Phil Roberts is Technology Programme Manager for ISOC

Interview: Technology Programme Manager, ISOC: “Offering full transparency about bandwidth and network management policies will enable users to make informed choices.”

Phil Roberts is Technology Programme Manager for ISOC
Phil Roberts is Technology Programme Manager for ISOC

Phil Roberts is Technology Programme Manager for ISOC. Here we learn how ISOC is getting on with its campaign for IPv6 adoption, and where it stands on the raging net neutrality debate. 

ISOC’s Sebastian Bellagamba, Regional Bureau Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, is appearing on Day Two of the Broadband LATAM conference, taking place on 3rd– 4th June 2014 at the Amcham, São Paulo, Brazil in a panel discussion entitled: “Innovative Ideas to Building a Connected Society.”

What’s the latest on IPv6 adoption and how happy are you, or not, with the pace of adoption – and what can be done to improve it?

There are two good public measures of on-going IPv6 adoption. Both show increasing IPv6 usage from around the globe. The latest version of our World IPv6 Launch measurements (20 May) provided by Google, Yahoo!, and Akamai are available. They show increasing usage of IPv6 in networks from both North and South America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. Google’s public measurements show a continued rapid increase in use of IPv6 across the globe to Google properties.

The main thing to be done to improve adoption is for network operators to enable it for their end users. The five most visited websites across the globe (Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo!, and Wikipedia) have been using IPv6 for almost two years, so there is a lot of content available. We’d like to see more of course, but end user networks should realise it’s time to deploy IPv6 if they haven’t already. We continue to work with network operators, especially mobile network operators, to help foster adoption of IPv6.

IPv6 aside, what else is the focus for the ISOC?

Our IPv6 work is one part of one of our key priorities: promoting the evolution of technology to ensure the sustainability and reliability of the Internet. Other activities within this space include work to ensure that the entire world’s Internet infrastructure is operated locally, based on global standards. In the technology space we are also working to promote the robustness and resiliency of Internet security and privacy. In the public policy arena we are working to maintain and strengthen Internet governance processes both globally and locally. As an example, the Internet Society participated in the recent NetMundial conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where stakeholders from all over the world and all branches of interest in the future of the Internet met to discuss governance issues globally going forward.

The net neutrality debates continue to rage? What the ISOC position?

Indeed it does. The landscape of regulatory positions varies across the globe and this is appropriate as market conditions vary around the world.  So it’s not possible to have a single policy position that applies in every region. In all our discussions we try to keep some common principles in mind under the headings of access, choice, and transparency.

Firstly, access to Internet services, applications, sites and content enhances users’ experience and the Internet’s potential to drive innovation, creativity, and economic development.

Secondly, choice and control for users over their online activities, including providers, services, and applications.

And thirdly, while recognizing that there are legal and technical limitations, offering full transparency about bandwidth and network management policies will enable users to make informed choices about their Internet services.

What is a “connected society” to you, and how might it differ from what we currently experience?

We have published a paper that we call the ‘Internet Invariants’. One of the key aspects of it is that what is unchanging about the Internet is that it is for everyone.  We see two key components of that: permission-less innovation and accessibility. Both of these point to the idea that anyone can connect to it and then introduce new services and connect to others. Our goal is to see that the benefits of this are available to everyone around the world.

What are you most looking forward to regarding the Broadband LATAM conference?

I’m looking forward to hearing about the pressing issues to the operators in the Latin America region and how they are responding to those issues.  There are many common issues for network operators across the globe and it’s very exciting to see the diversity of response to those issues and the exciting opportunities for network operators in diverse communities.

Broadband LATAM 2014

The Broadband LATAM conference is taking place on 3rd– 4th June 2014 at the Amcham, São Paulo, Brazil. Click here to download a brochure.


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