Comcast_Is_Starting_The_Tiered_Internet_Whether_We_Like_It_or_Not

Corey Edwards tensai at zmonkey.org
Tue Aug 21 11:47:09 MDT 2007


On Tue, 2007-08-21 at 10:33 -0600, Clint Savage wrote:
> On 8/21/07, Corey Edwards <tensai at zmonkey.org> wrote:
> > What about an ISP blocking the latest virus/worm? Would you rather they
> > didn't block that traffic? Wouldn't an ISP be considered derelict of
> > duty if they failed to block it?
> 
> If the customer wants it, you should do it.  Did I request they
> block/limit my bittorrent traffic?  Did other customers?  I doubt it.
> >
> > If you had a choice to make between 1 customer's service being degraded
> > (due to a p2p limit or similar) or 20 customers' service being disrupted
> > due to packet floods, which would you choose?
> >
> The limits they make are artificial.  YES, they are.  So really its
> them choosing to limit the 200 customers using bittorrent in favor of
> not improving their services.

The p2p limit is artificial, but would the service be limited for
everyone if that limit isn't in place? If not, then Comcast is blocking
a useful service for no good reason. But if it is, then I can understand
their point of view. While it sucks to be that one guy, it doesn't
really make sense to let everybody else's service degrade.

Let me give you a better example with some hard figures. As you may have
inferred (I certainly do not attempt to hide it), I work for an ISP. We
offer wireless service and occasionally will see problems caused by p2p
filesharing. The problem isn't the bandwidth (I've got upload bandwidth
coming out my ears) but packets. We'll have a tower where one user is
sharing files and causing decreased service to maybe 50 other customers.
So we put a filter on the user's IP and call them up and ask them to
stop. It's a courtesy to everyone involved since due to one user's
actions, everyone (even the customer in question) is being hurt.

The situation for wired providers is different of course, but it's not
always economical or technically feasible to redesign the system on a
whim. What exactly Comcast's justification is I can't say. I wouldn't be
surprised to hear that it's nefarious, but it is possible they're
actually trying to do a good job.

> > If you're not getting anything more for a business package over a
> > residential package, then yeah that's a rip off. But my customers do get
> > more for their business class service.
> >
> What do business customers get?  I mean I get the concept of service
> levels, but if it comes down to bandwidth and access, then no, they
> shouldn't be charged more.  If they get more services then I guess I
> can see that being viable.

Higher priority tickets, direct access to our network engineers, service
monitoring (Nagios style). We often throw around extra services like DNS
hosting and backup MX, that sort of thing.

Corey





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