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Comment: Re:In other words... (Score 1) 284

by JoelKatz (#46604707) Attached to: U.S. Court: Chinese Search Engine's Censorship Is 'Free Speech'

It can't work both ways. The government can't say "sure, you can have limited liability, something only the government can give you and that you pretty much need to run a business, but in exchange, you must give up some of your Constitutional rights". That's basically the definition of an unconstitutional condition.

Comment: Re:14th Amendment (Score 1) 284

by JoelKatz (#46603551) Attached to: U.S. Court: Chinese Search Engine's Censorship Is 'Free Speech'

That's certainly one view of how search engines should work, and there are search engines that share this view. But the most popular search engine in the world, Google, does not share this view, and its commercial success suggests that that's not what most people want. Google biases search results based on characteristics of the person searching to try to get them the results they are personally most likely to be interested in. This tends to produce results people consider more relevant, but it does not provide an unbiased view of the Internet.

Comment: Re:Peering and Bandwidth Symmetry (Score 1) 182

by JoelKatz (#46555819) Attached to: Level 3 Wants To Make Peering a Net Neutrality Issue

Of course not. Paying for bandwidth asymmetry is only used where its logic makes sense. The basic underlying assumption is that traffic that begins on one network and terminates on the other benefits both sides equally and thus the costs should be split roughly evenly. Paying for bandwidth asymmetry is an approximation to cover the case where one side pays more than the other, usually because one side has to carry the traffic further than the other. (Generally, you carry inbound traffic further than outbound.) Historically, this is the way it's done.

But when you're talking about Comcast, which has a large number of small endpoints, and Netflix or Crashplan, which have a small number of large endpoints, more of the costs are borne by Comcast regardless of the direction. So settlement-based peering makes sense regardless of traffic ratios.

Settlement-based peering based on traffic ratios makes sense when you're talking about two ISPs with roughly similar business models, types of customers, and service areas. But it's just a simple approximation of the underlying logic -- traffic benefits the sender and receiver about equally, so they should split the costs about equally. When design asymmetries make one party pay more than their fair share, settlement-based peering is the norm.

Comment: Re:Peering and Bandwidth Symmetry (Score 1) 182

by JoelKatz (#46555809) Attached to: Level 3 Wants To Make Peering a Net Neutrality Issue

Comcast is not an end user, they are a peer. When two networks exchange traffic as peers, that means they exchange only traffic that originates on one of their networks and terminates on the other. This is precisely what Comcast and Netflix want to do -- exchange traffic that originates on one network and terminates on the other. That is, by definition, peering.

Comment: Re:Peering and Bandwidth Symmetry (Score 1) 182

by JoelKatz (#46555701) Attached to: Level 3 Wants To Make Peering a Net Neutrality Issue

I'll put this in terms that are as simple as possible, since you clearly don't understand the difference between peering and transit. When you want to reach a network in Sweden, your ISP carries that traffic for you. When your ISP wants to reach a network in Sweden, they can't ask you to carry it. That's why you pay your ISP. It has nothing to do with ratios or directions -- it's because your ISP is providing you with transit and you are not providing your ISP transit.

Comment: Re:Peering and Bandwidth Symmetry (Score 1) 182

by JoelKatz (#46547859) Attached to: Level 3 Wants To Make Peering a Net Neutrality Issue

The presumption behind the scheme is that the traffic benefits both sides equally and thus the costs should be split. If Netflix wants to receive traffic that provides no benefit whatsoever to Comcast customers, they should pay 100% of the costs for that traffic. So that won't actually even the flow at all but only make it more asymmetric.

Comment: Re:The issue is... (Score 1) 182

by JoelKatz (#46547813) Attached to: Level 3 Wants To Make Peering a Net Neutrality Issue

They're paying twice, but they're paying for two different things. Netflix pays their ISP for the cost of delivering their traffic to Comcast. But they also pay Comcast for half the difference between their ISP's delivery costs and Comcast's delivery cost.

Say I want to send a package to you and we agree to split the cost of delivery. I might pay a courier to take the package to a pickup point and you might pay a courier to take the package from the pickup point to you. But if your courier is more expensive than mine, then I should also pay you half the difference in costs, so that we fairly split the delivery cost. This is the basis of settlement-based peering.

Comment: Re:The issue is... (Score 1) 182

by JoelKatz (#46547801) Attached to: Level 3 Wants To Make Peering a Net Neutrality Issue

No, you should pay half the cost of the delivery. The sender should pay the other half. This is why the Internet has, for decades, used settlement-based for asymmetric flows. Otherwise, folks like Netflix and Google won't be paying half the costs.

It is fundamental to Netflix's business model that they will have a small number of sources that produce large amounts of traffic to a large number of destinations. It is common sense that this means that Netflix will, in the absence of settlements, pay less than half the costs of the traffic they produce.

Comment: Re:Maybe Netflix is too big for peering agreements (Score 1) 520

by JoelKatz (#46332437) Attached to: Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

"The ISPs aren't peering at all, they are the termination point."

Huh? Peering is how traffic is exchanged between termination points. Traffic from Netflix to Comcast customers can reach Comcast's network three ways:

1) Netflix can peer with Comcast.

2) Netflix can be a transit customer of a network that peers with Comcast.

3) Netflix can be a transit customer of Comcast.

1 is what they agreed to now. 2 is what they had before using Cogent's peering with Comcast. 3 is unreasonable given the business nature of Comcast and Netflix.

At these prices, I lose money -- but I make it up in volume. -- Peter G. Alaquon

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