Did Internet Founders Actually Anticipate Paid, Prioritized Traffic?

Mark Smith nanog at 85d5b20a518b8f6864949bd940457dc124746ddc.nosense.org
Tue Sep 14 22:27:08 UTC 2010

On Mon, 13 Sep 2010 08:06:03 -0700
Leo Bicknell <bicknell at ufp.org> wrote:

> In a message written on Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 09:44:40AM -0500, Brian Johnson wrote:
> > OK... so doesn't this speak to the commoditization of service providers?
> > I'm against more regulation and for competition.
> Competition would be wonderful, but is simply not practical in many
> cases.  Most people and companies don't want to hear this, but from
> a consumer perspective the Internet is a utility, and very closely
> resembles water/sewer/electric/gas service.  That is, having 20
> people run fiber past your home when you're only going to buy from
> one of them makes no economic sense.  Indeed, we probably wouldn't
> have both cable and DSL service if those were both to the home for
> other reasons already.
> > Explain how the provider of access is supposed to be able to control all
> > of the systems outside it's control to get a specific speed from a
> > content provider. If you are espousing contracts with each content
> > provider, then you will quickly be destroying the Internet.
> That's not exactly what I am proposing; rather I'm proposing we
> (the industry) develop a set of technical specifications and testing
> where we can generally demonstrate this to be the case.  Of course,
> things may happen at any time, this isn't about individual machines,
> or flash mobs.

That's why there isn't much value in them. You can't predict when these
sorts of events are going to happen, so why would you want to
make any sort of illusionary statements about assurances of service.

The Internet is a best effort, not perfect effort, network. It does
it's best with what is available at the time.

There seems to be a fair bit of confusion between access rate and
committed rate - some customers think access rate is committed rate. As
mentioned earlier, because an ISP doesn't control the Internet, they
can't make any committed rate assurances. What they can control is the
access rate, and try to ensure that the access rate, which is dependent
on what the customer is paying, marginally exceeds the common rate they
can deliver to the customer, so that most of the time the customer sees
the value in the bandwidth they've purchased. If there is too big a gap
i.e. the customer never sees their link fully utilised, rather than
occasionally, and hopefully quite often, they'll feel they've been sold
something that isn't being delivered.

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

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