NNSquad - Network Neutrality Squad

NNSquad Home Page

NNSquad Mailing List Information


[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[ NNSquad ] Re: Comments on NNSquad Purpose

Greetings from the Canadian side of the issue. =P
> I think defining neutrality in terms of pay for level of service is 
> really hard.     For example if I choose to pay for connectivity or 
> direct peering for my servers with the ISP's that serve most of my 
> customers I'm paying for a better service - the guy that doesn't pay 
> gets worse service.    It's not neutral but the net has operated that 
> way for a long time.    I could also pay somebody else (example akami) 
> to co-locate servers in every ISP to improve the performance of my 
> product.  Again it happens all the time and the world hasn't ended.
The point is with peering, it actually improves network performance. So 
the competitive gain by companies employing this method, is also net 
gain for companies that cannot afford to play this game. Plus, it's not 
queue jumping, it's simply a shorter path. There's a competition 
differential sure, but it's not transformative.
> The next question is do we look at by protocol - it's unclear if Comcast 
> et al. would start throttling bandwidth if I downloaded streaming 
> content all day from Amazon unbox or a similar service.  If they do, and 
> they are not just hitting BitTorreent, then it's clear they are 
> penalizing usage which as long as they disclose it and apply it evenly 
> seems reasonable.  I just got back from Australia and almost all ISP's 
> there have download caps of some sort, it's not perfect but not too bad 
> if you know what your limits are.
The question is one of truth in advertising. What does 'unlimited' or 
'internet' mean, when paired with the 'undue burden' side of it.  I'm 
not sure many net neutrality supporters would have a problem with 
disclosed bandwidth allotments or transfer caps.

The bittorrent targeting is especially troublesome in the Canadian 
market though as all of our major ISPs also happen to have video 
offerings, ones that work either on cable or ip multi-casting, or simply 
video over http. Bittorrent is a competitive way for new media to 
distribute video, and many are using bittorrent rss feeds to distribute 
their content. The issue is now that the ISP are directly interfering 
with their competitor's service.
> On the other hand it's clear that ISP's can't support large numbers of 
> peer to peer users - they simple haven't engineered their networks to 
> support that traffic mix.     Which comes back to the pitiful state of 
> broadband in the US compared to countries like Japan and Korea.
I've not seen any studies that would confirm the ISPs are simply unable 
to invest in additional network capacity. The limits here are economic, 
not technical, and are easily solved by simply provisioning in relation 
to actual network use. It's not that over-subscription is a bad model, 
its just that it's the ISPs responsibility to monitor the average 
bandwidth use per user and make the appropriate upgrades -- upgrades 
they've largely not been making. In essence it is the the same business 
model they've been running with traditional telephones for decades, and 
it works fine; you don't pick up the phone and have the local switch 
say, 'your call will be placed in 4 minutes 30 seconds due to current 
call volumes. But, if your call is important, for 99 cents it can be 
placed immediately.' -- If we allowed this, it would be pretty clear 
that the carrier has the motivation to ensure that the network is always 
overloaded and its the same for a non-neutral internet.
> It seem the current fuss is as much about there being a limit that 
> wasn't disclosed and resultant blocking / QoS in use that wasn't 
> disclosed as it is about the actual limits.
While these are the sore points, for sure, there's more to it than that. 
To me, it's mostly about the legalization of what is most closely 
analogous to a protection racket -- with very powerful organizations 
both creating the problem (by underprovisioning) and then charging a fee 
to correct it (QoS preference). This will have implications on new 
media, user-generated content, media diversity and cultural diversity, 
none of which will be beneficial for consumers in the end.

The question here is what other than a legislative approach should 
content providers do about the issue. Do we encourage retaliatory 
throttling of offending ISPs? Do we create DNS blacklists of offending 
ISPs and prevent their customers from accessing our content? Does this 
help the Internet or just harm it further? These are the questions we 
need to be asking, and acting upon.


Kevin McArthur
> John Pettitt
> Disclosure: I used to be VP Engineering @ BitTorrent Inc.   I'm not 
> there any more and I'm not speaking for them.
> _______________________________________________
> NNSquad mailing list information:
> http://lists.nnsquad.org/mailman/listinfo/nnsquad

NNSquad mailing list information:
<a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="http://lists.nnsquad.org/mailman/listinfo/nnsquad";>http://lists.nnsquad.org/mailman/listinfo/nnsquad</a>