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Google Networking The Internet

Google Fiber: No Charge For Peering, No Fast Lanes 238

Posted by Soulskill
from the will-carry-more-weight-when-their-infrastructure-ages dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Addressing the recent controversy over Netflix paying ISPs directly for better data transfer speeds, Google's Director of Network Engineering explains how their Fiber server handles peering. He says, 'Bringing fiber all the way to your home is only one piece of the puzzle. We also partner with content providers (like YouTube, Netflix, and Akamai) to make the rest of your video's journey shorter and faster. (This doesn't involve any deals to prioritize their video 'packets' over others or otherwise discriminate among Internet traffic — we don't do that.) Like other Internet providers, Google Fiber provides the 'last-mile' Internet connection to your home. ... So that your video doesn't get caught up in this possible congestion, we invite content providers to hook up their networks directly to ours. This is called 'peering,' and it gives you a more direct connection to the content that you want. ... We don't make money from peering or colocation; since people usually only stream one video at a time, video traffic doesn't bog down or change the way we manage our network in any meaningful way — so why not help enable it?'"
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Google Fiber: No Charge For Peering, No Fast Lanes

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  • Fiber server? huh?

    I realize that it's all marketing hooey, but I wish that the director of network engineering for google wouldn't mish mash terminology like that. Keep that for the marketing droids.

    • Re: terminology (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      He didn't. Blame Soulskill for that one.

    • Re:terminology (Score:5, Informative)

      by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Thursday May 22, 2014 @01:21PM (#47068053) Homepage Journal

      The phrase 'Fiber Server' does not appear in the article.
      Blame the submitter.

    • Re:terminology (Score:5, Interesting)

      by borcharc (56372) * on Thursday May 22, 2014 @01:25PM (#47068113)

      They list their peering policy as Selective in their peeringdb entry https://www.peeringdb.com/priv... [peeringdb.com]. They should have an open peering policy. Or is only open if you are a interesting content provider?

      • Re:terminology (Score:5, Insightful)

        by thule (9041) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @01:37PM (#47068277) Homepage

        They list their peering policy as Selective in their peeringdb entry https://www.peeringdb.com/priv... [peeringdb.com]. They should have an open peering policy. Or is only open if you are a interesting content provider?

        Probably. So what is wrong with that? "Interesting" to Google Fiber would be a content provider that is starting to use up enough transit bandwidth that it makes sense to move them to a peering port. That is always how things have worked on the Internet.

        • by borcharc (56372) *

          Plenty of large network operators have open peering policies, he.net for example. Charter will has what amounts to an open peering policy (if you use a public interconnect point). Only operators that wish to be a tier 1 monopoly of the past of a bad actor like comcast stand to gain from picky peering policies.

          If you want real net neutrality then open peering is an important part of the future. Every piece of traffic that goes through a peer is saved from congesting a link elsewhere.

        • They list their peering policy as Selective in their peeringdb entry https://www.peeringdb.com/priv... [peeringdb.com]. They should have an open peering policy. Or is only open if you are a interesting content provider?

          Probably. So what is wrong with that? "Interesting" to Google Fiber would be a content provider that is starting to use up enough transit bandwidth that it makes sense to move them to a peering port. That is always how things have worked on the Internet.

          Exactly. And it sounds like a beautiful market solution without any ugly bureaucrats mucking up the works, yet.

    • Re:terminology (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jawnn (445279) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @02:11PM (#47068743)

      Fiber server? huh?

      I realize that it's all marketing hooey, but I wish that the director of network engineering for google wouldn't mish mash terminology like that. Keep that for the marketing droids.

      Well, we could get all wrapped up in semantics, but let's not, m'kay? The real message is that Google gets it when it comes to making networks run efficiently. They aren't deliberately introducing an artificial scarcity in order to squeeze more revenue out of their "investement". They're selling a service using a 21st century business model, unlike the LEC's who still long for the days when a T1 would fetch $1,200 per month.

      • Re:terminology (Score:5, Informative)

        by BitZtream (692029) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @02:54PM (#47069181)

        The price of a T1 hasn't really changed all that much. Due to LEGAL requirements for the SLA associated with a T1, its unlikely to change for the foreseeable future.

        Now getting far more than a T1's worth of bandwidth for far less is easy, but thats not a T1 nor does it come with the SLA that will have the provider working at 3am on a Sunday morning to get it back on line as required BY LAW.

        Just because you get 1.5mbit of data doesn't mean you're getting an actual T1.

        LECs are still the only ones who can offer a T1 for the most part.

        If you knew what the terminology you are using actually meant you wouldn't have made such statements.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      More fiber for better colon health.

  • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @01:03PM (#47067811)

    So what do you make money from if I become a Google Fiber customer? That's what I'm concerned about. If it's just the fair-market cost of the service I'm paying for, then that's fine. If your noble stance hides the fact that you attach yourself to the fiber like a tick to suck value by monitoring my use of the service and selling that information to the highest bidder, then we have a problem.

    • Who is "we"? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @01:07PM (#47067859)

      If your noble stance hides the fact that you attach yourself to the fiber like a tick to suck value by monitoring my use of the service and selling that information to the highest bidder, then we have a problem.

      Why do "we" have a problem?

      There are plenty of people (including myself) that would happily trade the devil we know (Comcast/Quest/etc) for the unknown of reasonably priced much faster connection speed, which just happens to also give Google some aggregate data.

      I'm not really a fan of Google collections - I use their services sparingly for just that reason. But I think the value tradeoff in that case is pretty decent and only Google really has the power to break through local connection monopolies.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 22, 2014 @01:14PM (#47067967)

      Google makes its money by surfing the wave of new technology with advertisements on its wetsuit. If they roll out better internet access they can roll out better services which they can then stick ads on. You don't think they directly make any real amount of money from maintaining Chrome, do you? But they certainly have pushed what they can do through web technologies which in turn allows them to offer more or better services, and that ends up affecting their bottom line.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Google fiber charges a bit more than my previous fiber ISP, so I'd wager they are making money from their subscriptions.

      Oh, and they absolutely do monitor your usage, and keep a 72 hour history of all your connections--it's on your profile page and you can view it and add in ip addresses into your firewall rules with a single click. I'd wager google is using that data internally to generate usage reports, which is probably what led them to provide co-location services free of charge to their highest-use en

      • by arbiter1 (1204146)
        they may "charge more" but look at what speed google gives you vs what you pervious ISP does. Only top of that its google and their peering with other networks likely gonna be as good as the largest ISP's could muster of they weren't looking to make money outta it.
    • It's pretty simple. Since this is Google, the less time waiting for webpages or video to load, the more pages you visit and the more ads you see/watch.
    • They make money from your monthly subscription fees etc.

      The other companies do the same things, TWC, AT&T, Comcast all make money through your monthly internet bill and have been VERY profitable in doing so. The problem is that they want to keep their customers and make MORE money without spending any of their profits on upgrades or peering/colocation.

      It's not like TWC/Comcast has to rip out and replace any cabling, the existing infrastructure (yes, copper) works well for speeds up to what Google Fiber is offering and more (100Mbps - 1Gbps). Even at current speeds (1-10Mbps), there is PLENTY of headroom for most people, Netflix doesn't take more than a few hundred kbps per stream. They just don't want to invest in a bigger link to Netflix/YouTube or letting them colocate in their spaces, they think that they can switch their customers who are paying for Internet into connecting to their private network (MSN/AOL style) and if anyone wants to go outside their private network, they should pay extra. And they can do this because they have been granted a monopoly by the government (by splitting up Ma Bell, they no longer needed to be regulated, the FCC has been paid for to not interfere and they have no-compete clauses with each other).

      Thankfully there are plenty of startups starting to eat their market share (be it Google, Greenlight, ...) because they are offering better service than the incumbents for a heck of a lot cheaper. Now (at least in those areas) they have to start being competitive and suddenly, speeds CAN go up and prices CAN drop; the prices are not tied to actual value, they are tied to what the market will bear and since Internet has become a necessary utility for most people, the market has to bear a lot.

      • > the existing infrastructure (yes, copper) works well for speeds up to what Google Fiber is offering and more (100Mbps - 1Gbps).

        Explain how you can do that and we can both become billionaires.

        • It's not 1Gbps, but around here I can sign up for 250Mbps over copper. The local telco only goes up to 260Mbps on their fiber offering.

        • by thule (9041)

          > the existing infrastructure (yes, copper) works well for speeds up to what Google Fiber is offering and more (100Mbps - 1Gbps).

          Explain how you can do that and we can both become billionaires.

          Easy! Just bring fiber to the neighborhood. Then install a box next to the PSTN punch down box for the neighborhood. Then run power to the box. Then install a VDSL+ DSLAM. Profit! This is how AT&T u-verse works. Problem is even AT&T has trouble getting permits for their boxes. Not to mention getting fiber to the box requires permits. I wonder why so few companies try this? Maybe this is easier said than done. Oh well.

          If people want better Internet in their area, complain to the city. Try to make it

        • by Shadow99_1 (86250)

          Well DOSCIS 3.0 supports up to 24x8 channel configuration which would max at 1029.12 (912) Mbit/s and an upstream of 245.76 (216) Mbit/s. Heck even a 4x4 config is 171.52 (152) Mbit/s down and 122.88 (108) Mbit/s up. I use a DOSCIS 3.0 modem for my connection, but I don't get anywhere near those kinds of speeds because my provider chooses not to offer them...

      • by Areyoukiddingme (1289470) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @02:08PM (#47068715)

        ...and they have no-compete clauses with each other

        No they don't. That would be an illegal cartel, and they know it. No, they have "gentleman's agreements" with each other not to compete. Which amounts to the same thing, but the only proof is the indirect evidence that they never actually compete, and so it's not particularly actionable in court.

        And don't look now, but Ma Bell is very nearly completely reconstituted. The only piece missing is Pac Bell. Of course the FCC and FTC will remain determinedly oblivious to that fact.

    • So what do you make money from if I become a Google Fiber customer? That's what I'm concerned about. If it's just the fair-market cost of the service I'm paying for, then that's fine. If your noble stance hides the fact that you attach yourself to the fiber like a tick to suck value by monitoring my use of the service and selling that information to the highest bidder, then we have a problem.

      Presumably you are in the US, and most service providers do some level of monitoring of individual connections. Nothing new. ANd then there's the NSA. Your life and all those little secrets is "That" close to being an open book.

    • If you use gmail and google search then you are splitting some pretty fine hairs. Ya they would have a more complete picture if they were your isp but... they know a whole hell of a lot without that (which you are willingly providing). I'd argue they already know the most sensitive information.

    • by Krojack (575051)

      And you're assuming your current ISP isn't acting as a tick and monitoring your use? If you're using Verizon I would bet a large sum of cash they are afterall Verizon did admit to monitoring app usage on phones and selling that data. Comcast is most likely doing but using the data for their own dirty needs.

  • Hedge (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ADRA (37398) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @01:11PM (#47067929)

    This is Google's hedge against increasingly higher costs for peering and neutrality breaking ISP's, so why would they then turn around and be hypocrites by ruining the very reason they're moving intro infrastucture to begin with?

    That said, an affirmation that they're peering neutral just seems like a puff piece for what anyone should already assume.

    Does anyone have thoughts on Google spinning this out as a not for profit and make public backbones that are truly ubiquitous and marginalized?

    • by timeOday (582209)

      Does anyone have thoughts on Google spinning this out as a not for profit and make public backbones that are truly ubiquitous and marginalized?

      My thoughts are (A) why would they do that instead of turning a buck on it and (B) would I want them to; ultimately some company WILL be doing the day-to-day work of operating the network and arguing for rates, and they might be more like AT&T than google. Granted, I am happy with my municipal water, electricity, gas, and sewers - they just work, don't cost t

      • by davecb (6526)
        Someone had to bootstrap it, and Google stepped up, for their own normal benefit. In other locations, and after some years in the current ones, Google can offer to hand the physical fibre and the things it hooks to, to the local utility company. That moves the fibre itself into a being a common carrier, and probably a regulated monopoly if the local laws require.
        • > probably a regulated monopoly if the local laws require.

          Which means it would take, on average, nine years to approve a service improvement. That's exactly what Google does not want.

          • Write the laws such that the municipal utility must meet standards on congestion, speed, packet loss, etc. Set the fee levels high enough to allow for continual infrastructure improvement.

            Around here the phone, electricity, gas, sewer, and water are all municipal or provincially-owned utilities. They seem to do just fine.

            • I should actually have said that slightly differently. It's SEVEN years for the approval process itself. Two years is a reasonable estimate of the additional deployment time to meet regulator demands re deploying to less populated areas, etc.

              > why does that necessarily follow?

              There are 50 states each regulating several utilities, and thousands of cities and counties doing the same. What DOES happen is that approvals for service upgrades take, on average, seven years. That's just the fact. Why is it ne

          • by davecb (6526)
            Provinces vary: the first permission to hang cable TV on Ontario Hydro poles took months and months, but subsequent ones got rubber-stamped at subsequent monthly meetings. Nova Scotia, on the other hand, reputedly turns them around in a few days, unless you ask for something that requires a meeting.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      ".. just seems like a puff piece for what anyone should already assume."
      yes, but large companies Comcast, AT&T are actively trying to take it away. So, lets not assume, shall we?

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      Does anyone have thoughts on Google spinning this out as a not for profit and make public backbones that are truly ubiquitous and marginalized?

      A government that wasn't corrupt and swimming in fatcat money would have done this already for the public good.

      • by suutar (1860506)

        A number have tried, generally at the city level. The usual response is to have the state level forbid it.

    • Re:Hedge (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MtHuurne (602934) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @01:54PM (#47068521) Homepage

      This is Google's hedge against increasingly higher costs for peering and neutrality breaking ISP's, so why would they then turn around and be hypocrites by ruining the very reason they're moving intro infrastucture to begin with?

      Android started in much the same way, to avoid telcos getting control over the content people access on their phones. While the base OS of Android is still free, a lot of the standard applications are now licensed from Google and the terms for licensing them are becoming more strict. Google's fiber is neutral today, but that doesn't mean it will stay neutral forever.

    • by Zelig (73519)

      why would they then turn around and be hypocrites by ruining the very reason they're moving intro infrastucture to begin with?

      Run like a reformer. Rule like an incumbent.

      Not saying that's what they've got in mind, but that's why you'd betray the principles you espoused while trying to gain power.

  • by Obfuscant (592200) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @01:18PM (#47068025)

    We don't make money from peering or colocation; since people usually only stream one video at a time, video traffic doesn't bog down or change the way we manage our network in any meaningful way

    "One person" may only stream one video at a time, but "people" as a whole may stream thousands or tens of thousands of videos all at the same time, and that's what creates the bottleneck in the peering connection. These same "people" are the "people" who currently stream videos over Comcast et.al. and create the peering bottleneck between Comcast and Level 3.

    What keeps the same thing from happening to your gateways? And what keeps the price for your service from going up as you have to add more bandwidth to your peering arrangement to deal with ever-increased levels of streaming? Or will you try charging the data source for the extra bandwidth so you don't have to charge your customers directly?

    You say you don't want to make money from the peering, but you also don't want to lose money. The costs have to go somewhere, and the customer is the most likely recipient.

    • by thaylin (555395)
      What costs? You have not made a case that there is extra costs. If the users request it and are within their bandwidth then there is no extra cost then what is expected.
      • by Obfuscant (592200)

        What costs? You have not made a case that there is extra costs.

        If you set up a peering connection for a certain amount of bandwidth, and then have to install new hardware to increase the bandwidth because more people are trying to use high-bandwidth low-latency services through that gateway, there is a cost. I shouldn't have to "make a case" for something so obvious.

        If the users request it and are within their bandwidth then there is no extra cost then what is expected.

        The user does not get a guaranteed bandwidth through the peering connection. That's absurd. And it's not a single user we're talking about, it is the aggregate of all the users who may be streaming one vi

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by thaylin (555395)

          So you are saying you did not setup your network to handle the capacity you promised your users? The case you have to make is *why* it is the companies fault, and not yours as an extension of your users.

          Notice I used users, not user, as in the plural, not singular

          • by amorsen (7485)

            Often last-mile lines are less than 0.1 percent utilized, measured as aggregate 95% peak. No ISP sets up their network to handle a thousand times more traffic than actually exists. That would be entirely uneconomical.

            Proper providers make sure that lines get upgraded when there is a risk of congestion. If traffic patterns change significantly, such as with the advent of Netflix, backbone links must be upgraded. Luckily Netflix also made a number of people upgrade their last mile, so the 0.1 percent figure d

        • The user does not get a guaranteed bandwidth through the peering connection. That's absurd. And it's not a single user we're talking about, it is the aggregate of all the users who may be streaming one video each, but all together managing to overload the peering connection.

          The problem with assuming something is obvious when your interlocutor points out it isn't is that when you are wrong and/or ignorant, you don't discover it. You are experiencing that in this situation.

          If you set up a peering connection for a certain amount of bandwidth, and then have to install new hardware to increase the bandwidth because more people are trying to use high-bandwidth low-latency services through that gateway, there is a cost. I shouldn't have to "make a case" for something so obvious.

          Even with the bandwidth offered by comcast/tw, one user streaming video does not tax the bandwidth that user is paying for. It might seem like it does, but only because it is being actively throttled by the ISP. The amount of bandwidth provided by a google fiber connection is over one order of magnitude greate

    • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @01:37PM (#47068271)

      "One person" may only stream one video at a time, but "people" as a whole may stream thousands or tens of thousands of videos all at the same time, and that's what creates the bottleneck in the peering connection. These same "people" are the "people" who currently stream videos over Comcast et.al. and create the peering bottleneck between Comcast and Level 3.

      It is Comcast [level3.com] creating the bottleneck and it is done deliberately. They want you to believe it is Netflix that has the problem but they could have solved it for their entire customer base for ~$30K according to Level 3. And Netflix offered to host their own servers inside of Comcast's network which would eliminate the bottleneck altogether but Comcast refused instead demanding tribute before allowing more Netflix traffic.

      • by Obfuscant (592200)

        It is Comcast creating the bottleneck and it is done deliberately

        That's what Level 3 says. Level 3 has a dog in the fight, so I'd not accept what they say at face value just as one should not accept what Comcast says at face value.

        "Deliberately", in this case, means "Comcast isn't paying for more bandwidth", which applies to all traffic through that gateway, not just Netflix.

      • by sabri (584428)

        It is Comcast creating the bottleneck and it is done deliberately.

        Deep inside that article, hidden in the flood of useless words, is the real complaint:

        These ISPs break the Internet by refusing to increase the size of their networks unless their tolls are paid

        Ah, so that is the true complaint. Michael Mooney is not complaining about their bandwidth being throttled, or about Comcast not willing to peer with them. Michael Mooney is complaining that a business is not willing, or unable, to increase the size of their infrastructure, at a significant cost, to accommodate for OTT (over the top) providers such as Netflix and Youtube.

        While it is most certainly valid for Comcast users

        • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @02:39PM (#47069005)
          But Comcast has oversold its actual capacity creating the disparity and thus responsible for its occurrence. Then going to its customer's other vendors and insisting they pay extra to provide the bandwidth their customers have already paid for.
        • by suutar (1860506)

          Michael Mooney is complaining that a business is not willing, or unable, to increase the size of their infrastructure, at a significant cost, to accommodate for OTT (over the top) providers such as Netflix and Youtube.

          For providers and data demanded by Comcast customers. I also complain about that, but I'm not in a position to get quoted for it. Does that make it less valid a complaint?
          Keep in mind, every bit Netflix ever sent me was at my request. I am responsible for that traffic. Why is Comcast trying to charge someone else for my choice?

          • by sabri (584428) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @04:46PM (#47070061)

            For providers and data demanded by Comcast customers. I also complain about that, but I'm not in a position to get quoted for it. Does that make it less valid a complaint? Keep in mind, every bit Netflix ever sent me was at my request. I am responsible for that traffic. Why is Comcast trying to charge someone else for my choice?

            That is a very valid comment, from a consumer's point of view. The answer is not simple, but let me try and simplify it.

            Consumer broadband connections are always oversubscribed. This means that for every 100Mbps customer, an ISP will have an X amount of actual bandwidth available. For example, an oversubscribtion rate of 1:25 means that for every 25 100Mbps subscribers, only one 100Mbps link will be provisioned. The reason for this is that building a network is ridiculously expensive, and this is the only way to make it affordable for consumers. Another reason is that very few consumers will actually use the bandwidth. For example, I have a 25Mbps link from Charter. If I look at my stats, I barely used 512kbps on average over a month. However, when I do actually download something, I see that my link is more than what I pay for; I usually get over 30Mbps.

            Further down the road, that oversubscription becomes a bit blurred. Most large ISPs have big networks, with multiple entry and exit points. In short, there are two ways in which traffic flows from one network to another: via direct peering, or via a paid transit provider. Direct peering is most of the time handled at an Internet Exchange point. Members will all connect to each other, and peer whenever they come to an agreement. Transit is when I pay a third party to transport my packets to someone else. So, let's say I am Comcast, and I need to transport packets to and from AT&T. If I do not have a peering with AT&T, I will find someone who does. Let's say Level 3 Communications does have a peering agreement with AT&T. I can then pay Level 3 Communications to transport my traffic to AT&T. The path will then become: Comcast Level 3 AT&T.

            In this example, interconnect 1 is paid, and interconnect 2 may be paid transit or free peering (from Comcast's perspective, that is irrelevant).

            There will be many of these entry and exit points. Today, most of these interconnects are at 10 Gigabit Ethernet speeds. This does mean, that in a lot of cases. the aggregate bandwidth between two networks on the internet is 10Gb. Let's turn back to our example. In this case, it is actually reversed. Comcast has a peering agreement with Level 3, and Netflix pays Level 3 for transit traffic. So what ends up happening is:

            Comcast Level 3 Netflix

            While "peering" sounds free, it is in fact not. Peering requires network ports and backhaul capacity. If Comcast has 1 10G peering port with Level 3, they only need to haul back 10G to the rest of the network. If Comcast upgrades that to 10G, then not only do they need an additional 10G port, but also the capacity to transport that traffic further downstream. This is regardless of the rest of Comcast's network. They may have (and probably will) have hundreds of other 10G peering points elsewhere, with tons of capacity. That is useless here, since all of a sudden all traffic is centralized to 1 entry point.

            Now, from Comcast's point of view, I totally understand their reluctance to invest significantly only to haul back the traffic of Netflix, which then makes a profit off of it. Is it the right thing to do? That's debatable. But to bluntly say that all of a sudden Comcast is the root of all evil, that's a bit too far.

            • by suutar (1860506)

              I can understand why Comcast might prefer not to upgrade just because of Netflix traffic; it costs them money. But if that's what their customers want (and apparently, that's what we want, because we keep causing Netflix to send us data), that's what they're supposed to do. That's their job, transport the bits I ask for to me.
              If they have to charge me more to cover the expenses, I can understand that (though looking at their profits, I'm not sure they really have to). But I consider it duplicitous for them

      • by Ichijo (607641)

        It is Comcast [level3.com] creating the bottleneck and it is done deliberately.

        Not exactly. They aren't really creating the bottleneck (that's being done by their customers), they're just being negligent in expanding their peering capacity to alleviate it.

        Or you could make the case that they are attacking the bottleneck from both the supply and demand sides instead of just the supply side. By charging Netflix a peering fee, they are increasing the price of Netflix which reduces demand for data from Netflix, partially e

        • No from what I read. They had the infrastructure. They were just not willing to turn it on. After they got a check. They turned it on and overnight the problem went away.
        • by ArhcAngel (247594)
          If I am an ISP and I can handle 10 TB of data to the backbone and I have 100 customers all with 1 TB connections it is my fault the 10 TB peer gets hosed 99% of the time because I have sold more capacity than I have available and it is my responsibility to correct the problem. This is what Comcast and other US ISP's have done.
    • It appears that you may not have read the article. They let the providers put servers in their racks at the datacenters, and give them free power and connection to their networks, and if there end up being a bottleneck, it'll be the connections from the servers to the switches, in which case they'll simply allow the provider to put in more servers. It's like the old cache servers that companies would run to make their T1 seem snappier, or the old NNTP servers that they hosted in the past to lower their ou
      • by Obfuscant (592200)

        It appears that you may not have read the article. They let the providers put servers in their racks at the datacenters,

        That's not peering, that is co-location. I was responding to the claim that they don't make money from peering.

        Adding servers for colo means Netflix is paying more for better service to their customers and not expecting their ISP to pass the costs on, or for their customer's ISP to pay the extra cost. That is the correct way to allocate the costs, but peering doesn't do it that way.

        • You peer with other carriers, not content providers, typically. Exceptions are if the content provider happens to also be in the same data center, or if they are also a carrier, ala Redbox / Verizon, Comcast / NBC, Time Warner, Google / Youtube... So they allow for no-cost peering agreements with the carrier / content provider, and also appear to allow for no-cost co-location. They probably used the word "peering" because it happens to be a hot topic in the news, and they are providing contrast to all th
    • Theoretically, you are correct.

      In practice, "people" as a whole are mostly streaming the same videos -- it's the herd mentality. So if Google peers directly to the data provider, the data crosses the switch once, and then gan be cached locally to serve the streamers.

      When done correctly, streaming raraely causes a bottleneck. The problem between Comcast and L3 is that Comcast's peering switches haven't been upgraded in a decade or so, so ANY meaningful amount of traffic traversing these switches will cause

  • Is it sad that-- (Score:5, Insightful)

    by satsuke (263225) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @01:24PM (#47068101)

    Is it sad that we've come so far as to have a company make a press release assuring customers and peering partners, that they will continue to abide by industry practices that have existed for decades?

    • by thule (9041)
      Paying for peering *never* ever happened before Netflix? Really?
    • by T.E.D. (34228)

      Is it sad that we've come so far as to have a company make a press release assuring customers and peering partners, that they will continue to abide by industry practices

      Not assuring so much as adversiting. Like our old industry practices are now a great new differentiator between Google and their competitors.

      This is precisely how Google kicked their search engine competitors to the curb 15 years ago; by treating their users as their customers who have choice, rather than as sheep to be sheared. The sad thing is that this is apparently some amazingly complex business concept that is far too exotic for typical companies to wrap their greedy little minds around.

  • Peering is good... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by thule (9041) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @01:32PM (#47068217) Homepage

    ...even if some party has to pay for it. Google is an ISP so their peering traffic is not equal. It is good for them and their customers to peer with as many popular content providers as possible. Connect eyeballs to content. I keep pointing out that Yahoo! did this years ago with huge success. It was reported that Yahoo! only payed for half of their total bandwidth requirements. That is, only half of their total bandwidth requirements were going over transit. This was years ago. "Fast lanes" are not new.

    The difference with Netflix is that they had to pay the ISP for their peering. This is new. Even so, it still may work out for them. The the peering costs may still be cheaper than their transit or using a third party CDN. Like Google Fiber pointed out, peering does not prioritize traffic, it just makes links to networks. If peering is an unfair fastlane, then the Internet has always been "unfair" since peering is an integral part of the Internet.

    So why does Netflix have to pay? It is called supply and demand. The market pressures are such that Netflix *wants* to pay to get their data delivered directly. I suppose they could have backed off and stopped using any sort of CDN with peering to ISPs. But then their transit costs would have gone up. I suppose Netflix could have done this and really slammed the ISP's transit connections until *every* customer was complaining about terrible performance. Netflix decided it was less expensive and better for their customers to pay ISP's for peering. Is this fair? As the saying goes, "Life is not fair." Deal with it.

    The best way to deal with the situation is for cities to encourage new ISP's to build out last mile connections. Make it easy without a lot of red tape. Phone companies and cable companies will yell and scream, but there is nothing they can do legally. It is up to the city to manage right-of-way so that things don't get messy. So instead of complaining to the FCC, go to your city council and see what can be done to encourage Google Fiber to come to your city.

    • by Average (648) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @01:56PM (#47068541)

      "So why does Netflix have to pay?"

      Because Netflix competes with Comcast/TWC/AT&T's ka-ching buckets-of-money-spinning video distribution platforms. If Netflix gets popular enough, Comcast is reduced to a dumb internet pipe for $50 a month (profit of $5), not a primarily a video provider ($100+ bills, profits of $20+).

      Which is the problem. If Comcast *were* an internet-tube provider (only), they'd generally be pro-peering. They might try to charge Netflix some (they like money), if the market would bear it, but mostly it's to their advantage to peer. However, most of the ISPs in the US are not pure-internet providers, so if Comcast video can use Comcast internet to hamstring Netflix, that's a natural reaction.

      • by Ravaldy (2621787)

        I would mod this up if I had points.

        Understandably the big providers are trying to protect their large revenue numbers and charge for the fairly expensive infrastructure they have put in place. I don't believe providers should be allowed to ask the content providers to pay for their infrastructure. Instead I believe usage of the infrastructure by users should pay for the ongoing requirement to upgrade and innovate. This would also provide incentives for ISPs to better their infrastructures by implementing p

        • I would support a model that actually reflects the real costs involved...that is a fixed monthly cost for the physical connection, and a variable per-GB charge.

          The reason why most people don't like bandwidth metering is that the ISPs charge way too much per GB at the retail level. And if you lump the connection costs in with the bandwidth costs then the high-usage people end up subsidizing the low-usage people. It's much more fair to break out the fees separately (the way my gas/electrical/etc bills do it

      • by thule (9041)

        Based on what is happening with video these days, I don't know that video is all that profitable. People are not subscribing to video anymore and the content providers are raising their rates, which causes higher sub costs, which causes more people to stop subscribing. On the other hand, everyone wants Internet for their iTunes video. The only real money in video is live sports.

        The main point of your response is that it isn't fair. So what? Netflix is willing to pay for now. If you want real movement on thi

      • You got the numbers wrong they make 97% profit on an Internet connection. People keep missing that point. Verizon/Comcast are already making money hand over fist with profit margins that would make most CEOs high five their finance guy. That means if you are paying $60.00 month their fixed cost for providing your connection is like $2.00 a month. That's just not enough for the greedy robber barons. Mind you while providing customer satisfaction that by all counts is below average. AND the best part is taki

    • by Shatrat (855151)

      The the peering costs may still be cheaper than their transit

      Comcast was also degrading Netflix's Transit providers, Cogent and L3.

      So why does Netflix have to pay?

      It is called extortion. Comcast was willing to impair their own customer service to make Netflix pay up.

  • So do they still ban residential users from running servers?

    • Servers (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Nope. They explicitly permit non-commercial servers. From the Fiber use policy: https://support.google.com/fiber/answer/2659981?hl=en&topic=2440874&ctx=topic:
      "However, personal, non-commercial use of servers that complies with this AUP is acceptable, including using virtual private networks (VPN) to access services in your home and using hardware or applications that include server capabilities for uses like multi-player gaming, video-conferencing, and home security."

  • Muni Fiber (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @01:47PM (#47068429) Homepage Journal

    Municipal fiber is the way to go. It would change the world and give the US economy a badly needed shot in the arm.

    ISP costs have risen four times faster than inflation. We're on the road to having just two national providers. When that happens, costs will go up even faster.

    1) Designate ISPs as common carriers.
    2) Break up any ISP that provides content.
    3) Take a bow for having brought about the digital revolution part 2.

    Unfortunately, our elected jackoffs are too beholden to corporate money to do anything like this. Obama, who was supposed to be the first president who "got" the Internet, turned out to be the worst of the bunch, appointing telecom lobbyist Tom Wheeler has head of the FCC, and they're not poised to put the last nail in the Net Neutrality coffin. Obama is a failed president on that count alone.

    • by Shatrat (855151)

      I think you're right about items 1 2 and 3, but not necessarily municipal fiber. There are some good examples out there, but only because the alternatives are so incompetent/complacent/debt-ridden. If we had a more healthy telecom environment in the USA, nobody would give a damn about Municipal fiber, or Google fiber for that matter. Including Google.

    • by arbiter1 (1204146)
      "Obama, who was supposed to be the first president who "got" the Internet, turned out to be the worst of the bunch" That is why when a Politician speaks during a campaign speech, always assume 99.8% of every word spoken is nothing more then Bullshit that people he is talking to just wants to hear. Call me what you will for this, all Politicians are full of shit, but Obama is so full of shit IT turned him black.
  • Peering/Transit is a complex economic topic but it is never free. You have to pay for the hardware. I can say that everyone is free to peer with me for free. They *only* have to bring a Gigabit Ethernet cable to my basement. By the way, I live on a tiny island away from the civilization. Also, if my 8 ports switch is full, they have to buy me another switch.
    • by Shatrat (855151)

      You're conflating Transport and Peering. Or possibly Remote Peering and Peering.
      If your router is in your basement, that explains your grasp of the Internet.
      If your router is in 1 Wilshire, 350 Cermak, or 111 8th, Peering is effectively free.

  • Silly me. I first glanced at the headline and read "No Charge For Peeing" and I thought, "Oh, good. They're doing away with pay toilets.

    Not enough coffee. Yeah, that's the ticked.
  • Sigh.. its not even on their "considering" list.

    Nor any other city in Michigan. BAH.

  • Peering is a prime example of an argument that would not even be taking place if there were any real competition among ISPs. I know there are differing opinions about it even among net neutrality advocates; but the way I see it, if an ISP advertises a particular connection speed, it is their responsibility to ensure that users paying for it are getting that speed for any service or website they access; assuming that said service or website is providing sufficient capacity on their end, which Netflix is obv
  • Hosting servers on your own network instead of peering achieves roughly the same goal; all it changes is which network the server resides on but that server still needs to connect to the network and effectively acts as a substitute for extra direct-peering links to the content provider.

    By skipping the common NNI between CDN/peers/content-provider, the on-net content servers/caches effectively bypass congestion at the NNI layer and act as a fast lane. Different spin, same net effect.

    Google knows that song fa

  • All it takes to restore net neutrality is enough people to boycott those businesses that seek to compromise it.
  • by sudon't (580652) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @04:13PM (#47069823)

    Dear Google,
    If you're reading this, (haha, I know you are!), please, come save me from the Comcast-Time Warner monopoly and their slow as molasses high-speed internet.

  • by daninaustin (985354) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @07:34PM (#47071185)
    Sounds great. Now hurry up and build it out.

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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