Did Internet Founders Actually Anticipate Paid, Prioritized Traffic?

Leo Bicknell bicknell at ufp.org
Fri Sep 17 15:17:51 UTC 2010

In a message written on Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 09:28:21PM +0200, sthaug at nethelp.no wrote:
> If you want control: Don't buy the cheapest commodity product.
> Steinar Haug, Nethelp consulting, sthaug at nethelp.no

It may be hard for those in Europe to understand the situation in
the US, so let me explain in real numbers.  I live in an upper-middle
class suburb of a "tier 2" city, large enough it has everything but
not a primary market for anyone.

Due to a combination of geography, legacy, and government regulations
(how licences are granted, specifically) I have two wireline
providers, the local "Cable Company" which is Comcast, and the local
"Telephone Company", which is AT&T (ex SBC territory, if it matters).
There are no land-based wireless (WiFi, LTE, etc) providers in my
area.  I am not considering satellite viable for a number of reasons,
but if you care there are two providers that cover the whole US,
as far as I know.

I'd link directly to the pages with prices, but due to the fact that the
price and service varies with your ZIP code here I can't do that, you
have to fill out a set of forms to even see what you can buy.  Here are
my choices:

  "Performance": 12 down, 2 up with "Powerboost".
                 Norton Security Suite
                 7 e-mails, each with 10GB.
                 $42.95 per month.

  "Performance PLUS": 16 down, 2 up with "Powerboost".
                 Norton Security Suite
                 7 e-mails, each with 10GB.
                 $52.95 per month.

  Both include a single IP assigned via DHCP, you bring your own
  CPE or you can rent from them for a few dollars a month.

AT&T U-Verse:
  "Pro":       3 down   $41
  "Elite":     6 down   $46
  "Max":       12 down  $48
  "Max Plus":  18 down  $58
  "Max Turbo": 24 down  $68

  Note that the only change with each product is speed.  These all
  require the use of AT&T CPE (and thus I added in the $3 they
  charge you for it), and come with the same features the AT&T box
  presents you a private IP space network and does the NAT for you
  with a single outside IP.  Same number of e-mail accounts (but I
  can't find the number listed anywhere).  Also note they don't
  list upload speeds on the web site at all.

NOTE: Both providers offer discounts for bundling with TV or Phone
service, and both offer discounts for the first few months for new
customers, I have left off all of these, comparing regular price to
regular price for Internet only service.

That's it, a total list of my "consumer package" choices.  Comcast
will offer business service, which is the exact same service over
the exact same modems and network, except you can have static IP's
and get priority support for about $25-30 extra.  AT&T won't sell
me business service as I live in a residential neighborhood.

Beyond that my choice is to order a T1, 1.5 symmetric from a "real"
provider.  I can get all the static IP's I want, a real SLA, priority
support, and so on.  I'll have to supply my own CPE, and it will run
somewhere between $700 and $900 a month.

I hope that helps folks outside the US understand the situation here.
There really isn't a lot of choice, 2 providers, and some minor choice
in how much speed you want to pay for with each one.  I hear rumors of
how good it is in Japan, or Korea, or Sweeden, I would love for folks
from those places to post their options.
       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at ufp.org - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at http://www.ufp.org/~bicknell/
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