[arin-ppml] 2008-3 Community WIreless Networks

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at ipinc.net
Tue Aug 18 20:38:29 EDT 2009

Owen DeLong wrote:
> While I would agree that 100% volunteer is probably too far, I think 
> it's better
> than not getting any policy.
> The AC was not able to agree on any course of action for this policy 
> after the
> last public policy meeting.
> Personally, I feel that this policy is needed, and, that there are good 
> reasons
> for community networks to get provider independent space.


   I've tried to figure out how to say the following without appearing
like Mr. Scrooge but I'll admit I just can't.  So I'll just go ahead
and say it and I'm sure I'll get some raspberries back.

I may just be a curmudgeon, but I've never understood this idea that
there's such a thing as charitable Internet service.  Charity to me is
when I throw some money to the local soup kitchen who uses it to buy
food to feed a hungry child who's jobless parents can't afford to buy

But it seems to me that in urban areas, charitable Internet service 
should be handled through access through the local library, as it is in 
the towns around where I live, or through the usual organizations 
(Salvation Army or whatnot) that run centers for the poor to get 
resources.  It's not charity Internet service to run high speed
wireless connectivity to the poor.

As for rural areas, at least around here the rural dwellers are
either farmers who in bad times are getting tens of thousands of dollars
from the federal government in crop failure bailouts, or in good
times are making money hand over fist - or they are city dwellers
with remote getaway second homes.  Both of these knew what they
were getting into when they decided to live out in the sticks.
And all of them that want it can pick up their phone and call
hughesnet.com and for $60 a month get a megabit/sec down on a
DSS dish.

You cited http://www.svwux.org as an example but the front page
of svwux isn't talking about all the poor people they are giving
Internet to.  Add as for emergency services over wireless, give me
a break.  In a natural disaster, cellular data services is what
people will be using, not 802.11b stuff - but the biggest need
is for voice anyway, not data, and the ham radio community already
has that covered.  (or commercial satellite phones)

Anyway, with that said, the Rationale makes it pretty clear what the 
real goal of the proposal is:

"...these operators were also hopeful that, once this new class of 
address assignments was created, they could pursue lower annual fees for 
community networks through the ARIN Consultation and Suggestion Process 

If a community network volunteer drives his car out to a
remote wireless router to fix it, his cost for gasoline is the same as 
our cost.  His cost for a roll of duct tape to fix the transmitter
(or solder, or whatever he uses) is the same as our cost.
If he pays for parking to park his car his cost is the same as our cost.
His cell phone he carries is charged the same as ours.  The food he
eats, the milk he drinks, is all the same as ours.

His org, even though volunteer-driven, wants to be treated the same
(from a routing perspective) as all of the rest of us.

So, why exactly should his org get a break on the fee?  If his org gets 
the break, all of the rest of us are going to pay for the difference -
perhaps a microscopic amount if it's just one org - but there won't be
just one org or this policy would have never been proposed.

To me it just stretches the definition of believability that Internet
service is so gosh darn critical that everyone who doesn't have it
at reduced cost or free right to their homes is at a severe disadvantage.


More information about the ARIN-PPML mailing list