connectivity outside the US

Sean M. Doran smd at
Sun Jun 1 02:17:05 UTC 1997

"Miguel A.L. Paraz" <map at> writes:

> There can be two ways of looking at it, from the WWW/content point of
> view:
> * "They're unlucky enough to be outside North America, but they want
>    American content anyway.  So they have to suffer with poor 
>    performance and high prices."
> * "These folks outside America don't get to appreciate our content.
>    Their numbers are growing.  Thus we have to invest in the delivery
>    infrastructure."  

Of course that leads to:

* We have to worry about international copyright issues as
  overseas ISPs begin duplicating our content to save on
  IPL bandwidth

* We should deploy duplicate servers in other parts of the
  world so that we don't have to deal with the problems of
  shortages of IPL bandwidth

On the other hand I argue that the fundamentally
interesting thing about the Internet is that traffic
patterns shift substantially at little notice through the
development and deployment of new technology.  Moreover,
in in Internet whose origins were "every client is also a
server" and where, with proxying and the like, that is
still essentially practical, a strict content:consumer
mindset is a very short-sighted business approach.

> But, the Independent Big Network people will still have to get
> their own IPLs - which may end up with BT/MCI, Sprint/Global One,
> or AT&T?  What's the difference between becoming an IP customer
> and just a leased line customer?

Independent Big Network people are working on a simple
risk statement: traditional bandwidth-owning telcos are
too slow to keep up in the Internet marketplace,
particularly when they're distracted by what various bits
of deregulation are doing to their traditional income,
creating an opportunity for the Independents either to
thrive on their own or to be strong acquisition targets.

Moreover, one might bet on partnerships with organizations
competing with established telcos on other fronts which
are becoming more like commodity products (most notably
raw bandwidth).

> How do we come up with a settlement model?

Ultimately this depends on what everyone's real costs are.
Alot of what is perceived as "cost" is due to
misapplication of technology.  A settlement model that
encourages all parties to do the right thing to sustain
the industry's growth is really what's needed.

The problem is getting such a model agreed to and put into
effect other than bilaterally among clever operators.
Hahaha, good luck if there are American lawyers involved.

> And more providers should be hauling in their own high-capacity pipes and 
> putting up their own overseas POPs instead of having the local folks
> drag their lines to the US, and charge a lot for slow
> connections.

It's coming.  The problem is that the people most likely
able to do this are also the people earning half-circuit
revenues from the large numbers of IPLs that would get
aggregated into an IPL where both half-circuits would be
paid by the provider entity.  This is especially touchy
when money for one of the half circuits is paid to another

In this way large capacity-owning telcos are in a bind
about competing with a lucrative revenue stream (IPLs)
whenever they do this and also when they compete against
non-telco Independent Big Networks who might buy IPLs at
market value.  To make up for lost revenue (and maybe real
cost) from the internally-deployed IPL, lots of traffic
would have to be aggregated.  This kind of massive
overselling of capacity is still somewhat alien to the
managed services mindset and even if it didn't it doesn't
make it all that much easier for them to compete on
"quality of service" profitably just now without some
magic extra-high-quality pricing bullet.


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