Inevitable death, was Re: Verizon Public Policy on Netflix

Owen DeLong owen at
Thu Jul 17 11:37:46 UTC 2014

On Jul 14, 2014, at 21:21 , Brett Glass <nanog at> wrote:

> Mike:
> An ASN is, literally, just a number. One that's used by a very awkward and primitive routing system that requires constant babysitting and tweaking and, after lo these many years, still doesn't deliver the security or robustness it should. Obtaining this token number (and a bunch of IP addresses which is no different, qualitatively, from what I already have) would be a large expense that would not produce any additional value for my customers but could force me to raise their fees -- something which I absolutely do not want to do.

Interesting... I, and many of my customers, have ASNs and are running BGP and haven't had to tweak or babysit it for years. It just cruises along doing the right thing.

Generally, we only have to modify it when we add/move/change a peering and/or transit relationship.

> Perhaps it's best to think of it this way: I'm outsourcing some backbone routing functions to my upstreams, which (generously) aren't charging me anything extra to do it. In my opinion, that's a good business move.

That's fine, and from the rest of the world's perspective, your network is just another part of their network. You are invisible and irrelevant.

> As for "peering:" the definition is pretty well established. ISPs do it; content providers at the edge do not.

I disagree. Many content and eyeball networks engage in a variety of forms of peering in various situations and for various reasons. The definition of "peering" is an exterior gateway protocol adjacency formed between two routers in different autonomous systems. (note, I use the term exterior gateway protocol in the generic sense, where BGP is the most prominent example du jour, not to specifically refer to the now antiquated EGP of days gone by).

> Netflix is fighting a war of semantics and politics with ISPs. It is trying to cling to every least penny it receives and spend none of it on the resources it consumes or on making its delivery of content more efficient. We have been in conversations with it in which we've asked only for it to be equitable and pay us the same amount per customer as it pays other ISPs, such as Comcast (since, after all, they should be just as valuable to it). It has refused to do even that much. That's why talks have, for the moment, broken down and we are looking at other solutions.

Nope... Netflix is trying to help their customers and make it as easy as they reasonably can for the eyeball networks that serve those customers.

Some less than scrupulous eyeball networks seem to be fighting a war to try and extort Netflix to subsidize their operations, and you have thus placed yourself in some interesting and dubious company by attempting to carry out a similar attempt at extortion. Perhaps you are emboldened by the success of one or more of these very large eyeball networks into thinking that this is how the world should operate. Perhaps something else drives your beliefs.

Either way, I suspect that if your entire subscriber base disappeared from Netflix' customer roles, they would barely notice, if at all. OTOH, I suspect you get fairly regular complaints from your customers because you don't provide adequate bandwidth to enough of the internet to include reliable functional access to Netflix as part of your product line.

Regardless of what you say in the fine print, your customers are expecting that they are buying access to the entire internet, including Netflix. They're asking for those packets from Netflix and once Netflix gets them to the front door of one or more of the ASNs advertising your customer's network numbers, Netflix has done their job. From there, your customers have paid you to take those bits and deliver them. Your failure to do so is just that... Your failure. Trying to get Netflix to help compensate you for a business model that doesn't provide sufficient revenue to correct the situation is absurd at best.


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