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Q2: Internet challenges

What specific challenges – including, but not restricted to technical and political challenges – do you expect the Internet to encounter during your tenure? How would you recommend that ISOC meet them?

This entry was posted by the ISOC Elections Committee on Friday, March 9th, 2007 at 11:39 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 or Atom 1.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

7 Responses to “Q2: Internet challenges”

  1. Comment by: Amitabh Singhal   
    March 20th, 2007 at 6:38 am

    Internet is and will shift from a homogenous usage base to a heterogenous base, which is where the next wave of growth is expected to come from. ISOC needs to be not only aware, which i believe it is already probably sensitive to, but it needs to make its presence felt in those socities, with multiculture, multilingual, complex economic, societal stratas and structures. ISOC will have to have it’s people understand what will drive Internet further into those complex multitudes of people and take steps to learn, contribute towards innovation e.g, helping scale up locally developed useful applications. In other words, ISOC could try to re-invent it’s evangelical role for the disadvantaged side of the communication divide. If ISOC was to do that, this would be a critical challenge to face upto.

  2. Comment by: Desiree Miloshevic   
    March 23rd, 2007 at 11:05 am

    The simplicity of the basic internet design, coupled with its incredible success, have presented us with some large social concerns. Especially important over the coming years will be socio-economic challenges such as privacy, trust, and addressing the digital divide.

    In the years ahead, several of the Internet’s core protocols (including potentially IPv4, BGP, DNS) will likely be replaced or dramatically modified, in ways that could affect both how the Internet is used and how it is managed and coordinated. Over the same period, new and established Internet stakeholders are likely to demand even greater transparency and accountability from coordinating institutions like ISOC.

    ISOC should take the lead and facilitate informed discussion about all these new challenges by raising awareness and driving forward the public debate on its own behalf as well as through our members, partner groups and organisations.

  3. Comment by: Alejandro Pisanty   
    March 25th, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    The Internet is facing two huge, concurrent sets of challenges that tend to make it less open, available and global. They come from the commercial and government fronts; be it for commercial advantage or for political control purposes, isolating parts of the Internet (for example, by the use of closed national-network architectures, or misuse of technical protocols like those for IDNs) or causing unfair differences in the ability of different users to access the Internet and use it to provide content and services.

    The policy decisions to confront these trends are non-trivial, as the discussions within and outside ISOC show. The challenges then are compounded by the fact that decisions that are smart, fair, globaly applicable, and scalable, will need to be considered in a rational, complex reasoning process with broad and diverse participation.

    The Internet is also facing challenges from a number of forms of abuse, from phishing and other security risks and spam, to the sheer prize for its success, which is increasing use that defeats even the most robust scalability designs. ISOC will have to work with the best initiatives available, choosing wisely to foster discussion more than lead to conclusions, and arriving at conclusions only when proof of the effectiveness of new alternative designs and implementations is available. In this framework ISOC will also have to find the ways to consider the societal and policy implications of each possible change to the fullest extent possible in collaboration with other relevant organizations.

  4. Comment by: Amitabh Singhal   
    March 28th, 2007 at 4:41 am

    A complex mix of challenges emanates from the traditional pstn/telecom incumbents in most parts of the world, who tend to see an open and easily accessible internet as threat to their entrenched currency dominated functioning, which uses security, law and order, local morals and customs, public abuse, and other such opinion generating issues to apply regulatory pressures to partition off the Internet, creating walls around it’s intrinsic openess. This generally works against the underlyiing Internet culture and ISOC will have to continuosly monitor such situations and discuss and apply means, wherever possible to bring aboout change.

  5. Comment by: Patrick Vande Walle   
    March 29th, 2007 at 12:39 am

    There is an ongoing trend from the telecom operators to build multiple tier Internet access in the sense that new services like exclusive IP based television are recreating de facto monopolies. The net neutrality issue is an important one because making companies paying for distributing their content means that those unable to pay (ie the individual users or small companies) would be excluded from a global presence on the Internet. Some operators also block Voice over IP on their networks because it is directly competing with their traditional telephone business. This is not only a commercial restraint and unfair competition. It also has an impact on freedom of expression.

    ISOC could, for example, create a code of conduct for its members reaffirming our values. Those adhering to this code could be allowed to claim their compliance to the code as a social quality label. We already have such a code but it needs revising.

    More work on the policy side is needed to spread our values and make sure we can enforce them on our membership.

  6. Comment by: Olivier Muron   
    March 29th, 2007 at 3:55 am

    Stability, openness, diversity, access, as themes identified during the inaugural meeting of the IGF in Athens, cover a broad set of issues the Internet community has to deal with. Security, multilingualism, privacy are other key points to be addressed.

    On a more technical point of view, a key challenge facing the Internet is the convergence: anytime, anywhere, any device. Access any kind of content/information wherever the user, the peer, the server may be, whatever the access technology (fixed/mobile), whether the user is in motion or not: it is a goal, but it is far from being a reality today.

    Another challenge is still “Internet for everyone”: make sure information can be accessed by everyone, including stakeholders from less developed parts of the world and develop the Internet as a privileged vector for reliable communications in many fields, like education and health.

    These rapid developments will put pressure on the network architecture:, key technologies (IPv6, technologies related to the Web2.0, SON technologies, internationalization, etc.) must progress towards a more reliable, more efficient and faster Internet

    The question of the IPV4 exhaustion will be a key issue in the coming months/years.

    In conclusion of this question, ISOC should raise awareness and take an active part in the debates on these issues, moving to ensure the short and long term stability of the Internet while accompanying its huge innovation potential.

  7. Comment by: Charles Mok   
    April 28th, 2007 at 4:27 am

    There are numerous challenges that the Internet communities over the world will face. Most important of all, I believe, will be the fight to keep the Internet an environment of free speech, privacy, creativity and innovation — free of political interference. However, ironically, in order to make that possible, I believe strong political skills will be needed by a body like ISOC to navigate in the seas of political tides, and other technically or commercially interests. ISOC needs to maintain our strong principle on issues like freedom of speech, equal digital opportunities, etc. and seek to create common grounds with other parties through dialogue and engagement. China is one example of that, and its importance is growing obviously as it will hold the largest Internet population in the world soon, and I intend to support ISOC in improving its engagement with the China Internet community.

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