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[ NNSquad ] Re: Do the Happy Dance people...
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 19:13:55 -0400
Begin forwarded message:
From: Rahul Tongia <tongia () cmu edu>
Date: August 30, 2008 1:07:25 PM EDT
To: nnsquad <nnsquad () nnsquad org>
Cc: Nick Weaver <nweaver () gmail com>
Subject: [ NNSquad ] Re: Do the Happy Dance people...
Let's do some basic math:
250 GB for $50 (say) = $0.20/GB. "Reasonable" perhaps?
But not all of the costs are uplinking. In fact, they are a minority
of costs (forget issues of "at the margin"); capex, CRM, etc. are big.
So, the challenge runs both ways. I do not mind a cap IF it is
grounded in costs, that too competitively. By that token, I should be
offered a 125 GB plan for significantly lower money. That is the
dilemma. If they only make it a tad cheaper (say, $42.99), then that
means 125 GB is $10 . So, going over by a similar amount should only
lead to penalties of aobut $0.15/GB. They cannot have it both ways
(rather, shouldn't!). [(I realize that few people use the cap, but
there are counters to that)]
In reality, given (1) congestion is rather granular in time and space
(esp. in cable networks) and (2) bandwidth costs are falling over
time, sometimes dramatically, I can but hope that not only will be cap
grow over time but the penalties for overusage should be transparently
low and falling. Else, something is wrong with the fundamentals
(i.e., pricing and costs have a wide disconnect).
Nick Weaver wrote:
When you get an ISP to implement a policy that is transparent,
neutral, and only has anticompetitive effects where the bandwidth
needed for 8 hours a day of HD content is considered insufficient ,
you should be doing a major happy dance.
Yet the response that this is some evil plot by Comcast is ridiculous.
If Comcast was interested in building a policy that IS
anticompetitive, the solution would be simple: A soft cap at 50 GB,
and $1/GB beyond that. Voila: that WOULD kill video over the net.
Easy. Signed, sealed, and delivered.
And if your reaction to a benign policy like Comcast's is as stern as
your reaction to a true anticompetitive policy, they are just going to
write you off: "if you are going to do the time, might as well do the
All the other cable ISPs and wanna-be-cable company ISPs are going to
look at your reaction and go "these guys can't be reasoned with. They
can't be satisfied. So since they will always be angry, who cares
what they think?"
It makes your arguments far easier to counter when you can be painted
So do the happy dance! The network neutrality types got an almost
pure victory in this case. You WON this battle.
Don't go turning a tactical victory into a strategic defeat by failing
to acknowledge your victory.
 HD today, 720P, is 2.5 Mbps over Hulu. As Hulu is the biggest
player in the HD game, this should be taken as a reasonable amount for
what HD content really costs for Internet delivery. 8 hours a day is
a LOT of HDTV.
[ Today's 2.5 Mbps streaming Hulu is not (as far as I'm concerned)
true HD quality vis-a-vis broadcast HD. Nor should subscribers
be constrained to real-time streaming rates when an obviously
more powerful model is faster-than-real-time delivery of very
high quality content to local staging (e.g. local disk)
facilities. Not only does local staging allow for a more
responsive interface, but permits off-peak transfers to be
handled in a much more effective manner. Off peak transfers are
available to be viewed at the consumer's convenience (during
prime time, if desired) without adding to peak traffic loads).
If ISPs should decide -- as per your speculation -- that they
can just "ignore" the analysis of those who question various of
their (often proprietary) network management decisions, they do
so at an ever increasing peril of additional and continuing
regulatory and legislative interventions.
-- Lauren Weinstein
NNSquad Moderator ]
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- [ NNSquad ] Re: Do the Happy Dance people... David Farber (Aug 30)