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

Russell Smiley wrote:

> As Nick pointed out the odd thing is that the pricing structure for
> those services is totally disproportionate to the network cost of those
> bits - that is, SMS should be much cheaper per bit than voice because
> SMS bits place practically zero burden on the network.

I agree. This has happened partly because of a historical accident; SMS was
never expected to become important, so it was implemented almost as an
afterthought on the sides of the call signaling protocols and networks, not as
part of the call content. For a variety of good technical reasons, call
signaling bits are more expensive to transmit over the air and process on the
ground than bits that are part of a voice or IP data stream, and the rates for
SMS partly reflect this.

But most of the price differential between the bit prices in a SMS message and
in a phone call is due simply to the carriers' ability to charge a lot and get
away with it. In the early days of digital cellular, the carriers made voice
almost into a commodity with bigger and bigger packages of minutes, bundled long
distance dialing, friends-and-family plans, etc, so they needed some high-margin
ways to make mone

> Net neutrality should be concerned with unfavourable throttling of
> competitors traffic (Skype vs 'ABC' VoIP on the 'ABC' network, for
> example) or with undisclosed limitations to service (Comcast apparently
> being the most notable example at present).

I agree. A very large part of non-neutrality is discrimination on the basis of
the meaning of the bits that users send. This can be thwarted with cryptography.

Another part of non-neutrality is discrimination based on where the bits are
going. This cannot be prevented with cryptography as the carrier has to see the
IP destination address to do its job. This makes it a thornier problem.