Net Neutrality...

John Curran jcurran at
Mon Jul 14 14:05:24 UTC 2014

On Jul 13, 2014, at 7:55 AM, Miles Fidelman <mfidelman at> wrote:

> Randy Bush wrote:
>>>> ahhh.   so
>>>>     not government regulated == wild west
>>> lawless, big guys fighting with little guys in the middle == wild west
>> at this point, maybe john curran, who you may remember from nearnet,
>> usually steps in with a good screed on industry self-regulation.
> yeah John, where are you (John and I sat a few doors from each other at one point, way back)

Oh joy, a network neutrality discussion, and it's taking place 1) on nanog, 2) over 
the weekend, and 3) when I no longer run an ISP or a data-center/content-source...
It took some doing, but I was able to quell my urge to respond immediately (being at
the beach with family likely helped enormously... :-)

So the right answer to this entire mess would have been to provide competitive cost-
based access to the underlying facilities (copper, coax, fiber) including associated 
colocation and power services, and consider that justified given the long regulated 
history that made the establishment of the cable plants and rights-of-way possible.  
(Note - we actually had this equal-facility-access framework in the US at one point, 
but it was later "fixed" by a determination that effective competition could be 
provided among service providers of different technologies (e.g. FTTH, cable, dish) 
and that nothing more was needed.  The result was the vertical integration that we 
often see today - from access loop through Internet service and up to and including 
content in many cases.

Attempting to now address this problem (of equitable access to Internet users) via 
regulation of interconnection arrangements may not be very productive in the end; it
is a palliative measure that has potential for great complexity - similar to having 
every gated community in the country file paperwork describing their programs for 
handling of local delivery and pizza companies, and/or any fees for priority access
along the community roads, and all of this despite most of the community's insistence 
that third-party vehicles should just be allowed to pass through.

There generally should be a point of interconnection which allows for settlement-
free handoff of traffic to local customers; the current industry-based "peering 
model" has done a reasonable job of finding such accommodations when they can be 
achieved, even if it does so with only nominal outside visibility.  I understand
the desire for more consistency and public visibility into such industry agreements,
but would have greatly preferred efforts in that area as a prerequisite step (which
would allow for actual data and analysis to be introduced in the discussion) before 
any further measures such as per-agreement regulatory review or formalization of 
tiered priority mechanisms...   Alas, that sort of structured approach is not how 
government generally works, so we're going to go from standstill to "the complete 
solution" in one large leap and have to hope it works out for the best.


Disclaimer: My views alone - I would appreciate not having my packets molested if
            you should happen to disagree with them...  ;-)

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