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Re: 95th Percentile = Lame

  • From: Mikael Abrahamsson
  • Date: Sun Jun 03 15:01:50 2001

On Sun, 3 Jun 2001, James Thomason wrote:

> If I am not mistaken, the true "benefit" to 95% billing is that it allows
> the provider to charge for bits they never delivered.  The average will
> skew on a burst of traffic (>5% of the average) and you pay for it as if
> you had averaged that level the entire time.
> It seems like quite an irrational settlement model. Why not simply bill
> for every bit that crosses your network?  There certainly is a per-bit
> cost.

You have to provision for peaks, even though a lot of the time a lot of
links are used to perhaps 20-30%, but they must be able to handle peak
loads during office hours etc.

> I cannot, off the top of my head, think of another telecommunications
> industry that relies on a system of averages for settlement.  It speaks
> pretty clearly of how immature the Internet industry really is.

Over here you pay for available bandwidth. You want E1? You pay for E1.
You want E3? You pay for full E3 (or whatever it might be ratelimited to).
There is no check to see how much of it you actually use. Is that a better

> Or maybe not.  Perhaps the electrical suppliers here in California
> should bill in the 95th percentile, and cite the Internet as a rational
> example.

When I was in the bay area I was told that the power companies charged at
whatever maximum rate you could use. You want a 1000 amp circuit into your
data center? (or whatever). You pay for 1000 amps, whether you use 1 or
1000 Amps. Is that better? For whom? I don't know anyway.

Mikael Abrahamsson    email:

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