Voice Over IP Near Inflection Point?

Windows XP & Maturing of SIP Based Components May Create Large Swing of Voice Traffic to IP Networks

Jonathan Rosenberg Describes Elements of VOIP Infrastructure & Operation

pp. 1-10

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With the forthcoming release of Windows XP and Windows Messenger which contains Microsoft's first implementation of a SIP Client, some folk are saying that the stage is set for the creation of a very significant global Voice over IP infrastructure. We set out to find out what the commotion was all about. The first 16 pages of the November COOK Report contain the results of our investigation. The question of whether the technology is coming together in such a way as to create an 'inflection point' that will mark a large and growing shift of voice traffic onto the Internet and other IP networks occurs. While these events are significance, we suspect that three things will ensure that they do not become an significant inflection point. One: Microsoft via linking of Windows Messenger to Passport will try to create its own walled garden. Two: SIP products are not yet totally interoperable. Three: Corporate inertia will slow the distribution of SIP proxy servers.

Our interview with Jonathan Rosenberg one of the co-authors of SIP showed us that from softswitches, to SIP proxy servers, to gateways and to application and security servers a very large part of the functionality of the circuit switched voice world has now been transplanted to IP network infrastructure.

Three years ago the idea was that a softswitch would carry out almost all of the functions of the emulating the requirements of voice calls over an IP network. More recently, however, the process of designing functionality for an edge controlled Internet environment has led to the decomposition of softswitch functionality into various kinds of servers. [Snip]

Infrastructure and Business Model Issues

Windows XP Seen as Generator of VoIP in the Enterprise

XP: New Source of Competition for SIP Proxy & PSTN Termination Services Proxy Server Bundling & Placement on the Desktop Are Major Unknowns,

pp. 10 - 13

Richard Shockey (page 10) states that all major carriers are in various stages of SIP evaluation and role outs. [Snip] Shockey suggests that a critical question is where the proxy server for SIP will go in Microsoft corporate network systems. Microsoft would like to control the customer but so would the carrier. How it is going to all fall out is uncertain.

IPTEL Working Group Users Assess Changes in VoIP Traffic

, pp. 13 - 15

Discussion from IPTel list. Meanwhile in Network World Scott Bradner reports on tests that indicate "on an ISP backbone, IP networks are already easily reliable enough for interactive voice traffic without any QoS mechanisms."

Menard Predicts Development of Open Source VoIP Infrastructure and Willingness of Canadian ISPs with Open Access to Innovate

Suggests SIP Invites to Do QoS Gateways and Enable Direct Payment and Interconnection & Foresees SIP Servers Added by Vendors Directly to Routers,

pp. 15 - 16

Francois Menard: "When you ask what the business model is and who is going to pay for the service, you are asking the right questions. I think that the pressure on carriers to build SIP based real time media and VoIP infrastructure will be motivated by availability of new open access high speed local loops and competitive pressure from smaller ISPs seeking to differentiate themselves and the rise of an open source Instant Messenger killer application to replace ICQ as an Internet "presence" indicator." (Readers may turn to the Highlights section of about 3000 words or the full interviews totaling about 13,000 words.)

Global Crossing Completes Build Out

Moves to Focus on Value Added Managed Network Services and Virtual Private Networks Commodity Bandwidth Sale to Carriers No Longer its Primary Focus

LEC Division Sold to Citizens,

pp. 17 - 25

Like Level 3 and most of the other new green field carriers, Global Crossing is not doing well these days. We have not examined Global Crossing's debt structure because our interviewee, Dave Siegel, Director of IP Engineering did not have the all the facts and figures in his head necessary to speak to it. Although its stock price is battered, it does not appear to be in any worse shape than Level 3. Yet compared to Level 3's tri-partite business model of co-location facilities, managed modem softswitch services, and a huge fiber network best suited for being a carriers carrier, Global Crossing seems to be more focused.

While it does not have the in ground conduits that Level 3 has, it has similar fiber coverage in the United States and Europe. It has a far more extensive network of trans Atlantic and Pacific cables. Furthermore, it has cables to Singapore, India, and Latin America giving a much broader global reach than Level 3. [Snip]

Siegel also explains the core backbone architecture, the label switch path overlay and the RFC 2547 VPN overlay and VoIP strategy in some detail. For that readers must turn to the highlights section (2000 words) or to the entire interview (9000 words).

Who Controls Ethernet in the First Mile?

Copper Belongs to the LEC. What About Fiber? Half PON Suggested as a Low Cost Option for Open Access,

pp, 26 - 28

We publish a discussion from the EFM Mail List proposing a half PON solution.

In our introduction we say: For the first time standards are being created as a result of which Ethernet may be expected to run within the Public Switched Telephone Network. Ethernet in the PSTN is not the intent of the standards but it will be a likely by product. This means that unlike campus networks, where the owners and users are generally the same folk, Ethernet will be used in public carrier-owned networks where the owners of the network are NOT the end users. In such a situation, the owners (carriers) may find that they have an interest in pushing the technology in a direction like DOCSIS where the network owner can easily dictate to everyone else that the technology will be used on the terms that it establishes. [Snip]

Latest .biz Lawsuit May Help Define ICANN's Legal Status,

pp. 29- 30

We republish Michael Froomkin's analysis of Neulevel's declaratory judgment suit against published first on ICANN Watch. Herewith some context from the BWG list.

Lawyer 1: Whether the lottery [Editor: Neulevel has been sued in California for running an illegal lottery.] is mandated by the registry contract is less relevant than whether (a) it was in the TLD application, and (b) ICANN approved the application knowing it was in there. Neulevel would not be able to conduct the lottery but for ICANN's approval. If ICANN gave them the go-ahead, then they are a party to the lottery. They had 47 applications to choose among, and not all of them involved gambling.

Lawyer 2: Not to mention Louie's micro-management. I think there's a good chance if they lawyer it right they might prevail on the ICANN-made-me-do-it line.

COOK Report: Do I have the arguments right? If they prevail on the ICANN made me do it tack, then ICANN is a government entity and subject to due process?

Lawyer 2: No. If they prevail on "ICANN made me do it" then they get to ARGUE that ICANN is a government entity and thus they are (arguably) immune from this lawsuit.

COOK Report: But then what? People can sue ICANN for violation of due process rights?? How does this change the big picture?

Lawyer 2: Because a ruling here that ICANN is governmental enough to give immunity gets you 80% to due process. But it's not 100% - there is a precedent for immunity w/out due process. [Snip]

Froomkin concludes in his ICANN Watch article: "Indeed, the NeuLevel complaint suggests that ICANN is wholly a US government creature, that ICANN itself should partake of some form of sovereign or derivative sovereign immunity, and that this should flow down to NeuLevel itself.

Were NeuLevel to prevail on this argument, it's only a tiny step -- small, but not inevitable -- to finding that ICANN should be subject to US laws on due process as if it were an agency itself. And that blows the lid open on the whole process."

CA*net 4 Proposal and Supporting Documents Released,

P. 30

For Further Information Please see

Summary of IETF Working Groups on Multi Homing,

pp. 30 - 31

A summary by Elliot Lear of current IETF working groups focusing on problems of multi homing.

Censorship in action: Why I don't publish my HDCP results,

by Niels Ferguson,

pp. 31 - 33

Ferguson, a cryptographer states: "I have written a paper detailing security weaknesses in the HDCP content protection system. I have decided to censor myself and not publish this paper for fear of prosecution and/or liability under the US DMCA law." We republish his eloquent and important essay and pointers to further data.

How to Use New Features and Functionality Effective in This Issue of the COOK Report,

p. 33

Interview / Discussion Highlights,

pp. 34 - 39

Executive Summary,

pp. 39-42

How to Use New Features and Functionality Effective in This Issue of The COOK Report

We are listening to subscribers who, in the current flux of the industry, tell us they are more pressured and have even less time to read our comprehensive interviews. They want easier ways to reference the specific details.

While we don't intend to abandon the comprehensive interviews that are our principal market niche, we have we have taken advantage of the Adobe Acrobat publishing capabilities to increase their utility and value to our readers. From this issue onward we shall have a new section called Interview/Discussion Highlights. The Executive Summary section will retain the brief overview. But we have added a new section to which interested readers may turn for concatenated "juicy" quotes from the interview. Each "Interview Highlights" summary is about 20% of the length of the Interview and about three times as long as the Executive Summary of the Interview. A reader may begin with the Executive Summary and turn to the quotes or go on to the entire interview or article. We have been publishing the Executive Summary on our web site. From now on only Cook Report subscribers will receive the full Executive Summary, and a much shortened version will be available to non-subscribers on our web site and via the mail list: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Finally, we have found out how to both add internal links to the PDF version of the COOK Report and make urls into live web links. (Did everyone else know this?) Blue text is ether an internal "hot link" or a "live link" to a url. In your Acrobat Reader Version 4.0 you will observe the "Hand Tool". This is the fifth Icon across in the top menu bar, drawn in the shape of a hand. Click on the hand tool to activate it and then moving the tool to the PDF COOK Report page where you see blue headings or blue type click on them. You will be taken instantaneously to the destination just as though the link were an html "hot" link. Note that the page display will be a function of the size of the window in which you are viewing your COOK Report. In Acrobat Reader Version 4.0 there are three page size icons in the top menu bar. Clicking these icons will change the size of the page display. To use the live web links you must make and save a Preference change in your Acrobat Reader Version 4.0. Go to the file menu and chose Preferences. From the Preferences chose the Web Link menu. In the Web Link menu by following the instructions, create a link to the browser that you are using. Those using Version 5.0 will note that the menu bars have changed. Note especially that it appears that Version 5.0 will configure itself to automatically link with your default web browser when using the hand tool to connect to a "live" web link.

You will find that the "In This Issue" box on the lower right of page one now works as a true table of contents. You will also find that you can jump at will from the Executive Summary section to interview quotes to the interview and back again. We would very much appreciate your feedback and suggestions on our format upgrade, and of course, we always appreciate your good recommendation of The COOK Report to your colleagues.