North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Home media servers, AUPs, and upstream bandwidth utilization.

  • From: Alexander Harrowell
  • Date: Mon Dec 25 06:03:34 2006
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UK UMTS operator 3 (a Hutchison division) is advertising its so-called X-Series service, which provides "unlimited" data service (plus various lumps of steam telephony) for 25 rising to 40 a month. Skype is being bundled with the devices involved, and here's the kicker - 3 is offering Slingboxen thrown in for 99 extra.

3 has just begun HSDPA Class 5 upgrades in metro areas (claimed maximum 3.6 Mbits/s) and plans to launch HSUPA in the uplink next spring, with a claimed max of 1.4Mbits/s.

On 12/25/06, Thomas Leavitt <[email protected]> wrote:
Check the AUP and TOS for that EVDO connection - my guess is that by
viewing stuff from your Slingbox, you're risking termination of service.
I don't have an EVDO connection myself (still toodling along with my
Sidekick's GPRS), and part of the reason why is that they have a lot of
what I think are unreasonable restrictions on how these services can be
used -- this is based on what I've read on the various mailing lists I'm
on (Dave Farber's IP, Declan McCullagh's Politech, and Dewayne
Hendrick's Dewayne-Net).

I don't know how significant restrictions like this are from a
competitive perspective, but my broadband ISP also has a very liberal
TOS... and that's one of the reasons I use them. I suspect that as items
like the Slingbox become more common, folks will start paying more
attention to what they're permitted to do with their upstream bandwidth.


Roland Dobbins wrote:
> I recently purchased a Slingbox Pro, and have set it up so that I can
> remotely access/control my home HDTV DVR and stream video remotely.
> My broadband access SP specifically allow home users to run servers,
> as long as said servers don't cause a problem for the SP
> infrastructure nor for other users or doing anything illegal; as long
> as I'm not breaking the law or making problems for others, they don't
> care.
> The Slingbox is pretty cool; when I access it, both the video and
> audio quality are more than acceptable.  It even works well when I
> access it via EVDO; on average, I'm pulling down about 450kb/sec up to
> about 580kb/sec over TCP (my home upstream link is a theoretical
> 768kb/sec, minus overhead; I generally get something pretty close to
> that).
> What I'm wondering is, do broadband SPs believe that this kind of
> system will become common enough to make a signficant difference in
> traffic paterns, and if so, how do they believe it will affect their
> access infrastructures in terms of capacity, given the typical
> asymmetries seen in upstream vs. downstream capacity in many broadband
> access networks?  If a user isn't doing something like breaking the
> law by illegally redistributing copyrighted content, is this sort of
> activity permitted by your AUPs?  If so, would you change your AUPs if
> you saw a significant shift towards non-infringing upstream content
> streaming by your broadband access customers?  If not, would you
> consider changing your AUPs in order to allow this sort of upstream
> content streaming of non-infringing content, with the caveat that
> users can't caused problems for your infrastructure or for other
> users, and perhaps with a bandwidth cap?
> Would you police down this traffic if you could readily classify it,
> as many SPs do with P2P applications?  Would the fact that this type
> of traffic doesn't appear to be illegal or infringing in any way lead
> you to treat it differently than P2P traffic (even though there are
> many legitimate uses for P2P file-sharing systems, the presumption
> always seems to be that the majority of P2P traffic is in
> illegally-redistributed copyrighted content, and thus P2P technologies
> seem to've acquired a taint of distaste from many quarters, rightly or
> wrongly).
> Also, have you considered running a service like this yourselves, a la
> Vidoeconferencing is somewhat analogous, but in most cases,
> videoconference calls (things like iChat, Skype videoconferencing,
> etc.) generally seem to use a less bandwidth than the Slingox, and it
> seems to me that they will in most cases be of shorter duration than,
> say, a business traveler who wants to keep up with Lost or 24 and so
> sits down to stream video from his home A/V system for 45 minutes to
> an hour at a stretch.
> Sorry to ramble, this neat little toy just sparked a few questions,
> and I figured that some of you are dealing with these kinds of issues
> already, or are anticipating doing so in the not-so-distant future.
> Any insight or informed speculation greatly appreciated!
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Roland Dobbins < [email protected]> // 408.527.6376 voice
>         All battles are perpetual.
>                -- Milton Friedman

Thomas Leavitt - [email protected] - 831-295-3917 (cell)

*** Independent Systems and Network Consultant, Santa Cruz, CA ***