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 - www.internetworldstats.com 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 world Early adopters of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) – next generation of core Internet technology 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 industry 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 Internet 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 economy 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 DNS Domain Name System Converts easier commonly used names to numbers that computer networks use as an addressing system to move information Easy to remember www.google.com 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? WHOIS All names in a given domain need to be unique 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 www.apnic.net 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 information Increases response time for name resolution Potential saving of international bandwidth for small pipes Peering 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) Transit 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 backbone 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 stability May be commercial operation or set up as non-profit 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 stability 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 www.internettrafficreport.com 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 communities) Government can play a key role by bringing together stakeholders, setting clear objectives, and providing an appropriate regulatory environment Assignment 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 initiative?