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RE: More on Vonage service disruptions...

  • From: Daniel Senie
  • Date: Wed Mar 02 14:07:08 2005

At 01:24 PM 3/2/2005, you wrote:

Subject: Re: More on Vonage service disruptions...

> Yeah, I forgot about the regulation thing.  I suppose I'd give the ISP
> a call first, but I'd expect it to be working within a few hours.  But
> now that cable modem providers themselves are providing VoIP/dialtone,
> wouldn't those be regulated by the FCC?

A few quick observations here (my own, personal opinion):
To paraphrase an earlier comment " a 90K stream is not an issue" but what
about 10,000's of them?
Did you (the ISP) sell customers a service saying they'd get 384Kbps upstream, 2Mbps downstream, or some such? And now you say that you can't handle that traffic load? False advertising?

In the circuit switched arena, the LEC's compensate each other for either
originating (toll free) or terminating traffic (LD) in a  regulated
environment. Thus there is some business reason to build the network out to
handle the level traffic.
That is not the case here (with VoIP), as most ISP's are paying for
transport, peering connections, backhaul circuits, internal network
bandwidth, etc. The IP Phone providers may be paying THEIR ISP, but the $$'s
don't nescessarily  flow down to the ISP that the customer is connected to.
ISPs charge for a service of pushing packets around, and make commitments about the amount of that traffic. That it's digitized voice in those packets isn't really the ISP's business. If you can't meet your commitments to your customers for bandwidth, you need to buy more. Of course you oversell your bandwidth, but that's NOT your customer's problem, it's yours.

That end user's ISP must now pay more for transit, plus beef up their
internal network infrastructure to handle the additional traffic. That would
result in having to raise rates, perhaps making the previously viable, dirt
cheap, VoIP look like not so competitive a choice (vs. traditional dialtone)
to the end user anymore.
If the user is instead playing an interactive game with a friend in another city, do you wish to block that too? How about a PC-to-PC video chat? How about remote corporate offices using VPNs to push lots of traffic around?

What are you selling your customers? If your rates don't cover your costs, then your business model is broken. You made a commitment to customers for an amount of bandwidth, and now the customers are actually starting to use it. The problem is one for your board room. If you built your network assuming the only traffic would be Email (to your own servers) and Web (which you cache on your own servers) then you are in for trouble. The Internet is not email and web. That many users are only recently learning that is not their problem.

A question to ponder - what would happen to your network , from both a
technical and financial perspective if all of your customers circuit
switched voice traffic suddenly became ip?
You raise good points, but I'd encourage you to decouple them from VOIP, as most any application could cause the same.

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