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Building on a new "high," participants in MENA L gave some interesting feedback and insights for Week 3's discussion. The highlights are as follows:

The electromagnetic spectrum I would like to think that this is an” interesting” discussion. Two participants agreed that the use of the same frequency will interfere with one another and thus make it unreliable. They also believed that the government should regulate the use of the electromagnetic spectrum; to be available to be used by everyone and can be protected from market wars.

Open Spectrum One participant also believed that a portion of the spectrum should be open and can lead to different business models (while believing at the same time that it should be regulated by the government). I also asked the group, under current spectrum policies, if we are using the spectrum efficiently.

PLC (Power Line Communication) One participant shared that there is a pilot project to provide Internet users with the use of electrical transmission lines to provide Internet services across the lines of Jerusalem District Electricity Company. This project started two months ago in the area of Bir Nabala. Then a participant asked if the use of PLC has any drawbacks. My knowledge on PLC has been limited as to the knowledge of it as being an alternative to wireless networks. So I shared a link on the pros and cons on the architecture of PLC.

IP Addresses There was a suggestion by a participant on IP Addresses. He believed that since IP addresses are categorized into "Public IPs" and "Private IPs", it is the "Public IPs" that are usually unique and as for "Private IPs", two computer on two different LANs could have the same "Private IPs." He further explained that IP’s are referred to as "IP Address" and not anything else so he suggested that it should be re-phrased to “same Public IP Address.” I replied by noting his good observation and added that to avoid address conflicts, IP addresses are usually "publicly" registered with the Network Information Centre (NIC). On the other hand, private TCP/IP LANs do not need public addresses, because obviously, they are not for public access. So I agree on him on this. Then another participant noted that he agrees that IP’s link you to web addresses in the end, but in the initial stage they refer to IP numbers which are then translated to alphabets and hence addresses to make life easier for users. He further added that we cannot deny that IPs are numbers in the first stage which are then transformed to addresses. So I summarized this discussion with a quote on how the role of IP is described in this simple statement: "A name indicates what we seek. An address indicates where it is. A route indicates how to get there."

IPv6 and the Pool of IP Addresses– I find this discussion interesting because it makes you think if the numbers are exactly correct. As one participant said: “This number is 340, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000 and NOT 430, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000. It is more easily read as 340 trillion trillion trillion. As a double check, v6 IPs consist of 128 bits. Thus, the number of unique v6 IP addresses is 2^128.” So I asked him for a source and I did my own investigation. He did a little Math and replied again by saying that a bit is a base 2 number, and so the number of different v6 IPs is 2^128 = 340 exponent 36. I agree with him on this since I did investigate and the number was around 340 and not 430.

IPv6 Migration/Deployment– A participant highlighted the cost of IPv6 migration from IPv4. So I asked the class a question regarding the challenges their country is facing in terms of IPv6 deployment. Most of them really highlighted the cost and with this in mind, I used this as week 3's online session agenda. The report summary for that online session was sent to the group and to the coordinator last Saturday. One participant argued that IPv6 migration is not so much of awareness/information dissemination but he believed that people should think of that as an emerging technology. One participant clarified that an awareness campaign is not so much of a major issue but it won’t be much use if people are not even aware of what it is and might even be an obstacle. Their underlying (or common ground) is the underlying cost of the new infrastructure in which both of them agreed.

DNS – One participant pointed out that this statement here stating “…DNS handles Internet address and converts them to IP addresses..” His disagreement is with the word “converts.” He claimed that it does NOT "convert" a domain name into an IP address, but rather, it "fetches" the IP address through a process called "DNS Resolving.” So I said if we talk about semantics, the word "convert" would mean "change" and the word "translate" would also mean "change." So the common ground for both is the word "change." I asked him if we can agree on a common ground for the word "convert" since some might understand the word differently. I told him that I did not look into it technically per se but through its connotation. So the word "convert" DOES IMPLY "change" the same way with the word "translate." He said it makes sense so he decided to drop the word “translate” and stick with “fetch” because simply that DNS sends a domain name and receives back an IP address. I told him that I did see a few sites using the word "translate" but I took the implication and realized it's how the word is used or implied.

Then another participant joined us and said that usually the Internet service provider provides the addresses to use for the DNS servers and when a user's application requests to connect to a remote device by name, the requesting DNS client queries one of these name servers to resolve the name to a numeric address." He looked up the word “DNS” in the glossary of the book he had from CISCO Academy and so he said that “translate” is the correct one because when you go to your internet browser and type www.diplomacy.edu, the browser asked the DNS server to translate the url with the IP and send the result back to the browser .

20 gTLD’s– The notes explained that there are currently 20 gTLD’s but there he claimed there are 21 from the IANA website: http://www.iana.org/domains/root/db/#. I find this interesting since the numbers can be misleading and it is something we need to look into. I counted from the IANA site but I was not sure of my counting was correct. In addition, .asia is another gTLD that was launched back in 2007, according to the participant. He further added that it serves the Asian community and more info can be found more on at http://www.registry.asia/. The same participant gave me instructions to count the 21 gTLD's and yes, there were 21.

Root Servers– One issue raised by one participant is about the replication of the master root server to other servers. He claimed that this might lead to the monopolization of the substantial source of the internet. He said that since the internet has multistakeholders and its future is of great concern to all users in different countries, they all should have the right to ownership or to control its source. He further added that it is the source of serious threat to the availability of the internet to certain countries which may be in dispute with
the US.

The great thing about discussions like these is that the discussions get elevated to a higher level. In fact, most of them go back to previous chapters and still respond to issues. Putting myself in their shoes when I was a IGCBP participant in 2007, whenever I receive notifications with Hypertext entries and read them, I could not help replying to issues I'm passionately interested in. In fact, this kind of "high" is evident in some participants. You could say, some were already addicted to IG! :)

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Karlene Francis (Jamaica)
Ivar Hartmann
Elona Taka (Albania)
Fahd Batayneh (Jordan)
Edward Muthiga (Kenya)
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Xu Jing (China)
Gao Mosweu (Botswana)
Jamil Goheer (Pakistan)
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