Let me wish a hearty welcome to 2021 to all our members and stakeholders. Already we have been planning some more upgrades, old equipment removals, online events and hopefully in person ones later this year. We’d also like to hear from any members thinking of downsizing your office space in the North Ryde (NSW) area, as some space for the team on the east coast would nicely supplement our west coast space.

This was certainly the year for optimism, yet already we have seen some interesting developments: borders up and down within Australia and across the ditch, insurrection in the US capital, and the Australian government move on a proposed news web publishing code. While border closures simply mean here at IAA we have planned and cancelled travel three times already, events in the US capital have other ramifications across our industry.

The insurrection led to a spate of ‘de-platforming’ incidents which in turn reflects the increase in infrastructure shutdowns, given that it wasn’t just the social media services that acted, but the upstream suppliers of authentication and compute platforms. Does this mean that in the future, Australian members may choose to switch off compute or other infrastructure for serious offenders? Or face their own service disconnections as a result of user actions? Aside from your general right to do business with whomever you choose (subject to anti-discrimination legislation), in Australia s313 of the Telecommunications Act requires us to do our “best” to prevent our networks and facilities from being used in the commission of offences, so it would appear that similar de-platforming would be within the law here.

The industry has, for some time, had clauses in contracts limiting liability where required to cease service at the request of law enforcement, but these cases of ‘de-platforming’ show just how far up the supply chain this can go. We encourage all members to review their terms and conditions and seek legal advice for your specific situation, for both upstream and downstream services. Ultimately, should you decide (or be required) to terminate customer services – you don’t want to be liable for damages.

On that note, I can only wonder where the proposal for Google and Facebook to pay when showing links to Australian news media articles will lead. Will we end up with all new Australian search engines? Will the big providers pay us for links to our own content? I doubt any of us will knock back that bit of extra revenue, but I can’t help but think this sounds a bit like the disintegration of the Internet as an open platform for innovation.

As ever, I am always keen to hear member thoughts on issues affecting the industry!

Narelle Clark

IAA CEO

You may have already seen on Facebook and Twitter that from January 1st IAA has dropped the set-up fee for all 100Gbps ports, bringing them into line with our other ports. This means there are now NO set-up fees for any of IX Australia’s current range of peering ports.

To upgrade your services or purchase new ports contact our peering team on peering@ix.asn.au

With our west coast team productive and happy in their Perth digs, we are now looking at the option of having a small space on the east coast for our Sydney based team. We are willing to consider sub-letting from members who might be down-sizing or know of good places in the North Ryde area with great bandwidth and a small office with about five seats and meeting room access. Of course, loads of white board space won’t go astray either!  Please let us know if you can help via ceo@internet.asn.au

Following our successful hosting of last year’s event, IAA is pleased to continue its support of Asia Pacific’s largest internet conference by sponsoring APRICOT  2021.

We were very fortunate to be able to have the conference in person last year.  Current circumstances around the world mean APRICOT 2021 will be a virtual event, in partnership with the Philippine Network Operators Group (PHNOG).

As usual technical training will be offered in the first week (Monday 22nd to Friday 26th February), and the APRICOT conference itself will run from Monday 1st to Thursday 4th March 2021. APNIC51 and other side meetings such as APIX will also occur in the same window.

Registration for APRICOT 2021 is free for the entire event and we really encourage our members to check out the program and tune in for the great line up of speakers.

If you feel you have the expertise to offer a technical tutorial or participate in a conference session as a speaker, the call for papers is open until Sunday 7th February. More information on presenting or convening a panel session can be found on the APRICOT 2021 website.

IAA engineers are continuing to increase the intercapital bandwidth between major cities to help improve our cache currency and deliver more iVLL capacity.

The final Sydney to Melbourne link was brought online this week, boosting total capacity to 40Gbps.

The new MEL-CBR link will now provide redundancy to members in ACT-IX. Previously, members in ACT-IX who had extended reach and virtual leased line options to other states would have their services affected should the SYD-CBR link drop out.  Now all traffic will flow via the new and live MEL-CBR link should other paths be affected.

The IAA tech team are still working on updating some of our Melbourne switching gear, as well as removing the old equipment in Perth’s QV1. Both of these are subject to travel restrictions, so please watch this space! We will, however, be upgrading the firmware on our switch in NextDC M1 to improve 100Gbps services, and that is scheduled with remote hands for Feb 4, 01:00-05:00 AEDT. All affected sessions of course will be drained as usual according to BCP 214, and all affected members have been notified.

Please check your inboxes to see if you are included or, if unsure, contact our peering team on peering@ix.asn.au

IAA is excited to announce the first event in our 2021 program.

Join us on Thursday 25th February as we ask a panel of experts for their predictions on what we should be looking out for this year. Technology Outlook 2021 and its Impact on the Internet will look at new technologies, gadgets, as well as emerging regulation trying to constrain technology.

5G, Artificial Intelligence, online courts, and an increasing number of weird items forming the Internet of things are just a few of the technologies that have been playing out in our industry over the last year, but what will have the biggest impact on Internet networks in 2021?

We are fortunate to have secured Professor Katina Michael from Arizona State University, Professor Lyria Bennett Moses from the University of NSW and technology commentator and well-known gadget man, Trevor Long to join us to discuss the topic.

Members and non-members can register via Zoom.

Send us your questions ahead of the session and we will get them answered up front.

We were hoping to resume in person events in the new year but given our unpredictable travel situation, we will continue the program online, for the first few events at least.

This month we increased capacity in our major capital cities and announced a fantastic partnership for our friends at NZIX.

Read our November 2020 newsletter here.

This month we welcomed our new board members and asked members for their thoughts on NBN pricing changes.

Read our October 2020 newsletter here.