Measurement and Analysis of Protocols at IETF 118

The IETF met in Prague in the first week of November 2023. I attended the meeting of the Measurement and Analysis of Protocols Research Group, and here are my impressions from that meeting. QUIC Topics QUIC is essentially a variant of TCP, but at the same time it also represents…


Chipping Away

This is part of a personal commentary on the meetings at the July 2023 meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF 117). If you want to know what was presented and the comments at the mic see the IETF 117 meeting archive. The ACM/IRTF Applied Network Research Workshop is…


Happy 50th Birthday Ethernet!

Some 50 years ago, at the Palo Alto Research Centre of that renowned photocopier company Xerox, a revolutionary approach to local digital networks was born. On the 22nd of May 1973 Bob Metcalf authored a memo that described “X-Wire”, a 3Mbps common bus office network system developed at Xerox’s Palo…


RIPE 86 Bites – What’s the Time?

RIPE held a community meeting in May in Rotterdam. There were a number of presentations that sparked my interest, but rather than write my impressions in a single lengthy note, I thought I would just take a couple of topics and use a shorter, and hopefully more readable bite-sized format.…


Failed Expectations

In a recent workshop I attended, reflecting on the evolution of the Internet over the past 40 years, one of the takeaways for me is how we’ve managed to surprise ourselves in both the unanticipated successes we’ve encountered and in the instances of failure when technology has stubbornly resisted to…


The Internet Twenty-Five Years Later

This article resulted from a request by The Internet Protocol Journal (IPJ), which will celebrate its 25th anniversary in June 2023. Another version of this article will appear in the June edition of IPJ. The Internet not quite as young and spritely as you might’ve thought. Apple’s iPhone, released in…


Hiding Behind Masques

It has been almost a decade since Edward Snowden exposed a program of mass surveillance by the US NSA, using the Internet for large scale data harvesting. The Internet had been profligate in the way in which various protocol scattered user data around with a somewhat cavalier disregard for privacy.…


Submarine Cable Resilience

I have on my desk a rather small tube. It’s a little under 2cm in diameter, 6 cm long, and looks like it’s made from a dull white polycarbonate material. At the end I can see a copper inner tube, and inside that another polycarbonate layer, and then a smaller…


The Fibre Optic Path

In August 1858, Queen Victoria sent the first transatlantic telegram to U.S. President James Buchanan. The cable system had taken a total of four years to build, and used 7 copper wires, wrapped in a sheath of gutta percha, then covered with a tarred hemp wrap and then sheathed in…