Changing Internet policies is easier than you think

29/07/2015

The policies governing Internet resource management in the LACNIC service region are proposed and established by the community, which means that changing these policies is also up to our members. With the community’s consensus, the process for modifying these rules is quite simple.

A recent example of a successful modification to one of LACNIC’s policies began as a proposal submitted by George Lam of Level 3. Lam’s proposal suggested changing the requirements for the assignment of ASNs.

“While working, I would sometimes receive comments from colleagues and clients mentioning that their ASN requests had been denied, although, in my opinion, their applications were valid. The lack of an ASN would often complicate what should have been a simple solution,” Lam told LACNIC News.

Based on these comments, Lam suggested changes to the ASN assignment policy. After a brief process, he managed to make the policy “clearer and broader in scope, thus benefiting many organizations in need of an ASN.”

Lam noted that the process had been simpler and easier than he had initially thought it would be. “I was even lucky enough to present the proposal after LACNIC implemented a tool that allows discussing policy proposals via teleconference, which made it even easier to understand the various opinions and resulted in a better proposal,” Lam added.

Lam, who is responsible for designing and growing Level 3’s IP network in Latin America, noted that promoting a policy change had been a great experience. “I feel like I’ve made my small contribution to the community,” he said.

It’s worth it. Lam encouraged members of the LACNIC community to submit their own proposals for change. “For various reasons, people may think their proposals are not worth submitting, but they need to know that any change that would improve current policies, no matter how small, will be worth it. During the process they will hear opinions for and against, all aimed at improving the proposal. They will also find the entire community’s support,” he concluded.

Before being presented at the forums in order to seek consensus, all proposals are submitted and discussed on the policy mailing list.

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