Polls

Is there an unsecured wireless network near you?
 
APNIC: Big Tech's use of carrier-grade NAT is holding back internet innovation
Thursday, 20 January 2022 14:58

HTTP/2 200 date: Fri, 21 Jan 2022 13:00:43 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/6438f31bce2730fe373dbd89fb9fea6f09ea1dc3/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/58bae17e9d0a386aa7d939aef25e401089881db2/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/58bae17e9d0a386aa7d939aef25e401089881db2/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Fri, 21 Jan 2022 13:00:42 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy01us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines x-content-type-options: nosniff cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 6d10ba1f1cffdf1c-MEL alt-svc: h3=":443"; ma=86400, h3-29=":443"; ma=86400 Carrier-grade NAT is harming internet innovation • The Register

IPv4 limits apps to simple interactions, and in 2021 IPv6 adoption growth was just three per cent


Carriers and Big Tech are happily continuing to use network address translation (NAT) and IPv4 to protect their investments, with the result that transition to IPv6 is glacial while the entire internet is shaped in the image of incumbent players.

That's the opinion of Geoff Huston, chief scientist at regional internet registry the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC).

Huston's opinion was published in the conclusion to a lengthy post titled "IP addressing in 2021" that reports on IPv4 and IPv6 usage across last year.

The post offers very deep detail on adoption of both protocols during 2021. The headline news is that the small pool of available IPv4 addresses continued to dwindle, even as trading in addresses increased. IPv6 adoption, meanwhile, grew by just three per cent – and tellingly, no major player made the move to the newer protocol last year.

The widespread use of NATs in IPv4 limits the technical substrate of the internet to a very restricted model of simple client/server interactions.

But Huston thinks the raw data doesn't explain what's really happening. He argues the widespread use of NAT masks the fact that the internet is largely stuck on IPv4 because incumbents don't see the need to change.

Huston's post ponders what this all means for the future of the internet – and he doesn't like what he sees.

"We are witnessing an industry that is no longer using technical innovation, openness, and diversification as its primary means of propulsion," he writes.

"The widespread use of NATs in IPv4 limits the technical substrate of the internet to a very restricted model of simple client/server interactions using TCP and UDP. The use of NATs forces the interactions into client-initiated transactions, and the model of an open network with considerable communication flexibility is no longer being sustained in today's network.

"Incumbents are entrenching their position, and innovation and entrepreneurialism are taking a back seat while we sit out this protracted IPv4/IPv6 transition."

Those incumbents are large, and act in their own interests.

"Today's internet carriage service is provided by a smaller number of very large players, each of whom appears to be assuming a very strong position within their respective markets," Huston observes. "The drivers for such larger players tend towards risk aversion, conservatism, and increased levels of control across their scope of operation."

APNIC expressed similar concerns in December 2021, when a report jointly commissioned by Latin American internet registry LATNIC suggested that big tech's in-house networks carry a huge slice of global traffic, giving the likes of Google and Facebook enormous influence over internet architecture.

Huston expands on that theme in his post. "The evolving makeup of the internet industry has quite profound implications in terms of network neutrality, separation of carriage and service provision function, investment profiles, expectations of risk and return on infrastructure investments, and on the openness of the internet itself.

"Given the economies of volume in this industry, it was always going to be challenging to sustain an efficient, fully open, and competitive industry, but the degree of challenge in this agenda is multiplied many-fold when the underlying platform has run out of the basic currency of IP addresses," he writes.

"These days, we appear to be increasingly looking further afield for a regulatory and governance framework that can challenge the increasing complacency of the newly established incumbents," he laments, concluding with he perhaps grim observation that "It is unclear how successful we will be in this search." ®


Other stories you might like

Private investors led by current chairman Jeff Thomas have bought loss-making public sector service provider UKCloud for an unspecified sum, ending the months-long pursuit for potentially life-or-death funding.

Hadston 2 Limited, set up by Thomas, is joined by BGF Group plc and Digital Alpha, buying a company that has three brands selling multi-cloud services to clients including central and local government, police, defence and the NHS.

"The funding provides a strong foundation on which to assemble a portfolio of innovative businesses promoting the ethical and sustainable use of data to drive positive change in our communities and economy," said Thomas in a statement.

Continue reading'Please download in Microsoft Excel': Meet the tech set to monitor IT performance across central UK government Influencing billions in spending, the Cabinet Office will keep tabs on Whitehall with… a spreadsheet?!?

Exclusive The UK's Cabinet Office has launched a new approach designed to assess the IT resource needs of central government departments and measure their performance: emailing a spreadsheet and asking for multiple replies.

In a letter seen by The Register, Joanna Davinson, executive director at the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO), said her team had created a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Digital Dashboard which in December was presented to the Functional Leadership Group.

That MVP has now been sent to Whitehall's chief digital and information officers (CDIOs).

Continue readingBOFH: What a beautiful classic car. Shame if anything were to happen to it And look, your COVID pass is all melted...

APNIC: Big Tech's use of carrier-grade NAT is holding back internet innovationEpisode 1 There's been a fire.

"Not in the building?!" I gasp at the Boss' smoke-tanned face.

"Just outside the building," he says.

Continue reading

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Stop that uterus! It stole my wallet!

What do you mean, "Can you identify the uterus in question?" It looked like a uterus! Or, as we've been singing it all through Christmas, a wooooom*.

Talk about getting the new year off to a bad start – I've just been robbed by a delinquent reproductive organ. Yet the all signs were there: I knew 2022 would be doomed back in early December when I read that the Salzburg Schokolade company, inventors of the mighty last-minute-airport-gift-shop chocolate ball Mozartkugel, had gone bust.

Continue readingWhy should I pay for that security option? Hijacking only happens to planes But if I give him my bank details, I'll be rich!

On Call Friday is here. We'd suggest an adult beverage or two to celebrate, but only if you BYOB. While you fill your suitcase, may we present an episode of On Call in which a reader saves his boss from a dunking.

Our tale comes from a reader Regomised as "Ed" and is set earlier this century. Ed was working as a developer in a biotech lab. He rarely spoke to the director, but did speak to the director's personal assistant a lot.

This PA was very much a jack of all trades (and master of... well, you get the drift). HR? He was in charge of that. Ops? That too. Anything technical? Of course. Heck, even though the firm had its very own bean counter, one had to go through the PA to get anything paid or budgets approved.

Continue readingUK, Australia, to build 'network of liberty that will deter cyber attacks before they happen' Enhanced 'Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership' will transport crime to harsh penal regime on the other side of the world

The United Kingdom and Australia have signed a Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership that will, among other things, transport criminals to a harsh penal regime on the other side of the world.

Australian foreign minister Marise Payne and UK foreign secretary Liz Truss yesterday inked the document in Sydney but haven't revealed the text of the pact.

What we do know is that the two nations have pledged to "Increase deterrence by raising the costs for hostile state activity in cyberspace – including through strategic co-ordination of our cyber sanctions regimes." That's code for both nations adopting the same deterrents and punishments for online malfeasance so that malfeasants can't shop jurisdictions to find more lenient penalties.

Continue reading

HTTP/2 200 date: Fri, 21 Jan 2022 13:00:43 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/6438f31bce2730fe373dbd89fb9fea6f09ea1dc3/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/58bae17e9d0a386aa7d939aef25e401089881db2/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/58bae17e9d0a386aa7d939aef25e401089881db2/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Fri, 21 Jan 2022 13:00:42 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy01us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines x-content-type-options: nosniff cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 6d10ba1f1cffdf1c-MEL alt-svc: h3=":443"; ma=86400, h3-29=":443"; ma=86400 Carrier-grade NAT is harming internet innovation • The Register

IPv4 limits apps to simple interactions, and in 2021 IPv6 adoption growth was just three per cent


Carriers and Big Tech are happily continuing to use network address translation (NAT) and IPv4 to protect their investments, with the result that transition to IPv6 is glacial while the entire internet is shaped in the image of incumbent players.

That's the opinion of Geoff Huston, chief scientist at regional internet registry the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC).

Huston's opinion was published in the conclusion to a lengthy post titled "IP addressing in 2021" that reports on IPv4 and IPv6 usage across last year.

The post offers very deep detail on adoption of both protocols during 2021. The headline news is that the small pool of available IPv4 addresses continued to dwindle, even as trading in addresses increased. IPv6 adoption, meanwhile, grew by just three per cent – and tellingly, no major player made the move to the newer protocol last year.

The widespread use of NATs in IPv4 limits the technical substrate of the internet to a very restricted model of simple client/server interactions.

But Huston thinks the raw data doesn't explain what's really happening. He argues the widespread use of NAT masks the fact that the internet is largely stuck on IPv4 because incumbents don't see the need to change.

Huston's post ponders what this all means for the future of the internet – and he doesn't like what he sees.

"We are witnessing an industry that is no longer using technical innovation, openness, and diversification as its primary means of propulsion," he writes.

"The widespread use of NATs in IPv4 limits the technical substrate of the internet to a very restricted model of simple client/server interactions using TCP and UDP. The use of NATs forces the interactions into client-initiated transactions, and the model of an open network with considerable communication flexibility is no longer being sustained in today's network.

"Incumbents are entrenching their position, and innovation and entrepreneurialism are taking a back seat while we sit out this protracted IPv4/IPv6 transition."

Those incumbents are large, and act in their own interests.

"Today's internet carriage service is provided by a smaller number of very large players, each of whom appears to be assuming a very strong position within their respective markets," Huston observes. "The drivers for such larger players tend towards risk aversion, conservatism, and increased levels of control across their scope of operation."

APNIC expressed similar concerns in December 2021, when a report jointly commissioned by Latin American internet registry LATNIC suggested that big tech's in-house networks carry a huge slice of global traffic, giving the likes of Google and Facebook enormous influence over internet architecture.

Huston expands on that theme in his post. "The evolving makeup of the internet industry has quite profound implications in terms of network neutrality, separation of carriage and service provision function, investment profiles, expectations of risk and return on infrastructure investments, and on the openness of the internet itself.

"Given the economies of volume in this industry, it was always going to be challenging to sustain an efficient, fully open, and competitive industry, but the degree of challenge in this agenda is multiplied many-fold when the underlying platform has run out of the basic currency of IP addresses," he writes.

"These days, we appear to be increasingly looking further afield for a regulatory and governance framework that can challenge the increasing complacency of the newly established incumbents," he laments, concluding with he perhaps grim observation that "It is unclear how successful we will be in this search." ®


Other stories you might like

Private investors led by current chairman Jeff Thomas have bought loss-making public sector service provider UKCloud for an unspecified sum, ending the months-long pursuit for potentially life-or-death funding.

Hadston 2 Limited, set up by Thomas, is joined by BGF Group plc and Digital Alpha, buying a company that has three brands selling multi-cloud services to clients including central and local government, police, defence and the NHS.

"The funding provides a strong foundation on which to assemble a portfolio of innovative businesses promoting the ethical and sustainable use of data to drive positive change in our communities and economy," said Thomas in a statement.

Continue reading'Please download in Microsoft Excel': Meet the tech set to monitor IT performance across central UK government Influencing billions in spending, the Cabinet Office will keep tabs on Whitehall with… a spreadsheet?!?

Exclusive The UK's Cabinet Office has launched a new approach designed to assess the IT resource needs of central government departments and measure their performance: emailing a spreadsheet and asking for multiple replies.

In a letter seen by The Register, Joanna Davinson, executive director at the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO), said her team had created a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Digital Dashboard which in December was presented to the Functional Leadership Group.

That MVP has now been sent to Whitehall's chief digital and information officers (CDIOs).

Continue readingBOFH: What a beautiful classic car. Shame if anything were to happen to it And look, your COVID pass is all melted...

APNIC: Big Tech's use of carrier-grade NAT is holding back internet innovationEpisode 1 There's been a fire.

"Not in the building?!" I gasp at the Boss' smoke-tanned face.

"Just outside the building," he says.

Continue reading

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Stop that uterus! It stole my wallet!

What do you mean, "Can you identify the uterus in question?" It looked like a uterus! Or, as we've been singing it all through Christmas, a wooooom*.

Talk about getting the new year off to a bad start – I've just been robbed by a delinquent reproductive organ. Yet the all signs were there: I knew 2022 would be doomed back in early December when I read that the Salzburg Schokolade company, inventors of the mighty last-minute-airport-gift-shop chocolate ball Mozartkugel, had gone bust.

Continue readingWhy should I pay for that security option? Hijacking only happens to planes But if I give him my bank details, I'll be rich!

On Call Friday is here. We'd suggest an adult beverage or two to celebrate, but only if you BYOB. While you fill your suitcase, may we present an episode of On Call in which a reader saves his boss from a dunking.

Our tale comes from a reader Regomised as "Ed" and is set earlier this century. Ed was working as a developer in a biotech lab. He rarely spoke to the director, but did speak to the director's personal assistant a lot.

This PA was very much a jack of all trades (and master of... well, you get the drift). HR? He was in charge of that. Ops? That too. Anything technical? Of course. Heck, even though the firm had its very own bean counter, one had to go through the PA to get anything paid or budgets approved.

Continue readingUK, Australia, to build 'network of liberty that will deter cyber attacks before they happen' Enhanced 'Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership' will transport crime to harsh penal regime on the other side of the world

The United Kingdom and Australia have signed a Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership that will, among other things, transport criminals to a harsh penal regime on the other side of the world.

Australian foreign minister Marise Payne and UK foreign secretary Liz Truss yesterday inked the document in Sydney but haven't revealed the text of the pact.

What we do know is that the two nations have pledged to "Increase deterrence by raising the costs for hostile state activity in cyberspace – including through strategic co-ordination of our cyber sanctions regimes." That's code for both nations adopting the same deterrents and punishments for online malfeasance so that malfeasants can't shop jurisdictions to find more lenient penalties.

Continue reading

Source: https://bit.ly/3nLdtO6