[arin-ppml] Draft Policy ARIN-2017-2: Removal of Community Networks

Carlton Samuels carlton.samuels at gmail.com
Tue Jun 13 17:33:35 EDT 2017

For the record, we have been promoting a positive policy and regulatory
embrace of community networks in Caribbean jurisdictions for a long while.
The context is service disparities occasioned by prohibitive costs.

Those of us in the struggle see community networks as means to overcome the
service disparities we see between communities just outside main
distribution and at the edge of public networks which become underserved or
simply not served because the provisioning is not commercially viable for
providers. The economic viability of these networks once established are
top of mind and centre of all concerns.

Some jurisdictions - like those in the ECTEL area - have responded with
enabling policy and regulatory treatment.  In Jamaica we have had a few
projects for these networks making use of of 'tv whitespaces' and
forbearance in fees from spectrum management authorities. We would wish
ARIN to be part of the solution.

While we have reservations about the criteria for qualification and ARIN
fee structure, I support the ARIN 2017-2 policy.

-Carlton Samuels

*Carlton A Samuels*

*Mobile: 876-818-1799Strategy, Planning, Governance, Assessment &

On Tue, Jun 13, 2017 at 12:44 PM, Alyssa Moore <alyssa at alyssamoore.ca>

> Hello PPML,
> I’d like to spark more discussion on the Removal of Community Networks
> proposal.
> Here’s a brief history again (and thanks, Owen, for the first run at it).
> The policy was first implemented to
>    1.
>    Encourage uptake of IPv6 in community networks
>    2.
>    Reduce the threshold for qualification for community networks on small
>    blocks of IPv6
>    3.
>    Provide some fee relief
> As Owen noted, the fees at the time were much higher with a minimum
> commitment of $2500.
> The fees now are much more accessible at:
> 3X-Small * <https://www.arin.net/fees/fee_schedule.html#threex>
> $250
> /24 or smaller
> /40 or smaller
> 2X-Small
> $500
> Larger than /24,
> up to and including /22
> Larger than /40,
> up to and including /36
> At the meeting in New Orleans, we heard from a few folks who are involved
> in Community Nets. At the mic, they expressed concern that:
>    1.
>    They didn’t know special provisions existed for Community Nets in the
>    first place but were pleased that such provisions do exist
>    2.
>    The definition in 2.11 is too restrictive. None of the self-identified
>    community networks in attendance would have qualified under the definition
>    - notably, the 100% volunteer-run requirement.
> In further discussions, I’ve gleaned that the current fees are not a large
> concern, but that operators of community networks are pleased to be
> specifically recognized in the policy manual.
> It is my feeling, from this feedback, that any problem here may be more of
> an engagement and communications issue with community networks than a
> qualification and fee problem that can be solved in policy. This,
> admittedly is a challenge for the network operators with limited resources
> one one end, and for ARIN to be doing outreach on the other.
> Look forward to further discussion.
> Alyssa
> On Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 11:31 AM Owen DeLong <owen at delong.com> wrote:
>> > On Mar 21, 2017, at 12:07 , Jason Schiller <jschiller at google.com>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> > I would offer a friendly amendment to Scott's request to open the
>> > question up more generally...  (we should not confuse if a policy
>> > is being used, with if it is needed).
>> >
>> > Can "Community Networks" please chime into this thread
>> > and explain one (or all) of the following:
>> >
>> > 1. Why are you (or other communities networks in general)
>> > having or had trouble getting resources?
>> This section was put in place to attempt to provide a mechanism by which
>> community networks could gain access
>> to IPv6 resources for the following reasons:
>>         1.      Encourage the use of IPv6 by community networks.
>>         2.      Provide an avenue by which the board could provide a
>> reduced fee structure for community networks.
>>                 (The board has, so far, elected not to do so)
>>         3.      Lower the barrier to qualification for relatively small
>> blocks of IPv6 address space for operators
>>                 of community networks.
>> At the time the policy was introduced into the NRPM, the barrier to entry
>> for a community network (which would be
>> treated as an ISP) was a minimum commitment of $2,500 per year (IIRC,
>> possibly even $5,000).
>> Many community networks struggle to fund pizza for a monthly meeting.
>> Several representatives of community networks, myself included,
>> approached the board and were told that “The board
>> would need a definition of community networks in policy before it could
>> provide any fee relief to such organizations.”
>> The policy half was put in place and then the board declined to provide
>> any of the requested fee relief. Since then,
>> several changes (reductions) in fees have occurred.
>> Today, fees are likely no longer a significant barrier to community
>> networks use of this policy. However, that is a
>> very recent event and I would like to see us give community networks some
>> time to determine whether this is a useful
>> avenue or not.
>> Further, since this is an IPv6-only policy, it may well be that most
>> community networks still don’t perceive it as
>> practical to implement an IPv6 based network and so aren’t ready to take
>> advantage of the policy yet, preferring instead
>> to focus on whatever mechanism they are using to deal with IPv4.
>> > 2. Is the current policy is sufficient for you
>> > (and other community networks like you)
>> > to get space without sections 2.11 and 6.5.9?
>> From the perspective of the community networks I’ve been actively
>> involved in, it’s a mixed bag. There are still
>> advantages to preserving these sections in some instances.
>> > 3. Do you (and others like you) believe they should
>> > qualify under "Community Networks" but do not because
>> > the definition is overly narrow?
>> > [explain how we might extend the definition to cover you]
>> From the perspective of the community networks I’ve been actively
>> involved in, policy was not the problem,
>> cost was the problem. The policy as is is helpful, but was not helpful
>> enough. Recent general changes to
>> the fee structure would now make taking advantage of the policy
>> economically viable to some of these
>> networks.
>> > 4. Did you get space under a different policy,
>> > but still believe you would have been better served
>> > if you were able to fit under the "Communities Networks"
>> > definition?
>> From the perspective of the community networks I’ve been actively
>> involved in, no. Economics being the
>> primary barrier, no other policy would work, either. Yes, we would have
>> been better served under the
>> community networks definition _IF_ such service had been economically
>> viable, but that was not the
>> case until recent changes.
>> > Please note if you think you should be considered a community network,
>> > and why. (e.g. I am Your Neighborhood Net.  We should be considered a
>> > community network because we offer "free" WiFi to our community.  We
>> > hold monthly meetings that cost $10 / person, but half of that covers
>> the
>> > price of the pizza, the rest is a donation for our ISP fees and
>> replacement
>> > equipment.  Occasionally, a community member will buy and donate an
>> > access point so they can get better coverage, or speed.  Neither
>> > Your Neighborhood Net, nor people associated with it make any money)
>> All of the community networks I’ve been involved in had no cost to attend
>> their monthly meetings,
>> provided free wifi to some service community, depended on donations from
>> local ISPs or other businesses
>> (service donations) for connectivity, and if there was pizza at the
>> meeting, it was funded by everyone
>> chipping in for the pizza. The equipment was generally donated and/or
>> purchased with donations from
>> individual organizers/volunteers involved in the community network. Space
>> and power for the equipment
>> was donated by individuals, companies, and in some cases, civic entities
>> (water districts, police,
>> EMA, etc.).
>> Many of these networks were/are operated by Amateur Radio operators and
>> often had some connection and/or
>> intent to provide services for ARES/RACES and/or local emergency
>> management authorities.
>> > Please ask any community networks you know to chime in on this thread!
>> Though I am no longer directly actively involved in any of these
>> networks, I hope that the above
>> historical and current information is useful to the discussion.
>> Owen
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> --
> Alyssa Moore
> 403.437.0601 <(403)%20437-0601>
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