North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Definition of a burstable circuit

  • From: Patrick Greenwell
  • Date: Wed Aug 22 14:05:25 2001

On Wed, 22 Aug 2001, Stanley, Jon wrote:

> Without getting into a religious debate, I need some consensus for a problem
> that I am having regarding the definition of a burstable circuit.
> In my view of the world, a burstable circuit is defined as one where the
> customer can send us as much data as they would like (for example, an
> entire DS3's worth on a consistent basis), and we would bill them for
> usage above the contracted amount via some method (we use 90th
> percentile reporting)
> In someone else's view inside the company, the customer should be prohibited
> from sending above the contracted rate for any extended period of time
> by policing at the ATM layer.  Both views are viable, but I believe
> (nearly religously) that the former view is correct.
> Any input would be appreciated.

The holder of the latter view is confused. (does that count as religious?)

Seriously, what all the providers I have experience with have done is let
you burst to whatever the link capacity is and charge a premium on the
overage above the normal committed per Mb rate, or bump you to the next
committment level once you have sustained an overage for a period of time.
While it can make traffic engineering a little more difficult, both of these
represents a revenue opportunity.

If you take the first approach and charge a premium it has the advantage of
generally being self-corrective when you explain to the customer they are
paying more by not making a larger bandwidth committment. Taking the second
approach is easier for you, generates additional revenue, but could be more of
a billing/customer service hassle.