What Net Neutrality should and should not cover

Nick B nick at pelagiris.org
Sun Apr 27 14:04:41 UTC 2014

The current scandal is not about peering, it is last mile ISP double
On Apr 27, 2014 2:05 AM, "Rick Astley" <jnanog at gmail.com> wrote:

> Without the actual proposal being published for review its hard to know the
> specifics but it appears that it prohibits blocking and last mile tinkering
> of traffic (#1). What this means to me is ISP's can't block access to a
> specific website like alibaba and demand ransom from subscribers to access
> it again. I do not know if this provision would also include prohibiting
> intentionally throttling traffic on a home by home basis (#2) and holding
> services to the same kind of random is also prohibited but I think this too
> would be a far practice to prohibit. Bits are bits.
> From the routers article (
> http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/23/us-usa-fcc-internet-idUSBREA3M1H020140423
> )
> and elsewhere it seems what the proposal does not outlaw is paid
> peering
> and perhaps use of QoS on networks.
> #3 On paid peering:
> I think this is where people start to disagree but I don't see what should
> be criminal about paid peering agreements. More specifically, I see serious
> problems once you outlaw paid peering and then look at the potential
> repercussions that would have. Clearly it would not be fair to for only the
> largest content providers to be legally mandated as settlement free peers
> because that would leave smaller competitors out in the cold. The only fair
> way to outlaw paid peering would be to do it across the board for all
> companies big and small. This would be everyone from major content
> providers to my uncle to sells hand runs a website to sell hand crafted
> chairs. This would have major sweeping repercussions for the Internet as we
> know it over night.
> I think it makes sense to allow companies to work it out as long as the
> prices charged aren't unreasonably high based on market prices for data.
> This means if 2 ISP's with similar networks want to be settlement free they
> can. If ISP's want to charge for transit they can, and if ISP's want to
> charge CDN's to deliver data they can. Typically the company with the
> disproportional amount of costs of carrying the traffic would charge the
> other company but really it should be up to the companies involved to
> decide. Based on the post by Tom Wheeler from the FCC (
> http://www.fcc.gov/blog/setting-record-straight-fcc-s-open-internet-rules)
> it sounds like if this pricing is "commercially unreasonable" (ie
> extortion) they will step in. Again I think this is fair.
> #4 On QoS (ie fast lane?):
> In some of the articles I skimmed there was a lot of talk about fast lane
> traffic but what this sounds like today would be known as QoS and
> classification marking that would really only become a factor under
> instances of congestion. The tech bloggers and journalists all seems to be
> unanimously opposed to this but I admit I am sort of scratching my head at
> the outrage over something that has been in prevalent use on many major
> networks for several years. I don't see this as the end of the Internet as
> we know it that now seems to essentially be popular opinion on the issue.
> Numerous businesses are using QoS to protect things like voice traffic and
> business critical or emergency traffic from being impacted in a failure
> scenario. In modern day hyper converged networks where pretty soon even
> mobile voice traffic could be VoIP over a data network prohibiting the use
> of all QoS seems irresponsible.
> The larger question is, is it fair for ISP's to charge people to be in a
> priority other than "best effort"?  To answer a question with a question,
> if an ISP is using a priority other than "best effort" for some of its own
> traffic is it fair if a peer with a competing service is only best effort
> delivery? This is sort of akin to Comcast not counting its own video
> service against the ~250G/month cap of subscribers but counting off network
> traffic against it. In theory if some of an ISP's own services are able to
> use higher than best effort priority the same should be available to the
> business they are selling service to. If they go completely out of their
> way to intentionally congest the network to force people into needing a
> higher than best effort classification I would think it should fall into
> what the FCC calls "commercially unreasonable" and thus be considered a
> violation. So again, I think this is fair.
> I have numbered the items I mentioned from 1-4 being
> #1. Blocking
> #2. per household (last mile) rate limiting of a service (though rate
> limiting at all anywhere should probably be up for discussion so #2.5)
> #3. The legality of paid peering
> #4. The legality of QoS (unless fast lane is something else I don't
> understand).
> Feel free to augment the list.

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