Denver, CO (Sept. 21 2011): The Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (“BITAG”), an organization created to develop consensus on broadband network management practices and other related technical issues that can affect users’ Internet experience, is pleased to announce the initiation of its second technical review, on the topic of Large Scale Network Address Translation (“Large Scale NAT”, “LSN” or “Carrier Grade NAT”) – an IPv6 transition technique.
BITAG’s second review will describe and analyze the deployment of Large Scale NAT equipment that allows a large number of IPv4-enabled end devices to share a single IPv4 address. Since publicly routable IPv4 addresses are becoming scarce, LSN allows enterprises, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), wireless providers, and other networks that serve large numbers of devices to extend the lifespan of IPv4 connectivity.
In general, Network Address Translation (NAT) is known to “break” or impair a variety of Internet applications, and some problems with NAT are exacerbated by LSN. When LSN is used by ISPs to provide IPv4 connectivity, subscribers behind the LSN may not be able to run certain applications that subscribers with unique public IP addresses are able to run. Beyond the technical implications, this may yield cases with performance imbalances between High-Speed Internet Access services and other IP-based services offered on the network.
Dale Hatfield, Executive Director of BITAG and Adjunct Professor in the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will chair the second Review, and Charles R. Kalmanek, Vice President of Networking and Services at AT&T, will be the lead editor of the resulting report. This review, and its attendant report, has an estimated completion date of early January 2012.
About BITAG. BITAG is a non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization focused on bringing together engineers and technologists in a Technical Working Group (TWG) to develop consensus on broadband network management practices and other related technical issues that can affect users’ Internet experience, including the impact to and from applications, content and devices that utilize the Internet.
BITAG’s mission includes: (a) educating policymakers on such technical issues; (b) addressing specific technical matters in an effort to minimize related policy disputes; and (c) serving as a sounding board for new ideas and network management practices. Specific TWG functions also may include: (i) identifying “best practices” by broadband providers and other entities; (ii) interpreting and applying “safe harbor” practices; (iii) otherwise providing technical guidance to industry and to the public; and/or (iv) issuing advisory opinions on the technical issues germane to the TWG’s mission that may underlie disputes concerning broadband network management practices.
BITAG TWG reports focus primarily on technical issues. While the reports may touch on a broad range of questions associated with a particular network management practice, the reports are not intended to address or analyze in a comprehensive fashion the economic, legal, regulatory or public policy issues that the practice may raise.
About BITAG’s Technical Review Process. BITAG’s core substantive work is performed through its Technical Working Group (TWG), which was formed with the core principles of being: technically driven, balanced, open, efficient, independent, and flexible. The TWG reviews technical issues brought to it through Review Requests submitted by both Members and non-Members, or through a majority weighted vote of the TWG engineers themselves. Each individual Review is taken up by a Committee of the TWG that is composed of engineers and other technical folks representing a broad cross section of the Internet ecosystem. TWG Committees generally operate on a consensus basis, with backstop weighted voting procedures so that when consensus cannot be achieved, each Member category has an equal say in the work product regardless of the composition of the Committee. Finally, BITAG was structured to work as expeditiously as possible, with each Committee operating under a 120-day “shot clock” to complete the respective Review and attendant technical report.