Level 3 Communications Issues Statement Concerning Comcast's Actions

Aaron Wendel aaron at wholesaleinternet.net
Mon Nov 29 17:45:01 CST 2010


Netflix pays someone to get access to "the internet" and that someone has
some sort of relationship with Comcast, or gets to Comcast through a third
party who has that relationship.   No one is getting anything for free.

 

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect customers to bear the cost of
their provider doing business.  If that business calls for the buildout of
additional infrastructure to remain competitive then so be it.  Comcast
customers pay their provider, Netflix pays its provider.

 

I think what this really boils down to is an effect of shoddy marketing.
Access providers want to offer "unlimited" everything and don't want to have
to go back to their customer base and say, "oh, sorry, we didn't really mean
unlimited.  We didn't think you'd really use that much." So they are looking
for ways of making up for the increased costs without having to look like
idiots to their customers.

 

My problem is, what happens if this becomes the new model?  What if Comcast
comes to me and says, "Oh, we've noticed X Mbits originating from your
network coming through ours.  Here's the bill of $X per bit."  What happens
when I counter with, "Ok, and I see X bits originating from your network.
Here's my bill, too."  Do they agree to an exchange of money for an exchange
of bits or do I get an "F you.  Pay your bill to us and we're not giving you
crap."

 

Aaron

 

 

 

From: Rettke, Brian [mailto:Brian.Rettke at cableone.biz] 
Sent: Monday, November 29, 2010 5:21 PM
To: Jack Bates; Aaron Wendel
Cc: 'Patrick W. Gilmore'; 'NANOG list'
Subject: RE: Level 3 Communications Issues Statement Concerning Comcast's
Actions

 

On 11/29/2010 4:49 PM, Aaron Wendel wrote:
> A customer pays them for access to the Internet.  If that access demands
> more infrastructure then Comcast needs to build out the infrastructure and
> pass on the costs to the customers demanding it.

I'd change this to "A customer pays for SHARED access to the Internet."
Unless your customer is paying for a direct fiber or internet circuit (~$500
- $10,000 per month) they aren't paying for independent and sole access to
the internet. It's another term that I think has lost its actual meaning,
"Unlimited access."  I don't have a problem, as a customer or as a Service
Provider, passing along the bill to the top 5% that are using a
disproportionate amount of bandwidth.

I can see the Internet reaching a fair-use model, as opposed to a free-use
model that is unsustainable, as was previously said.

Here's one specific example I can think of to discuss:

Netflix uses about a third of Internet bandwidth, in some cases going over
the HTTP traffic use for most customers. Netflix charges customers a fee to
use their service, but they don't pay the providers required to supply the
bandwidth for the customer leg.  I don't think ISPs charging Netflix is a
sustainable model either. A mutual endeavor involving shared interconnect
costs and intelligent placement of proxies would be something I could think
of to make the process beneficial for all parties. The end goal would be
that the "Shared Media Customer" has no idea what we are doing, but does not
see performance degradation in their HTTP or Netflix traffic, and that it
does not pass along additional cost to them. After all, to both Netflix and
the ISP, it is in their best interests to keep that customer a happy and
paying customer.

Sincerely,

Brian A . Rettke
RHCT, CCDP, CCNP, CCIP
Network Engineer, CableONE Internet Services


-----Original Message-----
From: Jack Bates [mailto:jbates at brightok.net]
Sent: Monday, November 29, 2010 4:11 PM
To: Aaron Wendel
Cc: Rettke, Brian; 'Patrick W. Gilmore'; 'NANOG list'
Subject: Re: Level 3 Communications Issues Statement Concerning Comcast's
Actions

On 11/29/2010 4:49 PM, Aaron Wendel wrote:
> A customer pays them for access to the Internet.  If that access demands
> more infrastructure then Comcast needs to build out the infrastructure and
> pass on the costs to the customers demanding it.
>

I agree. This type of maneuver is no different than ESPN3 charging the
ISP for the ISP customers to access the content. Both are unscalable
models that threaten the foundation of an open Internet.

As an ISP, I could care less what is in the packets my customers send
and receive. The exception to this, of course, is malicious packets but
they keep refusing to set the evil bit.


Jack 

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