ACSP Suggestion 2009.6: Definition of Community Network


Author: Chris Cope   
Submitted On: 22 April 2009


I wish to comment on section 2.8, the definition of a Community Network. In my opinion, the stated definition is woefully inadequate to describe many of the community networks that exist in Canada and elsewhere. Limiting the definition to organizations with annual budgets less than $250,000 may encompass community networks in developing nations, but is far too limiting to include mature organizations in North America such as the National Capital FreeNet. NCF was incorporated as a not-for-profit community network in 1992 and our budget for 2009 exceeds $1 Million. Even the portion of our revenue that represents donations exclusively related to dial-up service is approaching this arbitrary $250,000 threshold. The fact is that we have more than 10,000 members now and continue to grow. In order to provide this much needed service in our community, we also engage in other activities beyond being a simple dial-up provider in order to ensure that we can continue to offer connectivity to those who are unable to pay.

Nor would this definition work for many of the modern community owned fibre networks, where costs and revenues are typically higher, but nonetheless, where services and connectivity is offered to community agencies on a not-for profit basis, and by where by any other definition would indeed be community networks. I suspect that Brian Beaton might be quite surprised to find that K-Net falls outside the ARIN definition of a community network, just because of their budget. Similarly, I suspect that when project work is included, Vancouver and maybe even Victoria and Chebucto community nets might fall outside the $250,000 budget threshold today if all aspects of their operations are considered; and if not today, certainly in the future.

Limiting the definition of a Community Network by imposing a limit on budget size onerously limits the playing field to those organizations that have not grown up yet and that employ the technologies of yesterday and in some cases tomorrow, but most definitely not tomorrow. The whole reason for IPv6 is to provide for growth. Why allow growth in addresses while disregarding growth in costs and revenue.

Timeframe: Immediate

Status: Closed   Updated: 23 April 2009

Tracking Information

ARIN Comment

23 April 2009

Submitter referred to the Policy Development Process. As this pertains to a draft policy currently under discussion, submitter was advised to post to the Public Policy Mailing List and register as a remote participant for ARIN XXIII so he could participate in the discussions during the presentation of 2008-3.