Did Internet Founders Actually Anticipate Paid, Prioritized Traffic?

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Fri Sep 17 18:27:34 UTC 2010

On Sep 17, 2010, at 2:52 AM, Nathan Eisenberg wrote:

>> True net-neutrality means no provider can have a better service than another.
> This statement is not true - or at least, I am not convinced of its truth.  True net neutrality means no provider will artificially de-neutralize their service by introducing destination based priority on congested links.
>> This totally screws with private peering and the variety of requirements, as well
>> as special services (such as akamai nodes). Many of these cases aren't about
>> saturation, but better connectivity between content provider and ISP. Adding
>> money or QOS to the equation is just icing on the cake.
>> From a false assumption follows false conclusions.  
> Why do you feel it's true that net-neutrality treads on private (or even public) peering, or content delivery platforms?  In my understanding, they are two separate topics: Net (non)-neutrality is literally about prioritizing different packets on the *same* wire based on whether the destination or source is from an ACL of IPs.  IE this link is congested, Netflix sends me a check every month, send their packets before the ones from Hulu and Youtube.  The act of sending traffic down a different link directly to a peers' network does not affect the neutrality of either party one iota - in fact, it works to solve the congested link problem (Look!  Adding capacity fixed it!).
> The ethics of path distances, peering relationships and vector routing, while interesting, are out of scope in a discussion of neutrality.  An argument which makes this a larger issue encompassing peering and vector routing is, in my opinion, either a straw man or a red herring (depending on how well it's presented) attempt to generate a second technoethical issue in order to defeat the first one.
> Nathan

A big part of the problem here is that net neutrality has been given a variety
of definitions, some of which I agree with, some of which I don't...

Here are my understanding of some of the definitions (along with my
basic opinion of each):

1.	All potential peers are treated equally.
	(As much as I'd like to see this happen, it isn't realistic to expect
	it will happen and any imaginable attempt at legislating it will
	do more harm than good).

2.	Traffic is not artificially prioritized on congested links due to
	subsidies from the source or destination. Note: This does
	not include prioritization requested by the link customer.
	(I think that it is important to have this for the internet to continue
	as a tool for the democratization of communication. I think that
	this will require legislative protection).

3.	Net neutrality requires an open peering policy.
	(Personally, I am a fan of open peering policies. However, a network
	should have the freedom of choice to implement whatever peering
	policy they wish.)

I'm sure there are more definitions floating around. People are welcome
to comment on them. These are the ones I have seen take hold amongst
various community stakeholders.


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