Tuesday, October 31, 2006

IGF 2006: The Great IGF Conspiracy?

Here's a thought doing the rounds amongst some bloggers: make the wireless so bad that bloggers can't post till well after the event.........

I (along with I suspect hundreds of others) am absolutely frustrated by the network access, so much so that I decided to not even bother connecting for much of today...

Monday, October 30, 2006

IGF 2006: How not to organise a Conference

Having organised some conferences in the past, what I see at IGF Athens is total disorganisation. At least the simple things like getting an information pack should be easy enough to organise. So what we had were scores of people walking around aimlessly like headless chooks. The excuse that its a large conference to organise just does not hold water. There are some basic things that need to happen (one would be some semblance of an agenda). It is also obvious that there are some people who are more equal than others. Some know a lot about the conference and its arrangements, some know two-tenths of nothing. Very disappointing - I would have thought the people organising would have some experience in these sort of events, or at least plain common sense.

IGF 2006: The Opening

Well its some 1 hour past the scheduled opening and we are still waiting.

I also understand there are some 600 people who will not be able to enter the room for the opening because it can seat only 800 and you need a magic pass to enter.....and some participants are more equal than others from my limited understanding.......as I type this, I glance at some of the themes: Access, Openness....hmmmmmm.......but then again I a just a card-carrying cynic.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

IGF 2006: Arriving in Athens and Registering

Well made it to Athens in one piece, and so did my luggage, which I checked-in from Fiji to Athens. Managed to find the cleverly hidden IGF desk at the Airport and after waiting for another hour or so, got bundled into a bus to the Hotel. Check-in was relatively painless and the sleep much needed. Next morning (29th) off to Divani Appollon, the conference venue. Got an ID card and that's about it. "More information to be provided later" was the message.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Journey Begins

Left home at 5am Friday, expecting to reach Athens some 50 hours later on Sunday via Seoul, Korea and Frankfurt, Germany. The things we do for the Internet ;)

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Enemy Within

This past week I read, with utter disbelief, that the Government of Iran has decided to limit Internet access speed to 128kbps (apparently higher speeds are available only if filtered). In an era when everyone (well I guess not exactly everyone now) is moving towards greater Internet availability, there are some who are quite happy to stifle this. Its also quite interesting that this has come just some 2 weeks before the Big Fat Greek Meeting (aka Internet Governance Forum or IGF) is set to convene in Athens. And as one trawls the IGF site, the schedule themes include: Access and Openness. From the news report, this action by the Iranian Government is to counter local political dissent and western influence. In a podcast from The World a commentator also suggests its a method to prevent Iranians boys from seeking girlfriends online (and vice versa). I guess the day when restricting Internet access will lead to a reduction in global warming (hmmmmm....), prevent AIDS and increase the socio-economic status of all citizens must not be far off..........

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Big Fat Greek Meeting

I am off to Greece at the end of the coming week for what some of us are (fondly?!) calling "The Big Fat Greek Meeting". Mere mortals call this the Internet Governance Forum or IGF Athens 2006. This is an outcome of the WSIS process and it will be interesting to see how effective this will be (as opposed to being just another a talk-shop). Some say this will be history in the making, I for one, and being a card-carrying cynic, will reserve my judgement for later.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

NGN - huh?!

The buzz word in the telco world and elsewhere at the moment is NGN - Next (New) Generation Networks. Just about every telco meeting has this somewhere in the agenda and like robots most who attend agree that is the way of the future and they will adopt and must work towards it, blah blah blah blah.

STOP! What is NGN? You really want to know? Its the Internet - plain and simple. All NGN is dreamt up to be, how it (will) work, etc. etc. is already implemented in the Internet or more specifically the Internet Protocol. They all say NGN will be on an IP core (or similar words). Why not cut the crap and call NGN by its real name - INTERNET.

Of course its important for the vendors to leverage a new buzz word they can sell.......the Internet is just not the right word as they can't really "sell it", or its technology to their intended audience, good ol' marketing strategies at work. Then there are others who want to safeguard their position and status and need to call the Internet by another name so they can continue with their bureacratic rubbish. And unfortunately the robots will go along with all this. Hopefully some robots have better firmware and will take notice and call a spade a spade (instead of NGS or some other fancy buzzword defined as a tool for digging). Then again I am just a cynic.....

Thursday, October 05, 2006

IPv6 Forum Pacific Islands

Well we launched the Pacific Islands Chapter of the IPv6 Forum this week.

The IPv6 Forum promotes the adoption and deployment of IPv6 and its ensuing benefits on a global scale. For a while now, folks in the Pacific Islands have talked about IPv6, but no one has really taken any steps towards doing much. Asking if someone intends to deploy IPv6 is perhaps not enough.

In my opinion what was required was a body to primarily disseminate useful and timely information and actively encourage IPv6 adoption, where the target is all sectors, not just the technical community. Whilst the technical community will deploy, its the Users (in all shapes and forms) who have driven the rapid expansion of the Internet, and hopefully the same will hold true for IPv6. So the idea is we have wide and open multi-stakeholder participation in the Forum - no closed door or by invitation only meetings here!

I do expect some mumbling in some quarters about the IPv6 Forum Pacific Islands, where some will say why PICISOC members are driving this, and to them I say "the last time I checked, the 'I' in 'IP' stood for 'Internet', and the IPv6 Forum has been around for 7 years so you have had more than enough time to pick up the ball and run with it. Now its up and and we are running, so come and join us and let's work towards making it happen".

We are also working on on the first Pacific Islands IPv6 Summit (including training sessions), and are also in the process of setting up an international advisory panel. We will shortly write to stakeholders in the region to participate in the Forum's activities as well. Let's see how interested other stakeholders are in working together and making it all happen.