Breaking the Ice

by Joe Catapano on February 12, 2014

North American Network Operators Group's 60th Meeting in Atlanta, Ga.

By the second day of this week’s North American Network Operators Group’s 60th meeting in Atlanta, Ga., I was as likely to be asked, “How soon can you get a flight home?” as “How soon do you think we can get IPv6 fully deployed?” Sure there were concerns over an impending ice storm bearing down on the southeastern United States. However, the mood at what is considered to be the region’s premiere meeting for network operators was anything but cold.

This meeting was an opportunity to engage with a large number of stakeholders from the technical community. And as it was my first NANOG, I found it interesting to hear reaction to ICANN’s work by those who work at the forefront of keeping networks operating efficiently, securely, and resiliently. It was an atmosphere less consumed by the attention-grabbing headlines of the geopolitical implications of Internet Governance (though the topic was raised in a keynote speech by ICANN’s former security chief, Jeff Moss), and more focused on issues such as Domain Name System Security, network automation, and spam tracing.

NANOG 60 was an opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and interact with stakeholders whose day-to-day activities bear little resemblance to my own. It was also an opportunity for our North American Global Stakeholder Engagement team to present before a technical audience. Christopher Mondini, our VP for Global Stakeholder Engagement for North America, delivered a 10-minute “Lightning Talk” on the new generic top-level domain program covering the current number of delegations, name collision issues, Internationalized Domain Names and opportunities for engagement with ICANN. The presentation can be found here [PDF, 285 KB]. Of particular interest in terms of engagement, was Chris’s sharing of the gTLD technical mailing list – an open list where anyone can get answers to technical questions regarding gTLDs.

It would be an understatement to say that I learned a great deal in a mere two days at NANOG 60. And though I won’t be delivering a keynote address on “The Importance of In-Flight Encryption” anytime soon, I can now, at least loosely, describe the performance benefits that come with IPv6. Most importantly, I met some great people, and now that I am more familiar with their work, I can be a more effective liaison for them at ICANN. NANOG 60 was a great place to break the ice.

If you’re interested in more of what happened at NANOG 60, there’s a list of available presentations on their website. Check it out!

Joe Catapano is Coordinator, ICANN Global Stakeholder Engagement for North America

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