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Internet will have to be reengineered to accommodate Euro Telecom Operators’ demands for settlement payments, says ISOC

There are many arguments that can be made against the ETNO proposal to import the international accounting-rate regime from voice telephony to the Internet. Here as a PDF is an argument about its impracticality from ISOC. ISOC also agrees with my main point that the ETNO proposals will result in the marginalization and exclusion of the developing countries, especially their poor who are just beginning to join the Internet economy:

Because the bilateral model of sending-party-network-pays or “sender pays” that is common in
traditional telephony or mobile-settlement systems does not readily accommodate the Internet’s
multi-party transit network system, it cannot be mapped to the Internet as we know it. Simply said,
retro-fitting a “sender pays” settlement regime to the Internet is not possible without extensive
changes to the infrastructure of the global Internet. In addition, the “sender pays” model could
adversely impact the technical and commercial environment in developing economies that need to
grow their networks. Ideally, countries would use mechanisms that work well in their local
environments rather than globally mandated terms that aren’t well suited for the local context.
Finally, as with any economic ecosystem, these interconnection arrangements have succeeded
because the mutual interests among and between companies, Internet users, regulators, and civil
society help to drive down costs for interconnection. Proposals by a few carriers to change this
model may have the deleterious effect of altering the spirit and good-faith cooperation that has
existed since the Internet’s inception. In short, these kinds of proposals to change this model
would have far-reaching implications that need to be fully understood by all parties and weighed
against the loss of the current spirit and good-faith cooperation that has existed since the
Internet’s beginnings.

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