Generation of traffic in "settled" peering arrangement

John Milburn jem at
Tue Aug 25 00:50:28 UTC 1998

Patrick Greenwell <patrick at> writes:
>On 24 Aug 1998, Paul Vixie wrote:

>> I don't know what he was saying, but I'll say something like it: gatekeeper,
>> wuarchive,, and other archives of free stuff are going to have to
>> do some kind of micropayment scheme -- charge for downloads in other words --
>> in order to pay their own costs to their providers, in order that those
>> providers are able to pay THEIR costs, in transit they buy or in glass they
>> lease or whatever.

>Ok, it hasn't happened yet, and software has been distributed free for
>quite some time, but let's assume that this is indeed the inevitable.


>Model 2 (new, shiny, "improved" model):

>a) Recipient pays sender for download.
>b) Recipient pays extra for transmission.
>c) Sender pays provider extra for transmission.

>So now under model 2, I am paying twice, not because or wherever
>wants to charge me extra, but because they are forced to pay for the
>privilege of sending me data that I requested and am already paying the
>transmission costs for. The net effect is that the transit provider is
>double-dipping, and it costs the receiver twice to receive the data.

>Somehow this doesn't seem to be very attractive to me.

But, it looks attractive to me. One of the problems with most of the
conceptual schemes posed is that they do not scale to the international
links, particularly across the Pacific, where the cost of bandwidth is
still very, very dear.

As a Korea based ISP, it is very much in my interest to bring content into
my network as close to the user as possible. When it enters in the US,
I pay the full cost (at ~U$16,000/Mbps for big pipes) to get it across
the lake.

There is little reason, in the current scheme, for me to transport's gif adverts across the pacific. My business is also
held hostage to any new wiz-bang push technology. And let's not even
get started on smurf attacks.

Given that my Korea domestic bandwidth costs are orders of magnitude
(about 1/160) times lower, my cost basis is extremely sensitive to the
amount of total international traffic. If the burden were placed on the
content provider, and through him on the requesting user, to pay for
that long haul, there would be a clear and present incentive for users
to find topologically closer content.

I sometimes toy with the idea of redirecting requests to some of the big
unsolicited content providers (default MS and Netscape pages, doubleclick,
etc.) to a local, unassociated site. Now, if they were somehow settling
for their traffic...or even if they created an supported a local mirror,
my costs of providing connectivity to them would be much reduced.

Also, with a large portion of my international traffic (and every on
else's, I presume) being porn, which uses so much bandwidth and has so
many auto-popup, unrequested adverts, this type of settlement starts
making more and more sense. Most of those sites are for pay, and some
of that income should make it back to the network doing the long haul.

The argument that my U$10/month dialup customers or U$1850/mo T1 leased
line customers should be entirely responsible for paying for this traffic
doesn't scale, and is indeed the evil of flat rate schemes taken to an
absurd extreme, with those who primarily access local content massively
subsidizing the porn freaks using international circuits.

This is the fundamental reason for the restricted bandwidth across big
ponds, and why no US backbone has any significant bandwidth of their
own across the Pacific.

>> The Internet backbone's growth has been all about barriers to entry and in
>> special deals.  People have been buying their provisioning at flat rate or
>> with other subsidies, and reselling it at variable rates to folks who came
>> later or otherwise didn't have access to, or knowledge of, the special deals
>> of the pioneers.  Eventually these special deals run out of time, or run out
>> of bandwidth, and a true (cost-driven) market economy is developing.

>> What we're seeing now is just SO inevitable.

Absolutely. Only the Australians have got anything close to proper, so far.

>Don't worry, we'll be paying for the commercial release of BIND
>when you guys start selling it... ;-)

I sure will.

>I thought the whole idea with this Net thingy was to make bandwidth so
>cheap it wasn't an issue. This of course is a pipe dream. The real idea
>from the "pros" seems to go something like: "The idea is to make
>bandwidth so cheap that it doesn't cost us anything to deliver, but allows
>us to charge the same or more for."

It is a pipe dream, for the time being. It is not too difficult to see
a day when trans-US-continental DS0miles are cheap enough to make US
current speed dialup access (and by extention LD phone calls) nearly
free. But, of course, by then the bandwidth demands of most users will
expand to require something significantly more.  And, we are no where
near that point in most international paths.

     John Milburn                           jem at
     Director - BoraNet                     jem at
     Cell +82 19-220-7035             Tel +82 2-220-7035
     Dacom Corporation, Seoul, Korea  Fax +82 2-220-0751

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