fight club :) richard bennett vs various nanogers, on paid peering

Richard Bennett richard at
Wed Nov 25 22:29:33 UTC 2009

(pardon me if this message is not formatted correctly, T-bird doesn't 
like this list)

I agree that this is not the proper venue for discussion of the politics 
of Internet regulation; the post I wrote for GigaOm has comments 
enabled, and many people with an anti-capitalist bone to pick have 
already availed themselves of that forum to advocate for the people's 
revolution. There are some technical issues that might be of more 
interest and relevance to operators, however.

* One claim I made in my blog post is that traffic increases on the 
Internet aren't measured by MINTS very well. MINTS uses data from 
Meet-me switches, but IX's and colos are pulling x-connects like mad so 
more and more traffic is passing directly through the x-connects and 
therefore not being captured by MINTS. Rate of traffic increase is 
important for regulators as it relates to the cost of running an ISP and 
the need for traffic shaping. Seems to me that MINTS understates traffic 
growth, and people are dealing with it by lighting more dark fiber, 
pulling more fiber, and the x-connects are the tip of the iceberg that 
says this is going on.

* A number of people said I have no basis for the claim that paid 
peering is on the increase, and it's true that the empirical data is 
slim due to the secretive nature of peering and transit agreements. This 
claim is based on hearsay and on the observation that Comcast now has a 
nationwide network and a very open policy regarding peering and paid 
peering. So if paid peering is only increasing at Comcast, now a top 10 
network, it's increasing overall.

* Some other people said I'm not entitled to have an opinion; so much 
for democracy and free speech.

I'd be glad to hear from anyone who has data or informed opinions on 
these subjects, on-list of off-. The reason you should share is that 
people in Washington and Brussels listen to me, so it's in everybody's 
interest for me to be well-informed; I don't really have an ax to grind 
one way or another, but I do want law and regulation to be based on 
fact, not speculation and ideology.

Thanks and have a nice day.


Darren Bolding wrote:
> Whether or not Mr Bennett has any idea what he is talking about- and I 
> have started to develop an opinion on that subject myself- I really 
> would rather not see Nanog become a forum for partisan political 
> discussion.  There are _lots_ of places for that, which as a political 
> junkie I read regularly. 
> I like Nanog in part because it typically steers clear of this sort of 
> thing (and you know the mailing list charter sez....) and in some way 
> serves as a refreshing change between reading Daily Kos and Powerline 
> blogs.
> I will also say that while Mr Bennett's affiliation and paycheck have 
> some relevance to interpreting what he says, it isn't justification 
> for tossing everything he says out.  If he seems to have no idea what 
> he is talking about, that is reason for tossing out what he says.
> One final point- referring to conservadems is about as telling about 
> perspective as certain people referring to RINO's.  Bennett hasn't 
> said anything blatantly partisan (perhaps he is to polished for that), 
> his critics certainly have.  You diminish your argument by doing so.
> I say all this even though some of the people getting engaged in this 
> are people I've known for a while and respect a great deal, and others 
> are ones I've read on Nanog for a number of years.
> I'm actually intersted in the substantive content, but I'd rather 
> avoid the rest if you wouldn't mind.
> Thanks for listening,
> --D
> On Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 7:13 AM, <Valdis.Kletnieks at 
> <mailto:Valdis.Kletnieks at>> wrote:
>     On Wed, 25 Nov 2009 03:32:02 PST, Richard Bennett said:
>     >                        ITIF is not opposed to network neutrality
>     > in principle, having released a paper on "A Third Way on Network
>     > Neutrality",
>     All of four paragraphs, which don't in fact address what the
>     provider is or is
>     not providing to Joe Sixpack - point 1 says discriminatory plans
>     are OK as long
>     as the discriminatory are on display in the cellar of the ISP
>     office, with no
>     stairs, in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a
>     disused lavatory
>     with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard.
>     And points 2 and 3 are saying that this should all be overseen by
>     the same
>     agencies that oversaw the previous decade's massive buildout of
>     fiber to the
>     home that was financed by massive multi-billion dollar incentives.
>     Oh wait, those billions got pocketed - if the massive fiber
>     buildout had
>     happened, we'd have so much bandwidth that neutrality wouldn't be
>     an issue...
>     But then, the Republicans keep saying they are not opposed to
>     health care
>     reform in principle either...
> -- 
> --  Darren Bolding                  --
> --  darren at <mailto:darren at>           --

Richard Bennett
Research Fellow
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Washington, DC

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