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Re: BitTorrent swarms have a deadly bite on broadband nets

  • From: Leigh Porter
  • Date: Thu Oct 25 21:44:22 2007

And with working QoS and DSCP tagging flat rate works just fine.

Andrew Odlyzko wrote:
> Flat rate schemes have been spreading over the kicking and
> screaming bodies of telecom executives (bodies that are
> very much alive because of all the feasting on the profits
> produced by flat rates).  It is truly amazing how telecom
> has consistently fought flat rates for over a century
> (a couple of centuries, actually, if you include snail
> mail as a telecom technology), and has refused to think
> rationally about the phenomenon.  There actually are
> serious arguments in favor of flat rates even in the
> conventional economic framework (since they are a form
> of bundling).  But in addition, they have several big behavioral
> economics effect in stimulating usage and in eliciting extra
> spending.  This is all covered, with plenty of amusing historical 
> examples, in my paper "Internet pricing and the history of communications," 
> Computer Networks 36 (2001), pp. 493-517, available at
> Now flat rates are not the answer to all problems, and in
> particular are not as appropriate if marginal costs of
> providing service are high, or else if you are trying to
> limit usage for whatever reason (whether to fend off RIAA
> and MPAA, or to limit pollution in cases of car transportation).
> But they are not just an artifact of an irrational consumer
> preference, as the conventional telecom economics literature
> and conventional telco thinking assert.
> Andrew Odlyzko
>   > On Thu 25 Oct 2007, Rod Beck wrote:
>   > The vast bulk of users have no idea how many bytes they=20
>   > consume each month or the bytes generated by different=20
>   > applications. The schemes being advocated in this discussion=20
>   > require that the end users be Layer 3 engineers.
>   "Actually, it sounds a lot like the Electric7 tariffs found in the UK =
>   for
>   electricity. These are typically used by low income people who have less
>   education than the average population. And yet they can understand the
>   concept of saving money by using more electricity at night.
>   I really think that a two-tiered QOS system such as the scavenger
>   suggestion is workable if the applications can do the marking. Has
>   anyone done any testing to see if DSCP bits are able to travel unscathed
>   through the public Internet?
>   --Michael Dillon
>   P.S. it would be nice to see QoS be recognized as a mechanism for
>   providing a degraded quality of service instead of all the "first class"
>   marketing puffery."
>   It is not question of whether you approve of the marketing puffery or =
>   not. By the way, telecom is an industry that has used tiered pricing =
>   schemes extensively, both in the 'voice era' and in the early dialup =
>   industry. In the early 90s there were dial up pricing plans that =
>   rewarded customers for limiting their activity to the evening and =
>   weekends. MCI, one of the early long distance voice entrants, had all =
>   sorts of discounts, including weekend and evening promotions.=20
>   Interestingly enough, although those schemes are clearly attractive from =
>   an efficiency standpoint, the entire industry have shifted towards flat =
>   rate pricing for both voice and data. To dismiss that move as purely =
>   driven by marketing strikes me as misguided. That have to be real costs =
>   involved for such a system to fall apart.=20