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Government to allow ISPs to charge content providers for traffic prioritisation

techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Government to allow ISPs to charge content providers for traffic prioritisation

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/29/carter_net_neut/

Errr no unless you want to give me my connection for free.
8 REPLIES
Thunderclap
Grafter
Posts: 673
Registered: 08-09-2008

Re: Government to allow ISPs to charge content providers for traffic prioritisation

There is a case for traffic prioratiZation, especially when we have internet users ranging from Twitters using hundreds of bytes, to HD Bit Breakers loading giga bytes. Why should ISP's like PlusNet have to foot the bill for the bandwidth demand caused by i-Player - I bet the the BBC just expects ISP's to be able to cope with their bandwidth demands?
I am sure this will all result in... higher tax revenues and fewer freedoms.
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Government to allow ISPs to charge content providers for traffic prioritisation

Err no we foot the bill by our subs, which goes toward the costs of upstream connections.
If traffic is dealt with strictly on the basis of prioritising whatever is the biggest cash cow, web browsing, e-mail will become slower as ISPs will wring out whatever they can from their networks and the investment will be geared toward these services only and these customers will be told effectively tough as we don't make money from you.
MrC
Grafter
Posts: 520
Registered: 17-07-2008

Re: Government to allow ISPs to charge content providers for traffic prioritisation

Unfortunately true network prioritisation is end-to-end, rather than intra-ISP. So chat about ISPs charging extra for certain prioritised traffic is just hot air until all parties agree on what prioritisation standard to use, implement it and agree on how it's going to be used and charged. It's no good ISPs charging extra for increasing the prioritisation for VOIP traffic if that prioritisation doesn't work beyond the ISP's boundary routers.
Mike
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Government to allow ISPs to charge content providers for traffic prioritisation

Content providers will serve the content at the maximum speed allowed by their backbone and connections, it will be ISPs that decide how quickly it gets served to custmers as PN do now
MrC
Grafter
Posts: 520
Registered: 17-07-2008

Re: Government to allow ISPs to charge content providers for traffic prioritisation

Sorry techguy, but the client's ISP is only one small part of the whole picture.There can be bottlenecks at any point along the way and that can only be resolved by end-to-end prioritisation.
Consider multiple services provided by servers in a server farm in (for argument's sake) Ulan Bator with bandwidth constrained external links. Internal prioritisation within a UK based ISP like Plusnet is meaningless in such a context; the bandwidth contention will occur elsewhere. Another example would have been VOIP traffic affected by the bandwidth constraints and re-routing caused by the recent international cable failures.
For true prioritisation you need priority information added at the point the packets are injected, and each node of any network that that packet transits has to take note of it right up to the point of exit. That's a very long way off from where we are now, regardless from what UK politicians and civil servants choose to believe.
Mike
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Government to allow ISPs to charge content providers for traffic prioritisation

Hi Mike
Sorry, I was referring (and I should have explained this) to services within the same country where the infrastructure is going to be relatively stable.
Companies such as the BBC will pay for priority on say Level 3 whom they purchase transit bandwith from as they have shedloads of cash thanks to the licence tax we are forced to pay and then to pay again ISPs whose users access their content so the ISP is getting the subs from the customer and the Beeb so that customer is in effect paying twice.
Large content providers will have trunked links so the bandwidth they get their hands on is almost limitless meanwhile the traffic to and from the smaller server operator will get squeezed to the point where due to the constraints of their connection their service was just about useable to the point where the server is unreachable because it is swamped by the paid traffic.
If one class of traffic is bringing in the money with a large margin (paid streaming) and the other (subscriber subs with deductions for ADSL line rent etc) is bringing in lower and most of the customers are using a lot of streaming but want to do other things such as mail and browsing where is the incentive to provide the extra bandwidth necessary to facilitate these actions
MrC
Grafter
Posts: 520
Registered: 17-07-2008

Re: Government to allow ISPs to charge content providers for traffic prioritisation

Yup totally agree, as you say Level 3 can charge the BBC (or any other content provider) for access charges and prioritise that traffic. It's when traffic transits multiple providers that priority, and paying for it, becomes an issue.
A quick scan of the part of the Digital Britain Interim Report dealing with net neutrality shows a worryingly UK-centric view of things in that it seems to have considered local content providers, but it doesn't seem to have considered the wider connectivity issues or even what the potential content types could be. Maybe the full report will shed some more light on their thinking.
Mike
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Government to allow ISPs to charge content providers for traffic prioritisation

An argument for net neutrality then.
The new US president has an interest in technology which is good to see particularly when a lot of the core infrastructure is US controlled and major Tier 1 providers are US based and owned whereas Bush would have sided with whoever would wave the largest cheque.
Trouble now is that our government has that mentality it would appear.
The UK network portion and a great many ISPs need to be put back under the control of people who are enthusiasts and understand the issues as its about far more than making huge profits or at least it should be.
If I had the financial resources (and of course you;d those on the scale of Sir Richard Branson) I would buy up an ISP and look at transforming it into a mutual, run by its members for its members.