TWT - Comcast congestion

Jeff Wheeler jsw at
Wed Dec 1 05:14:44 CST 2010

On Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 9:12 PM, Richard A Steenbergen <ras at> wrote:
> uncongested access. This is the kind of action that virtually BEGS for
> government involvement, which will probably end badly for all networks.

This depends on the eventual regulatory mechanism and the goals it
intends to promote.

Everyone in our industry has been aware that security mechanisms
related to BGP are needed, but after major incidents making it into
the news regularly for ten years,  little progress has been made.  A
regulator putting the hammer down might be a driving force to solve
some of our basically solvable problems that no one is willing to
spend any time or money on.

Additionally, it is easy to make the argument that reduced
interconnection cost for end-user ISPs would never motivate any
innovation.  If any network with 1000 DSL users could connect to the
closest PAIX (in every NFL city, of course) and gain access to all the
big players for nothing but the cost of transport, it would not
significantly reduce their cost to serve their customers.  The DSLAMs,
tech support monkeys, transport, idiotic implementation choices, etc.
cost an order of magnitude more than transit.  No regulator is going
to believe that eliminating the cost of transit will encourage more
broadband deployment, higher broadband speeds, or new inventions that
tax the network more heavily.

On the other hand, it is very easy for regulators to imagine that, if
Youtube had to bear the whole cost of moving bits from them to the
end-user, and broadband access was free for anyone with a house and
mailbox, developing new applications would be much more expensive and
happen less frequently.

I think eyeball networks had better start demonstrating how they are
innovating new things that benefit the public, and working hard to run
their networks and businesses efficiently, before the regulation
gauntlet is thrown down.  Otherwise, they will be on the losing end.
In either case, I don't think it automatically must be bad for all
networks, and everyone except those eyeball networks should hope it
turns out to be good for the public, increasing consumer choice and
bringing new forms of information and entertainment into their homes.

Jeff S Wheeler <jsw at>
Sr Network Operator  /  Innovative Network Concepts

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