Observations of an Internet Middleman (Level3)

Scott Helms khelms at zcorum.com
Fri May 16 18:51:55 UTC 2014


You're correct that some applications are being restricted, but AFAIK in
North America they are all being restricted for quite valid network
management reasons.  While back in the day I ran Sendmail and sometimes
qmail on my home connection I was also responsible with my mail server and
more importantly the world was different.  The threat from an open relay or
mail server with a compromise is much higher, in part because the speeds
are higher, but also because the attackers are more sophisticated and the
hardware the mail server is running on is much more powerful.  P2P is _not_
being blocked legally anywhere and if you believe that it is then you
should complain to the FCC in the US or the CRTC in Canada.  Running a DNS
or NTP server that's open to the Internet on a home connection should NOT
be allowed.  I'm sorry if you're one of the few people who can run those
services effectively and safely (just like SMTP) but the vast majority of
customers can't and in most cases they aren't running them intentionally.

I won't get into marketing, that's not what I do and I agree that unlimited
seems to mean something other than the way I understand it but that's no
different from unlimited telephone service, all you can eat buffets, or
just about anywhere else you can see the word "unlimited" or all in
marketing.  I'd also like to see much more competition in the market and
that's one the things I work to accomplish.

Scott Helms
Vice President of Technology
(678) 507-5000

On Fri, May 16, 2014 at 2:38 PM, Laszlo Hanyecz <laszlo at heliacal.net> wrote:

> I'd just like to point out that a lot of people are in fact using their
> upstream capability, and the operators always throw a fit and try to cut
> off specific applications to force it back into the idle state.  For
> example P2P things like torrents and most recently the open NTP and DNS
> servers.  How about SMTP?  Not sure about you guys but my local broadband
> ISP has cut me off and told me that my 'unlimited internet' is in fact
> limited.  The reality is that those people who are not using it (99.8%?)
> are just being ripped off - paying for something they were told they need,
> thinking that it's there when they want it, then getting cut off when they
> actually try to use it.
> It's not like whining about it here will change anything, but the prices
> are severely distorted.  Triple play packages are designed to force people
> to pay for stuff they don't need or want - distorting the price of a
> service hoping to recover it elsewhere, then if the gamble doesn't pan out,
> the customer loses again.  The whole model is based on people buying stuff
> that they won't actually come to collect, so then you can sell it an
> infinite number of times.  The people who do try to collect what was sold
> to them literally end up getting called names and cut off - terms like
> "excessive bandwidth user" and "network abuser" are used to describe paying
> customers.  With regard to the peering disputes, it's hardly surprising
> that their business partners are treated with the same attitude as their
> customers.  Besides, if you cut off the customers and peers who are causing
> that saturation, then the existing peering links can support an infinite
> number of idle subscribers.  The next phase is usage-based-billing which is
> kind of like having to pay a fine for using it, so they can artificially
> push the price point lower and hopefully get some more idle customers.
>  That will help get the demand down and keep the infrastructure nice and
> idle.  When you're paying for every cat video maybe you realize you can
> live without it instead.
> Everyone has been trained so well, they don't even flinch anymore when
> they hear about "over subscription", and they apologize for the people who
> are doing it to them.  The restaurant analogy is incorrect - you can go to
> the restaurant next door if a place is busy, thus they have pressure to
> increase their capacity if they want to sell more meals.  With broadband
> you can't go anywhere else, (for most people) there's only one restaurant,
> and there's a week long waiting list.  If you don't like it, you're
> probably an abuser or excessive eater anyway.
> -Laszlo
> On May 16, 2014, at 5:34 PM, Scott Helms <khelms at zcorum.com> wrote:
> > Michael,
> >
> > No, its not too much to ask and any end user who has that kind of
> > requirement can order a business service to get symmetrical service but
> the
> > reality is that symmetrical service costs more and the vast majority of
> > customers don't use the upstream capacity they have today.  I have
> personal
> > insight into about half a million devices and the percentage of people
> who
> > bump up against their upstream rate is less than 0.2%.  I have the
> ability
> > to get data on another 10 million and the last time I checked their rates
> > were similar.
> >
> > This kind of question has been asked of operators since long before cable
> > companies could offer internet service.  What happens if everyone in an
> > area use their telephone (cellular or land line) at the same time?  A
> fast
> > busy or recorded "All circuits are busy message."  Over subscription is a
> > fact of economics in virtually everything we do.  By this logic
> restaurants
> > should be massively over built so that there is never a waiting line,
> > highways should always be a speed limit ride, and all of these things
> would
> > cost much more money than they do today.
> >
> >
> > Scott Helms
> > Vice President of Technology
> > ZCorum
> > (678) 507-5000
> > --------------------------------
> > http://twitter.com/kscotthelms
> > --------------------------------
> >
> >
> > On Sun, Apr 27, 2014 at 8:21 PM, Michael Thomas <mike at mtcc.com> wrote:
> >
> >> Scott Helms wrote:
> >>
> >>> Mark,
> >>>
> >>> Bandwidth use trends are actually increasingly asymmetical because of
> the
> >>> popularity of OTT video.
> >>>
> >>
> >> Until my other half decides to upload a video.
> >>
> >> Is it too much to ask for a bucket of bits that I can use in whichever
> >> direction happens
> >> to be needed at the moment?
> >>
> >> Mike
> >>

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