[e2e] 911 and cell phones

David P. Reed dpreed at reed.com
Fri Apr 1 07:34:38 PST 2005

Henning, it's great that there's an ECRIT working group with a 10-year 
transition plan.   The best is always worth waiting for.   It's kind of 
like the plan to deal with human-caused climate change.   First we need 
to study it, so we can figure out the optimum theoretical answer (or for 
that matter, whether there's a problem at all).

However, the Internet started based on a quite different approach.   We 
didn't start by creating an IETF to study every problem to death and 
dole out money to academics doing theoretical studies.

I follow ECRIT from afar, but frankly, I wonder if the group has the 
guts to take any technical leadership role in actually "doing" something.

The IETF in many cases, and in my personal opinion, has become a 
pointless technocracy that talks mostly to itself.   In this case, it 
will be irrelevant if it views the issue as a "smooth" ten-year 
transition, to be centrally managed and planned.

Like most cases of innovation in technology that is rapidly changing, 
innovation in location will come from the edge, from pragmatic 
experimental labs, from open source, from entrepreneurs doing 
proprietary things that the public likes; it will be about working code 
and rough consensus (what the IETF used to be, before the current 
Stepford academics took it over and got rid of any hope of doing good 
work, instead focusing on MUST and MAY and WILL and SHOULD).

And the IETF bureaucrats will travel the world, enjoying junkets in 
fancy hotels, running BOFs and if they are slightly lucky, maybe having 
an influence over a tiny part of the future.

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