Is anyone actually USING IP QoS?

Pete Kruckenberg pete at
Tue May 18 16:29:45 UTC 1999

On Mon, 17 May 1999, Vadim Antonov wrote:

> Prabhu Kavi <prabhu_kavi at> wrote:
> Well, free bandwidth and QoS-free networks are different
> notions.
> Absolutely, bandwidth is always going to cost something.  
> This does not mean its rationing is desirable or
> economically (and technically!) feasible.

It seems that most of the support for the argument that
bandwidth is plentiful and a lot less expensive than
bandwidth management costs are ignoring two key issues: (1)
demand for bandwidth has not caught up with the supply, so
by widely-accepted economic theory the bandwidth is going to
be inexpensive and (2) the current glut of bandwidth has
largely been installed over a 3-4-year period as companies
do the first-time build of their networks.

I think it is naive to assume that just because there is an
over-supply of bandwidth today that it will be that way
forever. Eventually there will be at least three forces that
will change the economics: (1) the infrastructure companies
will have to get profitable or close (you can only lose
$100MM+/yr for a while before it catches up with you), which
means that they will be forced to stop building/expanding
and/or raise prices; (2) consumption of bandwidth will catch
up with what's out there and (3) technology will hit some
practical limitations on expanding the bandwidth (too
expensive to add more DWDM stuff, company can't afford to
lose investment on old equipment, company can't afford to
undercut itself again with lower prices, DWDM can't support
more colors without better fiber, etc).

This argument actually has some (vague) similarities to the
ones used in discussions about finite energy resources. Just
because there's lots of petroleum today doesn't mean that
there won't be a market for electric cars in the near
future. Though it would be cool if we could double the oil
reserves of the world for a couple billion dollars.

Who knows when this will happen. With every dial-up customer
moving to DSL, cable and wireless, and stuff like voice and
video moving to IP-based networks, seems like it'll happen
sooner rather than later. At 1000% annual growth rates
(according to Lord Sidgemore) in bandwidth usage, seems like
it'll be only a matter of a few years, even with
yet-to-be-deployed and yet-to-be-developed DWDM


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