[discuss] FW: Comcast undertakes 9 year IETF cosponsorship!?

Jefsey jefsey at jefsey.com
Tue Mar 25 20:08:27 UTC 2014

Dear Andrew,

I read and reread your text and I hardly find why we would disagree. 
IETF is in the end to end architecture area. As I said (and I 
understand that you agree) it would be very difficult to temper with 
the matters the IETF deals with (one can politically influence IAB 
which maintains relations with other SDOs, e.g. Unicode). Comcast is 
in the layers below (bandwidth) what makes it a neighbour, and good 
relations are normal. So there is absolutely (IMHO and this is why I 
asked to be shown otherwise) no business/technical reason for the 
Comcast to interfere with the IETF per se.

However, the legal US definition makes Comcast interested in fringe 
to fringe services and above, i.e. outside of the IETF area, outside 
of the ICANN field. Where it is in competition with edge services. 
This is why non-US people are worried. The whole issue we face is 
here. IUsers (and VGN managers) priorities (and therefore their 
vision of the IG) and their worries are not the same under the US 
Telecommunications Act and in the other countries where the 
equivalent legal vision betweeen types of operators is not on the 
same legal grounds. E.g. the Open Internet FCC position denied in 
Courts on legal grounds, but not on ethitechnical ones.


At 19:50 25/03/2014, Andrew Sullivan wrote:
>On Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 07:13:07PM +0100, Jefsey wrote:
> > I agree with you on most points (may be should one reread what I
> > wrote).
>I did read what you wrote, more than once.  I responded to the parts
>that seemed to me to be on topic.  But since you ask. . .
> > 1/ in sponsoring meetings one maintains friendship. It is a basic
> > investment for good relations and a good image as an innovation
> > supporter. Regular lobbying strategy.
>This just repeats the same vague hints of misbehaviour.  How exactly
>is "lobbying" in this case like lobbying a legislator?  What is the
>basis by which the analogy between IETF processes and representative
>democracy sound?  For I maintain the analogy is at best mistaken and
>at worst invidious.  If you have a point beyond, "Comcast has
>interests," make it.  The IETF's procedures are, I claim, carefully
>designed to acknowledge such interests and channel them towards sound
>Internet engineering.  IF you have an argument that that's not the
>case, let's hear it.  I'm tired of snide implication and dark hints of
>conspiracy: it's time for those who are claiming that there's bad
>behaviour to produce even one decision of the IETF that was clearly
>influenced by a meeting host, or else to stop throwing these
>accusations around.
> > 2/ you did not address the main question: "I would be quite
> > interested if someone could explain me why, in terms of business
> > return and Congress legislation evolution Comsat and its likes would
> > be interested in internet innovation" (status-quo is not about
> > influencing innovation, but about dilluting it).
>I _think_ what you're saying is that we're supposed to explain
>Comcast's (I presume that's who "Comsat" is?) motivations in
>contributing to Internet innovation.  First, I think this question is
>either leading or question-begging, because it assumes that Comcast's
>motivation in sponsoring an IETF meeting is to promote Internet
>innovation.  It may well be that Comcast simply wants to sponsor the
>meeting because they think it's a good use of promotional dollars.  I
>really have no idea why Comcast does anything: I don't work for them.
>But in general, if I am a large player in a technical market, even the
>shallowest familiarity with the history of technical businesses will
>teach me that those who attempt to sit on their laurels find
>themselves at a disadvantage.  Technical companies must participate in
>innovation in their fields, or else be surprised by unexpected
>Finally, you make the completely unsupported claim that maintaining
>the status quo is not about "influencing innovation, but about
>dilluting it".  I think this is a false dichotomy; but anyway the
>claim would need some sort of definition of what "diluting innovation"
>is and why you think the dichotomy is even reasonable.
> > What I only know is that Fadi announced Sao Paulo in including
> > Telcos in "the familly". As far as we are concerned all  this
> > suspicion results from 1996 Telecommunication Act intricacies.
>It seems to me that a far more reasonable explanation is that, as the
>administration of parts of the Internet changes, it would be
>ridiculous to leave out the very people on whose wires the Internet
>critically depends.  If you are writing procedures for the auto
>industry, you need to talk to automotive engineers or you get stupid
>procedures.  The same for aerospace, food packing, baby cribs,
>housing, or screws and bolts.  And it's also the same for shlepping
>bits around the planet in wires and radio waves.  The key thing is to
>avoid capture of the process.  Excluding the very people who
>understand the issues the best is a doomed strategy.
>Best regards,
>Andrew Sullivan
>ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
>discuss mailing list
>discuss at 1net.org

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