North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Schneier: ISPs should bear security burden

  • From: James Baldwin
  • Date: Thu Apr 28 10:52:37 2005

On 27 Apr 2005, at 17:51, Pakojo Samm wrote:

Give me a *clear* unobstructed line (that stays up) at
the cheapest price please.
Your attitude is very much the norm, however your requirements on connectivity are more stringent. All customers want unobstructed access and, we as an ISP, want to provide it. Obstructions to service, regardless of fault or utility, generate call volume. The vast majority of subscribers, measured in millions, are not obstructed by filtered internet services. Subscribers do not understand the benefits of complete end-to-end connectivity nor do they perceive filtered connections as less valuable than other services.

For those subscribers who do notice these obstruction, we offer more robust connections at a different price point. The reasoning is simple: in order to provide the best connectivity possible, measured by least obstructions perceived by the user at the lowest price point, at the highest margin possible we need to relocate the operating cost to the appropriate party. Providing all users with unfiltered transit increases our operating expense without providing the customer with any added benefit. Providing a subset of users with unfiltered transit when necessary pushes that expense onto the users requesting additional service.

As you said, customer desire the cheapest stable connection they can locate. Value added services aid in retention when cheaper rates are offered by competitors and we are not willing to match that price point. Subscribers are willing to pay more for connectivity instead of incurring the cost of replacing their email address, their ISP associated software, etc.

On 28 Apr 2005, at 00:55, Owen DeLong wrote:

Who are you to decide that there is no damage to blocking residential
customers?
The customer makes the decision when they subscribe to a service whether or not filtered service will meet their needs. Who are you to decide that unfiltered service is required to meet the needs of all customers?

Why should an ISP decide what a residential
customer can or can't do with their internet connection.
The service provider should be able to decide what services they wish to offer. If a provider of any service chooses to differentiate services based on utility and the customer is made aware of these characteristics, how is this in anyway unfair? If your objection is that, in single provider markets, it may not be financially viable to obtain your desire service level i.e. the local cable provider does not offer unfiltered connectivity and there are no other residential high bandwidth options available then I suggest you encourage diversity in the market place.

You are not entitled to unfiltered internet connectivity. If you want to be entitled to unfiltered internet connectivity then petition your local government to make transit a privatized utility with all the government oversight and bureaucracy that entails.
---
James Baldwin
hkp://pgp.mit.edu/jbaldwin@antinode.net
"Syntatic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon."

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