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Re: [ga] FYI: Staff Draft towards Mission Statement

On Fri, Mar 08, 2002 at 06:32:38AM -0500, Peter de Blanc wrote:
> It is truely amazing that something once  done by volunteers, like
> building and co-ordinating the operation of the global Internet prior
> to, say 1995 or 1996,

1) In 95/96 there was a paid IANA staff, though it is true that a lot 
of work was done by people who were paid under rather non-specific 
2) If you actually accounted for the time spent by the volunteers and
paid staff, and paid for it, the amount would have been considerable. 
3) The internet was very much smaller in 1995, no matter how you measure 
it, and was far more US centric than it is now.
4) and moreover: the complexity of the things that IANA/ICANN does don't
scale linearly with the size of the Internet.

> now costs over US $ 5 million per year to sustain
> a bureaucracy that did not exist prior to commercialization of the
> Internet.

The commercialization of the Internet changed things dramatically. 
Comparing things now with the way things were then is worse than useless
-- it is positively misleading.  An Internet that is a fundamental part
of the infrastructure of global civilization is a vastly different
matter than the garden of eden days of the tiny non-commercial 
academic/government network it used to be.

Moreover, the "bureaucracy" is here largely because of continual demands
by people to expand it. 

> What is even MORE amazing is that the US $ 5 million  is just the tip of
> the iceberg.

No, it is not amazing at all.  If anything, given the demands made on
ICANN, it is amazingly *cheap*.  As an end user, this is working out to
around $.20/domain name per year (3% of the dominant wholesale cost) to
pay for the global coordination functions that ICANN provides.

Kent Crispin                               "Be good, and you will be
kent@songbird.com                           lonesome." -- Mark Twain
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