Did Internet Founders Actually Anticipate Paid, Prioritized Traffic?

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Fri Sep 17 21:43:56 UTC 2010

On Sep 17, 2010, at 1:21 PM, Jack Bates wrote:

> On 9/17/2010 2:08 PM, Owen DeLong wrote:
>> Again, you are talking about symmetry and mistaking that for neutrality.
>> Neutrality is about whether or not everyone faces a consistent set of terms and conditions, not identical service or traffic levels.
> Charging content providers for higher class service is perfectly neutral by your definition. So long as you offered the same class of service to all content providers who wished to pay.
Charging them for higher class service on the circuits which connect directly to them is neutral.
Charging them to effect the profile of the circuits directly connected to your other customers is non-neutral.

>> Neutrality is about letting the customer decide which content they want, not the ISP and expecting the ISP to be a fair broker
>> in connecting customers to content.
> Offering better options to content providers would be perfectly acceptable here, as well, so long as you offer it to all.
Again, nobody is opposing offering better connectivity to content providers. What they are opposing is selling
content providers the right to screw your customers that choose to use said content providers competitors.

>> The former is adding capacity to meet demand. The latter is not effectively adding bandwidth, it is reducing bandwidth for one to
>> reward the other.
> Which is fine, so long as you offer that class of service to all.
You can't offer that class of service to all, and, even if you do, no, it's no neutral when you do it that way.

>> The way this would work in the real world (and what people are objecting to) is that the ISP would transition from
>> 1) 90mb public with no prioritization
>> to
>> 2) 90mb public with N mb prioritized via destination where N is the number of mbps that the destination
>> 	wanted to pay for.
> Except my fictional account follows real world saturation experience historically. What you are giving is considered ideal compared to breaking the 90mb up to allow separate throughput for the service, which I guarantee a provider would do for enough money; given restriction of total available bandwidth.
Total available bandwidth isn't what AT&T is pushing the FCC to allow them to carve up this way.
AT&T is pushing for the right to sell (or select) content providers prioritized bandwidth closer to
the consumer tail-circuit.

>> More importantly, it's not the 90mb public circuits where this is the real concern. The real concern is
>> on the shared customer infrastructure side closer to the end-user where it's, say, 45mbps to the
>> DSLAM going form 45mbps public to 45mbps public with 20mbps prioritized for content-provider-A
>> while users trying to use content-provider-B get a degraded experience compared to A if their
>> neighbors are using A. (Hence my belief that this is already a Sherman Anti-Trust issue).
> I think that only qualifies if content-provider-B doesn't care to pay for such a service, but it is available to them.
What if the service simply isn't available to content-provider-B because content-provider-A is
a relater party to said ISP or said ISP simply chooses not to offer it on a neutral basis?
(Which is exactly what AT&T has stated they want to do.)

>> Neutrality means everyone faces the same odds and the same terms and conditions.
>> It means that amongst the other customers sharing the same ISP infrastructure we are
>> all treated fairly and consistently.
> All customers can access the premium and non-premium content the same. ISP based licensing by content providers seems like a bigger scam.
I'm not sure what you mean by "ISP based licensing by content providers".

>> Apparently not an ISP that I would subscribe to.
> Nope. You'd probably stick with a saturated bandwidth ISP and gripe about net-neutrality because your service is slightly more piss poor than your neighbors when your neighbor happens to go to a premium site and you don't. I'll stick with not having saturation on shared links.
Actually, no. I've got good unsaturated service from both of the ISPs providing
circuits into my house and from the upstreams that I use their circuits to reach
for my real routing.

(I'm unusual... I use Comcast and DSL to provide layer 2 transport to colo
facilities where I have routers. I then use the routers in the colo facilties to
advertise my addresses into BGP and trade my real packets. As far as
Comcast and my DSL provider are concerned, I'm just running a whole
lot of protocol 43 traffic to a very small set of destinations.)

I use the two providers in question because they are, generally, neutral
in their approach and do not play funky QoS games with my traffic.


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