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[ NNSquad ] Re: INTELLIGENT network management? (far from IP)

To add to this -- I used Skype on flight over Greenland with only limited
speed (100Kbps??) and I had to use my PC as the mike/speaker. Yet the call
was far better than I ever got from Airfone domestically-- let alone over
the North Atlantic.

It's not just the absence of QoS but Bell protocols can't adapt to the whole
dynamic connection so the call quality is limited to the weakest segment
whereas systems at the edge can see the whole path and make clever tradeoffs
be it buffering, different codecs or whatever. I don't know the choices that
Skype makes but I do argue it has a lot more flexibility than a smart
network that focuses on minutia.

And the same goes for ISPs that presume they can impose their intelligence
in the middle while being unable to see the whole picture. This also applies
to Cable vs IP for video -- the cable system is highly dependent upon every
element being tuned perfectly.

It's not just about keeping carriers from imposing their will -- even when
they try to do us good they can't.

-----Original Message-----
From: nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org
[mailto:nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org] On Behalf Of
Tom Evslin
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2008 21:01
To: 'Bob Frankston'; 'Fred Reimer'; nnsquad@nnsquad.org
Subject: [ NNSquad ] Re: INTELLIGENT network management? (far from IP)


Without belaboring the point, our experience at ITXC was that the necessary
QoS for VoIP could be provided from the edge. We didn't need MPLS or the
like but we did need to have the kind of influence on routing which an
endpoint can have and visibility into how various routes that our traffic
took were behaving.

We were able to do the 98 and 99 when bandwidth was more constrained and
route choices fewer. Obviously we did need to make sure that our own last
miles had the capacity we needed and we're sufficiently few hops away from
the tier one backbone.

By 2003 we were carrying almost five percent of the world's international
toll traffic as a middleman between PSTN carriers. Customers on both ends
were on ordinary phones and had no idea they were using VoIP for the
international portion of their calls. Major carriers would not have bought
call termination from us if their customers were going to be disappointed by

Today, just by using good codecs and smart jitter control, Skype delivers
consistently better quality than the PSTN even over residential grade last
mile and middle mile connections. mile 

Tom Evslin
blog: blog.tomevslin.com
novel: hackoff.com
latest: The Interpreter's Tale

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Frankston [mailto:Bob19-0501@bobf.frankston.com] 
Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2008 11:40 PM
To: 'Fred Reimer'; nnsquad@nnsquad.org
Cc: Tom Evslin
Subject: RE: [ NNSquad ] Re: INTELLIGENT network management? (far from IP)

I'm cc'ing Tom Evslin so he can give a direct response about whether VoIP
and QoS.

You can't rely on QoS if you don't have total control over the entire
network. QoS is definitely NOT required for VoIP. An ocean of bits is
relative to the traffic is required.

-----Original Message-----
From: nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org
[mailto:nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org] On Behalf Of
Fred Reimer
Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2008 19:52
To: nnsquad@nnsquad.org
Subject: [ NNSquad ] Re: INTELLIGENT network management? (far from IP)

Hmm.  I have to agree with Brett on most of his comments.  QoS is definitely
part of the IETF RFC's.  And QoS is definitely required for VoIP, in any
network, for it to work properly.  The problem is that there is no common
global, or for that matter national, agreement as to how classifications and
markings are done.  Without that there would be little reason for the
various network owners to trust each other.  There may be one-off agreements
between two ISP's or an ISP and a backbone carrier.  However, unless there
is a national/global standard then we would never get to the point where
end-users can mark their own traffic as they see fit, and have those
markings honored throughout the Internet as long as they complied with their
agreement with their ISP.

I disagree when it comes to the intelligence of the network, and whether
network owners should be able to make policy as to what types of content is
appropriate just because the routers and other network infrastructure
devices have "intelligence."  The Internet is an end-to-end network, not a
client-server network.

Fred Reimer

-----Original Message-----
From: nnsquad-bounces+freimer=ctiusa.com@nnsquad.org
[mailto:nnsquad-bounces+freimer=ctiusa.com@nnsquad.org] On Behalf Of Brett
Sent: Friday, February 29, 2008 3:04 PM
To: Bob Frankston; nnsquad@nnsquad.org
Subject: [ NNSquad ] Re: INTELLIGENT network management? (far from IP)

At 12:28 PM 2/29/2008, Bob Frankston wrote:
>If you require QoS for VoIP then you have the PSTN not the Internet.

QoS was (and is) part of the original design of the Internet. Note the
"Type of Service" fields in both IPv4 and IPv6, as well as the "push"
bit. (Interestingly, there's no "shove" bit. Don't know why. ;-) )

>VoIP cannot rely on QoS because you don't have enough control over the

I do have control over my local network and over my interface to my
backbone provider. And when I prioritize VoIP on those, it helps

>And VoIP does not rely on QoS -- I verified this with Tom Evslin
>who supplied much of the backbone for VoIP.

VoIP becomes nearly unusable in times of heavy loads without QoS. In
fact, it becomes unusable when someone on the same node runs
unthrottled BitTorrent. That's why we prioritize and do P2P mitigation.

>Let's not base policies on misconceptions. 

I agree. Hopefully the above will clear up some of those misconceptions.

>Yes you can build your own
>intelligent network but let's not confuse it with the Internet.

The Internet was never meant to be unintelligent. By design, it relies upon 
routers which have tremendous computing power and very large amounts of 
memory. (And it must. It can't scale or have redundancy without these
What's more, every end node is ITSELF a router and devotes intelligence to
that. It is unreasonable to attempt to exile technology, innovation, or
intelligence from any part of the Internet.

>If VoIP fails it fails. 

You may be able to say that, but we can't. We lose the customer if he or
she can't do VoIP.

>And if you require real time HD streaming that may fail to. So what?

I believe that it was you who, in a previous message, were voicing
discontent with the performance of HD streaming on your FiOS connection.
We can't support HD streaming on the typical residential connection, but
we DO want to support it if the customer is buying sufficient bandwidth.
If we don't, again, we're out of business. Or someone goes to the FCC
and complains that we're not supporting that medium and must be

--Brett Glass