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[ NNSquad ] Re: [OT?] NN definition(s?)

On Sat, 2007-11-10 at 19:10 -0500, The Anarcat wrote:
> In a lot of anti-NN litterature I've seen, the "lack of a proper
> definition" has always been a key attack point. For me, it's a moot
> point: NN proponents have a fairly consistent definition, in my opinion.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_Neutrality#Definitions_of_Network_Neutrality
> Can we move on now?

The Wikipedia section you cite gives three different classes of
definition for NN, which I recall distinctly because I wrote it. Three
major classes is hardly "a fairly consistent definition," it's a rat's
nest for policy makers.

So yes, the first order of business for any group that aims to protect a
principle is to define the principle. If that can't be done, then it may
as well pull up stakes and go home.

I had hoped that this group would bring some light to a debate that has
so far been almost exclusively heat. So far, I don't see that happening,
except insofar as Brett has tried (valiantly, in my estimation) to
remind the group that ISPs aren't necessarily sitting on oceans of free
bandwidth that they hoard in order to keep the troops in Iraq, the
oceans overheating, and the dictators in power, etc.

If we understand neutrality as meaning the ability of the typical,
non-abusive network user to access the sites and applications he wants
within the constraints of the laws of physics and the state of network
engineering, then we have to accept the fact that the infringement of
this ability doesn't come exclusively from ISPs or monopolistic phone
companies. Bandwidth hogs, spammers, worm artists, and other sources of
noise also interfere with network access in this world of shared
facilities and pooled bandwidth.

Here's one example: the Azureus implementation of BitTorrent allows the
user to set a global TOS/DSCP label for all his transmit traffic. By
default, this value is set to a value that uses the default value set by
the OS, which in most cases is "Best Effort" in WiFi terms. 

I would contend that BitTorrent is the best example of "Background" or
"High Througput" traffic ever devised, so its default TOS is too high.
And because it's too high, it interferes with the user's own VoIP,
video-streaming, and web browsing traffic unless the user has Phil
Karns's sophistication and equipment (unlikely, of course.)

If others agree that this is an abuse of net neutrality, perhaps we can
proceed to publicize it and have it corrected after a period of proper
flogging and public shaming.

Just a thought,