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Level 3 Wants To Make Peering a Net Neutrality Issue 182

Posted by Soulskill
from the first-among-peers dept.
New submitter thule writes "A story at Gigaom talks about how Level 3 is trying to pull peering into the net neutrality issue. Regulating peering could hamper how the Internet is interconnected, potentially turning it into a bureaucratic mess. Should peering be regulated?" Reader raque points out that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is banging the net neutrality drum, too: "Some major ISPs, like Cablevision, already practice strong net neutrality and for their broadband subscribers, the quality of Netflix and other streaming services is outstanding. But on other big ISPs, due to a lack of sufficient interconnectivity, Netflix performance has been constrained, subjecting consumers who pay a lot of money for high-speed Internet to high buffering rates, long wait times and poor video quality. ... Once Netflix agrees to pay the ISP interconnection fees, however, sufficient capacity is made available and high quality service for consumers is restored. If this kind of leverage is effective against Netflix, which is pretty large, imagine the plight of smaller services today and in the future. Roughly the same arbitrary tax is demanded from the intermediaries such as Cogent and Level 3, who supply millions of websites with connectivity, leading to a poor consumer experience."
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Level 3 Wants To Make Peering a Net Neutrality Issue

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  • Re:Fine Line (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tc3driver (669596) on Friday March 21, 2014 @04:16PM (#46546397) Journal
    "The Market" is thrown out the window when one has only two or three choices for an internet connection.

    I have the choice of high speed cable via Time Warner, DSL via ATT, or satellite via Houges net. Lets see here, fast, slow, and slower! There is no real choice for the market to make, as the city makes the choice based on what cable, and phone provider gives them the right bid to lay the lines.

    On the peering issue, network owners have a right to charge for a peering connection. However, it would be in the best interest of the companies in question to provide the best service to the customers... if there was any competition.
  • Re:Sure, but.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 21, 2014 @04:25PM (#46546493)

    Who's going to pay for it? The people who pay for internet... maybe? What else should they be doing with $75/month that people pay for internet?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 21, 2014 @04:34PM (#46546533)

    The way traffic is currently handled is ridiculous. As it stands a Verizon subscriber makes a request to Netflix to send data. Netflix then pays Cogent to send the data who then pays Verizon to receive the data that Verizon requested in the first place! That's like me charging the post office to deliver a package I ordered from Amazon.

  • Two Words (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday March 21, 2014 @04:36PM (#46546547) Homepage Journal

    Let's call a duck a duck, shall we? All this "Netflix throttling" and other shady dealings of the ISPs controlling what content customers can view, reasonably, on the connections those customers are paying for, is nothing more than service theft.

    Maybe we can put this whole net neutrality debate to bed with one good class action lawsuit, on behalf of all customers of ISPs who commit this type of service theft.

  • by brtech (1019012) on Friday March 21, 2014 @04:39PM (#46546561)

    Since the beginning of peering, the rules have always been that if you have roughly the same amount of traffic inbound and outbound, peering has no charge. If one direction generates more traffic than the other, the source pays for the asymmetry. If you give me 200 GB per minute average, and I give you 100 KB per minute average, you have to pay me for the traffic you are giving to me to deliver to my customers.

    Streaming video has this problem - it's all one way. Peering should cost video streaming sources. The RATE charged has to be reasonable, but they don't get free peering.

  • by borcharc (56372) * on Friday March 21, 2014 @04:51PM (#46546627)

    Since the beginning of peering, the rules have always been that if you have roughly the same amount of traffic inbound and outbound, peering has no charge. If one direction generates more traffic than the other, the source pays for the asymmetry.

    This model is outdated, in the good old days networks had a mix of eyeballs and content, now we have completely separate eyeball and content networks. This is mostly the result of the cable/telco monopolies. In the new normal, traffic will never be balanced. I am paying comcast for internet access, it is their responsibility to provide be high quality service. In order to accomplish that they should have an open peering policy and connect at all public exchanges. If the large providers don't get on board with more open peering policies they are going to eventually run into a consumer or small NSP brought anti-trust lawsuit.

  • The issue is... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PortHaven (242123) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:03PM (#46546727) Homepage


    So !@#$ give it to me, or let me have the fun of bashing the Comcast CEO's head repeatedly with a nerf baseball bat.

    And yes, I am yelling slashdot, because I'm pissed and sick and tired of it. And my congressmen are dickheads.

  • Re:The issue is... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brtech (1019012) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:10PM (#46546775)

    Yeah, you are paying for it, and they should deliver it to you.

    But both ends pay. Netflix, or whomever, pays their ISP, you pay your ISP. Netflix doesn't get a free ride.

    When people talk about net neutrality, they worry that Neflix has to pay twice, once to their ISP, and once to your ISP. We don't want that.

    But Level(3), one of Netflix's ISPs, may have to pay Comcast if Level(3) sends more traffic to Comcast than Comcast sends to Level(3).

    Then again, Comcast better handle that traffic equally well, and better have the capacity to exchange the traffic fairly.

  • by markzip (1313025) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:22PM (#46546843)

    (Sorry, a properly grammatical title would not fit in the space allotted)

    Netflix & Level 3 Only Telling Half The Story, Won’t Detail What Changes They Want To Net Neutrality []

    In a fairly deep and interesting article over at, Dan Rayburn argues that there is more to the story here and that neither Netflix nor Level 3 are giving us their proposed solutions. He goes through both the Netflix [] and the Level3 [] blog posts, taking them apart very carefully.

    It is not a network neutrality problem, but rather a business problem. Worthwhile read.

  • by organgtool (966989) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:25PM (#46546865)

    Remember how many people tried to tell you Network Neutrality was the road to a heavily regulated internet... Well here you go. If you regulate any aspect, eventually all aspects will fall under a web of regulations.

    WTF are you talking about? Level 3 is complaining because they are now being extorted by ISPs who are trying to double-dip and charge them hefty fees for peering agreements. This was not a problem when net neutrality regulations were in place, but after Verizon won their case over net neutrality, it took Comcast only five weeks to go on a rampage and start extorting fees from other providers. So this is exactly what you get when you DON'T have net neutrality and you DON'T have regulation.

    It's great for companies like Level 3

    It's not great for companies like Level 3 because they are the ones being extorted. The current lack of regulation is great for companies like Comcast who are threatening to throttle connections of their own users if content providers don't pay Comcast an extortion fee. Again, it only took five weeks of the regulations being removed before Comcast started pulling this shit. It may be time for you to admit that moderate and sensible regulation is not a bad thing.

  • by suutar (1860506) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:40PM (#46546951)

    I'll freely agree that too much regulation is a problem. But too little is also a problem in a non-free market, and telecom in general is almost as non-free as it gets (bettered only by electric, water, sewer, etc.) Since there's not enough competition to force a given broadband provider to not gouge their customers and partners, we (as a society) either have to use regulation or settle for getting gouged.

    I say as a society because an individual does have the option (however unpalatable it is) to simply do without internet; "take it or leave it". But that's becoming less and less of a viable solution as more and more of our day to day interactions with each other, with companies, and with government move to the internet. If improvement only happens after substantial numbers quit and quitting is infeasible, then nothing will ever improve.

    Of course, I believe it is possible to have an amount of regulation which is neither too much nor too little, though it's harder to maintain that balance as the bureaucratic empires grow and harden. If you don't feel that such a sweet spot is possible, then I can see how less regulation would be preferable to more. But in that case we need to drop this districted monopoly system too, so we can actually hope for some competitors.

  • by reg (5428) <> on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:48PM (#46546999) Homepage

    But that's not how my peering arrangement works with my ISP! I connect my network with theirs and they charge me for all the traffic they send me! Hint: there is really no such thing as peering, only a network-of-networks that makes the Internet. Any other definition is the not the Internet. The only rational model is for the sink to pay for the asymmetry, like the power grid.


How many hardware guys does it take to change a light bulb? "Well the diagnostics say it's fine buddy, so it's a software problem."