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[ NNSquad ] Who Confirms The Accuracy Of ISP Usage Meters?

----- Forwarded message from Dave Farber <dave@farber.net> -----

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2010 15:39:16 -0500
From: Dave Farber <dave@farber.net>
Subject: [IP] Who Confirms The Accuracy Of ISP Usage Meters?
Reply-To: dave@farber.net
To: ip <ip@v2.listbox.com>

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Jason Livingood <jason_livingood@cable.comcast.com>
> Date: January 13, 2010 3:26:52 PM EST
> To: Dave Farber <dave@farber.net>, ip <ip@v2.listbox.com>
> Subject: Re: [IP] Who Confirms The Accuracy Of ISP Usage Meters?

> This post on Broadband Reports came out last week.  The main concern I 
> had
> at the time was a specific claim about Comcast's transparency on the  
> matter,
> rather than the general question of meter accuracy (which seems a  
> logical
> question to ask, and which we anticipated).  Here is my response to  
> that,
> which was posted on their forum last week:
>> Karl wrote: "Comcast recently unveiled their new meter in Portland,  
>> using a
>> firm of their choice to determine it's accuracy. The firm they hired, 
>> of
>> course, proclaimed proudly that the meter was accurate to within 0.5% 
>> each
>> month.
>> Who'll confirm this? Nobody."
> While I can understand the generalities of your story*, the specific  
> ding
> against how Comcast released the meter seems unjustified. In an  
> environment
> where an ISP could simply release a meter, it seems an objectively good
> thing that we used an independent party to audit the meter, that we had 
> them
> share a report on the matter, and that they fully described how the  
> system
> functioned and how they tested it.
> If you question their independence or background, which I think is
> unfounded, you can find out who they are here:
> http://netforecast.com/ContactInfoFrameset.htm
> - Scott Bradner - http://netforecast.com/biography%20Scott%20Bradner%20.htm
> - Rebecca Wetzel -
> http://netforecast.com/biography%20Rebecca%20Wetzel%20.htm
> - John Bartlett - http://netforecast.com/biography%20John%20Bartlett.htm
> - Peter Sevcik - http://netforecast.com/biography%20Peter%20S.htm
> You can see their client list here:
> http://netforecast.com/ClientFrameset.htm
> And I can tell you they were highly recommended by members of the  
> Internet
> community.
> Jason
> --
> JL
> Comcast
> * I think it is completely fair to ask how you can stand behind a meter 
> and
> is it accurate. And for that reason, I think the basics of your story 
> prompt
> a worthwhile discussion. When we planned the meter, I thought that it'd 
> be
> the case that the question of proving its accuracy would logically be 
> raised
> and so I suggested having a 3rd party audit it and - further - share  
> the
> results of that with our customers and the public.
> http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r23607298-Hmmm
> Jason Livingood
> Comcast - Internet Systems Engineering
> On 1/13/10 2:19 PM, "Dave Farber" <dave@farber.net> wrote:
>> Begin forwarded message:
>> From: "George Ou" <george_ou@lanarchitect.net>
>> Date: January 13, 2010 1:16:58 PM EST
>> To: <schlake+gmail@gmail.com>, "'Bob Poortinga'" <nnsquad@k9sql.us>
>> Cc: nnsquad@nnsquad.org
>> Subject: [ NNSquad ] Re: Who Confirms The Accuracy Of ISP Usage  
>> Meters?
>> This kind of paranoia is just getting silly.  It's basically assuming 
>> that
>> the ISP is committing fraud that is easily detectable.
>> There are so many easy ways to measure this it's not even funny.  If 
>> you're
>> running a firewall like IPCOP or for example, it has extensive usage 
>> reports
>> which will almost certainly match what the ISP is reporting.   
>> Moreover, you
>> can measure the internal Ethernet interface which does not include  
>> DoS
>> traffic because it gets blocked by the firewall.
>> You can also easily enable PERFMON logging built into Windows and get
>> second-by-second usage data.  This only gives you measurements on a  
>> single
>> computer though but a lot of people only have one computer.  You  
>> could log
>> data from multiple computers and just merge the data though.
>> George
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: nnsquad-bounces+george_ou=lanarchitect.net@nnsquad.org
>> [mailto:nnsquad-bounces+george_ou=lanarchitect.net@nnsquad.org] On  
>> Behalf Of
>> Schlake
>> Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 9:02 AM
>> To: Bob Poortinga
>> Cc: nnsquad@nnsquad.org
>> Subject: [ NNSquad ] Re: Who Confirms The Accuracy Of ISP Usage  
>> Meters?
>> So what we need is a independent device that can measure that network
>> usage.  It should be open source, to be verifiable, and cheap.  It
>> won't fix the problem, but it would put a solution in the hands of
>> many users.  The more users that have it the more accountability  
>> which
>> could be imposed on the service providers.
>> A small box with two ethernet ports, one for the outside world, and
>> one for the inside world.
>> A web server on the inside world that displays statistics.
>> An NTP server that keeps the time up to date.
>> A configurator page that lets users configure ip blocks to be tracked
>> separately (unmetered streaming video from the service provider for
>> instance).
>> A NAT-like interface that can count packets at a variety of
>> resolutions.  Total packets through would be the main one, but what
>> about attacks on peoples homes where you send a large amount of
>> traffic at an IP address to raise their bill?  If that was detected
>> and listed as a separate line item it could be useful.  In general,
>> the more data a person can store about their own traffic the more
>> useful it would be (I'm sure law enforcement would agree on this
>> point).
>> It would need a good robust data storage system internally, and a way
>> to automatically synchronize the data into a machine on the inside
>> world for backup purposes.
>> Obviously if someone implements this you should send me some of the
>> money you make from my idea!
>> [ Actually, much of this functionality already exists in, or
>>   could be added to, somewhat higher-end commodity cable/DSL
>>   modem/routers.
>>   But what happens if a subscriber's locally gathered usage
>>   statistics turn out to be at wide variance from the ISP's
>>   official figures?  Then the real fun begins.
>>      -- Lauren Weinstein
>>         NNSquad Moderator ]
>> On Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 8:35 AM, Bob Poortinga <nnsquad@k9sql.us>  
>> wrote:
>>> Here's a good article in DSL Reports which brings up some important
>> points:
>> <http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Who-Confirms-The-Accuracy-Of-ISP-Usage-M
>> eters-106292>
>>> --
>>> Bob Poortinga  K9SQL
>>> Bloomington, IN  US

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----- End forwarded message -----