extending at the edge

Lorenzo Colitti lorenzo at google.com
Thu Oct 11 07:05:57 CEST 2012

On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 12:27 AM, Simon Lockhart <simon at slimey.org> wrote:

> > Right. I was thinking of hotel or cafe hot spots - where you are likely
> to
> > want to sign up once and share rather than sign up multiple devices
> > separately.
> But surely the provider is going to *want* you to sign up multiple times -
> particularly if it's a pay-for service. They're not going to want you to
> pay once, then share it to all your mates, as that's loss of revenue.

There's not really much providers can do to stop it, just like they can't
stop IPv4 connection sharing via NAT today. Sure, they can restrict one MAC
address to one /128 (ignoring the fact that this breaks privacy addresses),
but even if they do that, then the wifi hotspot vendors will implement IPv6
NAPT (not currently defined by the IETF, but that's certainly not going to
stop anyone).

Once that happens, everybody has lost:

   - The provider has implemented complex functionality which a) doesn't
   prevent the revenue loss they wanted to prevent, and b) increases
   operational and support costs.
   - The user loses end-to-end connectivity and the capability to uniquely
   address his devices.
   - The application developers pay the price of working around the NAPT
   - The vendors and consultants... well, OK - maybe they benefit :-)

Unfortunately, past experience suggests that fact that providers can't stop
it is unlikely to stop them from trying. I don't see a good way around this.
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