Did Internet Founders Actually Anticipate Paid, Prioritized Traffic?

Dave Sparro dsparro at gmail.com
Tue Sep 14 18:57:46 UTC 2010

On 9/14/2010 1:08 PM, Owen DeLong wrote:
> On Sep 14, 2010, at 8:47 AM, Dave Sparro 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?
> Yes... Because the reality is that it wouldn't be an upgrade. It would be a euphemism for downgrading the subscriber's experience with other content providers.

So it's not fair for an ISP to limit a consumer's circuit to the speed 
they paid for, if there's excess capacity in the network?  ie. If the 
ISP has capacity to offer 15Mbps down, that's what they should provide 
to a customer that has paid for 10Mbps.  Where's the cut-off?

>> 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.
> Except that PowerBoost(tm) provides a burstable service where the capacity is already available and using it would not negatively impact other subscribers. This, on the other had, would create an SLA requiring your ISP to either build out quite a bit of additional capacity (not so likely) or to negatively impact their other subscribers in order to deliver content to the subscriber using this enhanced service.
I would think that the content provider's bag of cash is what would 
provide the incentive to add to capacity where needed.

>> 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.
> There's little difference in my mind between this model and a model where service provider X is in bed with content provider Y (perhaps they share common ownership) and subscribers to provider X are given a dramatically better user experience to content Y than to other content of a similar nature.

I just don't see a way to get passed the current impasse.
The consumers are saying "I want faster, as long as I don't have to pay 
Content providers are saying, "If consumers had faster, I'd be able to 
invent 'Killer App'.  I sure wish the ISPs would upgrade their networks."
ISPs are saying, "Why should we upgrade our networks, nobody is willing 
to pay us to do so."

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