mailing list archives
Re: How a few inches become 500 miles.
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 18:28:47 -0400
Begin forwarded message:
From: "Bob Frankston" <Bob19-0501 () bobf frankston com>
Date: September 21, 2008 3:00:46 PM EDT
To: <fin () finseth com>, <nnsquad () nnsquad org>, "Dave Farber" <dave () farber net
>, <oia () lists bway net>
Cc: <Jason_Livingood () cable comcast com>, <tkoppel () comcast net>
Subject: How a few inches become 500 miles.
As Craig notes “Unfortunately, traffic from your local city hall
meeting may well travel halfway across the country and back before it
gets to you.” Thus we should replace the requirement of "community
access TV" with the requirement of local peering. But why not just get
rid of the whole warped system?
Today there is a real problem. I have both Comcast and Verizon. To get
from a Comcast port to my small FTP server six inches away but
connected to FiOS my connection travels through NY or NJ and loses 90%
of the performance. A very long six inches.
If a city selects Comcast Transport as its connectivity provider you
can be sure that you'll get strong local connectivity and peering with
nearby communities. CT would be a contractor maintaining the
community’s common facilities and would bid against others for that
contract. I doesn’t make sense to cede rights of way to a myriad of
silos. That’s just like laying a separate track for each trolley
company along each street. At least tracks would be visible and create
outrage at the waste of space and money.
Distance doesn’t matter to the protocols but it does matter for
performance and, far worse, it matters if the only reason for the
complexity and overhead is a dysfunctional market model embodied in
Forcing bits to travel long distances is due to having Comcast
Transport and Comcast Content fused into the a silo and doing the same
for Verizon FiOS (and RCN and Verizon copper and ATT Cellular and T-
Mobile and Verizon Wireless and Sprint and the MVNOs …). You have to
transit within a silo to some distant land where they agree to
exchange bits held hostage at a high price in money and in performance
thus destroying value for no reason other than sustaining a market
architecture that would not exist were it not protected from the
threat of abundance (again – http://www.frankston.com/?name=AssuringScarcity)
We see this with the again and again. Put two cellular phones one inch
apart – the voice/SMS bits cannot get between them unless the signals
can reach distant towers. Actually for some bits it’s just the
opposite! You have to put two phones near each other to exchange
information using IR or Bluetooth – strange when you have radios that
can provide connectivity without regard to distance. It’s as if
someone picked up an obfuscated C book and assumed it was guide to
I’ve got Vonage and ATT VoIP as line 1 and line 2 on one phone. Again
– the bits travel the long way for no reason other than to create a
billable event (or justify a very high flat rate). It’s all about
billable events and nothing but billable events.
The current Internet protocols aid and abet this by being path-
dependent rather than end-to-end. I get an IP identifier from a
provider’s silo rather than generating my own (except for local-only
addresses from my NAT which again give me different kinds of bits).
Forcing the identifier to also act as a path-address reminds me of the
1960’s when we’d put disk addresses in database records “for
efficiency” or use octal disk addresses as user names (as on the
As our financial system suffers why are we trying so hard to assure
profligate waste and costly hurdles by insisting on a horribly
inefficient system that prevents us from creating our own solutions
and takes what is already paid for and assures we can never get the
benefits of local control and ownership. Why do we want frustrate the
creation of new value?
Telecom – the real financial debacle. It’s like a mortgage that is
100% interest and at a variable rate that can never ever be paid off.
Yet I’m told there is no political will for change? Is madness our due?
From: Craig A. Finseth [mailto:fin () finseth com]
Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2008 09:54
To: Bob19-0501 () bobf frankston com
Cc: Jason_Livingood () cable comcast com; tkoppel () comcast net; nnsquad () nnsquad org
Subject: Re: [ NNSquad ] Re: Comcast's FCC Filing Today
One question is whether the cap will apply to local connectivity
as well as
distance. Is there a limit to how long I can watch a broadcasts of
city hall meetings? I presume the answer is "yes" and that it is a
Unfortunately, traffic from your local city hall meeting may well
travel halfway across the country and back before it gets to you.
Not a problem if you live in a major interconnect point (bay area,
Chicago, New York). A big problem if you live in <somewhere>,
This brings it around to the public policy side as well: depending
upon where the encoders are, the cable company may also bring the
video traffic along the same path.
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- Re: How a few inches become 500 miles. David Farber (Sep 21)