Internet interconnection under regulatory pressure

12 November 2015 - A Workshop on Other in João Pessoa, Brazil


Peering coordinators and network engineers often describe internet interconnection as largely unregulated. And indeed, there is no central feature of the internet that has been subject to as little formal regulation as the making of connectivity. However, we can observe that local regulation is starting to emerge in the field. There is transparency regulation – for instance, in France networks have to report to the regulator upon request about their peering relationships. In the USA, the FCC just recently declared itself to be in charge of dispute resolution in interconnection conflicts. And then there is more general regulation, such as licensing rules that set a threshold for organisations to participate in internet interconnection at all (e.g. India) or, trade embargoes, which limit companies of a certain origin in operating in a specific country (like the USA in Iran). It is time to take account of this development and begin a debate about such governance initiatives in light of what we actually know about how connectivity is being established, maintained and discontinued.

The proposed workshop will serve to a) create an overview of emerging modes of regulation that affect internet interconnection in the different regions of the world, b) systematise the means, resources and motivations that regulators mobilise in these settings and, c) discuss experiences with and implications of the possible trend towards formal regulation of internet interconnection. The following experts will be on the panel: Mohamed El Bashir (Qatar Communications Regulatory Authority ), Prof. Laura DeNardis (American University, remotely), Mike Jensen ("IXP Toolkit"; APC/ISOC), Manoj Kumar Misra (Association of Competitive Telecom Operators/Vodafone), Martin Levy (Cloudflare) and Bill Woodcock (Packet Clearing House). Remote participation is encouraged. 

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