Richard Bennett, NANOG posting, and Integrity

Matt Palmer mpalmer at
Mon Jul 28 06:43:00 UTC 2014

On Sun, Jul 27, 2014 at 10:53:51PM -0700, Richard Bennett wrote:
> In fact Netflix is asking to connect to eyeball networks for free:
> " Strong net neutrality additionally prevents ISPs from charging a
> toll for interconnection to services like Netflix, YouTube, or
> Skype, or intermediaries such as Cogent, Akamai or Level 3, to
> deliver the services and data requested by ISP residential
> subscribers. Instead, they must provide sufficient access to their
> network without charge."

The important phrase there is "requested by ISP residential subscribers". 
You will see this material again.

> This isn't the traditional understanding of net neutrality, but this
> is the beauty of murky notions: they can be redefined as the
> fashions change: "You've designed your network to handle the traffic
> demands of web browsing? That's cute, now rebuild it to handle 40
> times more traffic while I sit back and call you a crook for not
> anticipating my innovation."

A more accurate phrasing would be, "You've designed your network to handle
the traffic demands of web browsing, while *telling your customers they can
stream video*?  That's cute, now provision a few more circuits to your
upstreams to handle the traffic that you said you could handle, instead of
trying to leverage your monopoly position to rent-seek off me."

Entrenched monopoly is what this is all about, ultimately.  Nobody in
Australia (my home town) talks about Net Neutrality.  We don't care.  We
don't *have* to care.  Because no ISP over here currently has a sufficiently
captive market to permit them to play chicken with a content provider.  Any
ISP who did, and held their customer base to ransom, would very quickly find
themselves losing customers -- at least that segment of the market that used
the relevant content provider's services.  Perhaps that wouldn't be a bad
thing for the ISP -- less traffic, lower costs, better margins...  but at
least customers would be able to choose.  No such luck in the US, where some
eye-wateringly high percentage of users have no choice in who provides them
a given service.

- Matt

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