A Practical Navigator for the Internet Economy

September 1994 COOK Report CIX "Extra"

Herewith the conclusion to our extra edition promised last night. We will published the full 70,000 characters to all our subscribers for whom we have email addresses in about an hour.

A challenge to Rick Adam's rule of the CIX by Joe Stroup and Karl Denninger's Reform Platform lost today. As "Marty, Glenn, and Bob" reported to com-priv, Rick was re-elected (it seems in part on a platform to place CIX routers in Europe and Asia). Glenn Kowack, as the new Board member from EUnet, was presumably aligned with that effort and gaining a seat on the Board. In a sudden show of openness Marty Glenn and Bob announced the election results to com-priv and promised to try to get a more detailed report out "next week".

What they did NOT say is that speculation is running very high that Bill Washburn is resigning as executive Director of the CIX. Chris Locke told us tonight that he was having very high level discussions with Washburn and that these are expected to lead quickly to a very high level position for him at MecklerWeb.

Even more significant is that a motion to table the imposition of routing filters on November 1 carried. It is the belief of the people we talked to that only a vote by the entire membership of the CIX would allow the filters to be imposed at this point.

What has emerged is a new organization Net-99....signed sealed and delivered in agreements with major carriers earlier today. Net-99 is now taking orders national backbone services predicated on unlimited rights to resell and has peering agreements at MAE East. These agreements mean that it will be able to deliver connectivity to the internet that cannot be obstructed by the imposition of CIX filters at the California choke point. The defacto operational principals of Net-99 will be what the CIX started out with. Peering with all comers and no settlements.

What is left is an organization that calls itself the Commercial Internet Exchange, but that, as some of its own members pointed out, has done virtually nothing to fulfill its 5 aims promised in the members agreement. Also an organization that has some nasty allegations of anti competitive action hanging over its head and a demonstrated record of tight rule by the board and poor channels of communications with its members. The threat of routing filters brought in about 20 new members. However it also exposed some festering sores. Now that this round of the battle is over, it is no longer necessary to pay CIX dues to get commercial routing to the world wide internet. Sprint has announced its own by lateral agreements to protect its reseller customers. Net 99 is there as an alternative and the CIX membership itself today temporarily at least pulled the teeth from the CIX router. Under these conditions we predict that the CIX's recent membership increase will fall off dramatically.

The CIX had the cachet to be the trade association that the Internet needed. We believe that in light of the just concluded Interop soap opera and with its Executive Director likely to soon depart, the Board is unlikely to catch "religion" and try to move the CIX seriously in that direction. We also believe that, while there are enough unanswered questions about the integrity to the CIX process, any effort at serious reform is unlikely given that the same board (80% at least) is still in control. Many to whom we have spoken find it very strange that the by-laws of the CIX do not seem to prevent the organization from paying Board member's companies to carry out the duties that the Board decides on. They find that this represents a blatant conflict of interest. It is hard to imagine why a knowledgeable ISP would join such an organization at this point.