North American Network Operators Group

Date Prev | Date Next | Date Index | Thread Index | Author Index | Historical

Re: FW: ISPs slowing P2P traffic...

  • From: David E. Smith
  • Date: Tue Jan 15 13:29:37 2008

Joe Greco wrote:

I have no idea what the networking equivalent of thirty-seven half-eaten
bags of Cheetos is, can't even begin to imagine what the virtual equivalent
of my couch is, etc.  Your metaphor doesn't really make any sense to me,

There isn't one. The "fat man" metaphor was getting increasingly silly, I just wanted to get it over with.

Interestingly enough, we do have a pizza-and-play place a mile or two
from the house, you pay one fee to get in, then quarters (or cards or
whatever) to play games - but they have repeatedly answered that they
are absolutely and positively fine with you coming in for lunch, and staying through supper. And we have a "discount" card, which they used
to give out to local businesspeople for "business lunches", on top of it.

That's not the best metaphor either, because they're making money off the games, not the buffet. (Seriously, visit one of 'em, the food isn't very good, and clearly isn't the real draw.) I suppose you could market Internet connectivity this way - unlimited access to HTTP and POP3, and ten free SMTP transactions per month, then you pay extra for each protocol. That'd be an awfully tough sell, though.

As long as you fairly disclose to your end-users what limitations and restrictions exist on your network, I don't see the problem.

You've set out a qualification that generally doesn't exist.

I can only speak for my network, of course. Mine is a small WISP, and we have the same basic policy as Amplex, from whence this thread originated. Our contracts have relatively clear and large (at least by the standards of a contract) "no p2p" disclaimers, in addition to the standard "no traffic that causes network problems" clause that many of us have. The installers are trained to explicitly mention this, along with other no-brainer clauses like "don't spam."

When we're setting up software on their computers (like their email client), we'll look for obvious signs of trouble ahead. If a customer already has a bunch of p2p software installed, we'll let them know they can't use it, under pain of "find a new ISP."

We don't tell our customers they can have unlimited access to do whatever the heck they want. The technical distinctions only matter to a few customers, and they're generally the problem customers that we don't want anyway.

To try to make this slightly more relevant, is it a good idea, either technically or legally, to mandate some sort of standard for this? I'm thinking something like the "Nutrition Facts" information that appears on most packaged foods in the States, that ISPs put on their Web sites and advertisements. I'm willing to disclose that we block certain ports for our end-users unless they request otherwise, and that we rate-limit certain types of traffic. I can see this sort of thing getting confusing and messy for everyone, with little or no benefit to anyone. Thoughts?

David Smith