TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Network Neutrality

Re: Network Neutrality
21 Apr 2006 17:56:32 GMT

In article <>, Patrick Townson
<> wrote:

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: 'Network Neutrality', the concept that
> everyone on the net should be given equal use of network facilities
> is a very interesting concept. At first glance, I would say I agree
> with it, yet the telcos, notably AT&T (SBC by its other name) and
> the larger ISPs (America OnLine for example) seem to be fighting it
> for various reasons.

What's old is new again. :-/ Back in the days of dial-up Internet
access the phone companies used to complain about tying up POTS lines
for extended data sessions. I seem to remember waaay back something
about phone company rules prohibiting customers using profanity during
a phone conversation (although maybe that memory is an artifact of
college excesses). The ideas being promoted by the phone companies for
network usage would be like them charging different rates depending on
the types of phone calls you want to make ... like charging more to
place a 20-minute data call vs a 20-minute voice call.

The dial-up issues were probably justified, because the infrastructure
was designed with a completely different usage model. In the case of
data networks the capacity planning is typically based on a 95th
percentile basis, and it's entirely possible that the new web apps are
skewing the loads in ways that weren't anticipated. But with data
networks when the capacity is exceeded you don't have to completey
redesign and rebuild your infrastructure, you have to add more
capacity. That costs money, but throughout the system the costs are
determined on the basis of capacity or load requirements. So
theoretically as a user/server contributes more to the load on the
system their costs increase proportionately and that money eventually
trickles through the system to the network providers that are carrying
the load and have to build out their capacity to support it.

Essentially we're all paying for bandwidth, at both ends. The network
bits and bytes don't care what type of data they're carrying. It works
the same regardless.

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