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Summary:

The rise of video streaming is dramatically affecting the Internet, according to a two-year study of Internet traffic trends that Arbor Networks recently presented to the North American Network Operators Group. Two years ago, Internet traffic was distributed evenly among a dozen Tier-1 network providers, but […]

cropped_RBThe rise of video streaming is dramatically affecting the Internet, according to a two-year study of Internet traffic trends that Arbor Networks recently presented to the North American Network Operators Group. Two years ago, Internet traffic was distributed evenly among a dozen Tier-1 network providers, but today the majority of traffic flows through direct peering agreements among large content providers, content delivery networks and ISPs. Consequently, Tier-1 networks have shifted their business models from simple packet delivery to richer cloud computing and content hosting services, and new players Google and Comcast have joined the top 10 list of Internet traffic producers — and the more traffic they put on the Internet, the more control it gives them over your online experience.

Traffic is growing much faster than the 50 percent year-to-year rate found by studies such as the Minnesota Internet Traffic Study; yet the “exaflood” of video traffic hasn’t drowned the Internet because network operators have found more efficient paths. The dramatic shift in traffic patterns has to do with the rise of what Arbor calls “the Hyper Giants,” 30 large companies that contribute 30 percent of Internet traffic. Thanks to YouTube, Google alone is responsible for 7 percent of all the traffic on today’s Internet, which puts it in the privileged position of prioritizing its VoIP and video calling services over YouTube without FCC permission.

The onslaught of video is also changing the nature of peering agreements. Traditionally, peering and so-called transit were very distinct from a revenue perspective: Peering agreements were “settlement free” arrangements in which packets changed hands between networks of roughly equal size and scope, but money didn’t. Fee-based network interconnects were confined to “transit agreements” in which a large network operator connected a small player to the entire Internet for a fee; peering is also strictly a “one network to one other network” arrangement. The new wrinkle is “paid peering” agreements in which a large operator permits direct connection for a small fee. Paid peering replaces transit fees that run $2-9 per Mbps with direct connection at $1-3, and enhances service, according to an article on Bill Norton’s “Ask Dr. Peering” web site which explains the value of Comcast’s paid peering and its potential collision with net neutrality regulations:

Paid peering provides better performance than transit, since the traffic takes a less circuitous route. Paid peering allows Google competitors to more easily compete with Google on performance and price without having to reach Google scale.

But paid peering may be forbidden by Question 106 of the FCC’s proposed Open Internet rules because it’s essentially two-tiered network access, Norton points out.

Paid peering illustrates how hard it is to write an anti-discrimination rule for the Internet that doesn’t have harmful side effects for all but the largest content networks. Paid peering is a better level of access to an ISP’s customers for a fee, but the fee is less than the price of generic access to the ISP via a transit network. The practice of paid peering also reduces the load on the Internet core, so what’s not to like? Paid peering agreements should be offered for sale on a non-discriminatory basis, but they certainly shouldn’t be banned.

Video is rising on the Internet, with more of it coming from legal sources such as content delivery networks and less from piracy-oriented systems like eDonkey and BitTorrent. Regulators need to look before they leap into wholesale bans on practices like paid peering that enable the Internet to carry increasing volumes of traffic. The FCC’s last net neutrality order (issued against Comcast in 2008) was an unintentional gift to purveyors of pirated content because it banned P2P throttling; going forward, the FCC should be at least as kind to network operators coping with the rise of video traffic by creative means.

Richard Bennett is a research fellow with the ITIF with 30 years of network architecture experience.

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  1. Great read. I am concerned with one thing you make it sounds like everyone uses BittTorrent as this negative thing. Although many people us it to download illegal things there are legal purposes. I know a lot of people that use it for 100% legal purposes. Other then that youtube using 7% of all internet traffic that is insane.

    1. Most P2P use today is for piracy, but there is a large and significant segment of P2P use that’s perfectly legal. Going forward, when P2P is fully domesticated and doesn’t clog ISP networks as aggressively as it does today, I expect that it will find a niche as the preferred delivery system for ad hoc events like video streaming live news events. It’s not there yet, but the folks at BitTorrent, Inc. and a number of academics are working on refinements to the congestion-sensing logic of P2P systems to move them in that direction.

      As a general rule, P2P is not a very good system for video distribution on the Internet because its use of long, bi-directional paths means that it can take 20-50 times more Internet resources to deliver a file than a CDN does; just count the number of hops a P2P packet has to traverse to get from source to destination and compare them to the hops a packet traverses from a CDN. P2P can place enormous stress on undersea cables, the scarcest resource on the Interenet, and that’s not a good thing.

    2. The comments from the author clearly determine that he has absolutely no clue about the subject matter (“on-net vs. paid-peering”).

      Look at the source. Bill Norton has made his career on writing white papers on Peering and Interconnection. Does it surprise us that he’s trying to whip up some controversy surrounding this NRPM?

      And to back up Vijay’s satements, Paid Peering is nothing new, it was a service that was offered as far back as ’98-99 (a service that my company offered, and sold). And for you to say this is a new service that is popping up just shows that you haven’t done the most basic research.

      Furthermore, the newer networks who are offering this as a service can only do so because the only very recently (within the last few years) have built national networks!

      1. Whether or not you believe paid peering is new, the shift of an enormous amount of Internet traffic from transit to paid peering is new, that’s what the data in the Arbor Networks study shows. To ignore this trend in favor of some hair-spitting over terminology shows a lack of willingness to engage in the substance of the debate.

        It’s also obviously not true to say that Norton is professional writer. He was one of the co-founders of Equinix and for a long time a pioneer in building carrier-neutral colos.

        The combination of these two errors in your comment, smeuse, tells me you’d simply rather not deal with the implications of current traffic trends in the Internet core and their potential collision with proposed FCC regs. If the topic makes you uncomfortable, fine, but there’s no need for the personal attacks.

      2. Steve Meuse is absolutely correct. I’m sure, Richard, you know who Steve is, since you have a 30 year history in this industry. At any rate, paid peering is nothing new, nor is there any indication from Arbor’s data that more traffic is traversing it. Bill spent his career writing white papers, not building anything. His job at Equinix was purely evangelical, not operational. Check it out with someone who knows.

      3. “Hair-splitting” over terminology has major impacts when you are dealing with the FCC. If you get the base assumptions wrong, you are going to have lasting effects of bad legislation….

        Let me pose you this question. What is the difference between Paid Peering and an ISP selling full transit to a content provider, and that content provider filtering out the prefixes they don’t care about?

        Is the FCC going to ban ISPs from selling transit? That kinda breaks things, don’t you agree?

        Again, get the base assumption wrong, the rest of the argument is invalid.

      4. FWIW, I’ve know Bill Norton for a long time, and I even contributed to some of his earlier documents. I don’t think his most recent work has been grounded in any sense of reality and only seems to exist to stir up controversy where none exists.

      5. You guys are repeating yourselves.

      6. Daniel Golding at 12:30 PM on November 23, 2009 wrote:
        “Bill spent his career writing white papers, not building anything. His job at Equinix was purely evangelical, not operational. Check it out with someone who knows.”

        So I guess organizing NANOG doesn’t count for ‘building anything’ in Daniel’s book?

        Irrespective, anyone who’s successfully built a company well understands the integral importance derived from communicating their solution’s core benefits to prospective early adopting customers.

        With the lack of respect insinuated by the ad hominem attacks on Bill Norton’s track record of creating value for others, I can only surmise that Daniel either:
        – Does not carry such experience himself;
        – Is unable to logically, unemotionally challenge Bill’s articulated positions, or;
        – Finds Bill’s writings, which shed light and understanding on how network operators currently commercially integrate with one another (a necessary first step towards more efficiently matching network resources to consumer-driven demands for bandwidth-intensive applications) to be in conflict with his current employer, contractor or other vested interest.

        For the purpose of maximizing value to the conversation, may I suggest to those unproductively exerting energy making ‘playground’ attacks in this comment section focus their attention on the facts and matter at hand? Thank you in advance.

  2. First you say paid peering may be banned by the NPRM. Then in the next paragraph you jump to the conclusion that you can’t have a non discrimination rule that doesn’t ban paid peering. It seems to me this is a issue that should be raised in the rulemaking, but that the truth is far from certain at this point. I’d think this could easily fall under network management exceptions, but we shall see.

    And what does paid peering’s merits have to do with a prohibition on throttling certain types of applications which have legal uses? Two separate issues, but lumping them together reeks of an attempt to mud pie Net Neutrality in the face.

    1. I think it’s possible to have a proper non-discrimination rule that doesn’t ban paid peering, but that’s not what the draft rule in the NPRM actually does. If the focus were on offering the service for sale on a non-discriminatory basis, it would be fine; but saying that “all packets are equal” is a big problem for everyone but Google.

    2. Paid peering is not and will not be banned. Bill, unfortunately, made this up. There is no way to read the proposed rulemaking this way – its simply not in the document, at all.

      1. Actually, it’s perfectly reasonable to read the NPRM that way, not only from Bill’s analysis but on the basis of discussions I’ve had with people at the FCC. The anti-discrimination rule has been kicked around since 2005 as a reaction to former Bell South CEO Bill Smith’s conjecture that ISPs could offer a service that accelerates traffic for paying service provider customers. A major element of net neutrality advocacy is to prevent ISPs from being in that business. Generally, that would entail the ISP offering a CDN or other short path service, and it’s hard to see how paid peering doesn’t fall into that category.

        Paid peering is simply one example of a (perhaps) unintended consequence of an overly-broad anti-discrimination rule.

  3. Subtítulos y sincronización automáticos en YouTube : Blogografia Sunday, November 22, 2009

    [...] en los momentos adecuados, cuando una palabra determinada es mencionada en los mismos. El vídeo es un formato de contenido que está cambiando la fisionomía de la red, y su principal exponente, YouTube, es una empresa que, de acuerdo con uno de sus principales [...]

  4. My friend Dick Bennett isn’t a lawyer or a policy analyst, so I don’t fault him for misreading the FCC’s NPRM. It most certainly wouldn’t impact peering, or any other paid transport arrangement. Para 106 is about discriminatory treatment for delivery by retail ISPs.

    What Dick didn’t mention is he currently works for ITIF, and his paid by incumbents like Comcast to shill againt Net Neutrality. GigaOm, you should be ashamed for misleading your readers.

    1. Jane

      It is good to have fly by readers like yourself. If you have been a long time reader of the blog — which you aren’t — then you would know where I personally stand on this issue. And just because I stand on one side of the issue doesn’t mean that I am deaf or blind to other opinions such as Richard’s opinion. I am not sure anyone is misleading anyone here.

      1. Fair enough, I suppose. And I do think its unreasonable to infer any editorial intention to ‘fool’ the readership. But even this *non*-‘fly by reader’ would suggest that the provided postscript (‘[...] a research fellow with the ITIF with 30 years of network architecture experience.’) just barely qualifies as full disclosure…unless, of course, we presume that all GigaOm readers are either attentive industry insiders or remarkably well-read amateur geeks.

        I’d bet a good number of civilians have more-than-passing familiarity with neutrality issues. Yet these people are hardly likely to have read Om’s opinions, much less to have a remote idea what in heck ITIF is – something, I might argue that _no_ one outside the group truly knows. Heck, even a WSJ op/ed would offer a link or exposition (eg: ‘communication industry think tank’, ‘independent consultancy’, etc.), to point out inherently intrusive business interests.

      2. Ever heard of Google search, Justa Notherguy?

      3. Om,

        Actually, I have been reading this site for about 2 years. I certainly am aware of your and Stacey’s positions on network neutrality.

        What I am asking for is some full disclosure on the part of contributors. ITIF, whom Dick works for, was originally founded by ITI, and was at the time a Cisco-IBM-even eBay supported group. But tech funding dried up, and ITIF went with open hand to the Bell companies and to the cable companies. I happen to know for a fact that after the Comcast-Bit Torrent case blew up, NCTA and Comcast funneled a ton of cash to ITIF so they could hire Dick Bennett and George Ou to be flies in the ointment on the network neutrality issue.

        It would help your readers if they knew that this article was written by an author who is paid by Comcast to attack this policy. It doesn’t matter if Dick had these views since he was born, it just matters for transparency’s sake.

      4. I agree with Jane on this one, Om, though I usually respect what’s on your site. There is little defense in my opinion about not having better disclosure. We come to your site because we trust and respect you, so please don’t spend down that capital you’ve built up by making many mistakes like this.

        On the plus side, you are allowing an open discussion as far as I can tell, so that at least is consistent with my image of your credibility. Hopefully this type of thing won’t happen anymore. Otherwise, I will begin to worry you’ve sold out too somehow, and that will truly be a sad sad day for consumer internet, as you are one of its strongest allies.

      5. It’s really quite hysterical that so much of the pro-regulation crowd would rather deal in personal attacks than the actual issues, but it’s nothing new.

    2. The text from the NPRM says:
      “We understand the term “nondiscriminatory” to mean that a broadband Internet access service provider may not charge a content, application, or service provider for enhanced or prioritized access to the subscribers of the broadband Internet access service provider, as illustrated in the diagram below.”

      Jane, it’s an open ended rule that prohibits ISPs from charging content providers for ENHANCED or PRIORITIZED access. That’s an open ended rule that can and will be interpreted by lawyers filing complaints at the FCC who will argue on the basis of the literal meaning of the rule.

      The concern over the current wording of the NPRM is reasonable in the context of Net Neutrality. For example, Rep. Ed Markey’s latest H.R.3458 would ban ISPs from charging content providers for anything. Here’s the exact text.

      “not impose a charge on any Internet content, service, or application provider to enable any lawful Internet content, application, or service to be offered, provided, or used through the provider’s service, beyond the end user charges associated with providing the service to such provider;”

      That bill would go even further to ban devices like the Amazon Kindle since Amazon has to pay Sprint for Kindle connectivity.

      So Net Neutrality proponents have for a long time been trying to ban ISPs from charging content providers under the argument that such charges would be too much of a burden for smaller content providers to overcome. The problem is that this is a foolish and misguided argument because all it does is force content providers to pay more money for inferior transit access.

      Now it’s perfectly possible that this is not the intent of the current NPRM. But why not clarify that?

      But even if this bill doesn’t specifically ban paid peering, it does ban ISPs from charging content providers for prioritization or enhanced access. But I can think of two cases where this would be a good thing. One, an ISP would offer CDN services to the content provider coming though transit. Two, an ISP could offer content providers the option of boosting a broadband subscriber’s bandwidth beyond what the subscriber paid for. That would be no different than Amazon paying Sprint to provide bandwidth to Kindle users.

      So the bottom line is that the NPRM goes too far to prohibit ISPs from providing these services under the assumption that it is always the bad form of discrimination. The more reasonable thing would be to allow ISPs to offer services under non-discriminatory terms.

    3. I wasn’t aware that we were friends, Jane, but you can never have too many.

      I’ve been commenting on net neutrality since 2002, and only went to work as a policy analyst in June, so my opinions precede my employment by a considerable margin. If you were familiar with the nature of the non-discrimination rule as it’s been discussed in DC and in Europe since 2005, you’d be aware that it bans payments to an ISP – such as Comcast – by a service provider that will give the service provider better QoS than would be afforded to a service provider with no specific contract with the ISP. Because paid peering is a short path to the consumer, it’s also a high-priority path, due to the statistical nature of the Internet and the impact of Round-Trip Time on TCP. So your analysis is clearly wrong, and you resort to smear tactics to hide its weakness.

      But thanks for playing.

    4. Any by the way, the tag line to my post discloses my employment, so I don’t know where you get off saying I don’t mention that work for ITIF. I do, and ITIF has many sponsors on all three sides of the net neutrality debate.

      Here’s a clue, no charge: Bring some substance.

      1. @Richard bennett:

        > [...] ITIF has many sponsors on all three sides of the
        > net neutrality debate.

        Really? And who would those ‘sponsors’ be? Last I checked, ITIF have steadfastly refused to reveal their sources of funding. Nor have I found any such information on-line, via SourceWatch, etc.

        Therefore, I’d very much like to see a list of said sponsors, showing the exact nature of their relationship(s) – money? technical help? good wishes? – with ITIF. And I would bet that I am not alone in this.

        Given your aggressively defensive attitude, here, I anxiously await _your_ ‘substantial’ response.

      2. I don’t do fund raising or public relations, so I couldn’t give you the full list of who funds ITIF even if I wanted to. But I will reiterate that I haven’t modified my views as a consequence of my employment, as everyone who’s followed my writing over the years can attest.

        So rather than mud-slinging, why not argue a real point?

      3. Richard Bennett wrote:
        “[...] ITIF has many sponsors on all three sides of the net neutrality debate. ”

        Intrigued, Justa Notherguy posited a logical follow-up:
        “Really? And who would those ’sponsors’ be? Last I checked, ITIF have steadfastly refused to reveal their sources of funding.”

        Richard Bennett answered:
        “I don’t do fund raising or public relations, so I couldn’t give you the full list of who funds ITIF even if I wanted to.”

        To which, I respond:

        I never asked for a/the ‘full list’. A representative one will do, just fine…say, one well-known sponsor from each of the ‘three sides’ you cited.

        Neither did I ask what you do/don’t do, at ITIF. Let’s recall that _you_ volunteered the varied nature of ITIF’s sponsors, as affirmative defense of both their objectivity and your own. Thus, my interest in seeing some examples from that diverse group. Ipso facto.

        So, if you now hope to tap-dance around this subject (‘[...] why not argue a real point?’), here’s a clue – no charge: save the puerile, Debate Club distractions for a less-rigorous venue. You claimed evidence of objectivity; I asked for it. Bring some substance.

      4. You’re the one who’s dodging the issues, anonymous Justa Notherguy, not me. I’m using my real name as I always have on the Internet, and posting my own opinions. You’re claiming that my opinions are bought and paid for and demanding full disclosure of my current employer’s sponsors, while you too much of a coward to even post blog comments using your real name. That’s a bit of double standard, don’t you think?

      5. Richard Bennett wrote:

        > You’re claiming that my opinions are bought and paid for [...]

        No. I never wrote any such thing, nor have I implied it. But anyone can see that, just by reading my responses (above). Come on, now – this saber-rattling is merely yet another distraction from my question. You implied the diversity of ITIF’s sponsors-list is evidence of objectivity. Ok, then…show me. That’s all I’ve asked.

        > [...] and demanding full disclosure of my current employer’s
        > sponsors [...]

        Not ‘full’ – just a few. Three, in fact. Have you neglected, to re-read my previous response? Besides, it was you who brought them up in the first place. Remember? Up to that point, it would never have occurred to me to ask. Must be a bit embarrassing, knowing that you put yourself in this position, to no real purpose.

        > [...] while you too much of a coward to even post
        > blog comments using your real name.

        Tsk, tsk…name-calling? Richard, really! I expected more from a man of your background and education.

        > That’s a bit of double standard, don’t you think?

        This from a guy who volunteered un-named parties as references for his veracity, only to admit (see prev.) that he has no such names to provide and couldn’t get them, even if he tried? Then, when asked to explain this discrepancy, rather than admit to his error(s) he starts flinging epithets? And you see a ‘double standard’…where? LOL

        Seriously, Richard, you need to get a grip. I believe this kind of behavior reflects poorly on your employer, as well as on yourself. And, heaven knows, ITIF seems to have enough detractors. Surely, they don’t need the additional burden of being associated with schoolyard grandstanding and shameless weaseling.

      6. @Anonymous Justa Notherguy:

        If you’re not implying that my opinions are bought and paid for, why do you keep harping on ITIF’s sponsors? You know as well as I do that ITIF’s policy is not to disclose, so I couldn’t tell you who they are if I wanted to.

        Given that you refuse to give your name or say who pays you, I’d think you’d be sympathetic to ITIF’s policy in this respect. Well, you would be except for some sort of aversion to consistency.

        So come on now, I’ve disclosed by name and my employment, and you can visit my web site, bennett.com, and read my resume and my past writing on this and other subjects.

      7. I wrote the previous comment, for some reason the blog didn’t pick up my Facebook login.

  5. Broadband Politics | Guest Blog at GigaOm Sunday, November 22, 2009

    [...] guest blog at GigaOm deals with paid peering and the net neutrality regulations, How Video Is Changing the Internet: But paid peering may be forbidden by Question 106 of the FCC’s proposed Open Internet rules [...]

  6. Digital Society » Blog Archive » FCC NPRM ban on Paid Peering harms new innovators Sunday, November 22, 2009

    [...] Bennett also wrote a good explanation here at GigaOm on the changing landscape of the Internet and why it is a bad idea for the FCC to prohibit paid [...]

  7. How Video is Changing the Internet Sunday, November 22, 2009

    [...] How Video Is Changing the Internet [GigaOM] [...]

  8. A few clarifications:
    “Thanks to YouTube, Google alone is responsible for 7 percent of all the traffic on today’s Internet, which puts it in the privileged position of prioritizing its VoIP and video calling services over YouTube without FCC permission.”
    I wasn’t aware that since I’ve been prioritizing vonage over Hulu on my home network using my linksys WRT, I was in violation of the law. Perhaps richard can help me get the proper permission from the FCC? In the meantime I’ve reverted my home network QoS settings back to factory default.

    “The new wrinkle is “paid peering” agreements in which a large operator permits direct connection for a small fee. ”
    Perhaps richard isn’t aware, but ISPs have been providing “on-net” access as a form of limited transit product for over a decade, I know I had turned this on for customers as far back as 1999.

    In the meantime, this line demonstrates quite clearly the competence and level of research in both articles:
    “Google wants Paid Peering to be illegal, along with any form of access tiering. ” from the dr. peering article.
    I haven’t seen a statement to that effect anywhere yet, perhaps Richard can point that out?

    /vijay

    1. Excellent snark from Google’s Director of Net Ops.

      1. The home network point is one that I made to the FCC as a witness at the hearing on P2P at Harvard, because it illustrates the gap between current practice and the rules Google’s Rick Whitt and others have petitioned the FCC to adopt. It’s nice to have my arguments thrown back at me, but you and Rick should talk.

      2. The paid peering service is new for the major ISPs, but not unprecedented in world history.

      3. Google’s opposition to enhanced interconnect for a fee is a matter of clear public record. See Rick Whitt’s statements of the Google Policy blog, http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2007/06/what-do-we-mean-by-net-neutrality.html :

      “…in Google’s view, what should the broadband carriers not be allowed to do? …

      * Levying surcharges on content providers that are not their retail customers;
      * Prioritizing data packet delivery based on the ownership or affiliation (the who) of the content, or the source or destination (the what) of the content; or
      * Building a new “fast lane” online that consigns Internet content and applications to a relatively slow, bandwidth-starved portion of the broadband connection. ”

      As you’re a technologist, Vijay, these prohibitions don’t make sense to you, but they are the program your employer is seeking to impose on their competitors. Like the unbindling issue we’ve discussed before, they compromise the future to protect the status quo and are therefor bad for progress.

      1. Actually I’d be a lot more interested if you would answer the question I asked, not what you want to say: Specifically I asked (quoting you) the following: “Thanks to YouTube, Google alone is responsible for 7 percent of all the traffic on today’s Internet, which puts it in the privileged position of prioritizing its VoIP and video calling services over YouTube without FCC permission.”
        How does that actually work again? Alternatively, how does one get from a claimed 7% of traffic to the statement “privileged position of prioritizing its voip and video calling over youtube without fcc permission?” And could you help me with how I need to comply with the FCC since I didn’t ask their permission for my home network.

        As for “2. The paid peering service is new for the major ISPs, but not unprecedented in world history.”
        Again, do you actually know what you talking about? I said I was turning up paid peering in 1999. On-net or limited transit was being sold by all major ISPs back then.

        As for #3, again, I don’t see anything about paid peering.

      2. Maybe my sentence wasn’t clear. As a private network operator, Google doesn’t need FCC permission to prioritize (by order) the traffic that leaves its network in any way that it sees fit; it’s exempt from NN regs since it’s not an ISP.

        If Google wants to offer VoIP in the future (in conjunction with Google Voice, for example,) it can ensure that its own VoIP packets are interleaved with YouTube in such a way that YouTube doesn’t cause excessive jitter. This makes perfect sense, and the FCC won’t complain. But Google’s proposed regulations could make it difficult for Comcast, say, to provide Vonage with the same service. A bit inconsistent, don’t you think?

        How old is Paid Peering? Bill Norton is generally regarded as an authority since he co-founded Equinix and has more experience in the area than anyone else, so this will be he said-she said for the time being. If you have some data, please share.

        The words “paid peering”aren’t in Rick’s statement, but the effects he lists are consequences of it. In the policy world, we tend to think abstractly.

      3. “How old is Paid Peering? Bill Norton is generally regarded as an authority since he co-founded Equinix and has more experience in the area than anyone else, so this will be he said-she said for the time being. If you have some data, please share.”

        Co-founding equinix and actually taking two ISPs to “tier-1″ status in us and eu isn’t exactly the same thing. Like I said, I’ve been turning up paid peering or on-net routes as a product since 1999 and so have other ISPs. Perhaps you should talk to someone who actually does this for a day job vs writing white papers?

        Lets try this one more time shall we? “how does one get from a claimed 7% of traffic to the statement “privileged position of prioritizing its voip and video calling over youtube without fcc permission?””

        “The words “paid peering”aren’t in Rick’s statement, but the effects he lists are consequences of it. In the policy world, we tend to think abstractly.”
        Would that we actually thought at all. Like I said, perhaps you could boil it down to concrete words that idiots like me can understand, not being up with high faultin “policy world” thinking.

        /vijay

      4. I’m not sure that your “on-net routes” is the same product as the Paid Peering that Nortion is interpreting; the Arbor study found a large increase in the traffic that moves through these transit bypass paths, and that’s the actual story. While this service may have been available for a while, its use is radically increasing. That’s data, BTW, not anecdote, so if you have a problem with the Arbor data, you’ll need some data of your own to refute it.

        The significance of the 7% isn’t that difficult, is it? If you pump the ISP’s pipe full of packets of all kinds, you’re going to cause jitter for third party services whenever you deliver a clump of packets back-to-back. You can order your own voice packets optimally in each clump, as you’re immune from FCC regulation, but Vonage has to deal with the jitter you cause. How are they going to do that without a little help fro the ISP?

        Paying for a prioritization service – even as Paid Peering – would probably be forbidden under the regulations Rick wants. Do you read the statement seeking a ban on “Prioritizing data packet delivery based on the ownership or affiliation (the who) of the content, or the source or destination (the what) of the content” differently? If so, what does it say to you?

      5. “I’m not sure that your “on-net routes” is the same product as the Paid Peering that Nortion is interpreting; the Arbor study found a large increase in the traffic that moves through these transit bypass paths, and that’s the actual story. While this service may have been available for a while, its use is radically increasing. That’s data, BTW, not anecdote, so if you have a problem with the Arbor data, you’ll need some data of your own to refute it.”

        I think that is the entire problem statement right there – “I’m not sure that your “on-net routes” is the same product as the Paid Peering that Norton is interpreting”
        I think you actually don’t know what you are talking about basically, so there isn’t much further point in discussion, but for completenesses sake, I’ll go through your points.

        “The significance of the 7% isn’t that difficult, is it? If you pump the ISP’s pipe full of packets of all kinds, you’re going to cause jitter for third party services whenever you deliver a clump of packets back-to-back. You can order your own voice packets optimally in each clump, as you’re immune from FCC regulation, but Vonage has to deal with the jitter you cause. How are they going to do that without a little help fro the ISP?”
        This one is relatively easy – once the traffic hits the ISP, it is all the same to them, voip, video etc. When they get congested they are doing to drop packets at random when the queue gets full. The standard drop discipline is juniper routers which are in every ISP bar one or two, is RED, which stands for RANDOM Early Drop. It would be sort of hard to predict ahead of time and re-order packets such that a *random* drop could be predicted ahead of time. If I could do that, I’d be in the futures business, not moving packets around.

        “Paying for a prioritization service – even as Paid Peering – would probably be forbidden under the regulations Rick wants. Do you read the statement seeking a ban on “Prioritizing data packet delivery based on the ownership or affiliation (the who) of the content, or the source or destination (the what) of the content” differently? If so, what does it say to you?”

        So now we are in to the “probably” now. I did read the statement on prioritizing data packet and affiliation – nowhere does it say to me you can’t conduct a commercial transaction for getting access to a providers routes by direct interconnection. Thats a commercial transaction.

      6. With all respect to Bill, he is not a co-founder of Equinix. The founders of Equinix were Jay Adelson and Al Avery.

        And, he is wrong about paid peering, wrong about Google’s intent, and wrong about the proposed rulemaking. I have told him this directly.

        I am not an employee of Google and I take no money from them. Heck, I don’t even agree with them on Net Neutrality. But I do think that this sort of misinformation is terribly harmful to the debate. I suggest asking people other than “Dr. Peering”.

  9. Once again,complete wrongness. Bill Norton is the ONLY person in the Internet industry who thinks 106 affects peering. One source is extremely poor reporting, but as this is apparently an editorial sloppy/no research is OK [sorry, I too am a 'fly-by' reader because I'm issue focused; google alerts tell me abut relevant stuff interesting to my niche, so not I'm not a faithful lapdog^Wreader anywhere, nor do i wish to be...].

    From the NPRM:
    “We understand the term “nondiscriminatory” to mean that a broadband Internet access service provider may not charge a content, application, or service provider for enhanced or prioritized access to the subscribers of the broadband Internet access service provider, as illustrated in the diagram below.”
    Paid peering, which is not new and has nothing to do with video, does not prioritize to *subscribers*, therefore there is no applicability. If Richard thinks it is new to “major ISPs” then maybe he should say whichones. Likely they are minor or telephant dinosaurs who were behind the curve for the last decade. Direct interconnection to a network is much further away from the subscriber edge. Anyone with network design clue would get this.

    As to this lovely bit: “not impose a charge on any Internet content, service, or application provider to enable any lawful Internet content, application, or service to be offered, provided, or used through the provider’s service, beyond the end user charges associated with providing the service to such provider;” This text is more likely to cause issues, but if is is a different service offering, and is optional, is that IMPOSED? I think not, but IANAL.

    “Because paid peering is a short path to the consumer, it’s also a high-priority path, due to the statistical nature of the Internet and the impact of Round-Trip Time on TCP. So your analysis is clearly wrong, and you resort to smear tactics to hide its weakness.”
    Short != high priority. If you honestly buy this argument, then you must desire legislation of queing disciplines and specific TCP implementations. Completely ludicrous.

    I think this article is wildly inaccurate an providing distribution for a broken interpretation of the proposed rule making.

    1. Obviously, Bill is not “The Only Person in the Internet Industry” who thinks 106 might have an affect on peering and transit. Try to make a serious argument next time.

      1. Name someone else then, Anonymous. I’ll happily ask them to actually read 106 and look at the diagram that clearly states “End user’s broadband Internet access service provider may not charge CAS provider for enhanced or prioritized delivery to end user over this link.” where “this link” is the last mile, where all QoS discussions have been based.

      2. All that’s necessary to for the FCC to apply the non-discrimination rule to the peering side of an ISP network is the realization that the Last Mile and the Middle Mile are seamless parts of a single network. You don’t have to be very smart to make that leap.

      3. That would then be a different entity than THIS proposed rule-making, which clearly points to the last mile. Should there be a different proposed rule-making, the concern might have a shred of weight, but that would extend beyond where the scare-resource, duopoly claims have a reasonable foothold … the justification forr this whole pile of junk.

  10. Wouldn’t it be nice if GigaOm had someone on staff (or even in consultancy) who actually knew how the internet worked? And I don’t mean like “click the link, look at the site”, I mean more like “hey, the internet has packets, how do they get to where they go”.

    Seriously guys, please get some clues.
    Articles like this are why network engineers think you guys lack credibility.

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