Did Internet Founders Actually Anticipate Paid, Prioritized Traffic?

William Herrin bill at herrin.us
Tue Sep 14 16:25:15 UTC 2010

On Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 11:47 AM, Dave Sparro <dsparro at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 9/13/2010 12:05 PM, William Herrin wrote:
>> It's a question of double-billing. I've already paid you to send and
>> receive packets on my behalf. Detuning my packets because a second
>> party hasn't also paid you is cheating, maybe fraudulent.
> Would you object to an ISP model where a content provider could pay to get
> an ISP subscriber's package upgraded on a dynamic basis?
> It would look something like my Road Runner PowerBoost(tm) service, only it
> never cuts off when the consumer is accessing a particular content
> provider's service.
> That would allow Netflix/Hulu/OnLive/whoever to offer me a streaming service
> that requires a 15Mbps connection even though I'm not willing to upgrade my
> 10 up/1 down ISP connection to get it.

Hi Dave,

That depends. Can I trust you to handle packets in such a way that my
10/1 circuit consistently gets 10 megs to the hosts that haven't paid
you for a boost?

That was a rhetorical question. The answer, of course, is "no," I
can't trust you to do that. You don't always stay ahead of the upgrade
curve now. You allow some internal and upstream links to reach
capacity, where congestion control slows everybody down. We all do it.
Some products would cost more than we can recover if we didn't.

In order to sell Netflix the ability to dynamically upgrade my
circuit, you'd also have to give their packets priority on the
congested links, beating out packets to the systems that are the most
important to me.

You *might* be able to convince me that it would be OK to let *me* pay
for port bursting to designated sites. 10/1 plus the video package
which unlimits the link to netflix/hulu/etc. But that's a different
story: someone else isn't paying you to mess with my link, *I'm*
paying you to mess with my link. Even then, I'd want to see you
prohibited from prioritizing their packets anywhere except my
immediate link to you. You want my extra money, I expect you to keep
the total system capacity high enough to handle the total demand.

Bill Herrin

William D. Herrin ................ herrin at dirtside.com  bill at herrin.us
3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/>
Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

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