[Bloat] [Cerowrt-devel] beating the drum for BQL

Jan Ceuleers jan.ceuleers at gmail.com
Fri Aug 24 02:16:18 EDT 2018

On 24/08/18 01:35, Sebastian Moeller wrote:
> 	Sure, but my ISP charged 4 EUR per month for the DSL-router that adds up to 12*2*4 = 96 EUR over the 2 years contract duration and to 12*5*4 = 240 over my renting duration; assuming that my ISP does not need to make a profit on this device (after all I am renting this to be able to consume internet and telephone from them) that is considerably more that 20-40 EUR. This is especially farcical since until a few years ago the dsl-routers have been given for "free" and when they switched to mandatory renting the baseplan price was not reduced by the same amount. I guess what I want to convey is while cost is imprtant it is not a goo d excuse to distribute underpowered devices....

A few points:

1. The CPE makers sell these devices to ISPs wholesale. The price point
they have to design to is determined by those ISPs' willingness to pay,
which is also influenced/co-determined by the market price. What ISPs
manage to rake in over the technical life span of those devices has
nothing to do with it - the CPE makers don't get a cut of the rental
charges. The economics explain the behaviour of both the ISP and the CPE
maker very well - nothing's going to change without some substantial

2. Mandatory rental of CPE is a racket that's seen in various markets
(e.g. STBs in the cable market). It is more defendable in some
situations than in others. For example cable companies get away with it
because of a lack of sufficient standardisation (which is also not going
to be improved to the point where the STB market can be completely
opened because the standards are set by a cable industry body).

It's not so defendable in the DSL market anymore, although I can tell
you from experience that there's a lot of very poor DSL modems out there
which cause interop problems in the real world, including interference
with other people's DSL lines. The network operator having firm control
of which DSL modems are permitted onto their network helps performance
for all of their customers. But this can also be achieved by means other
than mandatory rental of CPE: there are countries where the regulator
oversees a DSL modem certification scheme, and end-users can then go out
and buy a certified device through their preferred retail outlet, at
very reasonable prices.

FWIW I bought three STBs for 50EUR from my cable company 5 years ago,
rather than renting them for 7EUR/month each.

3. ISPs and network operators will buy the cheapest CPE that meets their
needs. In respect of traffic throughput they will invariably use Ookla
to test. This is why I've been saying for quite some time that unless we
can convince Ookla to penalise bufferbloat we won't make a dent in how
CPE are designed in this respect.


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