Internet Infrastructure and Terminology Explained

23 October 2013 - A Workshop on Internet Governance Principles in Bali, Indonesia


This workshop represents the mergers of expressions of interest 279, 135, 235, and 264 into 232, and we therefore request that the title be changed to "Internet Infrastructure and Terminology Explained" in order to better reflect the balance of topics achieved by this five-way merger.


The workshop will provide an educational, factual backdrop to the policy debates that will be the focus of the IGF. Many people in the civil society and intergovernmental spheres, whose interest in Internet governance is relatively recent, are potentially disadvantaged in fully participating in the debate by the esoteric technical terminology and concepts. This workshop will serve as a layperson’s introduction to the topology of the Internet, providing definitions and explanations for key terms like transit, peering, hot-potato, exchange point, root and top-level domain name server, routing and forwarding, and the International Standards Organisation’s seven-layer protocol model.  The sponsoring coalition’s composition is purposely intended to be nonpolitical, focusing instead upon the objective facts of the engineering basis of the Internet, and its composition ensures its adherence to multi-stakeholder principles. Coalition members represent the governmental, NGO, civil society, Internet governance, and commercial sectors, from both developing and developed nations, and the northern and southern hemispheres. A comprehensive spectrum of backgrounds and interests are represented: domain names, number resources, content provision, critical infrastructure, academic networking, datacenters, and regulatory oversight.


This introductory workshop has been conducted five times in the past, with incremental additions and improvements to the content each year, intended as orientation for new attendees.  This year, with a refreshed and larger set of organisers, it is our intention to create new content from scratch, covering new technical topics like Internet resource processes and allocation, and internationalised domain names, and new policy topics like the balance between personal privacy and law enforcement online, and how communications regulation affects the growth of the Internet.