The combined proposal from three communities has today gone out from the IANA Transition Coordination Group.
This is important.
There is still plenty of miles ahead on the road to completing transition. But today represents a major milestone. And a significant effort, run entirely by the multistakeholder community. This is how the Internet governance matters should be handled – in collaboration with all the relevant parties, and with full understanding of both technical and policy aspects.
At the IETF, we started our transition planning effort in August 2014, when the IANAPLAN working group was proposed. It quickly developed a proposal, based on continuation of the existing arrangements between IETF and ICANN. Those arrangements had of course evolved over the last decade and more. As a result, we had quite a bit of running code and faith in the arrangements.
The IETF part of the proposal was approved in January 2015. The ICG has now put all three parts together, from the IETF, the Regional Internet Registries, and ICANN. The combined proposal also includes an evaluation that the different parts work well together and match the expectations set forth for the transition.
The ICG is a group of 30 people from 13 communities, focused on coordinating the effort while letting the operational communities such as the IETF develop the arrangements that suit them best. The ICG is chaired by IETF’s Alissa Cooper, with Patrik Fältström and Mohamed El Bashir as co-chairs.
It is important to pay attention to the combined proposal and the public comment period. Quoting Eliot Lear (one of the editors of the IETF part): “I want to encourage all my techie friends to take a few minutes and support the IANA transition proposal by going to the web site below and commenting. This represents 15 months of hard work of many people, and the stability and growth of the Internet are best served with your help.”
If you have any comments, now is the time to make them. The public comment period ends on September 8, 2015. If you are not familiar with all aspects of the proposal, the ICG is holding webinars next week to provide an overview. Everyone is welcome to join these webinars.
Webinars about a separate effort on ICANN accountability enhancements: CCWG webinars.
Once the public comment period is over, the ICG will again assess the proposal and the comments, and eventually send it to the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) in the US government. In parallel, a set of accountability enhancements necessary for the ICANN part of the transition are progressing at ICANN. And finally, an implementation phase begins where the transition is actually put into action. This phase will be bigger in the other communities, but for us at the IETF it is quite straightforward, given the existing agreements already in place. Our transition consists of a few enhancements to those agreements.
Jari Arkko, IETF Chair
(For the record, I am also a member of the ICG, but not speaking for the ICG any way in this article)
Credits: Alain Durand for the photo and ICG and XPLANE for the graphics.
Our meeting in Prague ended last Friday, and I wanted to thank everyone who participated! I hope you all have had an opportunity to return to home and rest after the trip. Or start your vacations, as I know many of you have vacation period now.
This article is my summary of the highlights of the meeting.
We had a record meeting in terms of having people from 65 countries on site, and many more remotely. There were 1384 people on site, which is a very, very good number for us. Our European meetings with good connections are always popular, and I think we are growing, given various interesting projects that are underway. Particularly when one considers that many attendees were remote. For instance, twelve people in Dominican Republic attended the meeting at a hub. More on this in an upcoming article.
Perhaps the most striking thing for me at the meeting was the amount of coding being done. In the weekend before, we had organised the IETF Hackathon, and so many people showed up that we could barely fit them in the room. We also had a ETSI Plugtest to test 6TISCH protocol implementations, the Code Sprint to work on tools for the IETF, and the CrypTech meeting to hack on open-source hardware designs. My estimate is that over 150 people participated altogether, with many first-timers to the IETF, as well as people from major open source efforts such as OpenDaylight, OPNFV or RIOT. Very good result! We are looking forward to doing even more in the coming meetings, so when you book tickets to Yokohama, make sure to leave some space for doing some programming the weekend before the meeting (Oct 31-Nov 1)!
For more background on the IETF Hackathon, see the video below with Charles Eckel explaining why it is being run.
The IETF is looking for more sponsors for the hackathon events in 2016 and beyond. This video helps explain why companies find it interesting; contact me (chair at ietf.org) or Drew Dvorshak at ISOC (lastname at isoc.org) if you are interested!
The IAB technical plenary talked about vehicular networking, with Christoph Sommer and William Whyte explaining how networking in vehicles is developing and what security challenges that brings. See the video here. I found this topic personally interesting, as I have been working on some related prototyping recently. I find particularly fascinating to see how the area develops in the future. I can see both local applications that run between vehicles, as well as Internet-based applications that communicate with Internet-based servers or connect vehicles through it.
Our plenaries were in the morning this time, as an experiment. The IESG announced that for our next meeting we plan to go ahead with one combined, shorter plenary as another experiment. The rest of our meeting time in Prague was packed with working group meetings, with time devoted to our regular topics such as real-time communications, security & privacy, or the Internet of Things.
This was the first meeting of the new NETVC working group that works on video codecs for Internet applications. Those codecs are the basis of browsers and other applications being able to exchange video streams in an efficient and interoperable manner. Our work on security and privacy continued, essentially touching all working groups at least to some extent. The dedicated security-focused working groups include, for instance, DPRIVE, that works on privacy for DNS queries; some of the designs from that working group were tested in the Hackathon. And the results of the 6TISCH and ROLL working groups were tested in the ETSI event.
The Bits-n-Bites event was very active this time. I spent some time trying to understand how I could install and test one of the open source projects that participated. This is the sort of thing that is exceptional at Bits-n-Bites: you can talk directly to the leaders and programmers of efforts, and get first-hand knowledge.
We also had occasion to observe ways in which the IETF meeting is intentionally different than a traditional industry conference. Where “promotional models” are still common at some trade shows, they were not received as a constructive addition to the technical Bits-n-Bites session. The IETF failed to be clear enough that this wasn’t appropriate. I have asked the IAOC to develop policies and practices to ensure that future meetings have clear guidelines to communicate expectations to sponsors and exhibitors.
On Thursday lunch talk series, Dave Meyer talked about the surprising combination of machine learning and networking. See the video here.
We also had a visit from ITU Secretary General, Houlin Zhao at the technical plenary. He even put on the IETF t-shirt from his previous visit, and we gave him a Hackathon t-shirt from this IETF. Looking forward to the code-focus also at ITU and the collaborative spirit that Zhou clearly represents.
One of the IETF Prague side-events (outside the official meeting and organized by a group of individuals) was a screening of the movie CITIZENFOUR, followed by a surprise Q&A with Edward Snowden. It was an interesting discussion; for background of the screening read Mark Nottingham’s article or watch the video from the Q&A from Benson Schliesser below:
Our local sponsor, CZ.NIC, gave us a warm Czech welcome at our social event at the Žofín Palace. The event ended with fireworks:
Finally, I would like to thank all the participants, our host CZ.NIC and Brocade, and all the other sponsors for your help in making IETF-93 work so well. I think this has been one of our best meetings. Much to learn of course, as well. Most of the work at the IETF happens on the lists and virtual meetings, so for now it is time to go back to those. Our next real-life meeting is in Yokohama. Interestingly, OpenStack and W3C are also meeting there around the same time frame, so I’m looking for even more possibilities for joint work.
Jari Arkko, IETF Chair
Photo credits Jari Arkko, Adam Roach, and (c) Stonehouse Photographic / Internet Society. The videos credits go to Benson Schliesser and (c) Stonehouse Photographic / Internet Society. All IETF videos can be found at http://www.ietf.org/live/.
Today’s blog post is a story from Adam Roach that he had originally shared on social media.
Thanks to everyone who’s wished me a happy birthday, both on here and in person. As you’ve probably gathered, I’m on the road, and away from my family. While I do miss the ability to celebrate with Julie, Trevor, and Kendall — as well as my parents and parents-in-law (both of whom reached out to invite me to lunch yesterday) — this is a pattern that I’ve grown used to, and one that has its own odd upside.
Since 1998, I’ve been participating in the IETF, the international standards organization that defines the protocols that run the Internet and many of the applications you use on it. Face-to-face meetings are three times a year, and the summer meeting frequently falls on my birthday. Sometimes this isn’t excellent — my 30th birthday was 38 hours long, many of which were spent crammed into an economy airline seat. On the other hand, I can claim that I missed briefly turning 29 again by about 300 miles (dateline math is funny, and we hit it in the midnight hour). But far more often, I find myself among colleagues, many of whom I count among my closest friends, on my birthday. Yesterday (and much of the day before, for that matter), I received warm birthday greetings in person, all day long, as I ran into friends who had just flown in from all corners of the globe.
I have clear memories of high school, where those of my friends who had their birthdays during the school year would receive birthday greetings in person from pretty much everyone they knew, while my summer birthday meant that I never had that experience. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I felt a little left out by this at the time; but as luck and circumstances would have it, these meetings have given me that same experience over most of my adult life.
I’m also quite lucky to be able to work on remarkable technology with some of the best minds in the industry. The Internet has been a singular fascination of mine since my very first exposure in 1990, for its ability to connect people in ways that had previously been unimaginable — or at least, an implausible staple of science fiction. In the early days of our dating, when we were separated by hundreds of miles and phone calls were still tens of cents a minute, Julie and I spent untold hours conversing over IRC and ytalk. Trevor and Kendall may owe their very existence to the Internet.
Over the intervening 25 years, I’ve seen the Internet become an important part of modern life. I’ve been focused exactly on the technologies that enable direct communication between people: the signaling that is used to set up voice and video calls. Most recently, that has taken the form of helping with the design and implementation of the technology that lets you make voice and video calls directly from your web browser (and here I’m going to plug the project I’ve been working on for the past year: if you haven’t used Firefox Hello, I encourage you to give it a spin; we’re still adding features, but it’s pretty usable as a voice/video client, and you don’t need an account to use it.
I’ve also seen how important the Internet has become to furtherance of human rights around the world. As barriers to communication and the exchange of ideas come down, the world has become a smaller place, and those voices that would have had no forum can be heard. Although we work on technology, the overarching focus is on the user, on those humans behind the screens for whom the Internet is merely an agent to enable and amplify their intentions.
This has gotten a bit more rambling than I meant for it to be (I fear I may be suffering from jet lag and a certain lack of sleep). My point is that I feel truly blessed to be given the opportunity to do work that I believe is making the world a better place. I have long ago determined that spending many of my birthdays with this group of people doing this work has been a gift in and of itself.
The IETF meeting rooms and registration desk are ready for the meetings to start. A lot of activity is already going on on Saturday this time, but actual registration opens on Sunday at 1000 in the Congress Hall Foyer on the Lower Lobby level.
The IETF network is up and seems to be working fine in the public areas and in the hotel rooms at the Hilton. The network is built to a large extent with the help of volunteers. Thank you everyone who has worked on this!
Both wired and wireless network should be working in the rooms. In my room the wired does not seem to work, however. This could be the wiring in my room. If you encounter issues with the IETF network, give us a shout at email@example.com.
The IETF Hackathon room was ready on Friday, complete with suitable refreshments for the hacking. We will be quite tight, however, with over 100 people registered.
There are also several other events ongoing around the IETF. The ETSI interop event is working on 6TISCH and RPL, for instance, next door to the Hackathon room. The CrypTech team is working on their open-source, trusted cryptographic hardware.
The RITE project is also meeting, with the goal of “saying NO to latency”. This sounds very interesting!
Per a requirement from the IAOC, the hotel elevators have been upgraded:
Finally, make sure you select the right room when you come to the meeting. Our meeting is the one with the better odds of success
The IETF is once again in Prague! The city is clearly one of our favourites, given that we’ve been there also in 2007 and 2011. The hotel works well for us. And the many nearby restaurants and bars provide a setting for those side discussions that are so often the beginnings of new Internet technology developments. Our meetings in Europe often end up drawing good crowd, and it is looking to be the case also for this IETF as we are predicting over 1300 participants.
I wanted to remind everyone that these meetings wouldn’t be possible without the support of our sponsors. I want to thank our hosts CZ.NIC and Brocade, our connectivity sponsor Dial Telecom, the Bits-n-Bites sponsors, and our IETF Hackathon sponsor Cisco.
The other event that is certainly well-attended is the IETF Hackathon, with 119 people registered. This means that a big fraction of the people coming to the IETF will be working with others in building running code, bridging the open source and standards worlds together, and most likely coming up with many new ideas. I’m looking forward to this!
The Internet Architecture Board will run a technical plenary on Tuesday to talk about vehicular networking. Having just recently started hacking my own car, I look forward to that discussion as well. By the way, if you are not on site, you can still follow the meetings remotely. The plenary will be streamed live at http://www.ietf.org/live.
I also want to highlight the Thursday lunchtime speaker series, with Dave Meyer talking about machine learning this time. Join the session to find out how this topic is related to networking!
I will also note a couple of my personal favourite items from our regular meeting agenda:
The EDUNEXT BOF session will talk about ways we at the IETF should transform our newcomer and educational activities. Should we turn the in-person tutorials to short videos, for instance?
Deterministic networking is discussed in the DETNET BOF session on Monday. Could we support very high-speed and critical communications in non-best-effort ways?
The CAPPORT BOF session on Wednesday discusses whether the IETF could design new technology to better deal with WiFi login pages.
The DTN WG session on Wednesday continues the work to standardise a transport protocol for intermittently connected systems. This work is based on earlier research effort form the DTN RG.
The GAIA RG session discusses experiences around Internet access throughout the world, incl. developing areas. This important session will also be on Wednesday.
The HOPS RG session on Friday will discuss how ossified the Internet protocol stack is or is not, with regards to technology evolution.
But since we have 128 working groups, I will stop here and let everyone tune into their favourite topics on the agenda. See you soon, in person or remotely!
You may also notice that the IETF agenda looks a bit different this time. We are experimenting with moving the plenaries to mornings in an effort to reduce the impacts of room configuration changes from the plenary to WG sessions. The morning plenaries will allow the changeover to happen over lunch. As noted, the technical plenary is on Tuesday and the administrative plenary on Thursday. Let us know how well the new agenda works for you, and we’ll see whether to continue with this in the future.
Also, another observation of our agenda is that we had trouble fitting all meeting requests into the available slots. This is a sign of people wanting to work on interesting projects, so great! The overflow could of course solved in the future with more parallel meetings, but couldn’t be done without accepting more conflicts between meetings, as many of you are working on many important projects at the same time. If anyone has thoughts on how to address this in our meeting format, let us know!
I would like to update you on the IANA transition, including important events that took place at the 53rd ICANN meeting in Buenos Aires.
Just before the ICANN meeting began, the IANA Coordination Group (ICG) held a 2-day in person meeting to discuss the latest developments and next steps in the transition process. Of course the IETF and RIR communities had already submitted and harmonized their proposals for the IANA Stewardship transition earlier this year. The good news is that by the time of the ICG meeting, the ICANN community (also known as the “Names community”) had made significant progress on their proposal and, in fact, formally submitted it to the ICG by the end of ICANN 53. The organisations that had chartered this the names work approved the proposal on the last day of the meeting.
The ICG’s next job is to evaluate the names community’s proposal, and to identify any remaining issues or incompatibilities between it and those already submitted that need to be addressed by the operational communities. For the IETF, any required work would be done via the IANAPLAN working group. And, while the most of the IETF’s work has taken place through the WG email list as usual, there is also a placeholder on the upcoming IETF 93 meeting agenda in case an in-person gathering can help the IETF community make progress on any remaining issues.
Once the three proposals from the operational communities have been harmonized, the ICG will assemble them into a complete proposal. It is this proposal that will then be shared by the ICG for public comment. That public comment period is expected to begin at the end of this month, so stay tuned for further news. I will repost the ICG call for comments to IETF-Announce and the ianaplan working group list.
As part of their responsibilities, the ICG will provide an assessment of how the proposed plan supports and enhances the multistakeholder model; maintains the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS; meets the needs and expectations of the global customers and partners of the IANA services; and maintains the openness of the Internet. I am confident that after careful review, the ICG and a broader audience of governments, civil society, business, and tohers will find that the proposal does meet those criteria.
Of course there were a number of other sessions at ICANN 53 around the IANA Stewardship transition. One of these included a presentation by US Assistant Secretary Larry Strickling, whose team initiated and has been coordinating the transition process for the U.S. Department of Commerce. Strickling underlined again the importance of building a complete plan, and having that approved. But he also indicated that once the two first stages of the transition – plan building and approval – have completed, the implementation phase can proceed in parallel in the different communities, perhaps even to full completion on IETF’s part for instance (see in particular page 53 of the transcript). From the IETF perspective this completion is merely an update of our existing Service Level Agreement with ICANN and the expiry of the contract between the U.S. and ICANN; plus any new work that might be necessary due to accommodating the recently completed work from the names community.
One such topic arose during ICANN 53: The names community proposal Annex S includes draft language for the treatment of trademarks. We have discussed the role of IANA trademarks and domain at the IETF on previous occasions. The draft language was in conflict with the RIR proposal, and might also have caused problems for us at the IETF. However, the CWG (Cross-community Working Group) representing the names community clarified that this text is not a part of the actual proposal, and shall be considered indeed only as a draft. This removed the only currently known conflict between the proposals, although, of course, we still need to find an acceptable way for the three communities to handle the trademarks and domains in the implementation phase of the transition.
There were a number of other sessions that touched on the IANA Stewardship Transition, and of course it was a big part of the unofficial hallway conversations we had at ICANN 53.
It is quite clear to me that the operational communities—and the entire Internet community—are applying and have applied a tremendous amount of collaboration, energy, and work into the transition process so far. Given the activities necessary for community review of the complete proposal, it is unlikely that the transition will be complete by September 30th, and so we expect NTIA to extend their contract with ICANN for a short period of time.
In the end, before the process can be successfully completed, the NTIA will need to consider and approve any proposal it receives. And, the operational communities will need to implement the plans they have crafted. While our work is not yet complete, the solid principles and processes we have evolved over time has made preparing for this transition much easier than it otherwise would have been.
Earlier this week, I was sitting on a train ride through Finland. As usual, my iPad acted as a mobile broadband gateway, and I suddenly realized that my other devices were using IPv6 to reach the Internet through the gateway. Like many of you, I am a long-time IPv6 user. But now I was on a plain consumer setup: an unmodified iPad, a consumer LTE subscription, a commercial mobile broadband operator, standard laptop… and now these systems had decided to switched on to use IPv6, with no help from me.
And my devices were not alone. In the space of one month the amount of devices that prefer IPv6 connectivity in Finland has gone up from around 0.5% to as high as 8%, and the trend continues. That is a big swing. My story is obviously a personal one, and focused on one country. But similar stories exist for several other places around the world, involving large operators and significant amount of traffic.
The impact of IPv6 may not be immediately obvious to all end-users, but it is significant. First, the use of IPv6 means that Internet traffic goes through end-to-end, with minimal processing in the network. IPv4 NATs stifle the ability of the Internet to evolve and limits innovation. Bypassing those translators with IPv6 leads ultimately to leaner and faster Internet. Secondly, you can address many more devices directly. I saw the effects immediately, as I was now able to reach the sensors and backup servers in my home network directly, without complicated tunnel setups.
Many of us in the IETF have worked on the specifications for IPv6 or built products to support it. But sometimes we are too deep in the bits to notice the big picture. And the many years of development without immediately visible impacts is frustrating. I want to make the observation that large changes in Internet traffic and technology can and do happen. Amara’s Law says that we tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run. Something similar may be happening in this case. Changes are happening, but they are not visible until several things are in place together. A latent capability develops, and when the final pieces fall together, a big swing occurs. In the case of IPv6, popular devices and content are the latent capability that is then suddenly released when network connectivity is put in place. And that seems to be happening for some of the largest operators in the world, such as Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Comcast reaching very high numbers in the US. With some of these operators, most of the served users have IPv6 capability.
In the case of Finland, the thanks for making this happen goes to my mobile broadband operator, DNA, who has been one of the leaders of this change in the country. Strangely, while the country has been a technology leader on many fronts, IPv6 deployment here was lagging far behind countries like the US, France, or Belgium. Until this year, when a number of companies and the Finnish communications ministry launched a joint project to change the situation. DNA has been in the forefront of the changes, enabling IPv6 for most of their customers. And without end-user calls to the support line, to boot!
Many end-user devices have had built-in support for IPv6 for some time, and in the last couple of years, content providers such as Google or Facebook have enabled IPv6 in their web presence. This means that when the operator enables IPv6 support, a lot of traffic can immediately switch to using IPv6. A big fraction of the Internet’s traffic is on a few major content providers and content-delivery network operators. As these providers have transitioned, the traffic pattern changes are very sudden. A big part of Finnish IPv6 traffic is from DNA’s customers, but as other operators are also coming online, the numbers keep growing rapidly.
Of course, network equipment manufacturers, user device manufacturers, the IETF, and many others have also done a lot of work. I have been a part of some these efforts in my day job at Ericsson as well as at the IETF, and it is wonderful to see quick growth. While there is a lot of innovation and change in the Internet, many of us have been accustomed to the basic Internet technology changing slowly. But when the right parts come together, the changes can actually be surprisingly dramatic and sudden.
Speaking of evolution of networking, I also noticed that I can get 15x faster connection on mobile broadband than on my DSL. And the sales clerk at the shopping mall was able to say that the new router that I’d need supports IPv6. Nice. I think I’ll be testing this soon.
The future is here, now.
Jari Arkko, IETF Chair
Source of statistics and the graphics: APNIC Labs. An earlier version of this article appeared on the Ericsson Research blog series in here.
Last week I was at an ICANN meeting in Buenos Aires. This is the place for the 95th IETF meeting as well, on April 3-8, 2016. The meeting will take place at the Hilton, in the same neighbourhood as the ICANN meeting was at.
I found Buenos Aires, and specifically the area where we will meet, to work well for meetings. It is an energetic and friendly city to visit. Having been in this area now a couple of times, there are multiple large and small hotels and services around. The international airport also works well, although the taxi drive to the city can be long during rush hour.
But most importantly, there is a lot of interest on Internet technology matters in Argentina and in the rest of Latin America. In many meetings in the area (e.g., RIR meetings such as LACNIC and LACNOG), there are special sessions about the IETF and its work. For instance, there has been IETF-related sessions or otherwise plenty of IETF participation in LACNIC16 (Buenos Aires), LACNIC21 (Cancun) and LACNIC23 (Lima). Even during the Buenos Aires ICANN meeting, the locals had setup a tutorial session on IETF with Russ Housley, and another session discussing our upcoming Buenos Aires meeting and how to participate the IETF (with Christian O’Flaherty, Carlos M. Martinez and others). I was very happy to see the interest, and connected with many technology people from the region. Mobile networking specialists from Haiti, as an example, eager to participate in the IETF.
Brochures and books about the IETF in Spanish were handed out. As an aside, the IETF EDU team and some new volunteers (thank you Fernando and Inés) are working on Spanish EDU program for IETF-95.
There is also a mailing list and an introductory video in Spanish:
What other things could we do to make IETF-95 a success in terms of reaching new people who will get involved in IETF work? One thing to keep in mind is, of course, that much of the IETF work happens over longer period of time and over the net, rather than just in the meetings. Getting involved in the work is the first step.
Let us know if you have an interest or if we can help anyone in any way to contribute to the IETF. Many IETF people – including the leadership – have made trips to various conferences in the region. Are there additional events where talking about some IETF topic would be useful?
Jari Arkko, IETF Chair
P.S. I’ll also note that with my apparently frequent travel to the region, I should really learn at least basic Spanish myself. I’m fortunate in that my office has many Spanish-speaking folk. I promise to learn at least some by IETF-95!
Before an IETF meeting, we sometimes receive a few requests to extend the deadlines related to Internet Draft submissions. The deadline is on Monday, July 6th at UTC 23:59 *
I wanted to remind everyone that your Area Directors can help you with submissions, in exceptional cases also after the deadline. Talk to your ADs if you are having problems. Obviously we would still like to see the drafts submitted early so that the rest of us have some time to read them before the meeting.
Looking forward to all those interesting proposals, as well as seeing you in Prague! If you have not signed up to the meeting yet, the registration page is here.