TWT - Comcast congestion

Leo Bicknell bicknell at ufp.org
Tue Nov 30 20:45:57 CST 2010


In a message written on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 08:12:23PM -0600, Richard A Steenbergen wrote:
> The part that I find most interesting about this current debacle is how 
> Comcast has managed to convince people that this is a peering dispute, 
> when in reality Comcast and Level3 have never been peers of any kind. 
> Comcast is a FULL TRANSIT CUSTOMER of Level3, not even a paid peer. This 
> is no different than a Comcast customer refusing to pay their cable 
> modem bill because Comcast "sent them too much traffic" (i.e. the 
> traffic that they requested), and then demanding that Comcast pay them 
> instead. Comcast is essentially abusing it's (in many cases captive) 
> customers to extort other networks into paying them if they want 
> uncongested access. This is the kind of action that virtually BEGS for 
> government involvement, which will probably end badly for all networks.

Actually it appears to be Level 3 who fired the first PR salvo
running to the FCC, if the date stamps on the statements are right.
So it's really Level 3 framing as a net neutrality peering issue
the fact that Comcast balked at paying them more.

Netflix is today apparently delivered via Akamai, who has nodes
deep inside Comcast.  Maybe Akamai pays Comcast, I actually don't
think that is the case from an IP transit point of view, but I think
they do pay for space and power in Comcast data centers near end
users.  But anyway, this Netflix data is close to the user, and
going over a settlement free, or customer connection.

Level 3 appears to have sucked Netflix away, and wants to double
dip charging Netflix for the transit, and Comcast for the transit.
Worse, they get to triple dip, since they are Comcast's main fiber
provider.  Comcast will have to buy more fiber to haul the bits
from the Equinix handoffs to the local markets where Akamai used
to dump it off.  Worse still, Level 3 told them mid-novemeber that
the traffic would be there in december.  Perhaps 45 days to provision
backbone and peering to handle this, during the holiday silly season.
Perhaps Level 3 wanted to quadruple dip with the expedite fees.

Yet with all of this Level 3 runs to the FCC screaming net neutrality.
Wow.  That takes balls.  Comcast did itself no favors respnding
with "it's a ratio issue" rather than laying out the situation.

What I wonder is why Netflix and Comcast are letting middle men like
Level 3 and Akamai jerk both of them around.  These two folks need to
get together and deal with each other, cutting out the middle man....

-- 
       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at ufp.org - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at http://www.ufp.org/~bicknell/
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