No, I believe the article stated that Yahoo! was getting the bandwidth for "free". That is, Yahoo! is its own national network with POP's in all the big cities. Yahoo! is like an ISP, but unlike an ISP, Yahoo! did not sell transit. The only point of their network was to peer with large ISP's. They would drop in a router and get as many ISP's to connect their POP's to their router for free.
The difference today is that Netflix has a lot more data. A LOT more. Gone are the days of simple web sites. Depending on the size of the ISP that router and interface port might cost a heck of a lot of money. They might even have to upgrade the routers within their network. As demand for things like Netflix grows, the cost of that equipment grows. For what? Just so their customers can get Netflix? They think to themselves, "Why upgrade that port?" Customer start complaining to Netflix. The solution? Let Netflix (or Cogent) pay for the router/port. Seems fair to me. In the mean time, customers have to complain loud enough to get something done.
Not all content providers have this kind of network. Netflix is not Yahoo! or Google. They used Cogent to do all the work for them. In some ways that is better. If I was a small start up that was going to launch a new streaming service, I know where I would place my servers for good connectivity to Comcast. I'd place them in a Cogent colo!
Since the beginning of peering, the rules have always been that if you have roughly the same amount of traffic inbound and outbound, peering has no charge.
That must have been *very* early on. I remember reading an article in the late 90's that stated that Yahoo! only payed for half of their total bandwidth requirements. Transit was costing them too much money. So they peered with large ISP's to cut their transit costs. They were connecting eyeballs to content. Both sides of the equation won because ISP's would take traffic off of their transit connection and so did Yahoo!. Yes, it does cost money to peer, but for Yahoo! it saved them money. How is this any different than Netflix? Same deal, eyeballs and content. The difference is that Netflix sends a lot more data. Even more reason that ISP's should want the traffic off of their transit connections.
The scenario with Netflix and ISP's is exactly what I've been describing for years. That is, use congestion on links to beat net neutrality. I would point this out and people would still focus on filtering and shaping. Who needs to filter when an ISP can just peer with a preferred VoIP provider? The link would have plenty of extra capacity and get very good quality of service. No neutrality rules have been broken because the ISP isn't shaping or filtering. They are using the inherit capability of the Internet to route traffic. So did the net neutrality people always see this issue or do they just not understand? Was the goal, all along, to control peering and they just hid their motives?
I've been skeptical of net neutrality because as soon as it was implemented, it wouldn't be "good enough" and they'd move on to more and more control. We all should be very skeptical of the government stepping in to regulate peering.
You are mixing apples and oranges.
Peering agreements have been the same forever. As long as there is nearly a 1:1 ratio between the providers, everything is fine. The issue comes up when one side is using more bandwidth than they are giving in return.
Not entirely true. I remember reading an article years and years ago that Yahoo was only paying for half of their total bandwidth usage. At the time Yahoo was generating a lot of traffic. It helped Yahoo and the larger ISP's to bypass their expensive transit links, bypass the backbone, and connect eyeballs to content directly.
Netflix is breaking the long standing status quo. Last I checked, they accounted for ~30% of ALL of the traffic on the internet. Obviously that is going to skew the metrics, and that is why Netflix is trying to push their own CDN. I do not know the particulars there. IMO, if Netflix expects ISPs to pay for their CDN, they are on drugs.
It is a little bit more complicated than this. Netflix uses Cogent. Cogent has pissed off other backbone providers over the years. Netflix is suffering with Verizon because of the relationship with Cogent. Netflix should see if Verizon would be interested in peering with them "directly".
What they should do is run the numbers and figure out what costs more; "overage" charges from Cogent, or eating the cost of paying to deploy their CDN hardware and network links to the other Tier1 ISPs.
Are you suggesting that net neutrality should address situations like this? Are you saying that it is a good idea to have the government force a business to eat the cost of supporting someone else's business model? To me, that sounds like a big fat subsidy for Netflix at the expense of everyone else.
I DO NOT want the government to have any say in this stuff. I would rather the market figure out the details. Yeah, there might be bumps along the road, but I would rather have that than the long arm of government regulation causing stagnation.
I'm not saying that the Verizon to AWS link is saturated for this reason. I'm just pointing out that Verizon could handle all traffic in a neutral way to the letter of the law and still have an issue with traffic going to AWS/Netflix. It would be the responsibility of Netflix and Verizon to work out a mutually beneficial agreement that would carry the traffic without congestion between their respective networks. That is exactly how this all works right now.
BTW, The communal living described in Acts was in the church, not the government.
So as Jesus said (Matthew 22:20-22):
and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.