[e2e] is IP address portability next?

Dave Crocker dhc2 at dcrocker.net
Fri Dec 5 10:56:33 PST 2003


RJ> So, with the US FCC (?) allowing/mandating that people be able to
RJ> migrate their cell phone numbers from one provider to another, does
RJ> that suggest that before long, something similar would happen with
RJ> IP addressess?

The telephone system and the Internet have some important technical
differences, of course.  So we need to be careful when we take a
construct from one and apply it to the other.

In this case, the way the new capability is described, for the phone
system, will make an enormous difference in how it is described for the

Here is my own description of the capability:

     People who make telephone calls enter a string into the phone
     system. The telephone system resolves this into a particular access
     port in the telephone network. Historically, this string has been
     determined by the supplier of access service for the user the
     string refers to. Now it can be independent of the access provider.

Let's translate that to the Internet:

      People who access Internet services enter a string into their
      application.  The application resolves this into a reference to a
      particular Internet access port.  The string entered by typical users is
      already independent of the network service provider.

Obviously, I mean that the Internet equivalent to a telephone number is
a domain name.

The IP Address is a lower-level construct. The Internet permits users to
enter it -- and this is quite different from the telephone system, which
also has underlying addressing strings that are tied to topology -- but
it is not what users play with. They play with domain names.

 Dave Crocker <dcrocker-at-brandenburg-dot-com>
 Brandenburg InternetWorking <www.brandenburg.com>
 Sunnyvale, CA  USA <tel:+1.408.246.8253>

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