Did Internet Founders Actually Anticipate Paid,

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Mon Sep 20 17:43:20 UTC 2010

On Sep 20, 2010, at 8:59 AM, William Herrin wrote:

> On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 2:51 PM, Tony Varriale <tvarriale at comcast.net> wrote:
>>> Of course the high level of oversub is an issue....
>> We'll disagree then.  Oversub makes access affordable.
> Sure, at 10:1. At 100:1, oversub makes the service perform like crap.
> With QOS, it still performs like crap. The difference is that the
> popular stuff is modestly less crappy while all the not-as-popular
> stuff goes from crappy to non-functional.
Only if the QoS is tilted in favor of the popular stuff.  The concern
here isn't QoS in favor of the popular stuff... The concern here
is QoS in favor of one particular brand of service X vs another.
(e.g. Netflix vs. Hulu).

If QoS favors unpopular but more profitable services, it can make
the user experience for those services significantly less crappy
than the competing more popular services and actually drive
shifts in consumer behavior towards the less popular services.

Of course, as this succeeds, it becomes self-defeating over the
long run, but, only if your goal is to provide good service to your

If your goal is to keep your customers spending $minimal per month
and stay attached to your service while using QoS payments from
content providers to drive much larger margins, then, you can
make a circuit through the content providers watching each
one's popularity wax and wane as you screw with their QoS
based on the money you get.

This is very bad for the consumer and, IMHO, should not be allowed.

> In my career I've encountered many QOS implementations. Only one of
> them did more good than harm: a college customer of mine had a T3's
> worth of demand but was only willing to pay for a pair of T1s. In
> other words, the *customer* intentionally chose to operate with a
> badly saturated pipe. QOS targetted only at peer to peer brought the
> rest of the uses back to a more or less tolerable level of
> performance.
You are still making the mistake of assuming that the ISP is interested
primarily in providing good service to their customers. When you move
this from customer-oriented good service model to profit-oriented
model built around keeping the pain threshold just barely within
the consumer's tolerance, it becomes an entirely different game.


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