North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Transaction Based Settlements Encourage Waste (was Re: B

  • From: Sean Butler
  • Date: Mon Aug 24 18:25:28 1998

Mike Leber wrote:
>You appear to be missing the point that there are perfect legitimate and
>non fraudulent ways of increasing the amount of traffic generated.  For
>example, simply pay all your web hosting clients based on the amount of
>traffic generated.  Then instruct them on ways to maximize their revenue
>using methods that don't overly annoy users.  For example:
>1) implement anticaching measures (both antibrowser cache and anti
>transparent proxy cache)
>2) make their pages automatically reload every minute to show some dynamic
>indicator (say, the temperature and humiditty outside).
>3) use lots of very long streaming data.  They should have sound on every
>page (and the sound files should be 3 weeks of data).  That way if
>somebody visits your client's site and then goes to lunch or home for the
>weekend the web site is still generating revenue by playing this huge
>sound file because the visitor's browser was left viewing your client's
>nice site.

My argument was that in addition to the peering settlement charges,
each network would charge their customers for the traffic they generate.
So, if you ask your web hosting customers to add traffic, and actually
pay them for that, then my customers that request content from yours
get a bigger bill than they used to.  My customers stop going to your
customers site.  (I'll provide them with an itemized bill that lets them
see what cost so much and why.)  Your customers figure out they are getting
a free  internet connection from you (since you are now subsidizing their
connection/traffic cost), but they are no longer getting any business
from their customers.  I imagine they take off the extra traffic real

And the numbers I am talking about would be quite small.  Enough for the
average dial user to retain a bill that is near $20/month.  However, for
those that generate much more, they'd get billed more.  Now at the peering
points, when you have thousands of dial in users requesting content, and
you are on the short end of the traffic exchange in terms of byte count,
so you'll have to pay the large content ISP, you can pass that on to
your many dial customers.  It would be similar on the content size --
you can charge based on the traffic they generate, but most likley, this
will be a small small amount, since you be getting money from your peers.

Again, this requires all ISP's to do per usage based fees -- not just one
or two ISPs could start to do it, or they'd lose all their customers.
I'm not saying to use the current flat rate costs *and* charge for
usage, but lower the flat rate (or make it nothing or next to nothing)
and then charge for usage.  Shouldn't those users that generate the most
traffic on your network pay for it?

For number 3, if you are paying for traffic you receive, you no longer
get up and go to lunch with your internet connection running!

One thing I hadn't thought about, that your post brought out...  If
I cache, I am charging my customers for traffic they request, even though
I only had to pay for it once... Not sure that passes the ethics

I know settlement based peering and usage based charges for your
customers is not without many problems, but I think they can be
worked out.  I think settlements without usage based charges has
no chance, as traffic generators can then run free.  But when someone
is paying for the traffic, bogus traffic would stop.  There may
be some period of instability as all Internet customers get used
to it, but I think it could come around.

And it is my take that you can catch non-legit traffic, and if the
penalties for creating such traffic are high enough, it would happen
infrequently.  I know others feel that you can always generate
bogus traffic that is not tractable, but if the technology is not
there today, it is not far away.

Sean Butler, CCIE #3897
IBM Global Services -- OpenNet Support
Phone:  8-631-9809,   813-523-7353
Fax:        8-427-5475   813-878-5475
Internet email:  [email protected]