S.Korea broadband firm sues Netflix after traffic surge

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Mon Oct 11 00:53:38 UTC 2021

> On Oct 10, 2021, at 12:08 , 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:
> "The popularity of the hit series "Squid Game" and other offerings have underscored Netflix's status as the country's second-largest data traffic generator after Google's YouTube, but the two are the only ones to not pay network usage fees, which other content providers such as Amazon, Apple and Facebook are paying, SK said."
> Which has emboldened SK to go after the bigger fish.
> 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.

Only if your competition is somehow getting funding from another source (e.g. extorting content providers).

As such, I’d guess that this situation won’t untangle itself any time soon because markets which lack transparency and/or have (mostly) ignorant customers tend to be dysfunctional in exactly these kinds of ways.

> 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.

An interesting argument, but I don’t entirely buy it.

I’m a high consumer of bandwidth. I end up paying an extra surcharge each month to get data without a cap. I think that’s perfectly fair.

OTOH, I think it’s not particularly fair if after I pay for that cap removal, my ISP turns around and extorts even more money from the companies I’m paying for content in order to effectively make my circuit even more expensive.

> 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.

Sounds like the electrical deregulation plan that Enron wrote for California and then criticized while they gamed the system for fun and profit.


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