What Net Neutrality should and should not cover

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Tue Apr 29 16:36:50 UTC 2014

On Apr 28, 2014, at 12:13 PM, Miles Fidelman <mfidelman at meetinghouse.net> wrote:

> Barry Shein wrote:
>> I think the problem is simply a lack of competition and the rise of,
>> in effect, vertical trusts. That is, content providers also
>> controlling last-mile services.
>> What exists is rife with conflict of interest and unfair market
>> power. Particularly in that wire-plants are generally protected
>> monopolies or small-N oligopolies.
>> The wire-plant* operators and content providers need to be separated
>> and competition needs to be mandated by allowing easy and fair access
>> to wire-plants.
>> Wire-plant operators should be closely regulated. Content providers
>> should not, in general, be regulated.
>> * Which of course may not involve any actual wires but it's a term of
>> art, L1/L2 if you prefer.
> I kind of think Layer 3 - metropolitan area IP carriage seems to be where the issues converge.  Somehow the notion of multiple IP providers, operating across unbundled fiber, doesn’t seem to work out in practice.

It’s working quite well in areas where it’s been tried in earnest.

> Yes, there are a few municipal networks that provide Ethernet VPNs as the basic block of unbundled service - with multiple players providing various Internet (IP), video, and voice services on their own VPNs; and there are some networks, particularly in Canada, where the unit of unbundling is a wavelength, on a common fiber/conduit plant; but in most cases, economies of scale seem to dictate a single IP-layer fabric for a geographic area. (Think campus and enterprise networks.)

If you build out a fiber plant with home runs to colocation facilities where providers can meet subscriber lines, the economies of scale can generally work and do in some areas.

While active ethernet to the subscriber isn’t necessarily viable, GPON with the splitter at the MMR is just as viable as GPON with the splitter in the neighborhood. This was, in fact, discussed at length a while back on this very list.


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