News and Updates

NameJet sales include 12 5-number domains that sold for the same price

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2019-01-03 16:57

One bidder found the market price for a dozen domain names.

NameJet is out with its final sales report of 2018. The domain marketplace sold 74 domains for $2,000 or more in December 2018 for a total of about $350,000.

One buyer bought 12 five-number domain names all with a high bid of $4,499.

A few other notable sales are:

Autographed.com $5,000 – I love this name. Although -ed is technically past tense and usually not as valuable, autographed here is more of an adjective.

MovingVan.com $4,077 – This could be used for moving rental and services lead generation or as a brand in the space.

OnlinePsychic.com $3,001 – I don’t know much about the market for only psychic services but it seems like it would be a good business.

Here’s the full list of sales of $2,000 or greater.

DomainPrice xnk.com21000 fridges.com20089 info.net17588 hapo.com15000 pacifiers.com10000 purefood.com10000 agecheck.com10000 babyboy.com8138 fridley.com7602 voka.com5755 ledshoes.com5751 olds.com5655 woye.com5211 headbanger.com5210 adplus.com5100 indore.com5000 autographed.com5000 ifunded.com5000 newyorks.com4999 optimate.com4989 maturedate.com4877 bookmarker.com4701 oneoff.com4544 62889.com4499 98557.com4499 38856.com4499 12887.com4499 76855.com4499 79855.com4499 66839.com4499 66938.com4499 55786.com4499 97886.com4499 98355.com4499 55969.com4499 coddle.com4230 movingvan.com4077 livinghome.com3804 theparents.com3100 cybit.com3088 shoptools.com3004 bellia.com3002 onlinepsychic.com3001 interexpress.com2989 perfectbreasts.com2977 purecotton.com2911 kohols.com2754 therush.com2750 caroo.com2600 corporatereputation.com2600 beachmaster.com2599 silently.com2511 bbay.com2502 z5z.com2500 nationalparalegal.org2500 1r.net2434 saper.com2433 climateregistry.org2423 mobilesales.com2422 lovington.com2400 bluedelta.com2255 66992.com2200 houseofdebt.org2110 tequipment.com2103 screenz.com2100 crisispapers.org2100 customtools.com2097 jowi.com2088 toju.com2060 sushiking.com2020 thetax.com2009 privateclinic.com2002 82336.com2000 vnsvns.com2000

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  3. NameJet adds seller dashboard
Categories: News and Updates

A domain name lesson on CNBC’s The Profit

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2019-01-03 15:15

Company upgrades from .net to .com after The Profit host Marcus Lemonis invests in business.

This toy store upgraded its domain to SantasToys.com.

Over the holidays, CNBC’s The Profit featured a store in Santa Claus, Indiana called Santa’s Toys.

On The Profit, host Marcus Lemonis invests in a business and works one-on-one with its owners to help it improve.

In this episode, Lemonis invests $75,000 in the business but lets the owner keep 100% of the store. He’s more interested in the nascent e-commerce business, of which he negotiates for 50%.

There’s a big problem with Santa’s Toys web presence, though. It’s on SantasToys.net instead of .com.

Around the 5 minute mark of the episode, Lemonis asks the owners why they went with .net instead of .com. They said the .com domain was more expensive each year.

Actually, the problem was that the .com was registered well before the owners got SantasToys.com.

Lemonis doesn’t like .net and blames some of the site’s lackluster success on the choice of domain. “Maybe because nobody knows .net,” he says.

He buys SantasToys.com as part of the site relaunch.

It’s an interesting episode that you can check out here.

(Hat tip: Bill Sweetman at Name Ninja)

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Categories: News and Updates

Year in Review: .App domain names

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2019-01-03 14:36

Google’s .App launch brought visibility to new top level domains.

It’s been a while since a top level domain name launch caught mainstream attention but Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) launch of .App made waves in 2018.

Perhaps it’s because it is a great string. (Google paid $25 million to acquire rights to the domain.) Perhaps it’s because Google was behind it. Whatever the reason, .app took off.

People registered 7,500 domains during early access. Over 100,000 domains were registered within a day of general availability in May. As of the end of the year, there were over 350,000 registrations.

All of this happened despite two potential roadblocks to registering .app domains. First, there was no heavy discounting. Second, an SSL certificate is required to use a .app domain name.

The SSL is required because .app is on the HSTS preload list. This makes it tricky to park .app domains, but some people came up with solutions to this.

Buying an existing .app domain can be tricky, too. Even before GDPR took effect Google had already obscured Whois records, making it impossible to figure out who owns a .app domain.

Google subsequently launched .page but that domain hasn’t cracked 10,000 registrations.

It will be interesting to see what happens when Google launches .Dev in early 2019.

© DomainNameWire.com 2018. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

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Categories: News and Updates

The Christmas Goat and IPv6 (Year 9)

Domain industry news - Thu, 2019-01-03 02:30

Here we are with the ninth year of measuring IPv6 on the Christmas Goat. Last year we had almost no snow and it was almost the same this year.

This year I give you 50 seconds of "action" film with the goat from the early in December. But the measurement was a big disappointment. They started high with 60% IPv6 and went down to 41% at the end.

Values from previous measurements:

2010 – 0.1% Native IPv6
2011 – 1 %
2012 – 1.4 %
2013 – 3.4 %
2014 – 11.1 %
2015 – 14 %
2016 – 27%
2017 – 40%
2018 – 41 %

In Sweden the IPv6 traffic didn't increase at all this year but worldwide I'd say we are close to the 30% margin.

Who is then visiting our goat with IPv6? I had to dig deep and take a close look.

In the first places this year we have:

• AS5645
• AS16086
• AS36727
• AS7018

And then, at last, we got 2001:67c:: which is some of RIPE's PI v6 space where some municipalities and Swedish authorities use. This shows more again that you can't be "a prophet in your own hometown."

In the Goat's hometown, Gavle the local ISP Gavlenet activated IPv6 for more than 12,000 subscribers this year. But only less than 10% got IPv6 activated. Read more at stakeout and why so few are using it.

And there is a little shame that there are no hits from Gavle kommun's own IPv6 space…

Have a happy and good IPv6 year in 2019. I hope I can continue this measurement at the end of 2019 which will mark the 10 year anniversary of this measurement attempt!

Written by Torbjörn Eklöv, CTO, Senior Network Architect, DNSSEC/IPv6

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More under: IP Addressing, IPv6

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Simulation of OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat's Proposed Global Broadband Constellations

Domain industry news - Wed, 2019-01-02 21:42

Inigo del Portillo and his colleagues at MIT have run a simulation comparing OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat's proposed low-Earth orbit Internet service constellations. The models are based on the initial FCC filings by the companies and demand and data-rate estimates by the authors. (I will mention subsequent amendments to the filings below).

The first part of the paper presents an overview of the satellites and constellations and simulations predicting the average number of satellites within line of sight at different latitudes:

With 4,425 simulated satellites, SpaceX is the clear leader in all but the extreme north and south, but Telesat, with only 117 satellites, averages more visible satellites than OneWeb with 720 because their minimum elevation angle is 20 degrees while OneWeb's is 55 degrees (SpaceX's is 40 degrees).

Note that SpaceX coverage peaks around the latitude of Seattle, where their center for satellite operations is located, and many large trading and financial cities have 30 or more visible satellites:

They also simulated alternative ground segment configurations. The following figures show throughput as a function of the number of ground stations and assumed optical inter-satellite link (OISL) speed:

They estimated the average data rate per satellite and total system throughput (sellable capacity) for each constellation then computed the number of ground stations needed to achieve full capacity:
SpaceXOneWebTelesatAverage data rate per satellite (Gbps)5.362.1722.74Total system throughput (sellable capacity, Tbps)23.701.562.66Ground stations needed to achieve full capacity1237142Throughput with 50 ground stations (Tbps)16.801.472.66
Note that marginal improvement diminishes as the number of ground stations increases. For example, with 50 ground stations each, the throughputs are SpaceX 16.8, OneWeb 1.47 and Telesat 2.66 Tbps.

Since SpaceX has their own launch capability, they can afford to begin at very large scale, giving them a significant capacity advantage, but Telesat has a significant lead in capacity per satellite. Putting these constellation capacities in context, Telegeography reported that global International bandwidth in 2018 was 393 Tbps, two-thirds of which has been deployed since 2014. Satellite constellations with OISLs will add to that total and provide lower latency times than international terrestrial cables.

As mentioned above, there have been some changes in plans since the FCC filings upon which these simulations were based. OneWeb has reduced the number of satellites in their constellation to 600 and eliminated ISOLs and SpaceX has lowered the altitude of their constellation from 1,100 to 550 km and cut the number of ISOLs per satellite from 5 to 4. (SpaceX was also authorized to use V-band spectrum, but that may be for their planned VLEO constellation).

I asked del Portillo whether they had rerun the simulations using the revised plans, and he said they had not, but he did not think that the numbers for total throughput and number of ground stations would vary a lot for SpaceX and he expected the total system throughput would decrease slightly for OneWeb because of the reduced number of satellites. He also expressed concern about OneWeb being able to provide continuous coverage near the equator where there might be coverage gaps or lower data-rates. (Note that the simulation focused on end-user and backhaul demand, not marine and in-flight connectivity which are priority markets for OneWeb).

SpaceX appears to have financing in place to cover their initial launches and achieve high capacity early and Telesat is making a much smaller initial investment, but should be able to scale up as demand increases. Based on this simulation and problems they have encountered with their Russian partners, OneWeb may be falling behind.

I've summarized some of the results of these simulations, but you should read the paper for details on the model structure, assumptions and a discussion of technical challenges. You can also check out this slide presentation on the paper. I also recommend an earlier paper and accompanying videos on a simulation that predicts routing redundancy and latency with SpaceX's planned broadband constellation.

Written by Larry Press, Professor of Information Systems at California State University

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More under: Access Providers, Broadband, Wireless

Categories: News and Updates

Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Internet Service Developments for 2018

Domain industry news - Wed, 2019-01-02 19:58

At the end of 2017, I posted a review of important LEO-satellite Internet service developments. I've been updating those posts during the year and have also added the following new posts this year:

OneWeb's offer to sell a share of their satellite Internet service to Russia (December 2018) – OneWeb has a Russian contract to launch Internet-service satellites and a marketing partnership with a Russian company. When the Russian government expressed concern about security and US sanctions, OneWeb made concessions. It was reported that OneWeb had offered to sell 12.5% of the company to Russia, giving them a board seat and access to technical information, but OneWeb denied the report. Given Russia's accelerated investment in their global satellite navigation system, history of hacking the US Global Positioning System and using the Internet to foment social unrest and influence election results in Europe and the United States, I would be reluctant to share technical information with them.

A cool simulation of SpaceX's revised satellite broadband plan (November 2018) – On November 15, the FCC approved a revision to the plan for Starlink, SpaceX's forthcoming broadband satellite service. The new plan reduces the number of satellites from 4,525 to 4,409 and lowers the altitude of the phase-1 satellites from 1,100 to 550 km. Mark Handley, a professor at University College London, has created videos based on simulations he ran of both the original and revised phase 1 plans. The videos and his narration provide insight into the assumptions he made in building his models and constellation design decisions and tradeoffs.

An in-depth interview of OneWeb Executive Chairman Greg Wyler (November 2018) – In this "definitive" 2018 interview of OneWeb founder and Executive Chairman Greg Wyler, he said their initial customers will include emergency services, mobility (aviation), health centers and schools. He did not mention individual homes or the problems he has been having negotiating with the Russians or dropping inter-satellite laser links. There is a lot more — check the interview out.

Obstacles in OneWeb's negotiations with Russia (October 2018) – OneWeb has a contract to launch satellites on Russian-made Soyuz rockets and has formed a joint venture with Gonets, a Russian satellite operator, as a marketing partner. Recently, Russia has expressed concerns about security, drug their feet on spectrum allocation and complained about US sanctions. Subsequently, OneWeb reduced its interest in the Gonets partnership from 60 to 49 percent, giving Gonets control. This case illustrates the fact that political, security and financial negotiations may be as difficult as designing satellites and rockets for a would-be global Internet service provider.

Might CubeSats provide broadband Internet connectivity one day? (September 2018) – Cubesats are small, standardized satellites. Since they are small, they are relatively cheap to launch and standards and standard components make them relatively cheap. This post looks at the efforts of two startups working on narrowband communication applications using CubeSats. Today's CubeSats are smaller and less powerful than those planned for Internet constellations from companies like OneWeb, Telesat or SpaceX and it's hard to believe that the capability of broadband Internet-service satellites might one day fit in a CubeSat — but think about the phone in your pocket.

SpaceX Starlink test – good news but unanswered questions (June 2018) – Elon Musk tweeted that the two SpaceX test satellites, TinTin A and B, are connecting at "high bandwidth" with 25 ms latency. That's good news but it leaves a lot unanswered. For example, he did not mention the speed and reliability of the phased-array handoffs between the satellites and ground terminals and he said nothing about tests of the inter-satellite laser links, which OneWeb has abandoned.

SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell on synergy among Musk companies and Starlink profit (May 2018) – In a recent interview, SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell said that SpaceX is profitable, but she predicts that Internet service revenue will soon be much greater than that of their launch business and the Wall Street Journal agrees. She also pointed out synergies between Elon Musk's companies and said they remain on schedule to take people to Mars in 2024.

Telesat begins testing low-Earth orbit satellite Internet service (May 2018) – Telesat's demonstration satellite is now ready for testing with maritime connectivity provider OmniAccess, Australian ISP Optus and in-flight entertainment company Global Eagle Entertainment. They are moving quickly and their initial focus is on these specialized markets.

Elon Musk tells what to expect from the Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket (May 2018) – On the occasion of it's first production flight, Elon Musk said this will be the last major version of the Block 9 Falcon 9 before their next rocket, the BFR. The Block 5 is designed for rapid-turnaround reusability and he expects there to be 300 or more Block 5 flights before it is retired. The rockets are designed to do 10 or more flights without refurbishment and expected to be capable of at least 100 flights before being retired.

FCC approves SpaceX Starlink's Internet-service constellation - now there are four (March 2018) – SpaceX, OneWeb, Telesat and Space Norway (focused on the far north) now have FCC approval to provide fixed-satellite service using constellations of LEO satellites.

O3b satellite Internet - today and tomorrow (March 2018) – SpaceX, OneWeb and Telesat are planning to offer Internet-service from LEO, but O3b is already providing connectivity to relatively large customers like mobile phone companies, government organizations, and cruise ship lines using a constellation of medium-Earth orbit (MEO) satellites. For example, they serve mobile phone company Digicell in Papua New Guinea and Cuban ISP ETECSA. O3b plans to add four more satellites early next year and will begin deploying their next-generation constellation, mPower, in 2021. While today's O3b satellites have 10 steerable edge-terminal beams, the mPOWER satellites will have over 4,000 steerable beams that can be switched under program control giving the initial seven-satellite constellation over 30,000 dynamically reconfigurable beams and over 10 Tbps capacity.

Written by Larry Press, Professor of Information Systems at California State University

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More under: Access Providers, Broadband, Mobile Internet, Telecom, Wireless

Categories: News and Updates

Year in review: record new TLD sales

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2019-01-02 19:37

Three second level domains under new top level domains sold for least $500,000 each.

Big dollar sales of new top level domain names are rare, but Donuts announced three blockbuster deals in 2018–each clipping the prior record by a small amount.

First, Donuts announced that Home.Loans sold for $500,000 to a Florida entrepreneur. Blake Janover had success with other new top level domains before plunking down a half million dollars for this one. (Listen to a podcast with Blake here.)

Then a Missouri entrepreneur bested that sale by paying $500,300 for Vacation.Rentals. The extra $300 was not random. Mike Kugler wanted the press that came with being the record holder. (Listen to a podcast with Mike here.)

That record lasted until November, when Domain Name Wire broke the news that Donuts sold Online.Casino for $510,000.

The home.loans and vacation.rentals buyers both cited perceived search engine optimization benefits as a key reason for paying so much money. At the time of writing, both are on the first page of Google for the search term matching the second and top level portions of their domains, e.g. home loans and vacation rentals.

© DomainNameWire.com 2018. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

Related posts:
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Categories: News and Updates

IPv6 in China

Domain industry news - Wed, 2019-01-02 19:18

Much has been written about the progress of the adoption of IPv6 over the years. I know I've been guilty of adding my writings into the pool, and this article is a further contribution to that pool of observations and measurements. In this case, I want to look in some detail at the deployment of IPv6 in China.

Why is China so important in this story of IPv6 deployment?

We can look at IPv6 adoption in economic terms as a market. What we have is an unregulated market, in that market participants will act according to their perceptions of self-interest, as there is no external control over behaviors. The entrance of new goods and services into a market face some particular problems. If a good (a behavior, a characteristic or a service) is used by only a small proportion of the market's consumers then either the good provides relative advantage to early adopters (the so-called early adopter advantage), in which case the volume of the market traded good will rise over time as other market participants are motivated to also realize this potential relative advantage, or it provides insufficient relative advantage, in which case the good will languish and possibly even disappear from this theoretical market. Once a good achieves a certain level of adoption a different market behavior emerges. Late adopters suffer a penalty because they are not participating in this common activity and may well have to expend resources to compensate for their inability to directly participate in this market for the introduced product or service. The market has achieved critical mass, and at this point, the pressures for adoption across the remainder of the market is virtually assured, as laggards in adoption are now at a relative disadvantage as compared to the pool of existing adopters.

It's hard to tell at what point a critical mass condition might emerge, as the historical record shows different thresholds for the adoption of different goods and services. It may be as low as 5%, particularly if the early adopter advantage is very large, or it may be as high as 50% or 60% if there is virtually no early adopter advantage. Nicholas Felton of the New York Times reported on the adoption of a number of household items over the twentieth century (Figure 1). With the exception of the hiatus of consumer spending in the 1940s due to the war effort, adoption curves show a similar pattern, with a slow initial phase, an accelerated adoption phase and a declining market saturation phase. In retrospect, the critical mass for color televisions in the consumer market was just 5% of the consumer population, while the washing machine has experienced a much slower adoption momentum, and its critical mass appears to have been at 30%.

Figure 1 – Adoption of household technologies in the US over the Twentieth Century
Nicholas Felton, New York Times

IPv6 Adoption Worldwide

If we look at the metrics of IPv6 adoption in human terms (by that I mean counting 'users' rather than counting connected devices or the volume of traffic) then we observe that the five most populous economies are China, India, the United States of America, Indonesia and Brazil, and collectively these five economies contain some 48% of the world's population. When we look at the population of Internet users per economy then there are some changes, in that countries with a high count of children and a low GDP per capita may not have as high a level of Internet use per capita as compared to richer and demographically more mature populations. The five largest Internet user economies are China, India, the United States of America, Brazil and Japan, and collectively they contain some 51% of the population of Internet users.

Without knowing exactly what critical mass might be for the adoption of IPv6, it is certainly the case that if five largest national populations all adopted IPv6 then the assertion that IPv6 has achieved critical mass would be very hard to challenge.

Of these five national economies, India has the highest IPv6 deployment counts. Some 60% of its estimated 475 million users are using devices and services that support IPv6 to the endpoint. The count in the United States of America is slightly lower at some 48% of its 291 million users. Brazil has an IPv6 infrastructure that serves 26% of its 140 million users, and Japan is measured at 30% of its 116 million users. China is the lowest of these five economies in terms of IPv6 deployment.

China has an estimated Internet user population of 741 million, out of a total population of 1.4 billion people. If there was extensive deployment of IPv6 services in China, then the case that IPv6 has already achieved critical mass of deployment would be easy to make. On the other hand, if such a significant user population had no IPv6 service and no visible plans for IPv6 services, then the entire conversation about the times and certainties about the future of IPv6 takes on a different direction.

Which means that China matters in the world of IPv6. It matters a lot.

It is, therefore, no surprise that measuring IPv6 adoption in China is a topic of intense interest at present. Which is what I want to look at in this article.

IP Adoption in China

Internet measurement is always challenging. The Internet is largely constructed on a platform of private investment and network measurements can often be analyzed to yield competitive market intelligence. The result is that broad-based measurements that would allow us to gain real insight into the constituent networks' behaviors are frustratingly scant. Of course, it's not just researchers who get frustrated with this situation. Industry regulation and public policy rely not only on a solid understanding of the current environment but a sufficient amount of data to perform reasonable forecasts, but perhaps that's another article for another time.

Let's look for some public data on IPv6 deployment in China.

IPv6 Addresses in China

The regional address registries maintain records on IP address allocations. In these records they also use a country designation, adding a two-letter country code to the address allocation record. This country designation does not necessarily designate where one may find hosts using these addresses on the Internet. That's not its purpose. The country code is generally used as the country where the major corporate office of the address holder is located, so it's more of an administrative designation than a form of geolocation. There are some instances where a service provider spans multiple national economies and where allocated addresses may be found in any or all of these realms. There are also cases where the corporate address is in a different economy to where the addresses are actually deployed. However, these cases are not the majority of cases in the data, so while the data is not entirely reflective of actual geolocation, there is a strong correlation between the designed country code of an address allocation record and its actual geolocation of the advertised address.

Figure 2 – IPv6 Address Allocations and BGP Advertisements in China (2010-2018)

The day-by-day record of both the total volume of IPv6 addresses allocated or assigned to Chinese entities is shown in Figure 2. The overall bulk of IPv6 addresses allocated to Chinese entities were allocated in the period 2011 to 2015. More recently, a /21 was allocated in late 2017 (to CBN, China Broadcasting Network Corporation), and a /20 in 2918 (to SINOPEC, the China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation).

While much of the advanced provisioning occurred some years ago, the total volume of IPv6 address prefixes advertised into the Internet inter-domain routing space has been very quiet until the end of 2017. On the 29th December 2017, the total advertised volume jumped from the equivalent of slightly less than an IPv6 /24 to a /20. In late October 2018, this volume of advertised addresses more than doubled, to slightly more than a /18 of address space. At the end of 2018 slightly under one half of the IPv6 allocated address space is now visible in the IPv6 routing tables.

This is consistent with IPv6 deployment activity gathering some momentum in 2018, although precisely how to interpret these numbers if challenging. Advertising an IPv6 address prefix is a necessary precursor to deploying IPv6 services, but there may be a considerable time lag between addresses appearing in the routing system and addresses being used by services and end users.

Figure 3 – IPv4 Address Allocations and BGP Advertisements in China (2010-2018)

Let's compare this against the comparable record of the allocation and advertisement of IPv4 addresses in China (Figure 3). APNIC, the regional internet address registry that serves China recorded a significant level of address allocations in the three months preceding the exhaustion of the general use address pool in April 2011, with some 130 million IPv4 addresses being allocated to China entities in this period. The advertisement of these addresses into the routing system took some further time. At the start of 2010, some 85% of allocated IPv4 addresses were visible in the routing system. This dropped to 75% at the point of address exhaustion in May 2010. However, in the ensuing seven years this number has climbed to the current level of 90% of allocated addresses that are visible in the routing system. The unadvertised IPv4 address pool in China covers some 32 million addresses in total, although this number is slowly declining. The rise in the address holdings in China since 2014 is due to address trading, where there is a net influx of IPv4 addresses into China.

The comparable figure for IPv6 advertised addresses compared to the total allocated address pool is 49%, but this is not necessarily a comparison of similar items. IPv6 is not designed to be as intensively populated with connected host systems, as one of the rationales to head to a massively larger address space in IPv6 was to reduce, or even eliminate completely, the operators' costs that are associated with achieving a very high address utilization factor. Among other goals, IPv6 was intended to support a far lower, and cheaper, address utilization ratio, so this 49% number as compared to 90% in IPv4 is consistent with this design objective.

In IPv4 growth of addresses in China has essentially ground to a halt since 2016. Any expansion in the size of the IPv4 Internet in China has to be achieved with address sharing using various forms of Network Address Translation (NATs). Unfortunately, there is no public data on the level of NAT used in China or anywhere else for that matter, but the population numbers speak for themselves. Some 301 million IPv4 addresses serve some 741 million users. Some users may well have multiple connected devices, while others may share a single connected device, but it would not be unreasonable to estimate that the device population in China exceeds 1 billion devices, which means that the average IPv4 sharing ratio is around 3 devices per public IPv4 address.

While the China IPv4 network ceased any major expansion in early 2016, when the last of the large IPv4 address blocks were deployed into the network, there has been a lag in the deployment of IPv6 into these networks. As is evident in Figure 2, IPv6 deployment activity in China stepped up only in early 2018, and the major expansion of the IPv6 network in terms of advertised addresses occurred in October 2018.

It would be useful to complement this picture of IPv6 deployment in China from Internet Registry data with data gathered from public networks. Who is publishing measurements of use of IPv6 in China?

Facebook Measurements

Facebook publish a set of measurements on IPv6 adoption. The measurement is a measure of traffic volume seen by Facebook servers, and presumably counts the proportion of traffic that is passed over IPv6 as a proportion of the total traffic volumes served from Facebook servers. Facebook report both a total volume, which is some 25% of Facebook's total traffic as of the end of December 2018, and per country volumes. The data for IPv6 is available from the "Adoption by Country" reports at Facebook. The plot of the IPv6 data for 2018 is shown in Figure 4.

There are a few points of comment about this data.

The first comment is that the China IPv6 traffic proportion, rising from a low of 0.5% in mid-2018 to 2.5% at the end of the year, is still very low.

A likely explanation may well be in the second comment, namely that Facebook is not normally accessible from within China (see this presentation of an account on one such experience).

It is possible that Facebook users in China might be using some form of VPN tool, and also likely that the VPN tools that are being used are IPv4-only.

It is curious that for the first couple of months in early 2018 the IPv6 traffic proportion dropped by 2/3, and remained at relatively low levels until August 2018, when it rose significantly to reach 2.5% by the end of the year. The sudden changes noted in May, and again in July, are more likely to occur when using a small data set, so it's reasonable to guess that the underlying traffic volumes that lie behind this report are relatively small.

Figure 4 – Facebook report of proportion of IPv6 in Facebook traffic to China for 2018

In any case, as Facebook is reportedly not generally available within China, it's likely that this measurement of 2.4% of traffic being IPv6 is not necessarily reflective of the broader picture of IP infrastructure within China.

Google Measurements

Google have a similar measurement page. Google reports that their numbers report on "the percentage of users that access Google over IPv6".

The total Internet-wide user proportion, as measured by Google, is that some 22% of weekday users access Google using IPv6, while the weekend numbers rise to 26%. Without a clear understanding of the exact composition of the user populations that are measured in this way, it is still reasonable to conclude that consumer services have a higher level of use of IPv6 than the corporate and enterprise service world.

Google reports the current level of IPv6 use per country, and at the end of December Google reported some 3.37% of users in China used IPv6 to access Google (Figure 5).

Figure 5 – Google report of IPv6 in China

While Google only publishes daily reports, a useful time series of these daily measurements has been assembled by Eric Vyncke and a plot of this data is shown in Figure 6. It is not clear how popular Google is in China, particularly given that Google has formally withdrawn from the Chinese market. As with the Facebook data, there are some unexpected rapid changes in the reported data, such as the rise and then collapse in early 2016 and then the rapid rise in early 2017. The pattern of the data in 2018 is consistent with that reported by Facebook, with a drop in the first part of the year and then a rise in the latter party, but while in the Facebook data we see the rise to be greater than the level at the start of the year, the Google data reports a 3.3% level at the end of the year, lower than the 4.2% level in the early part of the year.

It is entirely possible that the Google data reflects only a small set of Chinese users, and, like the Facebook data, this may not be reflective of the larger picture of Chinese IPv6 deployment.

Figure 6 – Time series of Google's reports of IPv6 in China (data assembled by Eric Vynke)

Akamai Measurements

Akamai provides content distribution services to many online service providers, and they operate points of presence in many countries. Akamai publishes a "State of the Internet" report that includes a measurement of their calculation of the proportion of Chinese users that use IPv6 to access Akamai services. They report an IPv6 rate of 4.6% as of the end of 2018 (Figure 7)

Figure 7 – Akamai report of IPv6 in China

As with the Google data, a time series of these daily measurements has been assembled by Eric Vyncke and a plot of this data is shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8 – Time series of Akamai's reports of IPv6 in China (data assembled by Eric Vynke)

This data has some level of correlation with the IPv6 advertised address time series in Figure 2. However, in this case, there is a very pronounced change across 2018, with the end of year data measuring IPv6 use in China at 4.5%. The overall consistency of the data in the preceding years points to the likely use of a larger measurement population than Google and Facebook, which makes the pronounced spike of 8% in mid-2018 all the more curious.

Akamai is not the only network reporting this anomaly. Cloudflare reported a similar spike in IPv6 use from AS9898 (China Mobile Guandong) at around the same time, so this spike may reflect some form of short-term test of IPv6 in one or more Chinese networks.

APNIC Measurements

APNIC has been performing measurements of IPv6 adoption using a measurement script embedded in an online advertisement campaign. When the ad is delivered to the browser an embedded script is activated. This script directs the browser to perform a fetch of a dual-stack URL, an IPv4-only URL, and an IPv6-only URL, all served by a common server operated by APNIC (this server is located in Singapore for Chinese users). The server is then able to report on the IPv6 capability of the users that run this measurement script.

We use the server data to measure the number of Chinese users who can retrieve the IPv6 URL. The time series of the daily totals is shown in Figure 9. The current level of IPv6 in China has been recorded at some 7% in this data set.

Figure 9 – Time series of APNIC measurements of IPv6 in China

The overall shape of the data is similar to that of Akamai's data, namely a relatively small measurement of around 1% until mid-2018. There was a sharp spike in the data in July 2018, and then a pronounced increase in the level of IPv6 commencing in October 2018, currently sitting at some 7% of users.

Figure 10 – Ad impression count of APNIC measurements of IPv6 in China

Ad campaign management has a large number of variable factors, as ad placement is influenced by other concurrent ad campaigns as well as the popularity of the apps that embed online ads. The result is that the daily volumes of ad presentations have considerable levels of variation, and Figure 10 shows the daily ad impression count of placements in China superimposed upon the IPv6 measurement. The measurement count of ads placed with Chinese endpoints was increased in late 2015 and has varied between one hundred thousand to over one million ad impressions per day since then.

The measurement server for this measurement test is located in Singapore. The question has been asked as to whether the data would different if the data collection point was located within China. Is there a larger pool of IPv6 users within China that are unable to make IPv6 connections to points outside of China? To answer this question, we've been assisted with a data collection point located within China and performed the same URL tests to a server located inside China. This has allowed us to collect a view of IPv6 within China from a vantage point within China and a view from outside China.

The results of this comparison are shown in Figure 11.

Figure 11 – Comparison of Domestic and External views of IPv6 in China

The differences in the two views at the end of October and again across November and December appear to be related to server overload factors at the Singapore location, which caused a disproportionate drop in IPv4 URL requests from Singapore. This condition was addressed in mod-December and the IPv6 measurement is consistent at both server locations. It is also interesting that both servers in this campaign report an IPv6 measurement of close to 10% in the last week of December, some 2 — 3% greater than that seen from the larger worldwide ad campaign.

Internally China has organized its ISPs along different lines to many other economies. Rather than each ISP enterprise using a single network with a single Autonomous System identifier, many Chinese ISPs have further divided the administrative view of their networks into regional networks. This is particularly so for China Unicom and China Mobile. If we look at China through the lens of Autonomous Systems and view each of these regional networks as a network in its own right then there are 32 networks with an estimated customer base of 1 million users or more, and a further 26 networks with an estimated base on between 100,000 and 1 million users (the full table of estimates of user's per network is reported here).

One of these networks has been supporting IPv6 for many years, namely the China Education and Research Network (CERNET), AS 4538. With some variation, potentially due to variations in the measurement environment as much as variations in the network itself, the IPv6 use rate of that network has been around 30% for many years (Figure 12).

Figure 12 – IPv6 in AS4538 - CERNET

In most of the other cases where we are looking at the IPv6 efforts of various public ISPs, the deployment of IPv6 has occurred in recent months, which is an observation that is consistent with the address measurements and consistent with the Akamai data.

Notably, many regional networks within the China Mobile group have been undertaking IPv6 deployment. A good example is the network that Cloudflare observed in July 2018, AS9808. Guandong Mobile. In this network large-scale IPv6 deployment appeared to start with trials in September and October 2018 and then a larger deployment exercise took place across November 2018. By the end of 2018, the IPv6 deployment level in this network is some 15% (Figure 13).

The spike on the 5th December is a measurement artifact, and not related to any activity by this network.

Figure 13 – IPv6 in AS9808, China Mobile Guandong

A similar picture is evident with AS56048, China Mobile Beijing, with IPv6 trials in June, July and August, followed by large-scale deployment taking place in November 2018. This network's current deployment level encompasses some 25% of their estimated user base of some 12 million customers (Figure 14). Again the zero points in November and December are measurement artifacts and not related to any changes in this network.

Figure 14 – IPv6 in AS56048, China Mobile Beijing

Another member of the China Mobile group with a similar picture of very recent deployment of IPv6 is AS56047, China Mobile Huanan (Figure 15).

Figure 15 – IPv6 in AS56047, China Mobile Huanan

And finally, what about China's largest ISP? I'm referring to the Chinanet Backbone network, AS4134. This network is the largest network in China in terms of customers, with an estimated base of 300 million users. There is some visible movement with IPv6 deployment in this network, again commencing in November 2018. It should be noted that even at just 5% of their user base this network has deployed IPv6 services across 15 million customers, which is a commendable achievement (Figure 15).

Figure 16 – IPv6 in AS4134, ChinaNet Backbone

Performance Quality of the IPv6 Service in China

The APNIC measurement system permit two further measurements, namely connection failure and a comparison of IPv4 vs IPv6 round trip times.

The connection loss is calculated by looking at the TCP three-way handshake that occurs between the client system and the server when opening up an HTTP session to retrieve the URL. TCP commences with the client sending the server a TCP packet with the SYN flag set. The server responds with a packet with the SYN and ACK flags set, and the client completes the connection by sending a TCP packet with the ACK flag set.

A failed connection is defined as one where the server receives the initial TCP SYN packet, and sends the SYN/ACK response, but it never receives the final ACK. The most likely reason for these failed connections local firewalls and filters. It is common for firewalls to permit all forms of outbound packets but examine and filter incoming packets. If the filters were configured on the basis of an IPv4-only service then incoming IPv6 packets, including these SYN/ACK responses will be dropped by such a firewall. Such a firewall configuration will always fail an IPv6 connection attempt.

Figure 17 – IPv6 connection failure rate for China

The average IPv6 connection failure rate for the Internet is some 1%, so even the most recent value of 3% seen for IPv6 in China is well above this global average. Averages hide the variations visible in each network, and some Chinese networks are reporting very high IPv6 failure rates. The highest is AS 134543, China Unicom Guandong, which is reporting a connection failure rate of up to 60% of attempted IPv6 connections. The largest network, AS4134, Chinanet Backbone, with a 15 million strong base of IPv6 clients is reporting a 4% loss rate. That's a staggering 600,000 users who are experiencing dropped IPv6 connections. This is a significant failure rate.

The other measurement is comparing the connection round-trip time between IPv4 and IPv6 when we measure a dual-stack endpoint (Figure 18)

Figure 18 – RTT comparison between IPv6 and IPv4 for China

If a user has a dual-stack connected device the measurement script will get the user to retrieve a web object using IPv4 and again using IPv6 from the same physical server. By looking at the TCP handshakes in these two protocols we then have 2 round-trip time measurements between the same two endpoints, using IPv4 and IPv6. As seen by the APNIC server in Singapore, IPv6 connections take an average of some 70ms longer to connect to the server as compared to the IPv4 connection from the same endpoint. This points to asymmetric routing, where IPv6 routes are not handled identically to IPv4 routes, and in particular the path to Singapore appears, might take an extended path across the Pacific Ocean and back to reach Singapore, which the equivalent IPv4 path appears to be a direct north-south connection for most ISPs. This is not the case for all ISPs, and the mean standard deviation of the sample points is some 80ms. This means that different networks use different external routing configurations and this means that some networks show a better RTT performance between China and Singapore over IPv6 as compared to IPv4. AS5837, China Unicom Backbone, reports an IPv6 RTT to Singapore which is 25ms faster than the IPv4 RTT.

What happens to these numbers when we look at connections that are terminated by a server located within China? Figure 19 shows the connection failure rate for this server.

Figure 19 – IPv6 Connection Failure rate for China domestic IPv6 service

Unexpectedly, the connection failure rate is higher in this situation, and some 8% of IPv6 connection attempts to the domestic server are incomplete. There is no ready explanation for this higher connection failure rate.

The internal IPv6 routing in China appears to be well managed, and the average difference in round-trip times shows that that IPv4 and IPv6 appear to be handled in much the same manner (Figure 20).

Figure 20 – RTT comparison between IPv6 and IPv4 for China for Domestic services

The high level of day to day variation in this average figure points to some level of fluctuation in these measurements, due perhaps in part to routing variations and in part to the variation in distributions of ad placement from day to day. We can look at by splitting out these measurements by network (Figure 21).

Figure 21 – RTT comparison between IPv6 and IPv4 for China for Domestic services, per AS

There are three networks that appear to be using some long external path to reach a Chinese domestic server over IPv6. In many other cases, IPv6 appears to offer slightly better RTT performance.

Conclusion

In the last couple of months, we have seen evidence that points to large-scale deployment of IPv6 services in China. This is most evident in the regional networks of China Mobile and in ChinaNet.

The IPv6 data published by Google and Facebook appears to see only a small part of the Chinese IP infrastructure and that may well be clouded by the use of VPNs to access these services. The picture from Akamai is consistent with what we are seeing with the APNIC ad-based measurement program. There has been a large-scale shift in China with IPv6 and starting in November there are very visible signs of movement in a number of these very large service networks.

If one was to look to China to be the last piece in a critical mass of IPv6 deployment that will propel the Internet's migration over the coming years, then the picture is looking very encouraging.

Thanks – I would like to acknowledge with gratitude the generous assistance of the good folk at CERNET in assisting with the domestic server part of this measurement project, and also acknowledge and thank Google for their continuing generous support of the APNIC measurement program.

Written by Geoff Huston, Author & Chief Scientist at APNIC

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More under: IP Addressing, IPv6, Networks

Categories: News and Updates

Citadel should have sent an email rather than filing a UDRP

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2019-01-02 18:38

Investment firm might have achieved its desired result by sending an email. Instead, it lost a UDRP.

Fund manager Citadel Enterprise Americas LLC lost a UDRP it filed against the domain name citadel-investment.com, and it’s a lesson in determining the best approach to go after a potentially infringing domain name.

A company in Oman registered the domain name in August 2018. Citadel was concerned that it would be used in an infringing way because of the inclusion of ‘investment’ in the domain. That’s understandable.

It turns out that the registrant registered the domain name on behalf of its client Citadel Investment LLC, which was founded in 2004 and holds a commercial license issued in that name by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Oman.

Given the short timeframe and the explanation for registration, the National Arbitration Forum panel denied the claim because Citadel Enterprise Americas did not show that the domain was registered in bad faith.

Here’s the kicker: in its response, the domain owner offered to transfer the domain to the Complainant for its out-of-pocket costs.

This seems like a case in which the Complainant would have been better off sending an email to the domain owner before filing a UDRP. The domain is registered at GoDaddy and has a public Whois record, so it would have been easy to contact the owner.

Now the company wasted money on a UDRP and still doesn’t have the domain.

© DomainNameWire.com 2018. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

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Categories: News and Updates

Year in Review: Verisign gets its price hikes

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2019-01-02 15:58

The U.S. Government gave the green light to increase prices on .com domain names.

It’s an obscure contract issued by the U.S. government. For the domain industry, it means a lot.

On November 1, The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) amended and extended its Cooperative Agreement with Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN) for running .com.

Think of the Cooperative Agreement as a check on the contract between ICANN and Verisign for .com.

The NTIA’s role in this agreement was rather trivial for a while. Then in 2012, the NTIA effectively overruled a contract extension that ICANN and Verisign agreed to that would have allowed Verisign to increase .com prices 7% per year for four out of six years of the contract. That was the status quo from the previous contract, but NTIA questioned why price increases were justified.

Prices have been fixed at $7.85 ever since.

But the amended agreement restores price increases of 7% in four out of six years, although not until the last four years of each six. ICANN doesn’t have to agree to the price increases, but if it does then Verisign will be able to charge $10.29 per domain six years from now.

That might not seem like much, but it represents hundreds of millions of dollars directly to Verisign’s bottom line (and out of consumers’ pockets). Verisign’s competitors would gladly offer significantly lower prices if they could bid on the contract.

You would think Verisign would jump for joy after the contract amendment. So it was surprising when Verisign published an inflammatory article the very next day criticizing domain investors for their role in the market. Yes, the same group of people that Verisign has been marketing to for the past decade so it could sell more .com domain name registrations.

© DomainNameWire.com 2018. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

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Categories: News and Updates

Happy New Year! Wishing You New Highs in Health, Wealth & Happiness in 2019!

DN Journal - Mon, 2018-12-31 23:40
Even though the number on the calendar is the only thing that is sure to change, there is something invigorating about the fresh start a new year represents.
Categories: News and Updates

Domain inquiries heading into annual high season

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2018-12-31 18:21

January and February tend to have a spike in domain name purchase inquiries.

The first two months of the year tend to be good ones for domain sales, or at least domain name inquiries.

Ryan McKegney, CEO of domain offer system DomainAgents, says that the platform has a 10% spike in offer volumes during January and February each year. Many other platforms (and large domainers) experience a similar bump.

Multiple factors seem to be at play.

“Companies often have new budgets and individuals are pursuing their New Year’s resolutions,” McKegney told Domain Name Wire.

The latter seems to be a big factor for smaller domain sales of $1,000-$3,000. Many people decide to start a new business or “side hustle” in conjunction with the new year.

Whatever the reason, domain investors should take advantage of this by making sure their portfolio is listed for sale and all domains link to relevant “for sale” landers.

© DomainNameWire.com 2018. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

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Categories: News and Updates

2018 in Review – DNW Podcast #217

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2018-12-31 16:30

Here’s a rewind of the last year in the domain business.

In this special episode of the DNW Podcast, we review some of the top stories in the domain name business from the past year. I review GDPR and what impact this has had on the domain business. We discuss major acquisitions in 2018. A huge new top level domain release…and record setting new TLD sales. What role should registrars have in policing the use of domain names? What’s going on with Verisign and .com?

Enjoy this final episode of 2018 and we’ll see you next year.

Subscribe via iTunes to listen to the Domain Name Wire podcast on your iPhone or iPad, view on Google Play Music, or click play above or download to begin listening. (Listen to previous podcasts here.)

© DomainNameWire.com 2018. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

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Categories: News and Updates

Year in Review: MMX acquires .XXX

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2018-12-31 15:44

Adult top level domain company was one of many acquisitions in the domain business during 2018.

MMX, also know as Minds + Machines, is a new top level domain name company with a portfolio of strings such as .beer, .miami and .VIP. It’s publicly traded on the London AIM market (MMX), so it faces the daily pressure of being a public company in a business that is still seeking its footing.

It underwent a strategic review over the past year to see if it should sell itself of bulk up. It chose the later.

In May, MMX announced that it was acquiring ICM Registry for $10.0 million in cash and 225 million shares, which were valued at $31.0 million at the time of the announcement.

ICM registry isn’t your run-of-the-mill top level domain registry. Its domains are adult-themed including .xxx, .sex, .adult and .porn.

While the domains are controversial, the move will shore up MMX’s earnings and add stability to its income statement. This gives the company breathing room.

ICM started its life with a hard-fought battle to get .XXX. The domain was a sponsored top level domain introduced in 2011. The timing was good because it didn’t face competition from new TLDs.

There were three other notable acquisitions during the year.

CentralNic, another domain company traded on the London AIM (CNIC), bought KeyDrive for $55 million.

Private equity group Abry Partners bought new TLD company Donuts in a heated bidding war.

And Neustar bought out Verisign’s (NASDAQ: VRSN) security business that includes things like DDoS protection. The deal will be for somewhere between $50 million and $120 million depending on customer migrations.

© DomainNameWire.com 2018. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

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Categories: News and Updates

Registry websites for former FFM top level domains are all down

Domain Name Wire - Sun, 2018-12-30 20:35

Registry sites with contact information have gone dark.

[Update: I heard back from the court-appointed administrator. The problem has been fixed.]

The registry websites for top level domain names that were formerly owned by Famous Four Media are all down.

Famous Four Media’s domains are now part of a portfolio owned by Global Registry Services (GRS) Ltd after some sort of investor revolt, as outlined at Domain Incite. GRS is being managed by a court-appointed administrator who works at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

With a low-price strategy, these domains have over 4 million domains second level domains. .Loan has 2.2 million domains in the zone file. Other top domains include .win, .men and .stream.

But for about the past week, DNW readers report they have been unable to visit any of the nic.TLD sites such as nic.loan. These sites include abuse contacts for the domains.

I have reached out to the court-appointed administrator for comment.

© DomainNameWire.com 2018. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

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  3. A great resource for new top level domain name data
Categories: News and Updates

IoT in Africa: Urgent Regulation Required

Domain industry news - Sun, 2018-12-30 18:19

Globally, people are connecting more and more "things" to the Internet. Devices that were traditionally offline or dumb like refrigerators, cars, watches, home cameras, air condition, door locks, agriculture monitoring devices, etcetera, are now being connected to the Internet. This is referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT). Using sensors, IoT devices collect data of some sort, which is then most likely shared over a network connection to a service provider, where some analysis is performed on the data. The analysis could then be used to make informed decisions or drive certain actions to be taken.

Africa has not been left behind by this trend of connecting things to the Internet and there are some very interesting and innovative use cases of IoT on the continent. For example, IoT is used in protecting endangered Black Rhinoceros in Eastern and Central Africa from poachers, using a chip in the Rhino's horn. In agriculture, it is used to connect remote smallholder farmers to markets. Both small and large farms also use IoT for water management, disease control and efficient fertilizer and resource use. In South Africa, IoT is used to measure energy usage by using smart meters. These examples show how important IoT technologies are to the growth of the African economy, considering the many challenges the continent is facing. Other potential useful IoT solutions for Africa are remote local weather stations for small local farmers to better and accurately determine weather conditions and changes for better crop yield, and proactively detecting and preventing infectious diseases. The latter could be particularly useful since the healthcare system is lacking, and unable to handle disease outbreaks.

Unfortunately, the Internet of Things could potentially erode trust on connected things, and with the potential to cause harm to both persons and to the economy, if millions of IoT devices as designed today, are rolled out on the continent. IoT devices are largely being designed without security in mind. Many are sold with well-known default passwords, no ability of their firmware to be updated after they are sold and with no encryption by design.

Though it is improving, African states have in the past had challenges with developing cybersecurity legal frameworks to fight cybercrime and govern Information and Communication Technology (ICT) critical infrastructure, so computers and networks generally have very weak security practices on the continent. This state of affairs, coupled with the nature of IoT attacks, makes it critical for African policymakers to put in place regulations that'll promote the sale and use of IoT devices and services that meet some basic security best practices. Africa must and should learn from past IoT incidents in other parts of the world, like the Vegas casino fish tank attack, where a vulnerability in the fish tank's thermostat was exploited to gain access and steal data from the casino's network, and back out the thermostat to the cloud. And also the Mirai botnet attack that knocked out popular and large websites like Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify, and Shopify. With the Mirai attack, the adversaries took advantage of millions of IoT devices that were using default passwords to launch a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on a large Domain Name System (DNS) service provider, Dyn.

African policymakers must ensure that millions of seemingly innocent devices are not used by adversaries to take down critical infrastructure that supports its fledgling digital economy. A 2016 study carried out by African Union Commission and Symantec reports that in 2015, in South Africa alone, 67% of adults reported experiencing cybercrime, which is estimated to have cost the South African economy $242 million USD. The study also noted that more than one out of every seven mobile devices in Nigeria is currently infected with mobile malware. Another more recent study carried out by Serianu estimates the cost of cybercrime in Kenya at USD 210 Million and in Nigeria at USD 649 million.

These statistics give an insight into how vulnerable Internet users on the continent are and just how exponentially the threat could increase if we were to add billions of "Things" connected to the Internet like farm sensors, smart city sensors and devices, health and fitness devices.

To realize its full potential and for IoT to contribute substantially to the African economy whilst preserving trust on the Internet, African policymakers need to implement awareness initiatives, effective policies, best practices and minimum standards for IoT devices. Some best practices that should be adopted include:

  • No default passwords like the classic admin - admin username and password should be used on IoT devices. And if any IoT device is sold with a default password, the manufacturer should require the password to be changed after the first login.
  • Policies that encourage stronger passwords like minimum password length, requiring the password string to have at least one uppercase letter, a number and special characters, should be enforced on IoT devices.
  • Support for over-the-air updates. IoT device manufacturers should be able to update IoT firmware and software when security vulnerabilities are found.
  • Encryption should be by design and at all points of the IoT ecosystem. Data on the IoT device must be encrypted, and the same applies to data in transit. When being transported to the cloud or another provider/storage. Once in the cloud/storage, the data must also be encrypted and not be accessible to unauthorized persons.
  • There should be a security vulnerability disclosure policy from manufacturers and application developers.

Written by Tomslin Samme-Nlar, Technology Consultant

Follow CircleID on Twitter

More under: Cybersecurity, Internet Governance, Internet of Things, Policy & Regulation

Categories: News and Updates

CPH TechOps Retrospective 2018

Domain industry news - Sat, 2018-12-29 18:42

From the perspective of the domain name industry, 2018 was strongly influenced by, among other things, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Temporary Specification and especially the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP).

For the Contracted Parties House (CPH) TechOps Group, one year after its foundation, it was a very exciting and intensive time. This initiative was created to tackle technical and operational needs and challenges plus ideally to create best practices. With more than 100 people from different registries and registrars, the TechOps group has grown a lot, but due to many other time-consuming topics, we could only concentrate on a few things. Anyways, as one of the Co-Chairs of CPH TechOps, I would like to take a look back on what we were working on and what we achieved.

Registry Maintenance Notifications

Domain name registries usually conduct maintenance and alert their registrars in different ways. Given the DNS namespace expansion, it became desirable to create a standardized method. In January 2018 the group submitted a revised Internet-Draft based on a new defined EPP extension to do so. We submitted this draft to the IETF Registration Protocols Extensions (REGEXT) working group asking for adoption.

GDD Summit 2018

This year in May the fourth GDD Summit took place in Richmond, BC and it was the first-time track-based with a 1.5-day TechOps sessions. These sessions were quite well attended and the room for about 100 people was at times overcrowded. Among other topics, we wanted to take the opportunity to exchange information on possible new domain transfer methods, because it was clear to us that transfers will need a different approach due to GDPR. Although the Temporary Specification made it still possible to do transfers and we know that we cannot change any policy in this group by ourselves, but we wanted to look at more promising models, which we summarized in a white paper for further discussions.

Temporary Specification

If we are already talking about domain transfers, then we should also take a quick look at the Temporary Specification, which became effective by the end of May 2018. Appendix G broadly follows the recommendation developed by the TechOps. It was clear to us that we cannot support the current transfer policy under GDPR, but we had an intensive and lively discussion on how to ease the impact. The removal of the Form of Authorization (FOA) was our best and fastest option. However, we should find a better domain transfer solution in the midterm.

Registry Reporting Repository and Reports

Modern top-level domain registries offer a number of detailed reports and documents that their registrars need on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. These most commonly include transaction reports, as well as lists containing unavailable domains and current premium domains. These reports are critical for registrars' businesses and play an important role in accounting and operations processes as well as in sales and marketing activities. Starting in July 2018 the group submitted a series of Internet-Drafts to create a best practice around that.

The two drafts on the Registry Reporting Repository and the Registry Report Structure describe a server and the format for future reports, while five more draft reports for Transactions, Premium Domain Fees, Domain Inventory, Domain Drops and Unavailable Domains are now available. We submitted these drafts to the IETF REGEXT working group asking for adoption.

TechOps Website

While TechOps regularly conducts calls and face-to-face meetings at ICANN Meetings and publishes its work, we realized that we should create a single point of contact where we can refer to in discussions with others. Therefore, we recently launched the website https://bestpractice.domains. It is a showcase of our work with links to the IETF and Google documents as well as to GitHub repositories.

What's to come in 2019?

The EPDP team will complete their final report before ICANN64 in Kobe, and it will be interesting to see how their work will replace the Temporary Specification from a technical and operational point of view.

Regardless, the next ICANN GDD Summit will be held in Bangkok and like last time there will be some TechOps sessions. We want to finish our work we have started, but also work on new topics, such as Bulk Transfers, Billing Cycle and Renewals, etc.

Furthermore, there will be another change with the new EU ePrivacy Regulation at the end of 2019. It is not yet clear to what extent this will have an impact on us, but it is desirable that the industry is better prepared this time than with GDPR.

By the way, if you are a member of the Registry or Registrar Stakeholder Group and want to join the TechOps initiative, then please do not hesitate to contact the secretariat in question. While TechOps is open to everyone from both stakeholder groups, we are especially looking for product managers and software developers to join us.

We wish you a happy, healthy and successful 2019.

Written by Tobias Sattler, Board Member / CTO united-domains

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More under: DNS, Domain Names, ICANN, Policy & Regulation, Registry Services

Categories: News and Updates

Year in Review: Domain names and free speech

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2018-12-28 14:55

Registrars continue to grapple with thorny questions about content.

What role do domain name organizations play when it comes to free speech? This continued to be a hot topic in 2018.

In the United States, the government cannot limit free speech. But businesses are not obliged to do the same.

Domain name companies try to stay out of thorny issues about content on websites but they have limits. Last year, GoDaddy told the operator of the white nationalist site Daily Stormer to move his domain off the platform after the death during the Charlottesville rallies. The website’s content wasn’t hosted at GoDaddy, but GoDaddy faced lots of pressure. The kicker was when GoDaddy determined that the site was inciting violence.

This year GoDaddy took similar action with Gab.com after the person who murdered people in a Pittsburgh synagogue was found to have posted hate speech on the site.

Rob Monster, the founder and CEO of domain name registrar Epik, welcomed Gab.com onto his platform. Although he doesn’t agree with much of the commentary on the site, he believes that sites should not be “de-platformed”. The decision to accept the domain brought a lot of heat and a subpoena from Pennsylvania’s attorney general.

It will be interesting to see how domain companies approach this thorny issue going forward. Will registries get more involved on various types of domain takedowns?

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Related posts:
  1. Pennsylvania Attorney General subpoenas Epik over Gab.com domain name
  2. Epik Enhances Geo Domain Web Sites
  3. Rob Monster explains why he accepted GAB.com domain at Epik
Categories: News and Updates

OneWeb’s Offer to Sell a Share of Their Satellite Internet Service to Russia

Domain industry news - Thu, 2018-12-27 23:12

Update: OneWeb has denied that they have offered to sell any stake in the company to the Russian Government and Reuters has now reported that Russia’s communications minister said that "the government has not discussed such a deal with OneWeb."

OneWeb confirmed that they are restructuring their existing commercial joint venture with Russian partner Gonets, to comply with certain Russian regulatory requirements. They reiterated that "the joint venture is solely for the commercialization of OneWeb’s satellite broadband services to customers in Russia" and stated that the joint venture would "not have access to OneWeb's satellite technology or related know-how."

* * *

Number of global satellites (source)OneWeb has a contract to launch Internet-service satellites on Russian-made Soyuz rockets and has a joint venture with Gonets, a Russian satellite operator, as a marketing partner in Russia. However, the Russian government has expressed concerns about security, dragged their feet on spectrum allocation and complained about US sanctions. This led OneWeb to make two concessions — they dropped inter-satellite laser links from their constellation design and they cut their interest in the Gonets joint venture from 60 to 49 percent.

Apparently, that did not satisfy the Russians. Reuters reports that according to three sources, OneWeb has offered the Russian government the option of buying a 12.5-percent stake in the company in exchange for approving its request for a frequency band.

If Russia buys a minority stake in OneWeb, it would be represented on the company's board of directors and have access to the project's technical documentation. One of the sources — a Russian government official — said the government was not satisfied with the conditions attached to the purchase — it wanted access to the technical documentation before committing to the deal.

This offer needs to be put in context:

Active disruption by Russia (source)

  • There are four competing global satellite navigation systems: GPS (US), Galileo (Europe), GLONASS (Russia) and Beidou (China).
  • University of New Brunswick professor Richard Langley, who has worked extensively with the Global Positioning System since the early 1980s says that "while the GLONASS service level has dropped below acceptable levels, it is now a dependable system and, with announced improvements, will be a contender in the future world of multi-GNS.
  • Russia has been accused of jamming and spoofing the GPS.
  • Russia has used the Internet to foment social unrest and influence election results in Europe and the United States.

Given this context, I am not keen on OneWeb sharing technology with Russia before or after a deal is closed.

Written by Larry Press, Professor of Information Systems at California State University

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More under: Access Providers, Broadband, Wireless

Categories: News and Updates

Industry Pioneer Pinky Brand Takes New Position as Marketing & Sales VP at RegistryOffice

DN Journal - Thu, 2018-12-27 22:19
Pinky Brand, who has been filling key managerial roles in the domain world for over 20 years now, is stepping into a new role at RegistryOffice.
Categories: News and Updates

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