North American Network Operators Group

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RE: The Qos PipeDream [Was: RE: Two Tiered Internet]

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Thu Dec 15 19:19:28 2005

On Thu, 15 Dec 2005, Fergie wrote:
> I think Bill Manning hit on it a couple of days ago; Bill said
> something about the Internet being about best effort and QoS
> should be (various) levels of 'better-than-best effort' -- and
> anything less that best effort is _not_ the Internet.

AT&T, Global Crossing, Level3, MCI, Savvis, Sprint, etc have sold
QOS services for years. Level3 says 20% of the traffic over its
backbone is "better than Best-Effort."  Ok, maybe they aren't
"the Internet."  Internet2 gave up on premium QOS and deployed
"less-than Best Effort" scavenger class.  Ok, may they aren't
"the Internet" either.

> I think that the knobs are already 'out there' for service
> providers, etc. to create real 'services', but to create arbitrary
> services just to protect one's walled garden, and/or to generate
> revenue (while also penalizing some customers) is something that
> the market will have to sort out. It always does.
> Vote with your dollar$.

Ah, good to see that you agree with Bill Smith from BellSouth.

   William Smith, chief technology officer at BellSouth, argues that
   competitive forces, rather than regulation, are all that's needed to
   prevent the totalitarian online environment that the web camp fears.

   "We have no intention whatsoever of saying 'You can't go here, you
   can't go there, you can't go somewhere else'," Smith said. "We have a
   very competitive situation with cable. If we start trying to restrict
   where our customers can go on the internet, we would see our DSL
   customers defect to cable in droves."

   But, he added, "If I go to the airport, I can buy a coach standby
   ticket or I can buy a first class ticket from Delta. I've made a
   choice as to which experience I want."

But also realize all companies are acting in their own self-interest,
even the companies that have hire lobbyists claiming to be "saving
the Internet."  The enemy of your enemy isn't always your friend.

I agree QOS as defined by marketeers isn't very useful.  But that is a
strawman argument.  Of course, I understand you think its just politics.

On the other hand, those same QOS tools are very useful to the network
engineer for managing all sorts of network problems such as DOS attacks
and disaster recovery as well as more efficiently using all the available
network paths.

I have no idea how all this will turn out or if there are some dark
smoke-filled rooms somewhere I don't know about where the henchmen are
plotting.  But I would really hate to see the network engineer's hands
tied by a law preventing them from managing the network because of some
people spreading a lot of FUD.  The news articles are filled with lots
of speculation about what "could" happen, but very few facts.