Did Internet Founders Actually Anticipate Paid, Prioritized Traffic?

William Herrin bill at herrin.us
Mon Sep 20 15:11:26 UTC 2010

On Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 1:44 PM, Michael Sokolov
<msokolov at ivan.harhan.org> wrote:
> Ditto with CLECs like Covad-now-MegaPath: even though they don't get
> access to the FTTN infrastructure, no telco is evicting their legacy CO
> presence.  Therefore, if a kooky customer like me wishes to forego fiber
> speeds and prefers the slower all-copper solution, I can still get SDSL
> from the CLEC, and the ILEC (AT&T) will be required to provide a direct
> copper pair from that CLEC's cage inside the CO to the customer premise,
> no matter how much they wish for these copper pairs to die.

As I understand it, that's not quite true. The ILEC is only required
to provide a copper pair to a CLEC as an unbundled element IF ONE IS
AVAILABLE. The ILEC has no deadline for installing new copper for the
CLEC, only the requirement that the CLEC gets the next one available.
If you think about it, it's obvious why: unbundling was intended to
require ILECs to share in the businesses in which they already engage,
not enter or remain in businesses they don't want to be in.

And of course when Verizon installs Fios, they remove the old copper
pairs so that they're no longer available for use. After all, Verizon
wants to retire the copper infrastructure as quickly as possible so
they can quit maintaining it.

There are some games one can play. You can order an then cancel a
service from the ILEC that would require them to install new copper,
and that'll sometimes induce the copper installation that the CLEC
needs to have their outstanding order. But that doesn't always work.
It gets...  labyrinthine.

> if a kooky customer like me wishes to forego fiber
> speeds and prefers the slower all-copper solution,

Of course, if the companies were required to unbundle *all* of the
physical path elements (including fiber) we might not need a network
neutrality debate. Sadly, the cable companies' technology does not
easily unbundle and it would probably be unfair to require the telcos
to unbundle when the same burden isn't placed on the cable companies.

So, the debate moves to a different chokepoint where both technologies
can be treated the same: packet treatment.

Bill Herrin

William D. Herrin ................ herrin at dirtside.com  bill at herrin.us
3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/>
Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

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