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Re: Two Tiered Internet

  • From: Bob Snyder
  • Date: Wed Dec 14 13:25:57 2005

Daniel Senie wrote:

Actually, the cable providers have an alternative. Since the cable network really is "broadband" in the meaning from before it was coopted to mean "high speed", cable operators are able to utilize many channels in parallel. If they want their voice traffic to be unimpeded, they could certainly pick up an IP address on a private network space on a different cable channel (i.e. frequency pair) and make use of that. The consumer's Internet service, being on other channels, is unaffected. Yes, the backhaul fiber network would need to be using multiple paths as well to make that work. I have no idea to what extent present cable plants make use of the ability to use multiple channels for data service. Clearly they use it for video carriers, and where there is/was telephone over cable before the present VOIP-based offerings, those also appear to have used separate channels.
Allocating those separate channels for different services means that that bandwidth blocks they consume are off-limits to provide customer IP service. Would it be better to have a smaller amount of bandwidth that's isolated from all other services for normal customer IP service, or would it be better to have a bigger pipe with priority when there's congestion going to services other than normal customer IP service?

The answer depends on how much traffic you expect to be prioritized. VoIP traffic at 80kbps probably isn't going to be a huge concern. Tiered services could be, but seperate channels could actually make the problem worse, since bandwidth that had been allocated to the standard services could be permanently allocated to the higher-tiered service to resolve peak load issues, reducing the bandwidth available to the standard service at all times.

Bob




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