[LibreQoS] [Starlink] [Rpm] [Bloat] net neutrality back in the news

Vint Cerf vint at google.com
Sat Sep 30 08:42:59 EDT 2023

the phrase "treat equally" can (maybe should?) be interpreted as offering
the same options for traffic handling to all parties on the same terms and
conditions. If there is only one class of service, then equally is the only
option. If there are multiple classes of service, then these could
(should?) be available to all customers indiscriminately. For example,
there might be several distinct services with different maximum bit rates;
the higher rates possibly available for a higher charge. If there is
discrimination, it should be on the basis of customer choice and not
dictated by the provider.

Is that consistent with the European interpretation?


On Sat, Sep 30, 2023 at 1:19 PM Sebastian Moeller via Starlink <
starlink at lists.bufferbloat.net> wrote:

> Hi Frantisek,
> > On Sep 30, 2023, at 14:00, Frantisek Borsik via Rpm <
> rpm at lists.bufferbloat.net> wrote:
> >
> > Back then in 2015, when NN was enacted by Wheeler & CO, there was a
> great body of work (IMHO) done on this subject by Martin Geddes:
> > https://www.martingeddes.com/1261-2/
> >
> > But let's pick one report written by his colleagues and published by
> Ofcom (UK telecoms regulator):
> >
> >       • You cannot conflate ‘equality of [packet] treatment’ with
> delivering equality of [user application] outcomes. Only the latter
> matters, as ordinary users don’t care what happened to the packets in
> transit. Yet the relevant academic literature fixates on the local
> operation of the mechanisms (including Traffic Management), not their
> global aggregate effect.
>         [SM] The EU laid out pretty clear why they mandated the NN
> regulations in eu regulation 2015/2120:
> [...]
> (8)
> When providing internet access services, providers of those services
> should treat all traffic equally, without discrimination, restriction or
> interference, independently of its sender or receiver, content, application
> or service, or terminal equipment. According to general principles of Union
> law and settled case-law, comparable situations should not be treated
> differently and different situations should not be treated in the same way
> unless such treatment is objectively justified.
> (9)
> The objective of reasonable traffic management is to contribute to an
> efficient use of network resources and to an optimisation of overall
> transmission quality responding to the objectively different technical
> quality of service requirements of specific categories of traffic, and thus
> of the content, applications and services transmitted. Reasonable traffic
> management measures applied by providers of internet access services should
> be transparent, non-discriminatory and proportionate, and should not be
> based on commercial considerations. The requirement for traffic management
> measures to be non-discriminatory does not preclude providers of internet
> access services from implementing, in order to optimise the overall
> transmission quality, traffic management measures which differentiate
> between objectively different categories of traffic. Any such
> differentiation should, in order to optimise overall quality and user
> experience, be permitted only on the basis of objectively different
> technical quality of service requirements (for example, in terms of
> latency, jitter, packet loss, and bandwidth) of the specific categories of
> traffic, and not on the basis of commercial considerations. Such
> differentiating measures should be proportionate in relation to the purpose
> of overall quality optimisation and should treat equivalent traffic
> equally. Such measures should not be maintained for longer than necessary.
> (10)
> Reasonable traffic management does not require techniques which monitor
> the specific content of data traffic transmitted via the internet access
> service.
> (11)
> Any traffic management practices which go beyond such reasonable traffic
> management measures, by blocking, slowing down, altering, restricting,
> interfering with, degrading or discriminating between specific content,
> applications or services, or specific categories of content, applications
> or services, should be prohibited, subject to the justified and defined
> exceptions laid down in this Regulation. Those exceptions should be subject
> to strict interpretation and to proportionality requirements. Specific
> content, applications and services, as well as specific categories thereof,
> should be protected because of the negative impact on end-user choice and
> innovation of blocking, or of other restrictive measures not falling within
> the justified exceptions. Rules against altering content, applications or
> services refer to a modification of the content of the communication, but
> do not ban non-discriminatory data compression techniques which reduce the
> size of a data file without any modification of the content. Such
> compression enables a more efficient use of scarce resources and serves the
> end-users’ interests by reducing data volumes, increasing speed and
> enhancing the experience of using the content, applications or services
> concerned.
> (12)
> Traffic management measures that go beyond such reasonable traffic
> management measures may only be applied as necessary and for as long as
> necessary to comply with the three justified exceptions laid down in this
> Regulation.
> [...]
> There really is little IMHO that can be brought against these, all pretty
> fair and reasonable. What it does is accept that internet access is
> essential infrastructure and that hence access needs to be as well
> regulated as access to water, electricity, gas, streets, ... . Yes this has
> some consequences of what ISPs can and can not do. But this is normal "cost
> of business". I for one am quite happy about this regulation existing as
> locally it did away with some (not all) shenanigans of some ISPs that were
> clearly not operating in the interest of their paying eye-balls.
> There is a whole cottage industry of consultants that decry the EU's
> decision and try to lobby against it, but honestly reading these mostly
> makes me think harsher regulation might be required (on consultans about
> how much they are allowed to massage the facts ;) ).
> Regards
>         Sebastian
> P.S.: Of course if we look close enough we surely can find corner-cases
> where either the EU regulations or the translation into national law result
> in less desirable outcomes, but "nothing is perfect" and all in all the
> regulations seem to be "good enough". With the caveat that explicitly
> excluding ISP interconnect from the regulations BEREC essentially pointed
> the way for ISPs wanting to monetize their eye-balls twice to do so via
> interconnects, but that only works for the 800 pound gorillas and generally
> is not a game smaller ISPs can play. I do understand why BEREC wants to
> stay out of the interconnection issue, as this is rather complicated and
> the market seems to generally work okay-ish (that is not badly enough to
> make intervention a hot-button issue for voters and hence politicians).
> >
> > All the best,
> >
> > Frank
> >
> > Frantisek (Frank) Borsik
> >
> >
> >
> > https://www.linkedin.com/in/frantisekborsik
> >
> > Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp: +421919416714 <+421%20919%20416%20714>
> >
> > iMessage, mobile: +420775230885 <+420%20775%20230%20885>
> >
> > Skype: casioa5302ca
> >
> > frantisek.borsik at gmail.com
> >
> >
> >
> > On Fri, Sep 29, 2023 at 6:15 PM dan via Rpm <rpm at lists.bufferbloat.net>
> wrote:
> > ok, lots and lots of great comments here for sure.
> >
> > bandwidth abundance:  Not for most people and ISPs.  The 'carriers'
> aren't carrying to many places at affordable rates.  I've pulled quotes
> from Lumen and Zayo at over $5k/month/gig.  We typically pay 900-1400 for a
> gig of service.  This isn't abundance and it's widespread and it leaves
> only major providers that can afford/amortize out 100G transits etc.
> > My answer to this is one that Dave and I have bounced back and forth is
> the idea of micro IXs in every municipality and having that somehow tied
> into access to the ROW in counties etc.  Not fully hashed out, but the
> fiber is in the ground, it could be sold, but the carriers are not well
> incentivised to sell it.  It takes the better part of a year to get a DIA
> within 100ft of a Lumen hut sometimes...  Heck, it could even be a
> government program to get an μIX with x feet of every school, city hall,
> and library.  I don't care how it's done but this would get abundance NEAR
> end users and open up essentially every town to competition.
> >
> > monopoly.  This is a historical thing for most cable and DSL
> incumbents.  They have enjoyed virtual monopolies with cable owning
> population centers and DSL owning the outskirts and there is no product
> darwinism here where customer satisfaction is a pressure.  That may not be
> the future but it definitely is the past.  These companies may have to
> shift into customer satisfaction as a major part instead of a minor part of
> their corporate culture to fend off fttx and ultra-modern wisps.
> >
> > Starlink is not offering significant competition to major carriers.
> Starlink's 1.5 million customers are at LEAST 90% pulled from other
> satellite services and small ISPs.  Spectrum and Comcast's losses to
> starlink are measured in decimal points.
> >
> > Only fttx and ultra-modern wireless tech really threatens these
> incumbents.  Typical wisps aren't putting a dent in these guys, just
> scraping the paint off their bumper.  We're pulling customers at the scale
> of 'dozens' for example.  Spectrum's management doesn't know we exist we're
> such a small threat to them.
> >
> > But to further the point here, these fttx and ultra-modern wisps can
> only exist in places where there is adequate carrier services to start
> with.  In areas where they spend the money and do the build but there
> aren't good carrier services, those fiber services suck and the wISPs start
> to claw back even with inferior technology.  We've pulled quite a few
> customers off fttx deployments because of this sort of situation.
> >
> >
> > On Fri, Sep 29, 2023 at 7:28 AM Rich Brown <richb.hanover at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Thank you Jonathan for this clear description of the issues and their
> history. I wonder if there's a fourth one - privacy.
> >
> > Rosenworcel's talk
> https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-397257A1.pdf also points out
> that ISPs might want to monetize our traffic patterns and location data.
> (This is less of an issue in the EU, but the US remains a Wild West in this
> regard.)
> >
> > I am hopeful that the FCC will include this in their NPRM (which must be
> available by now but I haven't looked...)
> >
> > - Rich Brown
> >
> > > On Sep 29, 2023, at 12:54 AM, Jonathan Morton via Rpm <
> rpm at lists.bufferbloat.net> wrote:
> > >
> > >> On 29 Sep, 2023, at 1:19 am, David Lang via Bloat <
> bloat at lists.bufferbloat.net> wrote:
> > >>
> > >> Dave T called out earlier that the rise of bittorrent was a large
> part of the inital NN discussion here in the US. But a second large portion
> was a money grab from ISPs thinking that they could hold up large paid
> websites (netflix for example) for additional fees by threatening to make
> their service less useful to their users (viewing their users as an asset
> to be marketed to the websites rather than customers to be satisfied by
> providing them access to the websites)
> > >>
> > >> I don't know if a new round of "it's not fair that Netflix doesn't
> pay us for the bandwidth to service them" would fall flat at this point or
> not.
> > >
> > > I think there were three more-or-less separate concerns which have,
> over time, fallen under the same umbrella:
> > >
> > >
> > > 1:  Capacity-seeking flows tend to interfere with latency-sensitive
> flows, and the "induced demand" phenomenon means that increases in link
> rate do not in themselves solve this problem, even though they may be sold
> as doing so.
> > >
> > > This is directly addressed by properly-sized buffers and/or AQM, and
> even better by FQ and SQM.  It's a solved problem, so long as the solutions
> are deployed.  It's not usually necessary, for example, to specifically
> enhance service for latency-sensitive traffic, if FQ does a sufficiently
> good job.  An increased link rate *does* enhance service quality for both
> latency-sensitive and capacity-seeking traffic, provided FQ is in use.
> > >
> > >
> > > 2:  Swarm traffic tends to drown out conventional traffic, due to
> congestion control algorithms which try to be more-or-less fair on a
> per-flow basis, and the substantially larger number of parallel flows used
> by swarm traffic.  This also caused subscribers using swarm traffic to
> impair the service of subscribers who had nothing to do with it.
> > >
> > > FQ on a per-flow basis (see problem 1) actually amplifies this effect,
> and I think it was occasionally used as an argument for *not* deploying
> FQ.  ISPs' initial response was to outright block swarm traffic where they
> could identify it, which was then softened to merely throttling it heavily,
> before NN regulations intervened.  Usage quotas also showed up around this
> time, and were probably related to this problem.
> > >
> > > This has since been addressed by several means.  ISPs may use FQ on a
> per-subscriber basis to prevent one subscriber's heavy traffic from
> degrading service for another.  Swarm applications nowadays tend to employ
> altruistic congestion control which deliberately compensates for the large
> number of flows, and/or mark them with one or more of the Least Effort
> class DSCPs.  Hence, swarm applications are no longer as damaging to
> service quality as they used to be.  Usage quotas, however, still remain in
> use as a profit centre, to the point where an "unlimited" service is a rare
> and precious specimen in many jurisdictions.
> > >
> > >
> > > 3:  ISPs merged with media distribution companies, creating a conflict
> of interest in which the media side of the business wanted the internet
> side to actively favour "their own" media traffic at the expense of "the
> competition".  Some ISPs began to actively degrade Netflix traffic, in
> particular by refusing to provision adequate peering capacity at the nodes
> through which Netflix traffic predominated, or by zero-rating (for the
> purpose of usage quotas) traffic from their own media empire while refusing
> to do the same for Netflix traffic.
> > >
> > > **THIS** was the true core of Net Neutrality.  NN regulations forced
> ISPs to carry Netflix traffic with reasonable levels of service, even
> though they didn't want to for purely selfish and greedy commercial
> reasons.  NN succeeded in curbing an anti-competitive and consumer-hostile
> practice, which I am perfectly sure would resume just as soon as NN
> regulations were repealed.
> > >
> > > And this type of practice is just the sort of thing that technologies
> like L4S are designed to support.  The ISPs behind L4S actively do not want
> a technology that works end-to-end over the general Internet.  They want
> something that can provide a domination service within their own walled
> gardens.  That's why L4S is a NN hazard, and why they actively resisted all
> attempts to displace it with SCE.
> > >
> > >
> > > All of the above were made more difficult to solve by the monopolistic
> nature of the Internet service industry.  It is actively difficult for
> Internet users to move to a truly different service, especially one based
> on a different link technology.  When attempts are made to increase
> competition, for example by deploying a publicly-funded network, the
> incumbents actively sabotage those attempts by any means they can.
> Monopolies are inherently customer-hostile, and arguments based on market
> forces fail in their presence.
> > >
> > > - Jonathan Morton
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Rpm mailing list
> > > Rpm at lists.bufferbloat.net
> > > https://lists.bufferbloat.net/listinfo/rpm
> >
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Vint Cerf
Google, LLC
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Reston, VA 20190
+1 (571) 213 1346

until further notice
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