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2006.06.05 NANOG-NOTES Network Neutrality panel notes
(since there's no slides for these online anywhere, and the slides were going past pretty quickly, I have to apologize for the gaps in the notes ahead of time. --MNP) 2006.06.05 Network Neutrality Panel [slides are not yet online] next up is the controversial subject of network neutrality; Bill Woodcock will be chairing the panel, so Randy Bush can go be a member of the audience again. Bill Woodcock: network neutrality has been in front of press and legislatures for the past several months, and has been in the works behind the scenes for almost a year. Brokaw Price, peering at Yahoo! Sean Doran, free agent, "rooting" for Sprint back in the day Sean Donelan, now at cisco, Gene Lew, at neustar now, has done cable operations before. Sean can pretend to be Vint Cerf for this panel. :D Network Neutrality--what does it mean to operations people? History: Michael Powell, Feb, 2004, defined four internet consumer rights (chairman FCC) freedom to access content freedom to use applications freedom to connect personal devices freedom to obtain service plan information History of net neutrality concept: feb 2005, madison river telephone company consent decree "Madison River shall not block ports used for VoIP..." August 2005, FCC policy statement access lawful internet content run applications and services subject to the needs of law enforcement connect legal devices that do no harm to the networks competition amongst... All of these principles are subject to reasonable network management. That last bullet is what gives telcos ability to quote QoS as a mandatory network management requirement. March 2006, internet non-discrimination act senate bill 2360 only 2% of americans have a choice in last mile. shall not interfere with block, degrade, alter, modify, impair, or change bits or content May take measures to protect customers from attacks may protect their own network infrastructu May 2006 Internet freedom and non-discrimination modifies clayton anti-trust act. Passed based on party lines. Turns over to Sean to talk about his thoughts. Sean Donelan Doesn't represent anyone right now. The Huck Finn approach. And no, you can't configure this on your router. What are we talking about? Rep John Conyers (D-MI) "internet as we know it is at risk" Same guy noted in 2003 about cable operators being smart enough to not poison their customer pool Not really a new issue: ANS CO+RE in 1991 unapproved networks filtered from R&E gateways ANS and CIX, June 1992 ANS agreed to "provisionally" interconnect CIX proposed filtering resellers (194) NSF NAP/NREN solicitation (1993) required NSPs connect to all priority Network Access Points (NAPs) uncertainty created opportunities for new service providers pizzahut.com debate--couldn't reach it from university networks, but you could reach it from UUnet. Two-tiered internet even back then. Regulations chasing change TitleI -- General FCC Authority (pre 1984) TitleII common carrier voice/phone calls/later data TitleIII spectrum licensing broadcast TV and radio TitleVI Cable Television (post 1984) FCC moved DSL (but not UNE-L and cable modems) back into TitleI again. VoIP is still unknown. Telecom act of 1996 was another biggie. before 1996, enhanced services transmitted over a common carrier. After 1996, info services were defined by the telecom act; they run over telecommunications provisioned by anyone, not just common carriers. That's why cable companies can offer telecommunications even though they're not common carriers. Also why Radio and TV can put IP in subcarrier without being common carriers. So, we have a really odd blend, they're not mutually exclusive. Now you have the potential for new entrants from any direction. Most home services now come over cable companies; multiple resellers of same product wasn't enough to satisfy customers. Customers are very fickle Interfering with a customer's use of the Internet would hurt the provider's business. No-one can predict what the next "Killer App" will be. and *everyone* can complain Both sides need each other to succeed. Predicting in advance what customers want and will consider improvement vs interference is hard to the point of being nearly impossible. And what customers consider an improvement one year may become interference, or what was once interference will now be considered improvement. If you start writing regulations, you imply investigative and reporting requirements along with it. Who would enforce these regulations? And regulations seldom prevent people from being evil, the government simply sets the price for being evil. Broadcast fairness doctrine--equal time; nobody can buy public advocacy on national networks, except for politicians, who get the best rates. Kingsbury committment--ATT had to interconnect with everyone--but that meant you didn't need a second long distance company, so ended up supporting monopoly expansion. Universal service backfired by giving a monopoly to those giving out the free phones to... Back to Bill Woodcock: Arguments in favour preference will go to dominant players instead of technological innovators If market isn't free, consumers must be protected from predatory practices. Nondescrimination is part of common carrier status Many access networks were built under monopoly protection are they thus the moral property of the consumers who were forced to pay to create them? Arguments against descrimination required to protect customers from "bad" traffic. service bundling needed to encourage future investment in infrastructure Nondescrimination is compelled speech in the first amendment sense. QandA for the panel. Q: Free speech: can carriers claim "common carrier" protection from responsibility for customer content, and simultaneously claim a seemingly-contradictory 1st amendment protection from compelled speech? Sean Doran--Canadian, working in EU on similar issues; can carriers degrade non-customer or competitor's traffic as part of deregulatory process? Unbundling local loops, etc; if people were given access to these components on an equal cost basis, would incumbent be able to sustain a biased offering around degraded service? Risk was taken that rather than regulate a monopoly, the regulators would create an artificial basis where the competitive playing field was forced to be level; seems to have worked, they've seen 100fold to 100,000fold price decreases since 1997; double-digit mbit connectivity four double-digit prices in US dollars are available in major cities; can get triple digit BW for triple digits in stockholm for example. Mutually competitive providers, incumbent PTT is forced to sell access to all comers at same price level. Regulating on other levels tends to enhance the power of the incumbent, rather than limit it, since they generally have the stronger lobbying power. Bill Norton at mike--In US, given the large amount of video traffic on the net, do cable companies have enough infrastructure to handle forseeable traffic levels? Since he can't be compelled to pay for speech that isn't paid for, he'll just replace your ads with his own as they pass along the wire. What about mandatory revenue sharing? Bill Woodcock passes the question to Brokaw Price from Yahoo! Well, Brokaw notes that's a push model, vs the reality of the internet, which is a pull environment. If incumbents did that, the model for the internet would start to collapse, as customer wouldn't be able to be sure where their traffic was coming from; more likely the incumbent would be likely to compete directly, rather than trying to circumvent. But that's likely to create more of a walled garden environment, and we've seen those walled gardens collapse in the past. Sean notes AOL could do it since they have proxies (ad replacement, that is). More likely that telcos would be able to show that a free-for-a-month link is better than your other providers, so you should pay them to get that better connectivity--and since you can't see into their routers, you have no way of knowing *why* their direct paid-for link is better than the alternative transit provider's link. The congestion issue is all this just an excuse for backbones to not upgrade, and just pass the pain and costs around to different players? Gene notes that Neustar is not taking any official position on network neutrality. But then back to earlier question; the ads on baseball games are often not what exist in the stadium, they're what the broadcaster decides their audience should see. Being a former carrier, it's debatable about skipping upgrades and forcing QoS payments instead to deal with congestion issues. Where he lives, he has 5 broadband providers he can chose from; in major metro markets, that's often true, and with municipal wifi coming into the play, could be a dark horse that will force the issue. The competition issue: do network neutrality and local loop unbundling matter only in the absence of competition? Brokaw: well, competition is generally good, gives customer a chance to decide which provider is better, assuming the customer has the wherewithall to move. In areas where the customer can't change, yes, it's likely to be more of a problem. In the content space, if he only has one option to reach a huge consumer base, price elasticity raises his ugly head, and it's likely the user experience will be adjusted to reflect that increased cost; and that's an ugly outlook for the internet if we follow it out to its conclusion. And if the big players are forced to do that, it's likely the smaller players will be under even more pressure. 3 choices: do we have sufficient competition now? Do we need more regulation? Or do we need more competition? Brokaw: consolidation is reducing the number of competitors in the market; it's still a free market, so we're not yet down to monopolies yet. It's a tough call. We're struggling with what the end vision will be. Sean Doran: US needs more competition; there's already too much regulation in all the wrong areas. Congress is introducing bills all over the place, likely to do for network neutrality the same thing they did with spam. not likely to turn out well. Sean Donelan: regulation tends to freeze things as a status quo; just adds more regulation, rather than adding more real competition. Regulation just gives more brand names without real competition. He feels regulation is useful as long as it goes in the right direction; tries to make everything look alike, rather than rewarding innovation. Greg Lew: Is there enough competition, or more needed? Well, yes for his area, but large areas (20%) don't have access to broadband, so those areas need more competition, definitely. Q: Michael Sinatri?, UC Berkeley. Service Provider (TV station) pays the content provider for the content, and negotiates the ad space placed on that. If the content is being provided for free, what right does the SP have to modify the content mid-stream? Content Accelerators--shrink images before being sent; if customer pays for that, does that infringe on content provider's original data? Q: Ted Seeley, Sprint. Incumbent ILECs spend millions to build out infrastructure to support that video distribution. Why pay SBC when you can buy it from Sony? That is, the ILEC spends the dollars to expand their network, hoping to recoup the cost from the customers over a 10 year period; But there's no guarantee that customer will be there for the full 10 year amortized time for paying back the buildout; if they jump ship to someone else, how do those upgrades get paid for? Q: Patrick Gilmore: if telco wants to charge content providers for bits they're sending, what are they going to charge each other for the high volume of illegal content they're sending back and forth to each other, which according to their own stats is the bulk of their traffic? Survey forms available on the web! If you're sticking around, fill it out. If you're leaving, fill it out! Maps with food places; will start up again at 2:15 for afternoon bofs. Lunchtime now!