Verizon Public Policy on Netflix
mfidelman at meetinghouse.net
Fri Jul 11 00:53:02 UTC 2014
Jay Ashworth wrote:
> Here's a link to a post from VZN's public policy blog, about Netflix.
> Now, just as a matter of principle, I tend to assume that anything VZN
> says in public is a self-serving lie based on a poor understanding of the
> Real World... but I did in fact read it.
> The money quote:
> One might wonder why Netflix and its transit providers were the only ones
> that ran into congestion issues. What it boils down to is this: these other
> transit and content providers took steps to ensure that there was adequate
> capacity for their traffic to enter our network.
> "their traffic".
> What, Verizon: Netflix is just sending you that traffic uninvited?
> No: that's *your customers traffic*. You *knew* that there would be
> asymmetrical amounts of traffic flowing downhill to your customers,
> *or you wouldn't have provisioned nearly uniformly asymmetrical last
> mile links to them*.
Let me preface this by saying that I'm in no way an apologist for
Verizon - I've spent a lot of my life in the municipal networking world,
and Verizon's lobbying against muncipal fiber builds makes them the
enemy in many regards. But, as a FIOS customer, I'm impressed by their
levels of service, and as a network engineer and policy wonk it seems
only fair to point out the following:
Verizon is claiming that delays between Netflix and FIOS customers
result from a) the transit network between Netflix and Verizon being
congested, and/or b) the connection between the transit network and
Verizon is congested.
A little experimentation validates this: Traffic from my FIOS home
router flows through alter.net and xo.net before hitting netflix. Now
alter.net is now owned by Verizon, but when I run traceroutes, I see all
the delays starting halfway through XO's network -- so why is nobody
pointing a finger at XO?
I'll also note that traffic to/from google, and youtube (also google of
course) seems to flow FIOS - alter.net - google -- with no delays. So
again, why aren't Netflix and Verizon pointing their fingers at XO.
This is the classic asymmetric peering situation - which raises a
legitimate question of who's responsible for paying for the costs of
transit service and interconnections?
And, of course, one might ask why Netflix isn't buying a direct feed
into either alter.net or FIOS POPs, and/or making use of a caching
network like Akamai, as many other large traffic sources do on a routine
Personally, I think Netflix is screwing the pooch on this one, and
pointing the finger at Verizon as a convenient fall guy.
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is. .... Yogi Berra
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