WASHINGTON – Today, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Alan Davidson met with Vice Minister Park Yun Kyu of the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), Republic of Korea.
By Bob Cannon, Senior Telecommunications Policy Analyst, NTIA
My name is Bob. I am number six.
Do you believe me?
If I were wrong… would you know?
In the 1960s television show “The Prisoner,” retired secret agents are held captive in a place known only as “The Village” and assigned numbers to replace their identities. Protagonist “Number Six” quickly learns that what one claims to be and what one is can be two different things.
Internet routing is a bit like life in The Village. One network whispers to a second that it is number six. The second network then tells two other networks that it can send traffic to number six. And those two networks tell two more networks that they can reach the network that reaches number six. And so on. Networks make routing decisions based on these whispers, following the path back to the network that says it is number six. Sometimes those whispers are right. Sometimes they are wrong. When they are wrong, Internet traffic can go astray.
Mobile apps have become an essential tool for participation in much of daily life. Given both the growing importance of mobile apps and the need to promote innovation in this space, President Biden called for a study of the ecosystem along with recommendations for improving competition, reducing barriers to entry and maximizing the benefits for consumers as part of a 2021 Executive Order on competition.