S.Korea broadband firm sues Netflix after traffic surge

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Wed Oct 6 19:34:37 UTC 2021

The bottom line problem is that we have allowed vertical integration to allow
the natural monopoly that exists in last mile infrastructure in most locations to
be leveraged into an effective full-stack monopoly for those same players.

Lack of competition in the last-mile/eyeball space has allowed larger monopoly
eyeball providers to leverage double-payment for the same traffic, extorting
eyeballs that have no alternative to pay them to deliver the content while
simultaneously turning around and extorting the content providers themselves
to be allowed to reach “their customers”.

While monopoly $CABLECO/$DSLTELCO/$GPONPROVIDER can generally
get away making access problematic for a handful of content providers for
short periods of time, no content provider can really absorb the losses associated
with allowing that situation to continue, thus giving the content providers

Unfortunately for the content providers, newer laws and lower costs to provide
higher bandwidth are making WISPs a viable competitor in both rural and
metropolitan settings. Consumers are catching on to this and telling the more
traditional ISPs that they now have a choice and the ISPs will have to up their
game to keep their business, so finally progress is being made, which is
removing that leverage from the previously monopoly providers on both
the consumer and the content provider side of that equation.

Obviously, ISPs don’t like this and the monopoly ones being not in the
communications business, but rather operating as a law firm with some
switching infrastructure will attempt to use legislation, PUC, and courts
as weapons to try and preserve the status quo.

I’m hopeful that the Korean courts will see SK’s shakedown for what it is
and toss it in summary judgment (or whatever the Korean equivalent is)
with costs and attorneys’ fees awarded to Netflix. I’m hoping that this will
also send a clear message to other ISPs contemplating such extortive

OTOH, I admit I will watch in amusement if SK’s customers trying to play
Netflix videos are only able to watch in 480p after viewing a brief video
explaining that the video they are about to watch is degraded courtesy
of SK’s business practices (obviously with appropriate details).


> On Oct 1, 2021, at 11:24 , Joshua Pool via NANOG <nanog at nanog.org> wrote:
> I think instances where the end ISP is peered directly with Netflix and demands more money is not valid at all.  That should be normal cost of doing business to increase capacity as the consumer demand grows.
> The topic of interest is instances where the ISP is not directly peered with Netflix and uses upstream providers and those providers are trying to make content providers absorb the cost of increasing peering capacity for services that traverse their infrastructure.
> One could make the argument that Tier1's should never be the choke point as they should be keeping up with the times and be proactively increasing capacity.
> One could also note that it's 2021 and Cogent and Hurricane Electric are still not peered.
> On Fri, Oct 1, 2021 at 10:47 AM Blake Hudson <blake at ispn.net <mailto:blake at ispn.net>> wrote:
> On 10/1/2021 11:23 AM, Sean Donelan wrote:
> >
> >
> > In the old days, postal services used to charge the recipient of a 
> > letter to deliver the letter. Then stamps were invented, and postal 
> > services charged the sender of the letter, and the recipent got free 
> > delivery.
> >
> > Now there is free-shipping, and pre-paid return envelopes for DVDs.
> >
> > Of course, the shipping isn't really "Free."  Its built into the cost 
> > of goods sold.
> >
> > There is no universal, fixed, unchangable way of allocating business 
> > costs.
> >
> True. But when the sender has already paid the stamp to their courier to 
> deliver the bits on their leg of the journey, and the recipient has 
> already paid a stamp to deliver the bits on their leg of the journey, 
> what case does the recipient's courier have to demand additional payment 
> from the sender (lest the package get lost)? The stamp has already been 
> paid. TWICE! Withholding service until additional payments are made just 
> smells like extortion.

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