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The Internet Networking

Internet Transit Provider Claims ISPs Deliberately Allow Port Congestion 210

An anonymous reader writes "Level 3, an internet transit provider, claimed in a recent blog post that six ISPs that it regularly does business with have refused to de-congest most of their interconnect ports. 'Congestion that is permanent, has been in place for well over a year and where our peer refuses to augment capacity.' Five of the six ISPs that Level 3 refers to are in the U.S., and one is in Europe. Not surprisingly, 'the companies with the congested peering interconnects also happen to rank dead last in customer satisfaction across all industries in the U.S. Not only dead last, but by a massive statistical margin of almost three standard deviations.' Ars Technica reports that ISPs have also demanded that transit providers like Level 3 pay for access to their networks in the same manner as fringe service providers like Netflix."
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Internet Transit Provider Claims ISPs Deliberately Allow Port Congestion

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  • What Level 3 can do (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @10:10AM (#46928259) Homepage

    Is just to cut the connection to those ISPs and see how long they will be around.

  • by jythie ( 914043 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @10:16AM (#46928327)
    That would be terribly amusing. I can just imagine what a 'dark day' would do to those ISPs, though I suspect Level 3 has contracts that prevent it, which is sad.
  • by AnontheDestroyer ( 3500983 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @10:18AM (#46928349)

    Why would the ISPs do this? They have no incentive. The correlation with customer service is a good thing to note, too. The American people are being bent over a barrel on this.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @10:20AM (#46928377) Homepage Journal

    Is just to cut the connection to those ISPs and see how long they will be around.

    But why are they peering with them if there are better routes available?

    The incentive structure on all these things is wrong. One neat thing the bitcoin network does is to attach a fee to each transaction that occurs (which is due to be reduced to reasonable levels soon - pay attention...).

    There's too much turmoil going on in Internet routing with regard to pricing now. Some sort of BGP extension that includes transit cost has to come along to make it all automatic and lowest-cost. It's really not much different than how power producers will bring capacity online when the market demands or when they have excess capacity they need to get rid of. The dam near me has a realtime market price terminal they watch to see when to open the gates, but Internet providers would just automate the whole thing, and then the transit pricing wars would shake out. I wouldn't mind seeing it extended to the last mile either, though with monopoly protection in place there would need to be some very reasonable connection fee floor and controls on fees, since competition can't impose those controls. But one of the ways we encourage lowest-cost is with efficient protocols and there's very little incentive to demand that from the end user right now.

  • by wiggles ( 30088 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @10:53AM (#46928727)

    >providers are FORBIDDEN to upgrade any portion of their networks to IPv6 without NSA direct approval.

    Source? The signal you're picking up through your tinfoil hat doesn't count.

  • by fallen1 ( 230220 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @11:01AM (#46928821) Homepage

    First, let me be clear -- I'm not a big fan of this idea, but after looking at the problem from multiple angles this idea keeps coming up as the best way to spur competition and end the debate on network neutrality.

    A few steps to stop this greed from happening, hopefully:

    a) A clear, concise Bill of Internet Rights.
    -- This must be done in order to alleviate a lot of the crap going on now. There should be terms that explicitly disallow government agencies from piping internet traffic through their data centers for "analysis" of anything WITHOUT A NON-SECRET COURT ORDER. If it can't stand up the light of day, it doesn't fit with principles this country was founded upon and which hundreds of thousands of men and women have died to uphold. Stop being assholes and running roughshod over the Constitution.
    -- This must be done to guarantee privacy. As much as can be, anyway.
    -- This must be done to guarantee that all data is treated equally with the obvious need for quality assurance. No more congesting nodes, no more content owner also owns the delivery network so it can shutout competition, no more "you pay us, again, for the bandwidth that our customer who requested your info has already paid for."

    b) Nationalize the Distribution Lines
    -- All copper, fiber, interconnects, and so on are nationalized.
    -- A plan is put into place to guarantee (almost) everyone in the United States good data speeds (10mb/s up and down - minimum) by adding more and more fiber. I say (almost) because there are some VERY remote places where people live and it will take time (plus more money) to reach them. If 90% of the population can be served, including rural areas, then that would be great.
    -- Everyone who wishes to be an ISP pays THE SAME per connection. Yes, that would mean someone in Small Town, Iowa costs the same as someone in New York to connect to the internet. The overhead of the ISP will determine what $XX.xx is added to the government mandated $YY.yy and here's the rub - customer service comes back to the forefront and actually means something because the Public will know what the $YY.yy is. Competition to gain and keep customers based on price alone should vanish as value-added services and real customer service return to the industry.
    -- We have a glut of workers needing work. Teach them to lay fiber optic cable and copper if needed. Put them to work moving the United States back to the top of the chart in broadband/internet access. In this day and age it is a necessity, not a luxury. Easily as ubiquitous today as the telephone and mail were in their days.

    I'm probably missing a massive hole in my theory (greed being at the top of that list), but if this was done it would foster intense competition and new ideas as one would not be held back by thinking "I will get blocked out by Company A because they have a grip on distribution of a similar idea." Freedom from the so-called content creators of today locking down sections of the internet or using their power to double and triple-dip the pockets of consumers and competitors.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!