[Bloat] [LibreQoS] [Starlink] On fiber as critical infrastructure w/Comcast chat

Dave Taht dave.taht at gmail.com
Wed Mar 29 10:57:34 EDT 2023

I ended up top posting, sorry. Frank: every conversation here does not
end as you say - there have been 14 years worth of conversation

As for finding ways out of this mess, olle, the future of the internet
as we know it is uncertain. It has long been obvious that "a
declaration of freedom of cyberspace" wouldn't work, but, overall, I
think we can continue to "shrink the world", and connect people
ever-better together.

I liked the approach we took in the mid-90s, in particular,
establishing non-profits to attempt to be neutral arbiters of how we
hooked the internet up together, ranging from a multiplicity of orgs
like ICANN (managing numbering), the RIR's (fairly distributing the
numbers), and the IETF and IEEE.

Places where we went commercial (like the name registrars) were pretty
competitive but where we  handed out  "natural monopolies", somewhat
less so - .com for example, the gold rush for .tlds, but .org, at
least, worked out more or less, helping support isoc and the ietf.
Some RIRs were good (apnic, ripe, ARIN), some, like AFRINIC, not so
much. The commercial ISP market that started in the 90s was fueled by
a flat market for phone services, and the AT&Ts of then were caught
flatfooted by the sudden demand for phone lines that were nailed up
for 3 hours, rather than 3 minutes, as had been the case for voice

On the other hand, makers of needed infrastructure software, like
isc.org (makers of bind9 and dhcp only survived due to the support of
a beneficent millionaire ). DNS has kind of fallen into disrepair
along the edge. I would have really liked it had it remained viable
and email in particular, continued to transit all the way into the
home, where in the US at least, it would have had strong 4th amendment

It has been a bad decade or two for non-profits. They cannot lobby,
the structure of corporate and personal taxation has shifted away from
support for it, and the work they do to sustain the internet, far too
invisible to too many. There have been meetings for years about
internet governance from folk that wish to govern, but by design and
intent, I think, from those days, we attempted to make the Net
ungovernable, which I do think, remains a good thing - connecting
people to people - with as few intermediaries and influencers as

I can certainly now make a compelling argument for capital forces
distributing IPv4 address spaces better (which it is doing), but that
scarcity market excludes new entrants from getting online. I shudder
at whatever convolutions new broadband builders are going to have to
go through to provide decent ipv4 access...

It is also increasing a bad-seeming market for the cell companies and
ISPs, with cries for subsidy or a two way market billing the more
profitable cloudy service providers.

And so it goes.

A bit more below.

On Wed, Mar 29, 2023 at 6:46 AM Frantisek Borsik via LibreQoS
<libreqos at lists.bufferbloat.net> wrote:
> Guys, tell me why - besides that it's just the usual, human nature - why every discussion here ends with our version of the "reductio ad Hitlerum", which is, in my mind, more or less subtle attack on capitalism, entrepreneurship, corporations, market and the like.
> Also, more importantly, we all want to close that goddamn digital divide. And we will never gonna do it with fiber ONLY...not to mention FiWi.

The digital divide, if you count tethering to a cellphone, is largely
crossed in the USA, IMHO.

> Also, if there are some fruitful attempts to build some community broadband, be it fiber, wireless or mix...we end up with "yeah, but it's not done in big cities, just in some rural areas."

I look at the fiber effort in bloomington, il, that doc just praised.
They have been at it now, for 14 years.... I would really like a
starting point for cities to be merely enabling a local internet
exchange point and/or small data center.

> We need to close the digital divide - which is, mostly, locate in the rural areas, e.g. to bring broadband where it's not or where it's not sufficient and there is a lot of tools in the toolbox, not just fiber, and every single one of them has its place and should be used and funded by the grant money. The majority of these places need to be served quickly and on the best effort a.k.a what is actually possible and feasible in their respective territory, terrain...and on on the BS notion "GIGABIT or NOTHING", or even 100/20 or nothing, when 25/5 would be more than enough, for most of the cases, in the foreseeable future.

0) frank is quoting me from a BOFH-influenced new piece that I posted
the other day:
 https://blog.cerowrt.org/post/trouble_in_paradise/ that is so cynical
and depressing that I would prefer it not be spread around much. It is
funny, in spots, though.

1) I am really impressed with starlink's evolution. Someone can get
one, run a few radios or wires to their neighbors, and be sufficiently
online. That is not quite starlink's business model, but as they
cannot have high densitity in the first place, I wish they would
embrace it.

2) We have long shown here, that 25/5 is more than enough for nearly
all present day uses of the internet... with good queueing. We have
not won that argument anywhere outside this community, as yet, but I
like to think the tide is turning.

However issues with backhaul remain, and we have other failure modes
emerging by layering umptine layers of NAT on top of our overstressed
IPv4 networks (far, far, worse in india and china).

Fiber is great for long distances, it is great in high density
environments, and it is also great within a datacenter or internet
exchange point. As for to the home, I'm still of two minds regarding
GPON vs active ethernet, I vastly prefer the idea of an interoperable
network with active fiber ethernet gear you can get at best buy, but
nearly everyone with actual deployment experience is saying gpon...

> To let me bitch a bit about those bad corporations :) - just take a look on the market with WiFi routers. Most of the mainstream vendors ship old HW with old SW, it can be even 8-10 years old kernel, they don't care about CVEs, they barely do some security updates - not to mention the regular SW upgrades (adding new features), they don't built do last...they want You to buy a new router every year or two. Dave's write up of this is here: https://blog.cerowrt.org/post/tango_on_turris/

This is actually a place where I think state governments could step up
and set minimum standards (much like california set emission standards
for cars, leading the nation) for the kind of gear that they are
willing to import, develop, or fund. IPv6, mandated. Good queuing,
also. And probably the one mandate that would establish a decent,
sustainable market for better gear, would be to mandate that all gear
sold here have a prompt (say 45 day) response to CVEs, and regular
software updates, for new features and other bugs. Software designed
around the world, but "built in america" would be a start towards me
sleeping a lot better about iot.

Actual federal involvement in the consumer space here would boot a 95%
of the scary cheap stuff out of Amazon.

> And what Starlink did? Crazy, ridiculous story. It has been improved a bit, but it was meant to be good right from the box, bufferbloat fixed and all that jazz, because OpenWrt has it fixed, right?

I think they are NOT optimizing for speedtest anymore, which in part
is due to them no longer attempting to comply with the stupid RDOF
regulations regarding that - just providing an ever better service to
the folk that need it. They are really good nowadays at low levels
(e.g. videconferencing) of bandwidth, and only get flaky when you
stress it out or are in areas with too many terminals.

Yes it could be much better.

More ISPs should flat out disregard speedtest results on building
their networks.

Plug - please see the latest demos of the stats we get out of libreqos
now up at https://payne.taht.net

> BUT still, to hand over even more control of the Internet infrastructure to the government is nonsense. Government can be a good servant, but a bad master. Exactly like the corporate world.

We always need balance in the farce.

> All the best,
> Frank
> Frantisek (Frank) Borsik
> https://www.linkedin.com/in/frantisekborsik
> Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp: +421919416714
> iMessage, mobile: +420775230885
> Skype: casioa5302ca
> frantisek.borsik at gmail.com
> On Wed, Mar 29, 2023 at 10:28 AM Sebastian Moeller <moeller0 at gmx.de> wrote:
>> Hi Bob,
>> > On Mar 28, 2023, at 19:47, rjmcmahon <rjmcmahon at rjmcmahon.com> wrote:
>> >
>> > Interesting. I'm skeptical that our cities in the U.S. can get this (structural separation) right.
>> There really isn't that much to get wrong, you built the access network and terminate the per household fibers in arge enough "exchanges" there you offer ISPs to lighten up the fibers on the premise that customers can use any ISP they want (that is present in the exchange)... and on ISP change will just be patched differently in the exchange.
>> While I think that local "government" also could successfully run internet access services, I see no reason why they should do so (unless there is no competition).
>> The goal here is to move the "natural monopoly" of the access network out of the hand of the "market" (as markets simply fail as optimizing resource allocation instruments under mono- and oligopoly conditions, on either side).
>> >
>> > Pre-coaxial cable & contract carriage, the FCC licensed spectrum to the major media companies and placed a news obligation on them for these OTA rights. A society can't run a democracy well without quality and factual information to the constituents. Sadly, contract carriage got rid of that news as a public service obligation as predicted by Eli Noam. http://www.columbia.edu/dlc/wp/citi/citinoam11.html Hence we get January 6th and an insurrection.
>> >
>> > It takes a staff of 300 to produce 30 minutes of news three times a day. The co-axial franchise agreements per each city traded this obligation for a community access channel and a small studio, and annual franchise fees. History has shown this is insufficient for a city to provide quality news to its citizens. Community access channels failed miserably.
>>         I would argue this is that there are things where cities excel and some where they simply are mediocre... managing monopoly infrastructure (like roads, water, sometime power) with long amortization times is something they do well (either directly or via companies they own and operate).
>> > Another requirement was two cables so there would be "competition" in the coaxial offerings. This rarely happened because of natural monopoly both in the last mile and in negotiating broadcast rights (mostly for sports.) There is only one broadcast rights winner, e.g. NBC for the Olympics, and only one last mile winner. That's been proven empirically in the U.S.
>>         Yes, that is why the operator of the last mile, should really not offer services over that mile itself. Real competition on the access lines themselves is not going to happen (at least not is sufficient number to make a market solution viable), but there is precedence of getting enough service providers to offer their services over access lines (e.g. Amsterdam).
>> > Now cities are dependent on those franchise fees for their budgets. And the cable cos rolled up to a national level. So it's mostly the FCC that regulates all of this where they care more about Janet Jackson's breast than providing accurate news to help a democracy function well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Bowl_XXXVIII_halftime_show_controversy
>> >
>> > It gets worse as people are moving to unicast networks for their "news." But we're really not getting news at all, we're gravitating to emotional validations per our dysfunctions. Facebook et al happily provide this because it sells more ads. And then the major equipment providers claim they're doing great engineering because they can carry "AI loads!!" and their stock goes up in value.  This means ads & news feeds that trigger dopamine hits for addicts are driving the money flows. Which is a sad theme for undereducated populations.
>>         I am not 100% sure this is a uni- versus broadcast issue... even on uni-cast I can consume traditional middle-of the road news and even on broadcast I can opt for pretend-news. Sure the social media explosion with its auto-bias-amplification incentives (they care for time spend on the platform and will show anything they believe will people stay longer, and guess what that is not a strategy to rhymes well with objective information transmission, but emotional engagement, often negative, but I think we all know this).
>> >
>> > And ChatGPT is not the answer for our lack of education and a public obligation to support those educations, which includes addiction recovery programs, and the ability to think critically for ourselves.
>>         Yes, for sure not ;) This is a fad mostly, and will go away some time in the future, once people realize that this flavor of machine learning is great for what it is, but what it is is not what we are prone to believe it is...
>> Regards
>>         Sebastian
>> >
>> > Bob
>> >> Here is an old (2014) post on Stockholm to my class "textbook":
>> >> https://cis471.blogspot.com/2014/06/stockholm-19-years-of-municipal.html
>> >> [1]
>> >> Stockholm: 19 years of municipal broadband success [1]
>> >> The Stokab report should be required reading for all local government
>> >> officials. Stockholm is one of the  top Internet cities in the worl...
>> >> cis471.blogspot.com
>> >> -------------------------
>> >> From: Starlink <starlink-bounces at lists.bufferbloat.net> on behalf of
>> >> Sebastian Moeller via Starlink <starlink at lists.bufferbloat.net>
>> >> Sent: Sunday, March 26, 2023 2:11 PM
>> >> To: David Lang <david at lang.hm>
>> >> Cc: dan <dandenson at gmail.com>; Frantisek Borsik
>> >> <frantisek.borsik at gmail.com>; libreqos
>> >> <libreqos at lists.bufferbloat.net>; Dave Taht via Starlink
>> >> <starlink at lists.bufferbloat.net>; rjmcmahon <rjmcmahon at rjmcmahon.com>;
>> >> bloat <bloat at lists.bufferbloat.net>
>> >> Subject: Re: [Starlink] [Bloat] On fiber as critical infrastructure
>> >> w/Comcast chat
>> >> Hi David,
>> >>> On Mar 26, 2023, at 22:57, David Lang <david at lang.hm> wrote:
>> >>> On Sun, 26 Mar 2023, Sebastian Moeller via Bloat wrote:
>> >>>>> The point of the thread is that we still do not treat digital
>> >> communications infrastructure as life support critical.
>> >>>>      Well, let's keep things in perspective, unlike power, water
>> >> (fresh and waste), and often gas, communications infrastructure is
>> >> mostly not critical yet. But I agree that we are clearly on a path in
>> >> that direction, so it is time to look at that from a different
>> >> perspective.
>> >>>>      Personally, I am a big fan of putting the access network into
>> >> communal hands, as these guys already do a decent job with other
>> >> critical infrastructure (see list above, plus roads) and I see a PtP
>> >> fiber access network terminating in some CO-like locations a viable
>> >> way to allow ISPs to compete in the internet service field all the
>> >> while using the communally build access network for a few. IIRC this
>> >> is how Amsterdam organized its FTTH roll-out. Just as POTS wiring has
>> >> beed essentially unchanged for decades, I estimate that current fiber
>> >> access lines would also last for decades requiring no active component
>> >> changes in the field, making them candidates for communal management.
>> >> (With all my love for communal ownership and maintenance, these
>> >> typically are not very nimble and hence best when we talk about life
>> >> times of decades).
>> >>> This is happening in some places (the town where I live is doing
>> >> such a rollout), but the incumbant ISPs are fighting this and in many
>> >> states have gotten laws created that prohibit towns from building such
>> >> systems.
>> >>        A resistance that in the current system is understandable*...
>> >> btw, my point is not wanting to get rid of ISPs, I really just think
>> >> that the access network is more of a natural monopoly and if we want
>> >> actual ISP competition, the access network is the wrong place to
>> >> implement it... as it is unlikely that we will see multiple ISPs
>> >> running independent fibers to all/most dwelling units... There are two
>> >> ways I see to address this structural problem:
>> >> a) require ISPs to rent the access links to their competitors for
>> >> "reasonable" prices
>> >> b) as I proposed have some non-ISP entity build and maintain the
>> >> access network
>> >> None of these is terribly attractive to current ISPs, but we already
>> >> see how the economically more attractive PON approach throws a spanner
>> >> into a), on a PON the competitors might get bitstream access, but will
>> >> not be able to "light up" the fiber any way they see fit (as would be
>> >> possible in a PtP deployment, at least in theory). My subjective
>> >> preference is b) as I mentioned before, as I think that would offer a
>> >> level playing field for ISPs to compete doing what they do best, offer
>> >> internet access service while not pushing the cost of the access
>> >> network build-out to all-fiber onto the ISPs. This would allow a
>> >> fairer, less revenue driven approach to select which areas to convert
>> >> to FTTH first....
>> >> However this is pretty much orthogonal to Bob's idea, as I understand
>> >> it, as this subthread really is only about getting houses hooked up to
>> >> the internet and ignores his proposal how to do the in-house network
>> >> design in a future-proof way...
>> >> Regards
>> >>        Sebastian
>> >> *) I am not saying such resistance is nice or the right thing, just
>> >> that I can see why it is happening.
>> >>> David Lang
>> >> _______________________________________________
>> >> Starlink mailing list
>> >> Starlink at lists.bufferbloat.net
>> >> https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://lists.bufferbloat.net/listinfo/starlink__;!!P7nkOOY!vFtTwFdYBTFjrJCFqT0rp0o2dtaz2m-dskeRLX2dIW_Pujge6ZU8eOIxtkN_spTDlqyyzClrVbEMFFbvL3NlUgIHOg$
>> >> Links:
>> >> ------
>> >> [1] https://cis471.blogspot.com/2014/06/stockholm-19-years-of-municipal.html
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AMA March 31: https://www.broadband.io/c/broadband-grant-events/dave-taht
Dave Täht CEO, TekLibre, LLC

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