IGF 2020 WS #327 Believe it or not, the Internet Protocol is on Sale!

Time
Tuesday, 10th November, 2020 (10:20 UTC) - Tuesday, 10th November, 2020 (11:20 UTC)
Room
Room 1
About this Session
The discussion will be facilitated by the on site moderator who will use an online platform, called sli.do, to present the policy questions that will be debated by panelists and audience.
Thematic Track

Organizer 1: Eduardo Barasal Morales, NIC.br
Organizer 2: Tiago Jun Nakamura Nakamura, NIC.br
Organizer 3: Andrea Erina Komo, NIC.br
Organizer 4: Antonio Marcos Moreiras, Brazilian Network Information Center - NIC.br
Organizer 5: Hartmut Glaser, Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br)
Organizer 6: Lee Howard, Retevia
Organizer 7: Mukom Akong Tamon, AFRINIC Ltd

Speaker 1: Lee Howard, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Antonio Marcos Moreiras, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Mukom Akong Tamon, Technical Community, African Group

Additional Speakers

Marco Hogewoning (RIPE NCC)

Rajesh Chharia (Internet Service Providers Association of India)

Moderator

Eduardo Barasal Morales, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Online Moderator

Tiago Jun Nakamura Nakamura, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Rapporteur

Andrea Erina Komo, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Format

Debate - Auditorium - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

The debate will be facilitated around four policy questions: (1) Will the IPv4 market help the adoption of IPv6 on the Internet by providing companies more time to plan their migration? Or will it jeopardize even more the IPv6 adoption by giving a false impression that IPv6 is not needed for the future of the Internet? (2) Will the IPv4 market improve address distribution among institutions, making it more egalitarian? That is, allowing institutions to trade their surplus IPv4 addresses to institutions that are suffering from a lack of IPv4 addresses. Or will it worsen the situation by allowing institutions that have greater financial support, concentrate addresses even more? Furthermore, it is important to remember that it is possible for some institutions to make financial speculation. (3) Will the IPv4 market expand or reduce digital inclusion? Will the price applied per IPv4 address be fair enough for small Internet Service Providers(ISPs) and community networks be able to buy it, if they need to expand their business and connect more homes? Could the price applied per IPv4 address rise the Internet plan price offered to an end consumer? (4) How can Internet governance be affected by the IPv4 market, taking into account the performance of each stakeholder in this scenario? The onsite moderator will be in charge of presenting the questions and encouraging discussion, thus ensuring that all the speakers and people in the audience can expose their ideas.

The main issue this workshop aims to address is how Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) market affects digital inclusion. This involves many challenges, as this market practice is rather new compared to traditional IPv4 allocation by Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). For starters the regional nature of IPv4 allocation poses the biggest challenge to global IPv4 market viability, as each RIR has its own allocation and market policies. In addition, each country may or may not create a regulation regarding IPv4 market for its country. At the same time, once everything gets settled, this market becomes a new source of IPv4 addresses that can help small Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and small community networks to expand and reach unconnected people. From the technical point of view Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) was created to replace IPv4 entirely, avoiding the need of this IPv4 market. But as IPv6 adoption is still not 100%, the creation of the IPv4 market can be viewed as an opportunity to keep expanding the Internet access without compromising quality. While IPv4 market can be an opportunity, it also becomes a challenge on the side of ISPs that do not want to deploy IPv6 inside their networks, stalling the growth of the new protocol. This is also an issue this workshop intends to address, as both IPv4 market and IPv6 can be viewed as possible solutions to the same problem.

SDGs

GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Description:

This workshop aims to raise awareness on how Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) market affects digital inclusion. A debate is the best format to showcase polarized views inside the technical community about IPv4's market. For this reason, the invited speakers are selected according to their diversity in points of view about this market issue, allowing this debate to produce richer content and discussions with the IGF community. This session is structured in four segments, totalizing 60 minutes. The first segment will have 5 minutes for introduction of the session and explanation on how the debate will be conducted. During the introduction, it will also be presented the sli.do platform, an online application that the audience (both onsite and online) can use to ask questions and participate in polls during the debate for further discussion on the third segment. The second segment will have 40 minutes for the debate, being 10 minutes for each Policy Question. During this time each speaker will have up to 2 minutes to speak up, allowing for the next speaker more 2 minutes to respond and so on, up to the maximum time of 10 minutes for each Policy Question discussion. This time will be monitored by the onsite moderator. The audience will be able to participate together during the debate via sli.do platform, as the active poll will be available to the audience to vote in which side of the discussion they agree. The third segment will have 10 minutes of open mic, in which the audience can interact with the speakers. For this segment, both onsite and online audiences will be able to participate. For better experience during this segment, the online application sli.do will be used. This application stores the questions the audience (both onsite and online) made during the session and will be discussed in this third segment. The fourth and final segment will have 5 minutes in which the onsite moderator will wrap up and conclude the session, discussing the expected and achieved outcomes. The workshop speakers are: Mr. Lee Howard (Retevia, Private Sector, United States of America) Mr. Antonio Marcos Moreiras (NIC.br, Technical Community, Brazil) Mr. Mukom Akong Tamon (Afrinic, Technical Community, Cameroon) Ms. Constanze Bürger (Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community Division, Government, Germany) - TBC The agenda for the sessions will be carried as follow: First segment (5 minutes) - Introduction and house rules for the debate Second segment (40 minutes) - 10 minutes for each Policy Question, 2 minutes per Speaker Third segment (10 minutes) - Open mic and remote participation Fouth segment (5 minutes) - Wrap up and conclusions Taking into consideration the recent COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, and the possibility of the IGF moving to a virtual meeting, it is worth mentioning that it is entirely possible to adapt this workshop session to fully remote format if necessary. The key component for interaction with the audience will be through sli.do platform, which will have the desired effect of inclusion remotely too.

Expected Outcomes

One of the objectives of this proposal is to promote, in an international and collaborative environment, a discussion about the future of Internet infrastructure. Although it is very widespread that IPv6 will replace IPv4, it is difficult to predict when it will happen and how the Internet should operate by that date. The IPv4 market is just an immediate consequence of this situation. A consequence that cannot be widely encouraged without first being studied, since the impacts (positive and negative) caused by its implementation may affect not only how stakeholders operate on the Internet, but also how we plan the future of the network. The expected outcomes for this workshop is to get more people engaged in the relevance of the IPv4 market to digital inclusion and thus expand the discussions in each of the regional policies working groups in each of the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs - ARIN, LACNIC, RIPE NCC, AFRINIC and APNIC). As a result of all these discussions, it is believed that new regional policies will be created which will shape the future of the network.

The discussion will be facilitated by the on site moderator who will use an online platform, called sli.do, to present the policy questions that will be debated by  panelists and audience. We used this platform last year and had great results in boosting audience interaction. Therefore, we are looking to innovate again. The online moderator will make sure the remote participants are represented in the debate. Online participation and interaction will rely on WebEx platform. Those joining the session using WebEx (either invited members of the debate or general audience) will be granted the floor in the workshop. People in charge of the moderation will strive to entertain remote participation indiscriminately. Social media (Facebook, but not Twitter or Reddit, since they do not support IPv6) will also be employed by the online moderator who will be in charge of browsing social media using hashtag (to be defined). Lastly, having two moderators will facilitate the control of time, which will be very important for the proper functioning of the workshop.

Relevance to Internet Governance: The Internet is constantly evolving and each multistakeholder (government, private sector, academia, civil society) that is part of its governance has the responsibility to keep it working. Any proposed modification that is made to its structure needs to be studied and evaluated before being applied. Especially, if this modification involves conceptual changes in the protocols that underpin the infrastructure. It will not only shape the future of the network, but also affect how each stakeholder might use and connect on the Internet. This proposal aims to discuss the future impacts on the Internet and its governance, related to a recent decision on a conceptual change in its protocol infrastructure, the permission to trade IPv4 addresses (IPv4 Market). Our focus is to analyse not only the technical perspective about how this decision might influence the speed of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) adoption (which will substitute protocol IPv4 in the Internet) but also how each multistakeholder might be affected. But before starting the analysis about the IPv4 market which will be the basis for the workshop, it is important to understand how the Internet infrastructure was designed and why it has problems. In the 60's, the Internet was built with the simple purpose of allowing some machines to exchange information. The main concern at that time was how to design a logical infrastructure where all the institutions connected could communicate with each other freely. As there was no intention of commercial use of the network, protocols and standards were developed in open discussions within the technical community to produce an open non-commercial structural basis for the Internet. This was the situation which allowed the Internet to evolve and expand rapidly. However, the internet infrastructure was not designed to meet our current global connection needs, in which a full digital inclusion is sought. Due to this, problems in the Internet infrastructure began to appear as well as discussions were raised about the possibility of changing this conceptual structure. One of the most relevant architectural issues that the Internet is suffering nowadays is related to the protocol migration from IPv4 to IPv6. The whole digital world is being impaired by the lack of public IPv4 addresses available and the low level of IPv6 adoption. Without these protocols (IPv4 and IPv6), machines will not be able either to connect to the Internet or to communicate. This hampers the growth of the Internet and consequently prevents the advancement of digital inclusion. In order to avoid this scenario, many measures have already been taken (such as, workshops in previous editions of the IGF*) to promote IPv6 deployment worldwide. Although these measures are effective, it takes time before good results start to appear. During this time, a palliative solution is being discussed. The most promoted idea today is to encourage the redistribution of the excess IPv4 addresses that each institution has, through the permission of their commercialization (IPv4 market). A change in the conceptual basis of the Internet with few precedents which needs to be studied. What are the effects (positive and negative) of using the IPv4 market? What are its consequences to the future of the Internet? Should it aid the IPv6 deployment because it gives more time to companies to plan their migration? Or will it delay the adoption of IPv6 even more because companies will prefer to operate with IPv4? How can each stakeholder be affected by this market? To answer these questions it is necessary to analyze each role of each stakeholder involved in Internet governance. Looking at the governmental point of view, its online services should always be accessible to the population. This means, from a technical perspective, that its services should operate with both protocols (IPv4 and IPv6 are not interoperable). With that in mind, governments can benefit from using this market especially because they can purchase IPv4 addresses when it is necessary. However, if governments start to negotiate in the market, this can cause a negative side effect for other stakeholders, the increase of the prices. From another point of view, civil society can also be affected by the IPv4 market. First, because it can increase the costs of creating community networks. Second, because it is possible that Internet plan prices will increase for the general population. Both situations that can hinder the growth of digital inclusion, especially in underdeveloped regions. The private sector needs to be assessed according to different contexts. On the one hand, there are companies whose business is financial speculation. These will directly profit from this new market and from the rising prices. On the other hand, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can either benefit or be harmed by the use of this market. If the market allows for a more equitable redistribution of IPv4 addresses among ISPs, this will help those in need to expand their businesses. However, there is a possibility that trading IPv4 addresses will cause an imbalance in the ISP market. That's because the big providers can concentrate the addresses even more. Therefore, it is fundamental to bring together different actors involved in this IPv4 market discussion in order to advance comprehension of possible impacts that it might cause in the future of the Internet. * Workshops held in the past editions of the IGF: IPv6 Independence Day: Rest in peace IPv4 - https://www.intgovforum.org/content/igf-2019-ws-403-ipv6-independence-day-rest-in-peace-ipv4 IPv6: Why should I care? - https://www.intgovforum.org/content/igf-2019-ws-421-ipv6-why-should-i-care Game Over IPv4: The need of IPv6 for the future of games - https://www.intgovforum.org/content/igf-2018-ws-306-game-over-ipv4-the-need-of-ipv6-for-the-future-of-games

Relevance to Theme: This submission "Believe it or not, the Internet Protocol is on Sale!" is related to the inclusion track. It is indisputable that the Internet is an essential part of our current society. In fact, it has shaped people's lives and revolutionized social, professional and personal relationships. The Internet is so important nowadays that it is considered a basic human right by many. That's why it is crucial to defend measures that guarantee digital inclusion for all. However, when developing the infrastructure of the Internet (Protocols, equipment, network design), certain protocols used (IPv6 and IPv4, for example) may enhance or hinder digital inclusion due to their limited availability, which has led to the creation of an alternative market. This proposal aims to discuss the impacts of the decisions related to protocols made when building the Internet infrastructure and how they might affect digital inclusion. Our focus is to understand the consequences of allowing the IPv4 market for the future of the Internet concerning digital inclusion. It is widely known within the technical community that the Internet has an intrinsic problem of lack of IPv4 addresses, which are mostly used by machines to communicate among themselves. There are only 4 billion IPv4 public addresses for the full operation of the Internet and most of them are already assigned to many Internet companies. Without IP addresses available Internet service providers (ISP) would not be able to expand their businesses and connect more homes or individuals. Considering that this connection is in the core business of ISPs whatever jeopardizes this connection may directly affect digital inclusion. In order to better support the continuous growth of the Internet, an alternative protocol, known as IPv6, has been developed to substitute IPv4. One of the main advantages of using IPv6 over IPv4 is that it allows for more capacity as it has more addresses that can be assigned to distinct machines. This higher capacity of IPv6 has a potentially positive effect on digital inclusion because it favors a more democratic distribution of access to the Internet. Although IPv6 seems to be a more appropriate solution for the Internet infrastructure, its current usage is still very low in comparison with IPv4's. Indeed, according to Google's, Facebook's, Akamai's and other research Internet centers, only about one-third of Internet users have IPv6 connectivity. Even though many measures have been taken to encourage the use of IPv6 (such as, World IPv6 Day* and World IPv6 Launch Day**), many companies are reluctant to adopt it immediately. These companies believe investing in deploying IPv6 is too costly and that it can be postponed. Their argument is based on the belief that it is less expensive to redistribute the existing IPv4 addresses rather than launching IPv6. However, redistributing IPv4 addresses is not a simple task. Institutions that already have IP addresses allocated to them have solid contracts with their related RIRs (Regional Internet Registries). For this reason those institutions are unfavorable to redistributing their surplus IPv4 addresses as this would mean a potential loss of business. The alternative solution is to achieve this is through the IPv4 market. With the permission to trade IPv4 addresses, not only companies that have unused addresses will be able to profit from their sale but also companies that are suffering from IPv4 exhaustion will have the opportunity to expand their business (like connecting more homes) by purchasing addresses. In fact, this is such a strong incentive for redistribution of IPv4 addresses that many institutions are already commercializing it. As the permission to trade addresses is a new situation in many regions, not much is known about its impacts on digital inclusion. Will it improve the distribution of addresses between several ISPs (Internet service provider) and thus allow more people to connect on the internet? Or will it allow few companies (that don't have a relationship with digital inclusion) to concentrate even more because they have more capital? These are just some of the reflections that this workshop intends to debate in order to form a critical analysis on the results of this IPv4 market for the future of the Internet. * World IPv6 Day - https://www.internetsociety.org/history/2011/world-ipv6-day/ ** World IPv6 Launch Day - https://www.worldipv6launch.org/

Online Participation

 

Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: As explained in the previous fields of the form, we will use the sli.do platform. During the introduction, it will also be presented the sli.do platform, an online application that the audience (both onsite and online) can use to ask questions and participate in polls during the debate for further discussion on the third segment.

 

Agenda

 The session is structured in four segments.

  • First segment

    • 5 minutes - General Introduction about the topic under discussion and Workshop house rules (on site Moderator.)
  • Second segment
    • 40 minutes - Debate - 10 minutes for each Policy Question (2 minutes for the remote audience to present their opinions on the policy question through a sli.do pool and 2 minutes for each panelist.) 
  • Third segment
    • 10 minutes - open mic session, to engage the remote participants to discuss the subject. The Online Moderator will be in charged of reading the questions and the comments in the transmission, sent by the remote participants via the official chat.  
  • Fourth segment
    • 5 minutes - Wrap up and conclusions (on site Moderator.) 
1. Key Policy Questions and related issues
Will the IPv4 market help the adoption of IPv6 on the Internet by providing companies more time to plan their migration? Or will it jeopardize even more the IPv6 adoption by giving a false impression that IPv6 is not needed for the future of the Internet?
Will the IPv4 market improve address distribution among institutions, making it more egalitarian (that is, allowing institutions to trade their surplus IPv4 addresses with institutions that are suffering from a lack of IPv4 addresses)? Or will it worsen the situation by allowing institutions that have greater financial support to concentrate addresses even more?
Will the IPv4 market expand or reduce digital inclusion? Will the price applied per IPv4 address be affordable for Internet Service Providers(ISPs), without increasing the Internet plan price offered to an end user?
2. Summary of Issues Discussed

All present panelists agreed that building networks is expensive. For example, according to Mr. Hogewoning, the necessity of developing a network to run both on IPv4 and IPv6 would make the whole process even more costly. However, much of that cost would be due to IPv4 high maintenance. IPv6 actually may lower this cost as the need for IPv4 becomes lower.

On the other hand, there seemed to be no consensus on how the IPv4 market and IPv6 deployment are related. According to Mr. Horward's research, both the rate of IPv4 addresses acquisition (via IPv4 market) and IPv6 addresses adoption seemed to have a linear growth and both had the same growth rate. Although these growths may indicate a perfect correlation between both IPv4 and IPv6, the panelists could not reach a consensus on what makes this correlation happen.

3. Key Takeaways

The main takeaway for this session is that IP addresses are needed in order to guarantee digital inclusion. Every Internet connection needs an IP address in order for it to work properly. 

Currently, we are facing an IPv4 shortage due to technical limitations of the protocol. This led to many possible solutions like developing a new protocol called IPv6 or solutions focusing on better distributing IPv4 via IPv4 market.

Another takeaway all of the panelists that were present agreed on is that IPv6 could solve the main IPv4 exhaustion issue. Moreover, even though the IPv4 market is still a possible solution it should not replace IPv6 deployment.

The final takeaway is that Autonomous Systems and Internet Service Providers networks seems to be the most affected by this issue, as IP addresses are one of the core components of those networks.

6. Final Speakers

Lee Howard, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Antonio Marcos Moreiras, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Marco Hogewoning, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Rajesh Chharia, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group

 

7. Reflection to Gender Issues

Due to the technical aspect of the discussion (IP addresses), the session did not discuss gender issues.

8. Session Outputs

There was no consensus on how to tackle the main issue (IPv4 market). Further discussion is needed with more involved organizations, mainly Regional Internet Registries and Autonomous Systems. 

IPv6 solves this issue by completely replacing IPv4, removing the need for IPv4 market. Unfortunately, this solution needs full commitment of Autonomous Systems on deploying IPv6 and the actual panorama indicates that only one third of the Internet is IPv6 ready.

Relevant links:

IPv4 Market and IPv6 Deployment
https://ipv4.global/ipv4-market-and-ipv6-deployment/

The RIPE NCC has run out of IPv4 Addresses
https://www.ripe.net/publications/news/about-ripe-ncc-and-ripe/the-ripe-ncc-has-run-out-of-ipv4-addresses

Number Resources
https://www.iana.org/numbers

Regional Internet Registries
https://www.nro.net/about/rirs/

9. Group Photo
Workshop "Believe it or not, the Internet Protocol is on Sale!"
10. Voluntary Commitment

The established commitment was to continue studies on this subject and to help spread knowledge about IPv6.