimate manner - as well as whether it is continuing to faithfully abide by the Affirmation of Commitments (AOC) it entered into when the US government terminated direct oversight of ICANN in 2009. more»

Designing Effective Regulation for IPv6 Adoption

So you are the IT regulator for a country and you are convinced that the shortage of IPv4 address space represents a threat to the development of the Internet in your country and you want to do something about it. Being that as regulator you don't really run the countries IP networks, what can you really do? I've heard many regulators in over 30 countries grapple with this problem. The purpose of this article is to think through some ideas to guide action on using (or not) regulation to drive IPv6 adoption. more»

Mind the Step(-function): Are We Really Less Secure Than We Were a Year Ago?

In January 1995, the RFC Editor published RFC 1752: "The Recommendation for the IP Next Generation Protocol"... The Internet is a security officer's nightmare -- so much openness, so easy to capture packet traffic (and/or spoof it!) and send all manner of unwanted traffic. It was built as a research network, hosted by institutes that were 1/ professionally responsible and 2/ interested in working together collegially. So, in the 19 years since the publication of that statement, have we really failed to address the stated goal? more»