The study is now known as ICAIS (for: International
for Internet Services). An interim report has been prepared for the ICAIS
Task Force. The report concludes inter alia that about 90% of the costs of
Internet connection for Pacific Rim countries is due to the local loop,
about 7% is national backbone and a mere 3% is due to international link
costs (however the consultants who wrote the report consider this is still
considered sufficient to justify further work).
I haven't seen the report, and I'm surprised that the local loop part of
the cost is so high. Still, the ICAIS consultants have presumably arrived
at this figure by talking to ISP in various of the 'member economies,' so
I guess we (and ICAIS) have to work with it. In which case, I agree with
you that there seems little point in governments trying to interfere.
Concerning your para 10 and 11:
10 The impact of Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP)
needs to be taken
into account. At this stage of technical development and with the declining
relevance of ITU SG3 recommendations on international telecommunications
traffic (accounting rates), we would not want to see any arrangements that
imposed unjustified compliance costs or that endeavoured to mandate
negotiations that would subject Internet traffic to similar costing regimes
as voice telephony (for these reasons, New Zealand has not supported active
ITU-T involvement in Internet charging arrangements either).
This is very important. We certainly don't want governments imposing a
regime which would force ISPs to do PTT-style charging for voice calls
over the Internet - that would severely limit the development of voice,
video, multimedia, etc. technologies over the Internet.
11 The task group must avoid any outcomes where the
cost of measurement
or monitoring exceeds the cost/value involved. Unlike telephony, the
Internet is not measurable in terms of traffic flows: the flows themselves
do not indicate where the value of traffic lies, even if you could measure
I strongly disagree with the throw-away line "even if you could measure
the traffic flows." There are many ISPs world-wide who DO measure traffic
flows - using technology such as Cisco's NetFlow, or NeTraMet/NetFlowMet -
and there IS a proposed Internet Standard for it (RFC 2720). You should
delete that last phrase, particularly since you've already made the point
about the cost of measurement being significant.
Having said that, I agree that the value of the Internet isn't measurable
just in terms of traffic flows - but that's a subjective, value-laden
statement, which makes it harder to defend. Maybe you could add an
example or two to make the point more strongly? Along the lines
"the Internet allows much more varied styles of remote interaction than
voice telephony, which greatly ehnaces the abilitiy for groups of
people to work together despite being located in different economies" ???
Nevil Brownlee Visiting Researcher
Phone: (858) 822 0893 CAIDA, San Diego
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