/ Recently Commented

Are We at the Dawn of a New Cold War?

Over the past say six months there are trends and events on and around the Internet that made me come up with this bizarre sounding question. Still it may actually make sense if we look at some facts. I'll be honest up front. This is a contribution that is not totally thought over and more a compilation of ideas and impressions gathered over the past weeks and months. Still, it could well serve as the beginning of a discussion on giving the recent events a place. There's nothing better than a provocative question in that case! Let's start here. more

Egypt Goes Dark, Last Working ISP Pulls the Plug

Robert McMillan reporting from IDG News Service: "Egypt is now off the grid. Four days after the Egyptian government ordered Internet service providers to disconnect from the Internet, the country's last working Internet company has abruptly vanished from cyberspace. Noor Group, a small service provider that hosted Internet connections for the country's stock exchange and other businesses, became completely unreachable at around 10:46 p.m." more

San Francisco is the Best Place to Kick Off the New gTLD Program

With the ICANN Silicon Valley in San Francisco meeting just six short weeks away, the Internet community's hopes of seeing the launch of the new generic top-level domains (gTLD) program have been once again reinvigorated. A meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors last week produced encouraging resolutions that have given hopeful gTLD applicants the clearest indication yet that San Francisco will be the venue for the final approval of the Applicant Guidebook and the beginning of the Internet's next extraordinary phase of evolution. more

The ISP Industry: Concentrated or Diverse?

In August 2010, we looked at the growth in RIPE NCC membership and concluded that the number of new RIPE NCC members is still growing at an amazing pace, even during the recent economic downturn... This time we are looking at the different sizes of RIPE NCC members over time. It is often claimed that there is massive consolidation happening in the ISP community, especially in times of economic difficulties like in the early 2000s and now. We were curious to find out if this is really the case. more

New gTLD Auctions and Potential Unintended Consequences

Auctions will play a critical role in ICANN's new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) process, the only question is whether they reinforce ICANN's position as a steward of a global public resource, or undermine it. Auctions are one of two widely used mechanisms used in the allocation of scarce global resources, the other being a comparative analysis (aka beauty contest). ... This paper seeks to highlight those potential unintended consequences and propose a more equitable model consistent with ICANN's role as a steward of public global resource. more

What New gTLDs Mean for Developing Economy Applicants?

Everyone seems excited about new gTLDs being just around the corner. All of the overarching issues will soon be resolved: GAC and the ICANN Board will sit in a room and the wisdom of our leaders, ICANN and National, will produce the grand compromise. The starting flag will be flourished! A thousand flowers will bloom! Hooray! But it is only the developed world that can be excited about this, for it is hard to understand how the developing world could be very excited about an overpriced round of gTLD offerings that is unfairly beyond their means. more

The Dark Internet

I consult on communication issues for Neustar, an Internet infrastructure company. As most CircleIDers know, Neustar works behind the scenes to ensure the smooth operation of many critical systems like DNS, .us and .biz, local number portability and digital rights management. One of the cool things about working for them is the chance to attend the events they sponsor. Last week Neustar held a security briefing for senior federal IT personnel focused on Cybersecurity and Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC)... more

Insight: .JOBS and New TLD's - Are You Paying Attention?

A lot of the people are planning to attend the .nxt conference next month ask me to point out the benefits of new Top-Level Domains (TLDs), and today gave me a fantastic opportunity... If you are thinking of applying for a new TLD and haven't been paying attention to the latest happening with .JOBS, maybe you should be. Though .JOBS has been a bit of a quiet TLD, they've been a favorite of mine because of the specific focus of the extension. more

2010 Domain Name Year in Review - Oh, What A Year It Was!

Many of us were expecting radical changes in 2010 to the domain name market. There definitely were some of those -- just not the ones I expected. From the seizure of domains names by the US Government to ICANN's removal of restrictions on Registry/Registrar cross-ownership, 2010 was a year full of surprises. In this post, I've compiled what I think were the biggest domain name stories in 2010. more

Domains and the Freedom to Speak

For a very long time, predating the birth of ICANN, there's been a running battle about what should be required when one registers domain names. To oversimplify quite a lot, one side sees domain names as an essential component of free speech, so anyone should be able to register any domain without limit, the other notes that they're primarily used for commercial purposes and they enable quite a lot of mischief, so the more control, the better. more

Biggest Deal in Telecom Policy Since the AT&T Divestiture

The biggest communications policy moment since the AT&T divestiture has just happened: The $100 million-dollar-march (or more -- what Comcast spent to make sure this happened) has ponderously, self-evidently reached its conclusion with the FCC's approval of the merger between Comcast and NBCU. It wasn't the subtlest campaign; it didn't need to be; it was effective in its discipline and heavy persistence. The tweets are flying and the journalists are already weighing in. more

The Trembling Trademark Owners

Why is so much fear being created in the name of protecting trademark owners? Say, if ICANN allowed some third party a generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) called .panasonic will the sky fall? No, not at all, as Panasonic, the true and rightful TM holder will hit the unauthorized gTLD with a 2x4 and no judge would oppose issuing a cease-and-desist order. Now the other question is... more

Rod Beckstrom, Twiki and the Foswiki fork - ICANN Must "Get Things Right" on New TLDs

One of the most disastrous things that could happen to the DNS would be for the root to "split", as it would mean that identifiers would no longer be universal. Instead, "Example.com" would have totally different meanings for different users, substantially reducing the benefits of domain names. Can this happen? Important lessons for ICANN can be learned by studying the history of Rod Beckstrom, Twiki and Foswiki. more

IPv6: Bring on Your Content!

Late last year a colleague quipped: you spent one third of your time on IPv6 this year, yet it still only generates 1% or so of the traffic. What are the chances of him uttering the same sentence coming December with IPv6 traffic still hovering barely over the one percent mark? more

New gTLDs Differentiation: Do Good

Congratulations! The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved your application for a new generic top-level domain (gTLD) extension. Now what? ...This essay focuses on how to differentiate by being socially responsible. more