[ppml] Revision to 2008-3

Matthew Petach mpetach at netflight.com
Mon Mar 31 22:37:00 EDT 2008

On 3/31/08, Steve Feldman <steven.feldman at cnet.com> wrote:
>  > 2.8 Community Network
>  >
>  > A community network is a generic reference to any network that is
>  > operated by a group of people living in a particular local area
>  > organized for the purposes of delivery or provision of network
>  > services
>  > to the residents of an incorporated or unincorporated regional
>  > municipality, city, town, village, rural municipality, township,
>  > county,
>  > district or other municipality or other such geographic space, however
>  > designated.
>  I'm not entirely comfortable with this definition.
>  First, what if I want to donate my help operating a network in some
>  other community?  Would that disqualify them?
>  Second, I think there does have to be some notion of not-for-profit,
>  or some other way to prevent a community network from competing with
>  regular ISPs using a more favorable set of rules.
>  Also, I'd like to see more explanation of why the current rules for
>  LIRs and end users either don't apply or are unworkable for community
>  networks.
>  I do think the idea has some merit, but I can't support this proposal
>  it in its current form.
>         Steve

I'd likewise like to indicate my non-support for the current proposal
as I think the definition of a "community network" is too easily
abused.  Any individual can claim to represent a "community network"
simply by having a WiFi access point in their house that their neighbor
sometimes hops on.

if we can clarify that a community network must meet all of the
following requirements to quality:
a) be a recognized not-for-profit entity
b) consist of multiple people organized together to provide no-fee,
    free network access within a well-defined, network-contiguous
    region (such that there will be no deaggregation of the
    announcement across multiple non-connected egress points)
c) have a documented plan to provide the aforementioned free service
    to at least N sites (can't really say "customers" since we're
    forcing them to be not-for-profit).  My temptation is to set 'N'
    below the LIR threshold--we're not talking about organizations
    that will rival the local ISP for the most part, so I'd suggest 50
    as a reasonable starting number.

For me, the not-for-profit portion is crucial--otherwise, they're
either an ISP/LIR, or an enterprise/end user network, and
should apply under those rules.  Also, the 'more than one
person, more than one "customer"' portion is pretty key;
setting up your wireless access point so that your neighbor
can use it shouldn't allow you to qualify as a "community
network"; in my book, you're still an end user.

If we can address those concerns, I think I'd be able to
consider supporting it; but without some clear rules on
what a "community network" is, I think this policy
would be too wide open for abuse.


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