Did Internet Founders Actually Anticipate Paid, Prioritized Traffic?

Chris Woodfield rekoil at semihuman.com
Thu Sep 16 18:35:51 UTC 2010

On Sep 16, 2010, at 10:57 07AM, George Bonser wrote:
> Hi Chris,
> Since prioritization would work ONLY when the link us saturated
> (congested), without it, nothing is going to work well, not your
> torrents, not your email, not your browsing.  By prioritizing the
> traffic, the torrents might back off but they would still continue to
> flow, they wouldn't be completely blocked, they would just slow down.
> QoS can be a good thing for allowing your VIOP to work while someone
> else in the home is watching a streaming movie or something.  Without
> it, everything breaks once the circuit is congested.

Your statement misses the point, which is, *who* gets to decide what traffic is prioritized? And will that prioritization be determined by who is paying my carrier for that prioritization, potentially against my own preferences? For some damn reason, I might *prefer* that my torrent traffic get prioritized over, say, email. Or, I might not appreciate the eventuality that a stream I'm watching on hulu.com stutters because my neighbor's watching a movie on Netflix and it just happens that Netflix has paid my carrier for prioritized traffic.

The other point, as mentioned previously, is that paid prioritization doesn't mean a thing unless there's congestion to be managed. It's not a far stretch to see exec-level types seeing the potential financial benefits to, well, ensuring that such congestion does show up in their network in order to create the practical incentives for paid prioritization.


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