Re: [arch-d] A Public Option for the Core

Brian E Carpenter <> Tue, 11 August 2020 22:53 UTC

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To: Lars Eggert <>
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From: Brian E Carpenter <>
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Date: Wed, 12 Aug 2020 10:53:09 +1200
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Subject: Re: [arch-d] A Public Option for the Core
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(Bcc to the IETF list and Cc to the architecture-discuss list)

Thanks for circulating this.

On 12-Aug-20 06:50, Lars Eggert wrote:
> Hi,
> Scott Shenker et al. just presented a pretty thought-provoking "public option" for the Internet's core backbone at SIGCOMM:


"The technical Internet community has long embraced the notion
that the Internet should be application-neutral; that notion later
became known as network neutrality (a term coined in [57])."

I dispute that assertion. "Network neutrality" is a slippery term,
but certainly there is antipathy between some interpretations of it
and RFC2474 and other QoS technologies.

"We choose instead to initially create the POC’s backbone network out
of a set of leased lines, and use the interconnections to one or more
ISPs as a fallback if the POC’s backbone does not have sufficient

That sounds like a fairly accurate description of the Internet in
about 1995, when ISPs had emerged but the de facto backbone was still
largely non-profit and/or settlement-free. And note that non-profit
transit networks existed then, and actively migrated to a for-profit
model after about 1998. See for
an example.

So I think history would likely repeat itself if this proposal was

Maybe it's time to update
Reactions to that draft from the then major transit ISPs were interestingly


> If you scroll down (or go to, his recorded talk video gives a high-level overview.
> (PDF and video *should* be open access and work for me, but you never know with the ACM...)
> Lars