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: Additional or differentiated services

Richard Bennett wrote:
It comes down to a question of whether Internet services are required to be best efforts only; there are obviously many applications that a best efforts, edge-managed system can't support, so the advanced services loophole is a way to enable them to get done.

On the one hand, yes. If you require _everything_ that goes over that wire to be "best effort" IP, then you can't possibly deliver, e.g., cable TV.(*)

One area of concern, though, is that this could become "the exception that swallows the rule." For example, your local telco or cableco delivers "Internet" on a "best-effort" basis. But then they have this _other_ service... they tweak the packet format a little, call it "enhanced network access" (or some catchier, trademarkable, name) -- but it only carries their own, in-house sites, plus a few that pay them $$$Big to be carried on the new service.

It would be like the rule from Roe v. Wade. The USSC said that laws against abortion had to include an exception for "the health of the mother." That included both physical and mental health. You can always find _some_ doctor who says continuing the pregnancy will harm the woman's mental health, so it became, in effect, abortion on demand. Not that I'm necessarily opposed to that, but it's an example of how what's supposed to be an exception becomes the norm.

(*) Heck, even with the current system I get drop-out, where the image freezes, then pixilates, then eventually returns to normal. Sometimes it's a second or less, but we had no useful picture for 25 minutes of a PBS production of The Barber of Seville. Highly annoying. Never had this problem with analog.

The neutrality lobby tends to demand no QoS management on the Internet, so what else is a poor innovator to do but bypass the Internet when he needs QoS? That's what the TelePresence-type systems do today.

ISTM you're lumping all neutrality advocates together. I certainly don't object to QoS management. Only to it being imposed _from above_, as if the ISP were Ghod Almighty and the rest of us peons should use the Internet the way _they_ think we should.

QoS should be specified by the user (presuably through the app as intermediary). Now, I know that people will try to "game" the system when you do that. If BT doesn't somebody else will -- take their video download or whatever other high-bandwidth application and mark it "high-priority, packets must get through". But the solution to that is simple: allocate a certain number of MB or GB that you can send/receive at a given priority. If you exceed that, the remaining packets get downgraded to a lower priority.

And of course users can pay more for more total bandwidth and/or more high-priority bandwidth.