S.Korea broadband firm sues Netflix after traffic surge

Matthew Petach mpetach at netflight.com
Sun Oct 10 19:33:02 UTC 2021

On Sun, Oct 10, 2021 at 12:12 PM Doug Barton <dougb at dougbarton.us> wrote:

> On 10/1/21 7:45 AM, Mark Tinka wrote:
> > The reason Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, e.t.c., all built their
> > own global backbones is because of this nonsense that SK Broadband is
> > trying to pull with Netflix. At some point, the content folk will get
> > fed up, and go build it themselves. What an opportunity infrastructure
> > cost itself!
> Except that Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon all caved to SK's demands:

I will note that my $previous_employer was a top-10 web content provider
that did *not* pay SK Broadband.  Not all the content providers caved
to SKB.

> One incentive I haven't seen anyone mention is that ISPs don't want to
> charge customers what it really costs to provide them access. If you're
> the only one in your market that is doing that, no one is going to sign
> up because your pricing would be so far out of line with your competition.

That's a problem with your (collective) business model, then.

If you sell something for less than it costs to make, it's called a
loss-leader; and while you can do it for a little while, you'll get
very little sympathy if people take advantage of it to drain your

If you sell a service for less than it costs to provide, simply
based on the hopes that people won't actually *use* it, that's
called "gambling", and I have very little sympathy for businesses
that gamble and lose.

> Given that issue, I have some sympathy for eyeball networks wanting to
> charge content providers for the increased capacity that is needed to
> bring in their content. The cost would be passed on to the content
> provider's customers (in the same way that corporations don't pay taxes,
> their customers do), so the people on that ISP who are creating the
> increased demand would be (indirectly) paying for the increased
> capacity. That's actually fairer for the other customers who aren't
> Netflix subscribers.

That argument makes no sense whatsoever.

What if instead of a single content provider, the extra traffic
was generated by 10,000 small websites, each adding 1/10,000th
of the volume of a single content provider?

The cumulative impact on the eyeball network to handle the
increased traffic is the same whether it comes from one
content provider or from 10,000 separate smaller websites.

Why should it be OK to go after the one content provider,
but not go after the 10,000 smaller websites?

At one point does your argument break down, and can you
defend why that break point makes sense?  Why is it OK to
go after one, two, three, four content providers, but not to
go after every website that is contributing to the increased
traffic volume the eyeball network is handling?

Seriously.  Make your case.
At what point do you draw that line, and say "we can charge
content sites if there's less than 5 of them, but not if there's
more than 10,000 of them?"
How do you defend the choice of where you drew that
arbitrary line?

The reason that Netflix doesn't want to do it is the same reason that
> ISPs don't want to charge their customers what it really costs to
> provide them access.

ISPs who don't charge enough to cover their costs are gambling,
and hoping they get lucky.

When they don't get lucky, and they lose their bet, they shouldn't
get to make up for it by trying to strong-arm others to make up the

if you decide that "sender pays" is a fair model for the Internet to
follow, then it needs to be applied equally, not just cherry-picking
a few companies to extort, but leaving everyone else alone.

As it stands, what you're arguing for is completely arbitrary and

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