North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Two Tiered Internet

  • From: Michael.Dillon
  • Date: Wed Dec 14 05:53:40 2005

> There are two possible ways of having a tiered system
> - one is to degrade competitors/those who don't pay,
> and the other is to offer a premium service to those
> who do pay.

The only way I know of to offer a premium service
on the same network as a non-premium service is 
to delay non-premium packets. This artificial packet
delay is known as "Quality of Service" or QoS because
it degrades the quality of service to some users in
order to allow other users unobstructed use of the

You see the same thing in road networks when the police
block certain intersections to allow a parade or an
important diplomat to move along the streets with no
obstructions. This type of policing can also be used
in networks.

But there is another way. If you provide enough bandwidth
so that your peak traffic levels can travel through the
network without ever being buffered at any of the core
network interfaces, then everybody is a king. If you charge
your customers a higher fee for such a network than your
competitors do, then we have a tiered Internet. This
unobstructed network was pioneered by Sprint on it's 
zero-CIR frame relay network and they carried this forward
into their IP network as well. Other companies have
carried forward this architecture as well.

--Michael Dillon