What Net Neutrality should and should not cover

Kristopher Doyen kristopher.doyen at gmail.com
Mon Apr 28 13:22:06 UTC 2014

On Apr 28, 2014 7:37 AM, "Justin M. Streiner" <streiner at cluebyfour.org>
> On Mon, 28 Apr 2014, Rick Astley wrote:
>>> Double-billing Rick. It's just that simple. Paid peering means you're
>> billing two customers for the same byte
>> Where your statement is short sighted I already explained partly in
>> its too difficult to decide who gets a free ride and who gets the bill
so I
>> challenge you to propose an actual policy that prohibits charging for
>> peering that doesn't have major unintended consequences. All in all I am
>> sort of disappointed to find so few rational opinions around here. One of
>> the few decent articles I have read on it is here:
>> I think if you make a law that says all content providers big and small
>> free pipes and the residential subscribers of broadband must pay the tab
>> the cost of broadband in the US compared to the rest of the world
>> skyrocket.
> No one is suggesting that all content providers get a 'free ride', let
alone a legally-mandated free ride.  Giving last-mile providers an implicit
(if not explicit) OK to bill providers whose content happens to be popular
with the last-mile providers' customers sets a horrible precedent.
> Content providers have infrastructure costs, just like last-mile ISPs.
Your arguments seem to ignore that minor point.  Those cost cover different
things than what a last-mile ISP would need to cover, but they have costs
nonetheless.  They either pay other providers to haul their bits to other
networks or they build infrastructure to locations that allow them to peer
with providers.  That could be to a mutually-agreed meet point for private
peering, or it could be to an exchange point to peer with other providers
who have a presence at the same exchange point.
> Look at the Peering DB.  In general, you will see that content networks
have more open peering policies than eyeball networks.  It's in their best
interests to get as topologically close to their consumers as possible.
Some transit networks do the same, but that's a much more variable picture.
> jms

I'm sorry but all this talk of lemonade stands and metaphors is giving me a

It really is a simple case of supply and demand.

You have four actors who may or may not be the same entity ( example:
transit provider who is also your isp ).

1) User

Who shops around to get the best isp who has the access he wants at the
best price.  This user does not need to know about transit and peering
agreements because if they can not get their content they should, in a
perfect world, choose an ISP who will.

2) ISP - For User / Content provider

An ISP should recognize the needs of their customers and seek out the best
relationships that will keep their customers paying them. These
relationships should be formed out of mutual self interest either for pay
or swap arrangements. The ISP should terminate / form new relationships
with other providers that are in the best interest of their customers
because their business should depend on being the best ISP available and
keeping their customer's happy.

3) Transit provider

A transit provider who may or may not be one or both of the ISPs of a user
or content provider. Should form as many interesting and useful
relationships to make themselves attractive to other providers.  If they
aren't providing competitive offers no ISP or other provider would want to
make arrangements with them and their business fails.

4) Content provider

These are the people who have what the users want. Their offerings compel
users to sign up to ISPs which pay for transit who allow access to content.
Content providers should partner themselves with the best ISP(s) or transit
providers that give their content the largest reach to the most users at
the best price. Content providers should use their content and money to
make the best arrangements for their business or it dies. They should not
have to worry about being strong armed for being successful because the
market should be self adjusting. Example: if transfer fees go up and a
better contract can't be sourced or arranged either the content provider
re-thinks their pricing model or their business dies and should die since
it would no longer be sustainable.

In all cases each actor is paying their way making relationships that are
best for their business with the immediate link or links in the chain of
communication for delivering content.

At this point we have to assume it is cost prohibitive for all content
providers to form direct end to end relationships with all or majority of
all users.

Unfortunately this nice friendly free market of opportunity isn't true and
because of that you now have actors starting to abuse their position. Which
based on history shouldn't be a real shock.

In an alarmingly high number of cases a user only has one high speed ISP to
choose from. This allows that ISP to play a game of chicken with everyone.
Since users have lost the right to choose, because of reasons outside of
their control, we are all going to if not already suffering. These type of
single ISP only use cases leads to hard to prove artificial limitations
that lead to arguments that go no where. Example: users who report Netflix
has poor quality of service on their open ISP connection but good quality
of service on a VPN running over that same connection because the VPN's ISP
is running their business correctly.

When last mile ISPs no longer have pressure or over-sight to maintain a
business model that puts user's needs first, because a happy user is a
returning user, you now have an entity who will do anything for a dollar as
long as it can't be proved illegal for the moment. It also completely
removes any incentive to upgrade as such ISP's real product transforms from
the internet connectivity they provide their users to the now locked in
users themselves. I would not be surprised if more money is now being spent
maintaining/ supporting anti-competitive legislation than on network and
infrastructure upgrades/costs.

Transit providers, content providers, and other ISPs should be scared
because if this goes on much longer you will now have the digital
equivalent of the mutually assured destruction (MAD) policy which in the
end everyone loses.

Some points I want to make very clear:

1) Everyone SHOULD pay but no one should be forced to pay twice and their
should be some anti-competitive checks/balance like we have for other areas
of our lives.

2) Last mile ISPs should absolutely use their user base as a bargaining
device only as long as they don't damage or reduce their primary goal which
is to provide said users with internet connectivity.

3) In this day of technology and innovation there should be no reason why a
user can't have choices. Plenty of regions have found a way to share. At
the very least local government should work with their population to find a
solution that suits their needs first and not only a private for-profit
entity. This may be through offering incentives, fair access policies, or
even full blown installs that anyone can offer service over.


More information about the NANOG mailing list