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Re: New Short Video: "Network Neutrality in 30 Seconds" (Part 1) and reply from ISP
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 08:21:12 -0400



Begin forwarded message:

From: "Patrick W. Gilmore" <patrick () ianai net>
Date: August 26, 2008 9:42:43 PM EDT
To: Dave Farber <dave () farber net>, Barry Gold <bgold () matrix-consultants com >
Cc: "Patrick W. Gilmore" <patrick () ianai net>
Subject: Re: [IP] Re: New Short Video: "Network Neutrality in 30 Seconds" (Part 1)

I have a couple questions regarding your assumptions.

First, the ISP has to pay somebody else (a backbone provider) for a
"hose" (water main) to transmit their packets to the rest of the
internet. If their customers demand more bandwidth, they have to buy a
bigger water main.  And that needs to be paid for somehow: either by
raising rates for all their customers, by charging the heaviest users
extra, by imposing bandwidth "caps" to encourage the heaviest users to
buy a higher service tier, or some combination.

First, why does the broadband provider have to pay a "backbone"? Most of the filtering, capping, limiting, etc. is centered around the P2P debate. Cable-cos and DSL providers almost all have free peering with one another, and P2P is almost exclusively traffic between end users on these networks. Where did the "backbone" come in?

Also, Verizon and SBC both own Tier One providers, who pay no one. They are what you would cll the "backbone". (Leaving aside how very wrong that word and its connotations are in this discussion.) And what do you think the chances are the large MSOs aren't thinking about buying a Tier One or becoming one themselves?


Second, the current system is asymmetric(4).  The installed fiber/wire
base can carry multi-terabits downstream (CO to customer) but only a few gigabits upstream (customer to CO). This usually applies to the "hoses"
they buy from backbone providers too: a gigabyte of outgoing packets
costs significantly more than a gigabyte of incoming packets.

First, you admit DOCSIS 3.0 is symmetric, and you ignore the DSL providers. But even granting the idea that upstream bandwidth is limited, there is no cost associated with it. The "backbone" providers charge on the greater of in or out, not the sum of the two. Since you admit downstream capacity is greater than upstream, the cable-cos will not be charge for outgoing bits and realistically never will be.

--
TTFN,
patrick




Begin forwarded message:

From: Brett Glass <brett () lariat net>
Date: August 26, 2008 10:29:05 PM EDT
To: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Subject: Re: comments?

At 07:44 PM 8/26/2008, Patrick Gilmore wrote:


First, why does the broadband provider have to pay a "backbone"? Most of the filtering, capping, limiting, etc. is centered around the P2P debate.

P2P is an important concern, but there's a lot more to the issues of broadband deployment, choice, and pricing than P2P.

Cable-cos and DSL providers almost all have free peering with one another,

No cable company of which I am aware has free peering with either DSL providers -- their rivals -- or the national backbones.

and P2P is almost exclusively traffic between end users on these networks.

P2P is indiscriminate as to the locations of the "peers" with which it exchanges files. While there have been some efforts (e.g "P4P") to change this, such schemes nonetheless primarily benefit large providers, because the probability that a file is available within a provider's network is proportional to the number of subscribers to that provider. P4P could thus well be seen as an anticompetitive tactic against smaller players, whose expensive backbone bandwidth will be sapped by it while the Tier 1 providers get a free ride.

Where did the "backbone" come in?

See above.

Also, Verizon and SBC both own Tier One providers, who pay no one. They are what you would cll the "backbone". (Leaving aside how very wrong that word and its connotations are in this discussion.) And what do you think the chances are the large MSOs aren't thinking about buying a Tier One or becoming one themselves?

The notion that settlement-free peering should be the exclusive province of large providers is likewise anticompetitive. Every network which joins the Internet contributes to its value. None deserves either a "free ride" or to be forced to pay exorbitant prices because its network is an "edge" network rather than a "backbone" network.

First, you admit DOCSIS 3.0 is symmetric, and you ignore the DSL providers. But even granting the idea that upstream bandwidth is limited, there is no cost associated with it. The "backbone" providers charge on the greater of in or out, not the sum of the two. Since you admit downstream capacity is greater than upstream, the cable-cos will not be charge for outgoing bits and realistically never will be.

This argument ignores the fact that while upstream traffic is generally (not always!) lower than downstream, much more harm is done when the upstream side of an ISP's link to the backbone nears saturation. This is because, if the upstream path is delayed or congested, clients' machines can neither request, nor acknowledge the receipt of, data. What's more, crucial functions which are on the "critical path" as the user waits for a response -- such as DNS -- will be slowed. This is why ISPs who "know their stuff" are concerned when upstream traffic approaches even 75% of capacity, and place greater constraints on upstream traffic than they do on downstream traffic.

--Brett Glass





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