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[ NNSquad ] Re: Irish Times: "A modest proposal on internet neutrality"
(Disclaimer: I'm with a hosting/content provider, soon to be announcing its position on this topic in a public arena. It's similarly important for readers to note, for purposes of establishing bias, that George makes his money lobbying for big telecom/cable...) On 2010-08-14-03:42:20, George Ou <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > Furthermore, this is already an accepted practice on the Internet. ISPs > like TeliaSonera already sell access to Blizzard with enhanced priority. > Business connections routinely have enhanced priority. Global Crossing > sells enhanced priority to business customers and they even extend that > priority to partner networks in Asia and this has been happening for a while > now. Who is Google or anyone to say this is wrong? Prioritization *between* providers isn't really something happening deliberately. The instances of it I've seen usually involved one peering party inadvertently setting or flattening/rewriting DSCP tags, which itself would be an interesting course of study. Telia defines varying service classes for *on-net* traffic, dictating how packets get queued/dropped in the event of backbone congestion. This does not cover inter-provider connectivity. We're also Telia customers, and concluded that their usual "best effort" service, combined with a healthy assortment of multi-homing and vendor/path diversity, served our needs just fine. :-) I'm not familiar with the GX product, though I'd imagine it's a similar deal. They're not really well-peered in Asia, on an IP level. I'm not sure how this is revelant to a discussion of net neutrality... > The FCC's NPRM proposal bans charges for "enhanced or prioritized" access to > content/application/service providers and that is a pretty broad paint > brush. That potentially outlaws a number of beneficial models [...] Applying section 106 of the NPRM to business models for inter-provider connection ("paid peering") is a common misunderstanding; it was actually dismissed as FUD by the FCC folk attending the Austin NANOG conference: http://www.nanog.org/meetings/nanog48/abstracts.php?pt=MTUyMyZuYW5vZzQ4&nm=nanog48 > Furthermore, a ban on Paid Peering harms smaller websites that can't build > their own infrastructure and negotiate free peering. Is it a coincidence > that this harms Google's competitors? Here in the US, the folk commonly purchasing "paid peering" services are actually mid- to large-sized networks, by traffic volume, with infrastructure to support this kind of a connectivity arrangement. It's relatively easy to deduce who these purchasers are, looking at route advertisements and community tagging -- I could put together a list of examples if it's something of interest. Absent VC backing, the "two guys in a garage" will usually purchase some form of hosting service(s) (virtual hosting, CDN, VMs, leased servers, collocation, ...) from the providers in the above category. :-) It's important to consider that many access providers aren't strangers to peering with content in a *settlement-free* manner. What you have here are two sides of the equation who genuinely care about cutting costs and ensuring the best possible delivery for their customers, all *without* the incentive of money passing hands, nor the threat of government intervention. I'd go so far as to classify "paid peering" as a relative rarity, and an idiot tax of sorts, though this depends largely on a specific organization's reach and business objectives... (This is an easy point to miss if one's "research" is comprised of simply reading the recent Norton whitepapers.) > Wait, I thought Google cared about the "two guys in a garage"? Oh > wait, that was just lip service and Google actually doesn't care. I'm not convinced that Google or Verizon "sold us out", or otherwise acted against the best-interests of the Internet ecosystem as a whole. What they did was huge: showed that two diametrically opposed giants can sit down and work together towards a common framework, all absent any government intervention. While some of the specific points are enough to raise eyebrows when taken at face value, I'd like to think that these will be refined over time, and that common sense and self-regulation will ultimately prevail. As further proof that Google "actually cares", one need only look at their contributions towards IPv6 implementation. I was fortunate to attend their annual "IPv6 Implementors" conference in Mountain View this past June, keynoted by Dr. Cerf, and was hugely impressed by their knowledge-sharing and general interest in making the Internet a better place. These are people clearly talking the talk *and* walking the walk. > Lastly, Net Neutrality doesn't even allow for user-approved prioritization. > If a user explicitly gives an ISP permission to prioritize a particular > website or a general class of applications, who are you or anyone else to > say no? This, too, was addressed in Austin, in the context of provider VoIP and various business services focused on headend-based prioritization. I recall a clarification that these practices aren't automatically prohibited under the NPRM, though there would need to be specific disclosures and "opting in"... -a