Is anyone actually USING IP QoS?

Jeremy Porter jerry at
Wed May 19 08:12:03 UTC 1999

In message <374268F7.C82ED3DA at>, Nick Bastin writes:
>"Steve Riley (MCS)" wrote:
>> Regarding the idea of "free bandwidth," that's not what I said. I said that
>> bandwidth is "essentially free." Of course there will always be a cost for
>> bandwidth. But consider for a moment what's happened to disk storage. In
>> 1990 I purchased my first PC. I paid $550 for an 80 MB hard drive -- that's
>> $6.875 per megabyte. Today you can purchase a 25 GB hard drive for $450 --
>> that's $0.018 per megabyte. That's a 31,250% increase in capacity
>> accompanied by a 99.73% reduction in price per megabyte. So you see, on a
>> per megabyte basis, storage is "essentially free." The same thing has
>> happened to CPU and memory. It will happen to bandwidth, too, and in many
>> cases already has.
>I'll concede this point.  However, it's worth pointing out that
>megabytes of disk space can actually be 'had', while bandwidth doesn't
>really exist.  Most of us, at least, have to pay for bandwidth by the
>month, while we only pay for the same piece of storage space once (and
>then we actually posess it).  This is important because it impacts how
>far this cost model can be extended, and for how long.

Its also worth pointing out, that a lot of us are paying for
bandwidth we aren't using, but this doesn't impact the validity of
the original statement.  Bandwitdh costs and bandwidth availaablity have
significantly dropped in costs over the last 4 years.  I can remeber
$8000/month T-1s (for Internet), and I'm now paying less for long
haul DS3s that AT&T was quoting me for T-1s.  If we measure the
projected 10 year price drop on bandwidth in a linear fashion the 
$5.33/kbit/month goes to $.40/kbit/month. The $.55/ds0/mile to less than 
$.03/ds0/mile.  Now, one also has to consider that the price per
megabit for storage on 40meg hard drives, has not dropped much in
the last 4 years or so, but in 2 gig drives it has.
I used to work at a company that is now in the top 5 computer
makers, and there is a minimum price at which it is interesting to
sell a product that decreases slower than the price per megahertz/bit/whatever.

All the counter examples to the countrary, if you look at the projected
sales of just a few of the players in the lang haul fiber biz, you can
quickly compare that to computer maker volumes, and get a REAL good guess
as to what the price per ds0/mile will be in 5 years.

And the cost of bandwidth (IP transport) compared to local loop costs
(also considering Europe/AISA has having really long local loops,
not saying its right, fair, or will stay that way), the cost really
starts to become insignficant for burstable services, which is
what end users services are, (video on demand, VoIP, etc, etc, etc.)

The generalization that bandwidth is estentially free, is true, as far
as generalizations go, or will be withing a few years, when you consider
the other real costs of doing business.  And the volumes of
data for point to point, or point to multipoint, voice and video
conferencing are so completely trivally compared to completely replicatable
and cachable content, it is just silly.

QoS outside of a private network is not ever going to be an economic
reality, unless an RBOC buys up all the telephone companies or something
equally stupid. (Its happened before.)

I'm not even convinced that from an engineering standpoint it isn't
going to be cheaper for people with "short" local loops, to just
always buy more capacity, than, ever drop any significant number of

--- jerry at
Insync Internet, Inc.          | Freeside Communications, Inc.
5555 San Felipe, Suite 700     | PO BOX 80315 Austin, Tx 78708
713-407-7000                   | 512-458-9810          |

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