Did Internet Founders Actually Anticipate Paid,

Joe Greco jgreco at ns.sol.net
Thu Sep 16 13:59:23 UTC 2010

> On Sep 16, 2010, at 12:15 AM, George Bonser wrote:
> > I believe a network should be able to sell priotitization at the edge,
> > but not in the core.  I have no problem with Y!, for example, paying a
> > network to be prioritized ahead of bit torrent on the segment to the =
> end
> > user but I do have a problem with networks selling prioritized access
> > through the core as that only gives an incentive to congest the =
> network
> > to create revenue.
> <end user>
> I DO have a problem with a content provider paying to get priority =
> access on the last mile.  I have no particular interest in any of the =
> content that Yahoo provides, but I do have an interest in downloading my =
> Linux updates via torrents.  Should I have to go back and bid against =
> Yahoo just so I can get my packets in a timely fashion?
> </end user>
> I understand that the last mile is going to be a congestion point, but =
> the idea of allowing a bidding war for priority access for that capacity =
> seems to be a path to madness.

Well, that's really the whole problem here.

All of the serious "paid priority access" schemes appear to exist to try
to squeeze money out of the other end of the connection.

You, as a consumer, are already paying your ISP for the privilege of
connecting to the Internet.  It shouldn't be your ISP's role to determine
what your intended use of that connection is.  If you're using it for
VoIP and videoconferencing, you gain no benefit from Yahoo!(*) paying
for "priority" access.  If you use it for VPN into your employer's
corporate network, there's no advantage to Netflix(*) shoving your
packets aside for theirs.  If you use it for torrents for your FreeBSD
updates, etc...

[requoting a bit of the above]
> > I have no problem with Y!, for example, paying a network to be
> > prioritized ahead of bit torrent on the segment to the end user 

I *do* see a problem with prioritizing traffic type A ahead of traffic
type B.  If I'm your customer and you've sold me a 15M/2M circuit, maybe
I plan to use that to access my employer's network via VPN.  Now you 
want to declare my traffic "unworthy" because Yahoo!(*) has paid extra
for "priority"?  So I get "leftovers"?

On one hand, we all recognize oversubscription as an issue.  As an
industry, service providers have worked hard to avoid committing to any
particular service level, especially for end-user products like cable
and DSL.  The usual reasoning is that there's no way to guarantee it 
once it leaves their network.  However, on the other hand, no attempt 
is made to guarantee it even on their network.

What prevents a service provider from saying "We're selling you a
15M/2M circuit, and we guarantee that we've got sufficient capacity
to consistently deliver at least 4M/512K through our network and to
our peers/upstreams?"

If all my neighbors suddenly decide one day to watch YouTube(*) due
to some major event, and YouTube(*) has paid for priority access, and
my 15M circuit suddenly drops to a few tens of kilobits because
everyone else on this leg is competing for bandwidth, and there's more
prioritized traffic than the leg can handle, how is that in any way
a benefit to the consumer?

There are some real risks associated with paid prioritization.

Put it a different way:

[restating the above]
"I have no problem with ${a major drug manufacturer}, for example, 
 paying my doctor to prescribe their products instead of their
 competitor's, even where the competitor's product might be a better
 fit for my medical needs."

Now, really, just think about that for a little while.

(*) All companies listed are just used as hypothetical examples, and 
should not be considered as anything more than that.

... JG
Joe Greco - sol.net Network Services - Milwaukee, WI - http://www.sol.net
"We call it the 'one bite at the apple' rule. Give me one chance [and] then I
won't contact you again." - Direct Marketing Ass'n position on e-mail spam(CNN)
With 24 million small businesses in the US alone, that's way too many apples.

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