symmetric vs. asymmetric [was: Verizon Policy Statement on Net Neutrality]

N. Max Pierson nmaxpierson at
Tue Mar 3 04:50:32 UTC 2015

I don't usually chime in on the list, but since this seems to be another
hot item, i'll pitch in my $0.005 (since the $$ has been going up these

IIRC the entire reason we have asymmetry to begin with is because it was
created to resolve an issue with older ADSL hardware. I believe the reason
it gave such great benefits at the time of faster downloads while not so
good downloads is because simply of the power used in each direction (it
takes more power to send than receive delivering farther distances, etc).
So in this sense, telecoms decided that if you wanted to use both sides of
your connection, you're a "Business Class" user that needed to upload
something with download like speeds. Then as cable operators see the
telecom vendors charge for it in this very fashion, they decide it's a
great idea to charge for it so that they can stay "competitive" (cable also
had these issues but have long since been resolved).

So it would seem that there ARE legitimate complaints from those who do not
want to be in a "Business Class" service just because they want to have the
ability to upload content just as they download content. Regardless of the
amount, this is something that has been complained about for quite a long

Times have changed, infrastructure _should_ be upgraded by now for major
transport operators, Tier-1/2 carriers, all the way down to last mile (i
realize many rural places being worked on). Asymmetry needs to die just
like the equipment will, thus the non-sense charges, etc.

The only ones still fighting for asymmetry in this conversation are the
ones that stand to make money from it. Technical perspective says this is a
non-issue and symmetry is how it works by default anywhere inside of
"Business Class".


On Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 10:06 PM, Chuck Church <chuckchurch at> wrote:

>         Since this has turned into a discussion on upload vs download
> speed, figured I'd throw in a point I haven't really brought up.  For the
> most part, uploading isn't really a time-sensitive activity to the general
> (as in 99% of the ) public.  Uploading a bunch of facebook photos, you hit
> upload, and then expect it to take x amount of time.  Could be 30 seconds,
> could be 30 minutes.  Everyone expects that wait.  Sending a large email
> attachment, you hit send, and then get back to doing something else.  There
> just aren't that many apps out there that have a dependence on
> time-sensitive upload performance.
>          On download, of course no wants to see buffering on their cat
> videos or watching Netflix.  Thus the high speed download.  Honesty, I'm
> willing to bet that even a random sampling of NANOG people would show their
> download data quantity to be 10x what their upload quantity is in a day.
> For average users, probably much more than 10x.  Why some folks are
> insisting upload is vital just can't be true for normal home users.
>         Those households trying to do 5 simultaneous Skype sessions aren't
> typical.
> Chuck

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