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Re: Two Tiered Internet
- From: Steve Gibbard
- Date: Wed Dec 14 14:49:48 2005
On Wed, 14 Dec 2005, Marshall Eubanks wrote:
To me, this seems likely to lead to massive consumer dissatisfaction, and a
disaster of the
I'm seeing a lot of comments here that appear to be looking at this as a
very binary issue -- either it's ok, or it will cause the customers to
defect en masse to the competition. This seems to ignore questions of how
it would be implemented, and what the competition's offering would be.
magnitude of the recent Sony CD root exploit fiasco.
Typical Pareto distribution models for usage mean that no matter
how popular "tier 1" sites are, a substantial part of the user time will be
spent on degraded "tier 2" sites.
If these don't work, people will complain. Just imagine for a second that
cable providers started
a service that meant that every channel not owned by, say, Disney, had a bad
picture and sound. Would this
be good for the cable companies ? Would their customers be happy ?
Of course, based on some recent experience this probably means that this
will be adopted enthusiastically.
If I've got a choice between two providers, both of which are offering a 3
Mb/s pipe, but one of them restricts services from other networks to half
of that pipe, that's going to effectively be a situation where one
provider is only offering half the Internet bandwidth the other offers.
On the other hand, there could be a scenario in which one network offered
a 3 Mb/s unrestricted pipe, while the other offered a 6 Mb/s pipe, with
prioritized traffic potentially eating 2 Mb/s of it. That would still
be 4 Mb/s of unrestricted traffic vs. the other provider's 3 Mb/s.
In other words, a provider with sufficiently better last mile technology
than the competition should be able to do lots of stuff like this and
still come out ahead. Providers in markets that are technologically more
even might have more trouble.
That assumes rate limiting in the last mile. If what's instead being
talked about is QoS tagging of last mile packets, that should be
completely irrelevant to those who don't use the services that are
Of course, if they're restricting capacity in the backbone and using QoS
there, that may be a different story, but that seems unlikely to be what's
being talked about. Backbone congestion doesn't tend to happen much in
major American cities these days, but individual DSL lines saturate pretty