Binge On! - And So This is Net Neutrality?

Tony Hain alh-ietf at
Thu Nov 26 20:44:28 UTC 2015

Keenan Tims wrote:
> To: nanog at
> Subject: Re: Binge On! - And So This is Net Neutrality?
> I'm surprised you're supporting T-Mob here Owen. To me it's pretty
> clear: they are charging more for bits that are not streaming video.
> That's not neutral treatment from a policy perspective, and has no basis in
> the cost of operating the network.

I have no visibility into what the line
"T‐Mobile will work with content providers to ensure that our networks work together to properly"
actually means, but they could/should be using this as a tool to drive content sources to IPv6. 

Trying to explain to consumers why an unlimited data plan only works for a tiny subset of content is a waste of energy. Picking a category and "encouraging" that content to move, then after the time limit, pick the next category, rinse/repeat, is a way to move traffic away from the 6/4 nat infrastructure without having to make a big deal about the IP version to the consumer, and at the same time remove "it costs too much" complaints from the sources. If I were implementing such a plan, I would walk the list of traffic sources based on volume to move traffic as quickly as possible, so it makes perfect sense to me that they would start with video.


> Granted, the network itself is neutral, but the purported purpose of NN in
> my eyes is twofold: take away the influence of the network on user and
> operator behaviour, and encourage an open market in network services
> (both content and access). Allowing zero-rating based on *any* criteria
> gives them a strong influence over what the end users are going to do with
> their network connection, and distorts the market for network services.
> What makes streaming video special to merit zero-rating?
> I like Clay's connection to the boiling frog. Yes, it's "nice" for most
> consumers now, but it's still distorting the market.
> I'm also not seeing why they have to make this so complicated. If they can
> afford to zero-rate high-bandwidth services like video and audio streaming,
> clearly there is network capacity to spare. The user behaviour they're
> encouraging with free video streaming is *precisely* what the incumbents
> claimed was causing congestion to merit throttling a few years ago, and still
> to this day whine about constantly. I don't have data, but I would expect
> usage of this to align quite nicely with their current peaks.
> Why not just raise the caps to something reasonable or make it unlimited
> across the board? I could even get behind zero-rating all 'off-peak-hours'
> use like we used to have for mobile voice; at least that makes sense for the
> network. What they're doing though is product differentiation where none
> exists; in fact the zero-rating is likely to cause more load on the system than
> just doubling or tripling the users'
> caps. That there seems to be little obvious justification for it from a network
> perspective makes me vary wary.
> Keenan
> On 2015-11-23 18:05, Owen DeLong wrote:
> >
> >> On Nov 23, 2015, at 17:28 , Baldur Norddahl
> <baldur.norddahl at> wrote:
> >>
> >> On 24 November 2015 at 00:22, Owen DeLong <owen at>
> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Are there a significant number (ANY?) streaming video providers
> >>> using UDP to deliver their streams?
> >>>
> >>
> >> What else could we have that is UDP based? Ah voice calls. Video calls.
> >> Stuff that requires low latency and where TCP retransmit of stale
> >> data is bad. Media without buffering because it is real time.
> >>
> >> And why would a telco want to zero rate all the bandwidth heavy media
> >> with certain exceptions? Like not zero rating media that happens to
> >> compete with some of their own services, such as voice calls and video
> calls.
> >>
> >> Yes sounds like net neutrality to me too (or not!).
> >>
> >> Regards,
> >>
> >> Baldur
> >
> > All T-Mobile plans include unlimited 128kbps data, so a voice call is
> > effectively already zero-rated for all practical purposes.
> >
> > I guess the question is: Is it better for the consumer to pay for
> > everything equally, or, is it reasonable for carriers to be able to
> > give away some free data without opening it up to everything?
> >
> > To me, net neutrality isn’t as much about what you charge the customer
> > for the data, it’s about whether you prioritize certain classes of
> > traffic to the detriment of others in terms of service delivery.
> >
> > If T-Mobile were taking money from the video streaming services or
> > only accepting certain video streaming services, I’d likely agree with
> > you that this is a neutrality issue.
> >
> > However, in this case, it appears to me that they aren’t trying to
> > give an advantage to any particular competing streaming video service
> > over the other, they aren’t taking money from participants in the program,
> and consumers stand to benefit from it.
> >
> > If you see an actual way in which it’s better for everyone if T-Mobile
> > weren’t doing this, then please explain it. If not, then this strikes
> > me as harmless and overall benefits consumers.
> >
> > Owen
> >

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