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[ NNSquad ] Re: Simple questions
How about we get my simple questions answered. I keep hearing all these nasty insinuations about Richard and myself when we’re the only ones with a clearly stated position. How about people participating in this debate actually say they’re in favor or against Net Neutrality legislation, or whether they’re in favor of a ban against fractional circuits or not.
There is nothing “silly” about comparing fractional ownership of an airplane to fractional ownership to a piece of copper or fiber. In each case, fractional ownership means fractional cost and that means little guys like me aren’t priced out of the market. What is so wrong with a collocation offering 3% ownership of a 100 Mbps circuit at $25 (other $25 for electricity and rack space) which is 2.3% of the cost of having 100% ownership of a 100 Mbps circuit? Having a service that can burst to 100 Mbps on demand that includes 3 Mbps average for $25/month (I have the option to buy more anytime) is absolutely wonderful to me. If we outlaw fractional ownership of Internet connection circuits, which is something Vint seems to be suggesting but refuses to clarify, then I’m either stuck with paying $1100 or the ISP will simply cap my bandwidth to 3 Mbps with zero usage caps. That effectively cuts my average performance down to probably well under 1 Mbps even though I’m paying for 3 Mbps simple because I cannot guarantee that my web visitors will produce a consistent 3 Mbps demand. So the type of regulatory restrictions that Vint Cerf is apparently lobbying for is harming small businesses, which would severely curtail the competition for Google because they’re one of the few companies that have the kind of scale that can justify purchasing full ownership circuits. So the only thing that’s silly and malicious is someone who would have government step in and take away my flexibility and freedom.
Where do you get the assumption that IPTV is equal to web streaming? I’m talking about IPTV as a subscription TV service over Fiber to the Node (FTTN) which is a form of video delivery that will quickly overtake cable TV subscriptions worldwide. Qwest and AT&T are users of FTTN technology. Yes it goes through the router/modem used for the FTTN service, but it’s a real-time video application (supports instant channel flipping like cable or satellite TV) that cannot tolerate any type of bandwidth starvation or jitter. IPTV also doesn’t create any jitter or additional latency for the FTTN user based on my testing.
As to your question on business models. Yes, each of the two major broadband providers are essentially fighting for half the market share which works out to roughly 30% of the homes (since only 6 out of 10 homes want broadband today). That’s the reason it’s VERY difficult to justify putting in all new fiber infrastructure when there is already coax or twisted pair copper infrastructure. Verizon did it at a HUGE risk but they seem to be on their way to making it pay off. If you tried to insert a 3rd physical infrastructure provider such as a municipal provider, than each operator is effectively vying for 20% of the households assuming they achieve equal.
Now is there a market for offering just bits or a “dumb fat pipe” (against I can’t claim credit for inventing that term since that honor belongs to the stupid network proponents who believe you need a managed network)? Even the municipal fiber operators don’t think so and it’s effectively a guaranteed death sentence.
The question how much effort to put into refuting each of these "just-so" statements. Where is any sign of understanding of accounting and the realities of each situation. Comparing a 767 with a copper wire is silly.
Where do we get the assumption that IPTV is treated specially except in some subsets of the carrier world? I get my IPTV (VoD) through my standard router.
This isn't a debate -- it's just posturing. If we're going to have a real discussion we need to isolate the issues can get some reality here.
So let’s start with a simple questions:
· I have three broadband providers the cost of deploying is 3x. The subscriber base is 1x. If they are all now providing essentially identical bit pipes and paths then how can the market sustain this?
· What is the justification for maintaining a situation which we have a conflict of interest with those owning the transport being in the position of using it to control the content availability and cross subsidizing?
· Is there a viable business for providing pure bits? Would the market collapse as the industry warns in http://frankston.com/?n=AssuringScarcity? If so, then what is the alternative?
First of all, you didn't answer my question on whether you support the
proposed Net Neutrality bills. You stated that you think it's ok to pay
more for better service. The bills make that illegal. So are you, or are
you not in favor of those Net Neutrality bills e.g., Markey (any version) or
"I think you misinterpret Rick's intent. A bandwidth cap is superior to a
volume usage cap for several reasons. First, if you can purchase a bandwidth
No, I didn't misinterpret Mr. Whitt. He, along with Vuze at Innovation
2008, clearly stated that usage caps were a good solution, one that's better
than intelligent network management. Free Press testified to the FCC that
usage caps were the better alternative to network management. The EFF
expressed similar opinions and even used Australia as a great example of
Broadband. Larry Lessig testified to the FCC that we needed to go to usage
caps to help fund the Internet. Tim Wu said that metered Internet was the
fairest thing going.
Look, I'd like nothing more than unlimited usage, but I'm not naÃ¯ve enough
to think that it won't raise the cost of broadband or network access to a
level that's too much for consumers to pay. I like being able to pay a
lower price for a more shared service that meets my needs. I'd love to own
a dedicated circuit and there's it goes without saying that dedicated
circuits are superior, but I'm not Google and there's no way I can afford
it. Volume caps are essentially a way of buying fractional ownership.
Google might be able to buy a 767 party jet, but a smaller business might
only be able to buy 1/100th of a Leer jet. Google might be able to buy a
dedicated circuit, but most of us can only buy a fractional circuit with a
volume usage cap.
"I think you misunderstand my point. I am not saying you should not have
access to options offered; I am suggesting a different set of options than
Pardon me, but I'm not very good at deciphering double speak. First you say
I should have access to "options offered" (assuming you mean volume pricing
plans), then you say it should not be volume pricing. Are you, or are you
not in favor of banning volume pricing? Can you please clarify. Because if
you are suggesting that
"It seems to me that access providers who offer video services would
Actually provide a wider range of options if the total capacity they have
built to offer users could be dynamically shared between video services and
internet services, to the extent these are distinct."
IPTV does this today, and it prioritizes the IPTV stream above all else.
However, the user can decide to give IPTV ZERO priority by shutting their
IPTV set top box down. But the Net Neutrality bills which prohibit you from
favoring based on source (which is necessary for IPTV to work as reliably as
Cable or Satellite TV) would make it impossible to offer any kind of
reliable IPTV service.
"In fact, at some point, it seems to me that the internet access capacity
might just as well be offered to the user in such a way that the customer
can choose video sources provided by the access provider or those provided
by others, both using Internet transport as their basic access mechanism.
In that way, the customer can pay for broadband access that allows the
customer access to any Internet source, regardless of origin, at capacities
up to and including the maximum bandwidth to which the customer has
But you can't access any source for video today, and you of all people
should know that. There is no such thing as "maximum bandwidth" in the
world of broadband, and "up to" does NOT mean "at least" in anyone's
dictionary. You certainly can't access my server for streaming video or any
other website because we can't afford the bandwidth or volume to support
unicast traffic to thousands or millions of users. That's why Google has
made exclusive contracts with ISPs and network operators so that they would
have EXCLUSIVE access to edge caching. That access is by definition
exclusive and discriminatory, but it's reasonable and due discrimination
because Google paid for it. This is no different from the exclusive
capacity reserved for cable TV or FiOS TV or U-verse TV. The only
difference with U-verse is that while it gets maximum and exclusive priority
over 64% of the FTTN broadband pipe, the user can make that 16% or even 0%
by switching to an SD channel or turning the box off. Markey's latest bill
would make this exclusive source-based priority system illegal, and it would
outlaw existing business models essential to funding our broadband
So again Vint, are you or are you not in favor of Markey's Net Neutrality
proposal? Would you also prohibit me from buying fractional circuits that
have volume usage caps? How long will you, and many others on this list
continue to duck this question?
I also pose this question to anyone else on this list who have raised issue
with Richard Bennett's comments. These are the key question that few people
on this list seem to want to answer and they seem more interested in ad
From: Vint Cerf [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2009 4:31 AM
To: George Ou
Cc: 'nnsquad'; email@example.com; 'Brett Glass'; 'Dave Farber'
Subject: Re: [ NNSquad ] Re: L.A. Times Biz Section/Lazarus: "We can't be
neutral on net neutrality"
On Aug 30, 2009, at 7:08 AM, George Ou wrote:
> Great explanation Vint. So you're saying it's ok to charge more for
> service, then can I assume that you are opposed to the Markey (any
> Net Neutrality bill which prohibits charging more for better priority?
> I do take big exception with your assertion that it's not ok to
> charge by
> volume. Your own Richard Whitt has stated that usage caps are a
> alternative to network management last year. Every broadband
> provider in
> the world, either implicitly or explicitly implements usage caps.
> If you go
> over the cap (I prefer the disclosed explicit caps rather than the
> undisclosed implicit caps), you're either billed more money or
> you're given
> a warning. If you continue to exceed the cap, then the provider stops
> taking your business.
I think you misinterpret Rick's intent. A bandwidth cap is superior to
usage cap for several reasons. First, if you can purchase a bandwidth
and if the provider can limit your usage through traffic shaping, you
be fearful of a huge bill or sudden loss of access. You simply are
by the bandwidth cap. In fact, during periods in which the system
not fully utilized, it might even be allowed to exceed a bandwidth
purchase of a particular maximum is essentially an assurance of access
capacity in times of congestion. Users get their pro-rata share of
capacity based on their purchased caps.
> The same is true of server access. My colocation server costs me
> (which is very cheap for a 1U server) with 100 Mbps Ethernet
> That includes the rack space, electricity, basic support, AND
> The ONLY reason I can get this great service at this low price is
> that I not
> exceed 1000 GB of data transfers a month or I would get billed for
> additional GB used per month. But that's absolutely wonderful for
> me since
> I hardly need to transfer more than 400 GB per month, and I get this
> responsive burstable Internet connection that rockets to 100 Mbps.
you could get the same treatment with a bandwidth cap.
> I also have the option of buying a DEDICATED 100 Mbps circuit with
> no usage
> volume caps for $1100 per month
> organization, unlike Google, can't afford to pay that kind of
> money. So are
> you honestly suggesting that the 1000 GB usage cap pricing option
> not be
> available to a little guy like me? If that's the case, then you're
> effectively putting me and every other small org or business out of
> Vint. You're effort to save me from "discrimination" is killing me.
I think you misunderstand my point. I am not saying you should not
to options offered; I am suggesting a different set of options than
> Furthermore, Access Providers have invested in private circuits and
> facilities just like Google has invested a lot of money in private
> and facilities. Those Access Providers use those circuits that THEY
> AND PAID FOR to offer reliable TV services so that they can stay in
> and have sufficient revenue to invest in our next generation broadband
> infrastructure. Are you now suggesting that we need a bill like
> Markey III
> which would outlaw and confiscate these private circuits so that
> they could
> be given to the public Internet? If so, would you also support
> opening up
> some of Google's "private transmission capacity" (as Markey III puts
> it) to
> me and every other small organization and business on the Internet
> so that
> we have the ability to get some equal access to the Internet?
It seems to me that access providers who offer video services would
provide a wider range of options if the total capacity they have built
users could be dynamically shared between video services and internet
services, to the extent these are distinct. In fact, at some point, it
seems to me
that the internet access capacity might just as well be offered to the
in such a way that the customer can choose video sources provided by the
access provider or those provided by others, both using Internet
as their basic access mechanism. In that way, the customer can pay for
broadband access that allows the customer access to any Internet source,
regardless of origin, at capacities up to and including the maximum
to which the customer has subscribed.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> [mailto:email@example.com] On
> Behalf Of
> Vint Cerf
> Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2009 1:49 AM
> To: nnsquad
> Subject: [ NNSquad ] Re: L.A. Times Biz Section/Lazarus: "We can't be
> neutral on net neutrality"
> I prefer to emphasize the need for non-discriminatory service,
> providing access to internet services on equal terms for all
> application providers and especially consumers. Does this mean that
> the access provider cannot charge more for larger capacity? No, I
> think it is reasonable for a consumer and application provider to pay
> more for higher capacity (preferably measured in maximum bits/second,
> not measured in volume of bytes transferred). Access providers who
> impose limits based on total bytes transferred (e.g. per month) do not
> really reflect the constraints on their system's capacity. the
> capacity limit has to do more with the rate of data transfer than with
> the volume. Bits per second, not bytes per month. If applications
> require distinct classes of service (e.g. low latency), I think it is
> quite permissible to offer such services. But, as Lauren argues, I
> think these options must be equally available to all application
> service providers and consumers. This does not require that all
> packets be treated equally. It does require that all users be provided
> equal access to such preferential services. I agree with Lauren's
> point that the provider of access services (especially broadband, by
> whatever definition we end up for "broadband") not discriminate
> against competing application providers by favoring the access
> provider's services over those of competitors. In rough terms, this
> means that the underlying Internet access should be equally accessible
> among competitors.
> The rationale for this treatment is to maintain the open networking
> effect that allows new application providers to introduce new
> applications without discrimination, thereby maintaining an ecosystem
> that is friendly to innovation. I hope you will note that the proposal
> above does not prohibit access providers from responding to denial of
> service attacks or managing congestion. I also allows them to offer
> differentiated services but in such a way that competing application
> providers are not disadvantaged merely because they are not the
> providers of access facilities.
> A key question is when differentiated access services become
> discriminatory. If we are unable to define this point clearly, then
> another option in legislation is to provide for a process in which
> anti-competitive and discriminatory access practices can be
> adjudicated. Of particular concern is that users of the Internet have
> the freedom to choose what application providers they wish to use
> without discrimination or interference by the access providers.
> On Aug 30, 2009, at 3:20 AM, Richard Bennett wrote:
>> Thanks for proving the point, Lauren. >From your LA Times article:
>> "Network operators want to set priorities for users, rather than
>> letting all data flow freely and equally.
>> "At the same time, a pay-for-play system would create a tier of
>> "super providers" that enjoy a competitive edge over rivals that
>> lack the resources for speedier service. This also would make it
>> harder for entrepreneurs to even enter the market.
>> ""You're essentially ghettoizing Internet content that cannot pay to
>> play," said Scott at Free Press."
>> That's the argument for "all packets are equal" in black and white.
>> [ No Richard, you're misprepresenting the argument. Nobody of note
>> that I know of on the "network neutrality" side of current debates
>> is saying that customers should be able to buy OC-192 speeds for
>> the same price as a consumer DSL line, nor that time-sensitive
>> payloads (like VoiP) shouldn't be able to have appropriate
>> priorities over, say, conventional browsing. But the question is,
>> do all comers have access to these facilities at a competitive
>> price and on equivalent terms, or do the ISPs favor their own
>> content and services and those of their partners?
>> The dominant carriers, most of whom now have highly valuable
>> content (mostly video) that they want to deliver "out of band" in
>> relation to other traffic, are also the ones who are able to
>> arbitrarily set the pricing, TOSes, restrictions, and virtually all
>> other parameters for access services which allow for competition
>> with these ISPs' own content. Bandwidth caps, which would only
>> affect external Internet traffic (including all Internet video
>> competitors) but not cable-company provided video fed (via the
>> same protocols in most cases) on the companies' own video on
>> demand and pay per view systems, are an obvious example of
>> the problem.
>> In other words, in the absence of reasonable regulation, the major
>> ISPs not only may have a direct conflict of interest in terms of
>> content, but also control all the balls relating to the ability of
>> potential content and service competitors to compete in terms of
>> speed and pricing.
>> With the appeals court ruling a couple of days ago voiding the FCC
>> rule limiting the size of the giant cable companies, this
>> situation can only be expected to become far worse in an
>> unregulated Internet access ecosystem.
>> -- Lauren Weinstein
>> NNSquad Moderator ]
>> - - -
>> Lauren Weinstein wrote:
>>> "We can't be neutral on net neutrality"
>>> "The snooze-worthy phrase is about something vital to all: whether
>>> companies that control the pipes through which data flow can dictate
>>> terms to the websites that originate the data ..."
>>> Full Article (8/30/09):
>>> NNSquad Moderator
>> Richard Bennett
>> Research Fellow
>> Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
>> Washington, DC