Did Internet Founders Actually Anticipate Paid, Prioritized Traffic?

Nathan Eisenberg nathan at atlasnetworks.us
Fri Sep 17 19:05:00 UTC 2010

> It's a matter of viewpoint. It's convenient to talk about net-neutrality when it's
> scoped, but not when we widen the scope. Customer A gets better service than
> Customer B because he want to a site that had prioritization. Never mind that
> while they fight over the saturated link, Customer C beat both of them because
> he was on a separate segment that wasn't saturated. All 3 paid the same
> amount of money. C > A > B, yet C doesn't fall into this net-neutrality
> discussion, and the provider, who wants to keep customers, has more C
> customers than A, and more A customers than B, so B is the most expendable.

It's convenient to talk about NN when we're talking about NN, and not about the ethical implications of peering with Comcast but not with ATT.  There are things that NN is, and there are things that it isn't.  There are a good deal of ethical and emotional issues involved, and while they're interesting to opine about, they're difficult to successfully argue.

However, from a purely technical perspective, your above example illustrates my point.  Customer A and B both lose.  Why?  Because prioritization and destination based discrimination are not real solutions.  Capacity is.  Customer A and B have saturation and discrimination.  Customer C has capacity.  Want to keep A and B (and your reputation)?  Add capacity.

> My viewpoint is that of an ISP, and as such, I think of net-neutrality at a level
> above some last mile that's saturated at some other ISP.

I have the same point of view but it appears that we disagree anyways.  It must be the case that the perspective does not define the opinion.  Appreciated the thinly veiled appeal to authority, though.

Capacity is cheap.  Discriminatory traffic management for-profit is a fantastically expensive way of killing off your customer base in exchange for short-term revenue opportunities.

You MUST construct additional pylons, or the guy that does WILL take your customers.


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