US Internet service providers are upset over a proposal that would bring them into line with Europe and Asia Pacific on IP charges, but might have them paying thousands of dollars in fees for IP address space.
The American Registry for Internet Numbers has proposed a scheme that would make ISPs pay annual fees between $2,500 and $20,000, depending on the amount of IP space they buy.
InterNIC, the body responsible for registration services and domain name allocation in the US, said that the proposal was open to public comment but could be implemented within the next three months, following discussion with involved parties. The organisation began charging for domain names a few months ago and charging for IP address registration merely continues the theme.
?This is not about selling Internet address space. It is the process of having address space assigned that is being charged for,? explained Keith Mitchell, chairman of the London Internet Exchange (Linx).
?In Europe we have Ripe, a self-funding organisation that performs the role of assigning Internet addresses. ISPs pay a block subscription, which funds the registry, and fees are structured depending on whether you are a small medium or large ISP. This is much the same as what is being proposed in the US,? he added.
Until now, InterNIC has been funded by state research organisations but the US government is pushing for self-funding. ?This administration adheres to the policy that the Internet be built, owned and operated by the private sector,? said vice president Al Gore, in a recent interview with 'PC Week'.
US ISPs are worried InterNIC might take advantage of a monopoly situation. ?The fees (being proposed) are way more than the cost of allocating addresses,? said Darin Wayryen, vice president of technology for Goodnet, an ISP in Arizona.
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