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Re: Fwd: SlashDot: "Comcast Gunning for NAT Users"
The main reason Comcast and other carriers are trying to keep NAT out is almost surely in order to price discirminate. If you are using NAT, you are probably a sophisticated (and therefore presumably moderately affluent) user who can afford the extra charge. Further, if you are using NAT, you probably value your connection more than the typical residential user, and so should be willing to pay more. This is the same argument that led phone companies to charge extra for additional phones in the past. (And note that this policy has not disappeared from the scene. The charge for a second voice line for the home is higher than for the first, even though the marginal cost of providing that service is much lower.) It is the same argument that led snail mail services up through the first half of the 19th century to charge for letters by the sheet (with postal clerks sitting in darkened rooms, holding letters up against candle light to ensure there were no additional sheets hidden inside), and also to charge according to distance, even when the marginal costs of long haul transport were negligible. That such practices surface constantly is no accident. There are good social policy arguments for price discirmination. On the other hand, those arguments conflict with the general preference people have for simple pricing (as evidenced by the comments on this list). If you are interested in pursuing this further, I have a paper on this subject, "Internet pricing and the history of communications," which appeared last year in "Computer Networks," and is available at < http://www.dtc.umn.edu/~odlyzko/doc/history.communications1b.pdf> Andrew Odlyzko