From: Lamar Owen (no email)
Date: Tue Nov 04 2008 - 18:11:57 EST
Charles Wyble wrote:
> We know they can partition at any time.
> We know that certain players have a history of causing this to happen
> more then others.
> What I haven't seen discussed in any great detail, is how to limit those
There are three ways that I know of (feel free to add to this list) to limit the events:
1.) As you mentioned, regulation (or a government run and regulated backbone);
2.) Economic pressures of a free market (cause event, lose customers or cause customers to multihome, thus costing you upgrade money; or other market 'pressures' a la the recent Intercage Capers);
3.) 'For the good of the Internet!'
I would much prefer option 2 since regulation is too easy to mess up, and option 3's realistic chances of occurring are slim to none, and Slim done left town.
Unless operators really want unfunded yet mandated peering arrangements. Or a return to a government (mix of state and federal) funded backbone a la NSFnet or ARPAnet with mandated (but unfunded, of course) open peering to all Tier 1 (TM) providers on the planet. Something like CATV must-carry rules (47 CFR 76.51 through 76.70).
Hah! If you will indulge me a flight of hyperbole for a few moments, I wonder if, perhaps, an extension of 47 CFR 51.701 through 51.717 to cover NSPs would be considered. The FCC might not even need extra regulatory authority from an amendment to the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, to put IP carriers under 47 CFR 51, and it is, relatively speaking, fairly straightforward reading. Costs the FCC a lot less to change existing regulations than to write new ones, too, and falls under an existing Bureau.
Operators really would not want this, I would think, as then things can get really complicated really qickly (read the broadcast radio and television regulations in 47 CFR 73, especially something technically specific like 47 CFR 73.186 for an idea of how cumbersome things CAN be made on the technical side).
Endusers who just want the thing to work would be all over it. The FCC certainly has the technical expertise in-house to write regs to deal with it. The Commission would issue an NPRM, gather comments and reply comments, issue maybe an FNPRM or three, gather comments and reply comments, mull over it for five years or more, and then issue an R&O that very few will want (at least this is what happened with AM Stereo, HD Radio, and Digital Television). People will file objections to the R&O, the process will churn for a while, maybe with an FR&O, etc. Welcome to the world of regulation. The RFC process is a model of streamlining compared to anything before the Commission. Hmm, on the other hand, maybe that's not hyperbole after all.
You and Randy are both right; this issue gets rehashed a lot (this is most certainly far from the first time I've seen the discussion pass by). But the reason it keeps coming up is because it is a real problem, and it hasn't been fixed by the people who can fix it, if they will, without getting the cumbersome beast called regulation into play.