Workshop 7

 

Hashtag: #eurodig_ws7

The Role of IXP (Internet Exchange Points) in Internet Governance


Organising team / focal point:

eco has been the Association of the German Internet Industry for more than 15 years, representing members interest on political platforms worldwide. Together with over 600 member enterprises worldwide, eco is shaping the Internet: We develop markets, promote technologies and form frameworks. www.eco.de


Key participants:

  • Sam Frances, LINX
  • Martin J. Levy, CloudFlare, Inc.
  • Arnold Nipper, Founder / CTO DE-CIX
  • Loreta Vioiu, Council of Europe
  • N.N, Digitale Gesellschaft e.V.

Moderator: Henning Lesch, eco


Reporter: Henning Lesch, eco


Remote participation moderator: Anya Orlova, Network of European Digital Youth


Description / key focus:

The Internet has become increasingly the key infrastructure and platform for social, political and economic activities. This implies strong dependency on the basic infrastructure and on the services and applications that use the Internet. Internet Exchange Points are part of the core infrastructure of the Internet as well as a relevant stakeholder in Internet Governance.

The Workshops intends to identify the core infrastructure of the Internet, the relevant stakeholders based on the division of roles and responsibilities and the mutual dependencies. Subsequently we will assess and evaluate the role of IXPs in Internet Governance. Consequently a major focus will be put on how IXPs make a contribution to safeguard and ensure an open, divers, secure, and effective infrastructure that maintains and enhances the capability of the Internet as a key driver for innovation and economic growth.

Key focus / Range of topics:

  • What is the role of Internet Exchanges in Internet Governance?
  • What is an IXP and what it is not?
  • Why IXP are an essential part of the Internet Community?
  • Which role play IXPs for Openness, Security, Diversity, Access?
  • How IXPs fit into ensuring stability of the Internet?

Documents:


Links:…find out more on the WIKI here


 Report:

The Workshop covered different topics and aspects of Internet Exchange Points (IXP). At the beginning of the Workshop we identified the core infrastructure of the Internet, the relevant stakeholders based on the division of roles and responsibilities and the mutual dependencies. Subsequently we assessed and evaluated the role of IXPs in Internet Governance. Consequently a major focus was put on how IXPs make a contribution to safeguard and ensure an open, diverse, secure, and effective infrastructure that maintains and enhances the capability of the Internet as a key driver for innovation and economic growth.

In order to get a common sense and understanding of the basics we started to learn something about what an Internet Exchange (IXP) is and what´s not. We got an idea about the working of peering, interconnection and role of Internet Exchanges (reference: EuroIX film about Internet Exchanges (http://youtu.be/yJJHukw9Lyc).

Internet Exchanges are part of the core infrastructure backing up the world wide internet. The panelists discussed security and resilience and discovered that Internet Exchanges are not a single point of failure. Nowadays the major European Internet Exchanges are located at multiple locations in order to improve resilience and stability of their services. They are strongly committed to to security and constantly improve and enhance the security level of their services. They provide Service Level Agreements to their customers that underwrite the professional quality of their services. We got an impression about the values of Internet Exchange Points from a professional user perspective. The panelists concluded that Internet Exchanges are a marketplace creating an internet-eco-system with mutual benefits for all stakeholders. Internet Exchange Points are an active part of the internet community, on a technical and personal level. On the verge of the Workshop Netneutrality was mentioned and panelists explained that in the field of Internet Exchanges there is no preferential treatment and from a technical perspective “all packets are treated equal”.

Then we broadend the scope and topics. In the internet age technical infrastructure influences Human Rights and Freedom of Expression. We discussed how intermediaries like ISP, IXP, et al. become increasingly involved in issues relating to Fundamental Rights, Freedom of Expression and Human Rights in general. We got an insight in the work of the Council of Europe in the Internet area especially the Guidelines for Internet Service Provider and the Human Rights Guidelines for Internet users. All agreed that it is necessary to promote and safeguard Human Rights, Civil Rights, Freedom of Expression online.

Conclusion and Recommendations:

The participants of the Workshop and the dialogue with the audience reached consensus about the following key aspects and proposed recommendations.

  1. The Internet is a critical infrastructure. So it is essential to maintain stability, reliability, security.
  2. The Internet is a network of networks. By design the Internet is one global and decentralized network.
  3. Internet Exchange Points are an active part of the Internet Community and play an important role in Internet Governance. They provide a solid and reliable infrastructure backing up the world wide Internet, are a neutral marketplace for interconnection open for anybody, enhance the coverage of broadband services, enhance competition and diversity
  4. Access to the Internet is an important means to exercise human rights and fundamental rights. The Recommendations of the Council of Europe especially the “Guidelines for Internet Service Providers”(H/Inf (2008)9) and the “Human Rights Guidelines for Internet users” (Recommendation CM/Rec(2014)6)  should be promoted and applied by all relevant stakeholders. It´s essential to get broad distribution and public awareness.

Read the transcript here!

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