North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Large ISPs doing NAT?

  • From: Peter Bierman
  • Date: Wed May 01 19:10:07 2002

At 3:03 PM -0700 5/1/02, Scott Francis wrote:
>On Wed, May 01, 2002 at 02:55:02PM -0700, lear@cisco.com said:
>>
>> I don't know if this is an annual argument yet, but the frog is in the
>> pot, and the flame is on.  Guess who's playing the part of the frog?
>> Answer: ISPs who do this sort of thing.  Value added security is a nice
>> thing.  Crippling Internet connections will turn the Internet into the
>> phone company, where only the ISP gets to say what services are good and
>> which ones are bad.  While an ISP might view it appealing to be a baby
>> bell, remember from whence we all come: the notion that the middle should
>> not inhibit the endpoints from doing what they want.  You find this to be
>> a support headache?  Offer a deal on Norton Internet Security or some
>> such.  Offer to do rules merges.  Even offer a provisioning interface to
>> some access-lists.  Just make sure that when that next really fun game is
>> delivered on a play station that speaka de IP your customers can play it,
>> and that you haven't built a business model around them not being able to
>> play it.
>
>As long as it is _clear_ from the get-go that customers behind NAT are
>getting that service, and not publicly-routable IP space, I don't see the
>problem. If they don't like it, they don't have to sign up to begin with - as
>long as there is no doubt as to what kind of service they're getting, there
>shouldn't be a problem (legally, at any rate).


You've got to be kidding. Do you think it's clear to the average consumer
buying a GPRS phone what NAT is, and why they might or might not want it?
Do you think the use of NAT will be explained to these customers? Or
clearly stated in 5pt text on page 17 of the service agreement?

IMHO, as one of the people who will likely be using Cingular's GPRS network
with a Danger HipTop, I _strongly_ hope they choose to use routable address
space instead of NAT. I would hate for NAT to be an impediment to some cool
new app no one has thought of yet because these gizmos aren't in widespread
use yet.

>This is not to say that if, as Eliot posits, the next Big Thing on the market
>requires public IPs that your customer base won't all jump ship. That's a
>risk that providers will have to weigh against the benefits of NAT.

I'm more concerned that if the major metropolitan markets deploying GPRS
all use NAT, then the Next Big Thing won't ever happen on GPRS devices.
Customers won't jump ship if they have no where to jump to. That might
sound attractive to the bean counters, but think of the customers you might
never get in the first place. Also, I don't see how deploying NAT could be
a cost savings over requesting real IP space.

-pmb

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