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Re: Do the Happy Dance people...
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 19:15:16 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Nick Weaver" <nweaver () gmail com>
Date: August 30, 2008 2:12:01 PM EDT
To: nnsquad <nnsquad () nnsquad org>
Subject: [ NNSquad ] Re: Do the Happy Dance people...

On Sat, Aug 30, 2008 at 10:07 AM, Lauren Weinsten did...

[ 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 ]

Faster than realtive vs streaming, it doesn't matter for the data
volume analysis and gross volume caps: it how much video do you watch
and whats the encoding rate.  Show me anyone doing video services over
IP with data rates over 2.5 Mbps/minute, who is not charging at least
$.5/hr for the content?

And if your model is "faster than realtime but in off-hours", thats
Netflix through the US mail!  Once you can tolerate a day's latency,
you can't beat the bandwidth of USPS in terms of cheap, efficient
delivery of lots and lots and lots of bits.

And you are attributing an evil motive/evil intent on comcast: that
they are making such limits deliberately anticompetitive.

Yet this doesn't pass the laugh test, because they could EASILY make
the limits anticompetitive towards the services today (Hulu, Netflix's
online service, Amazon Unbox, youtube, iTunes video) which ARE
competitors to Comcast's (mostly NOT-HD) pay per view offerings, but
they did not!

Your charge of anticompetitive is based on nonexistent businesses
using an untested mechanism that don't have a good business model (its
$.10/GB CHEAPEST, to deliver bits to the net today, and there is
serious questions whether much lower bandwidth services like Hulu et
al are economically viable).  Yet Comcast can easily point to a ton of
competitors which are NOT affected by Comcast's policy, yet are on the
market today.

If the goal is to be an anticompetitive measure, they grossly failed,
and lumping Comcast's policy together with the proposals of
Time/Warner (~50GB IIRC, which IS kill-the-net anticompetitive) does
you a huge disservice.

As for your definition of true HD, then you obviously can't consider
anything delivered over cable/sattelite "True HD" either, because both
of those have a tendency to transcode the HD channels to save

Finally, this makes you easier, not harder to ignore.  I'm convinced
that the only service which meets your neutrality requirements is a
business line with an SLA where you actually "get all the bandwidth I
paid for".  There is a reason why a T1 with an SLA is far more than
$50/month, even with a peak bandwidth of only 1.5 Mbps.

When the cable companies can say "If you follow what these guys want,
it would up the cost of Internet service by 10x" and can JUSTIFY it
because you refuse any measure short of this (fairness shaping, caps
which affect ~1% or less of the customer base), it becomes much easier
to dismiss your legitimate arguments.

Rather, what criticsm you could lay is simpler:  It is not
anticompetitive now, but it could POTENTIALLY become anticompetitive.
Thus its important to know if it ever starts affecting more than the
1% extremely long tail.

Thus Comcast should publish the percentage of customers who've
received a warning in the past 12 months, and the percentage of
customers terminated under this policy in the past 12 months.  As long
as it remains well less than 1%, how would it be anticompetitive?

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