The Internet

Module 4: ICT Trends for
Government Leaders
 SESSION 3: The Internet and its Infrastructure
 Author: Rajnesh D. Singh
The Internet
 Best described as a “network of networks”
 Global and publicly accessible series of
computer networks that exchange
information using the Internet Protocol (IP)
 From a research network to a daily and
integral part of life for people all over the
world, in just three decades
 Evolving to be the primary method of
communications technology
 Integral part of the global economy:
generates hundreds of billions of dollars and
employs millions of people
The Internet
 Source: ITU
The Internet
 ~1.5 billion Internet users as of 31st
December 2008 -
 Over 500 million domain hosts as of January
2008 – Internet Systems Consortium
The Internet
 Internet growth has been remarkable!
 Focus now is on how to get the next billion
users online, and issues and concerns
around it
 Ensuring the Internet is secure and stable for
all who use it
The Internet in Asia Pacific
 Asia has made huge advances with Internet
technologies since its introduction
 Level of broadband Internet use in East Asia
(Korea, Japan) is among the highest in the
 Early adopters of Internet Protocol version
6 (IPv6) – next generation of core Internet
 Government has been a key contributor
The Korea Example
 Government led the way in setting clear
objectives for a networked nation
 Government spent considerable amounts of
money to connect government and public
institutions to a high-speed network
 Government proactively engaged with
 Set national targets: by 2005, 80% of Korean
households would have access to Internet
connections at speeds of 20Mbps or more
 Korea now recognized as the world
broadband Internet leader
Asia and the push for IPv6
 IPv6 in Asia has had significant industry and
government support
 Two basic needs as the catalyst
 One: provide connectivity for large Asian
population base – not enough IPv4
addresses to support Asia
 Two: potential of embedding Internet
technology in various appliances and
devices could provide economic returns
to industry and economies in general
A multilingual Internet
 English is the dominant language of the
 Asia, with its many languages and scripts,
has led the way in localized content :
websites and information are available in
local languages
 An important aspect of getting “the next one
billion online”
 Local scripts in the domain name
(Internationalized Domain Names - IDNs)
will greatly facilitate further use and spread
of the Internet
Internet Infrastructure Components
 Internet is a critical part of the world
 Internet now considered an essential
component of national infrastructure, as
important as electricity, transportation, water
 Apart from secure premises, human
resources and utility connectivity, key issues
to consider are: Domain Name System
(DNS), WHOIS, Root name servers,
Peering/Transit, Internet exchange points
(IXPs), international connectivity
 Domain Name System
 Converts easier commonly used names to
numbers that computer networks use as an
addressing system to move information
 Easy to remember
 Many billions of “DNS requests” made every
day by users
 Need to ensure the DNS system and
associated Internet infrastructure is secure
and stable
Can your ccTLD make you money?
 country code Top Level Domain
 .TV (Tuvalu) sold to television companies
 .NU (Niue) means “new” in Swedish
 .WS (Samoa) “Web Site”
 Question: Is your ccTLD marketable?
 All names in a given domain need to be
 Need for a way to control list of names and
ensure there are no duplicates
 WHOIS provides domain owner information:
owner, technical contact, nameservers in use
 Potential privacy issues for some
Root Name Servers
 Name server does two things: (1) converts
domain names to IP addresses for
applications; and (2) accepts requests from
other name servers to convert domain names
to IP addresses
 Root name servers know the IP addresses of
all name servers that handle the top-level
domain. Name servers refer to root name
servers for domains they do not know about
 Critical for operation of the Internet
 13 assigned root name servers (A to M) with
mirrors around the world
Root Name Servers in Asia Pacific
 Courtesy of APNIC
Can you have a root name server?
 Short answer is yes
 For advice and assistance, contact
organizations running root servers or APNIC
 In-country root server assists Internet
stability and performance
 Provides “local” source of root server
 Increases response time for name resolution
 Potential saving of international bandwidth
for small pipes
 Arrangement and physical interconnection
between two ISPs to exchange traffic
destined for each other’s networks
 Frees up upstream traffic
 Reduces reliance on (and thus cost) of
transit to move traffic
 Improves customer access speeds
(particularly if large amounts of traffic are
being moved to each other's network)
 Form of interconnection between ISPs
 Generally connects an ISP to a larger
upstream ISP (e.g. at the wholesale level),
which provides a path to the global Internet
 Usually priced on “access speed per month
basis” , i.e. 10Mbits/sec per month, and
usually subject to volume of data charges
 Most developing economies hit hard with
transit: they pay for outbound and inbound
traffic, i.e. pay for the rest of the world to
connect to it
Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)
 An extension of the Peering concept
 Physical infrastructure - connects 3 or more
ISPs to exchange traffic destined to each
other's networks
 Offers same advantages as peering – frees
up upstream traffic, saves transit costs,
improves customer access speeds
 Important to Internet routing efficiency and
 May be commercial operation or set up as
International Redundancy
 That the Internet is critical for business and
the economy is a given
 Continued operation of the Internet is
essential to everyday life
 A single point of failure in developing
countries is the international gateway
 A need to deploy redundancy on the
international gateway is critical for system
Internet Traffic Report
 Monitors flow of data around the world
 Measures round-trip time along key paths of
the global Internet
 Displays value between 0 and 100
 Higher values indicate faster and more
reliable connections
Internet Traffic Report
Policy Considerations
 Need to consider security and stability of
national Internet infrastructure through
means such as DNS root server mirrors,
Internet Exchange Points, and international
connectivity redundancy
 Government agencies and institutions
should be inter-connected over appropriate
infrastructure, and committed to providing as
many services online as possible.
 Explore opportunities to develop regional
and sub-regional networks to reduce
dependence on particular international links.
Policy Considerations
 Adoption of new technology, and in
particular deploy infrastructure development
strategies that are forward-looking
(e.g. adopting IPv6 and using wireless
networks to serve remote and dispersed
 Government can play a key role by bringing
together stakeholders, setting clear
objectives, and providing an appropriate
regulatory environment
 Consider the issue of IXPs and the state of
Internet provision in your home country.
 Do you see value in having IXPs? Suggest
how a regional IXP could be set up in your
country/region. Will it require political
intervention, or would ISPs be open to the