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Comments on news posted 2011-08-15 12:46:03: One of this country's larger independent ISPs is Sonic.net, which not only survived the country's CLECpocalypse -- but is one of the few independent ISPs now slowly building out their own bonded ADSL2+ and FTTH network. ..

page: 1 · 2 · next

rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Disk is cheap and the data is immutable...

Can we define "costlier"? Even if it's exceedingly large volumes of data, they can use tiered storage, compress the hell out of it and move it off-line onto something cheap. Off-line also adds a security barrier. Furthermore, if they separate url logs, DHCP logs and customer data (i.e. mac address), that's a second security barrier. Access logs are anonymous until cross-referenced with the DHCP logs and customer data. Finally, off-line retention can be encrypted which adds another security barrier.

Of course if the customer is at risk because the ISP is tempted... If you cannot trust the palace guards perhaps it's time to flee.


45612019

join:2004-02-05
New York, NY

He forgot a level.

Level 0 - "Bandwidth caps"

There is nothing more evil an ISP can do than this. Censorship can always be bypassed, search hijacking can be ignored, and ISPs handing data over to law enforcement can always be gotten around by encrypting all your activities.

But the evil of bandwidth caps cannot be ignored. There is no solution for this greed and usage limits are the biggest threat to the Internet today.

iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
reply to rradina

Re: Disk is cheap and the data is immutable...

Let's say you're streaming data at 5 Gbps (probably the size of Sonic.net's network) on average. That's 1.62 PB of data per month. To cope with the speed at which data is being collected, they'll need to have a rack of Backblaze Pods (cheapest storage system out there) running, at a cost of a few hundred thousand dollars.

Of course, URL logs may be a bit smaller. Maybe one Pod (135TB) gets used per month (remember, lots of AJAX stuff going on). That's still thousands of dollars per month that could be used to add a few more fiber customers, or to add another gigabit or two of network transit...

iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
reply to 45612019

Re: He forgot a level.

Dane has talked about bandwidth caps before. My guess is that he didn't bring them up again because he already covered the issue, and because sonic.net doesn't have caps.


DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

1 edit
reply to rradina

Re: Disk is cheap and the data is immutable...

said by rradina:

Can we define "costlier"? Even if it's exceedingly large volumes of data, they can use tiered storage, compress the hell out of it and move it off-line onto something cheap. Off-line also adds a security barrier. Furthermore, if they separate url logs, DHCP logs and customer data (i.e. mac address), that's a second security barrier. Access logs are anonymous until cross-referenced with the DHCP logs and customer data. Finally, off-line retention can be encrypted which adds another security barrier.

Of course if the customer is at risk because the ISP is tempted... If you cannot trust the palace guards perhaps it's time to flee.

Costlier means it would cost more money.

And more than likely make us all a lot less safe.

rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
reply to 45612019

Re: He forgot a level.

I don't know if I would go so far as to call it a threat. While I agree that caps aren't consumer friendly or pro Internet (at least they way they are currently employed), they really just impede progress. For instance, if I come up with the next social networking craze but it eats bandwidth, even though it's free to use it would suffer because folks would meter their activity to avoid the network nanny charges.

However, if we were to really meter bandwidth (no minimum, no maximum, just pay for what you use) and there was a direct relationship between the true cost to deliver that data (plus a decent profit for the carrier), I think all of our costs would go down.

What we have today is kind of like billing for telephone calls in hour increments. It's just crazy.

rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
reply to iansltx

Re: Disk is cheap and the data is immutable...

I didn't realize the government is asking them to store ALL the data. I thought it was just the access logs.

rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
reply to DataRiker
OK...I'll reword it just for you...

How much does this raise my monthly bill if they have to comlpy?


Gbcue
Premium
join:2001-09-30
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:8

Hurry Up With The Fiber Build

I want my 1gbps line already!

I'll even move (in town).
--
My Blog 2.2


Oh_No
Trogglus normalus

join:2011-05-21
Chicago, IL
reply to rradina

Re: He forgot a level.

said by rradina:

I don't know if I would go so far as to call it a threat. While I agree that caps aren't consumer friendly or pro Internet (at least they way they are currently employed), they really just impede progress. For instance, if I come up with the next social networking craze but it eats bandwidth, even though it's free to use it would suffer because folks would meter their activity to avoid the network nanny charges.

However, if we were to really meter bandwidth (no minimum, no maximum, just pay for what you use) and there was a direct relationship between the true cost to deliver that data (plus a decent profit for the carrier), I think all of our costs would go down.

What we have today is kind of like billing for telephone calls in hour increments. It's just crazy.

It would be impossible to have real metered billing and for an ISP to be profitable.
ISPs would not be able to cover all the fixed costs of the physical line and equipment to your house. Those things are not cheaper because you use your connection less.
Your internet connection is almost 100% fixed costs, so it makes no sense to have metered billing.
Using your connection more or less has almost no effect on the costs of the network.

What works is what we have done from 1995 to 2011. Internet should be unlimited and you pay a fixed price for your tier.


DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000
reply to rradina

Re: Disk is cheap and the data is immutable...

Whatever your ISP decides it costs to hire people to do this, buy the equipment, and establish new protocols for compliance and various legal fee's for the drove of Patriot act requests.

Take that cost and add at least 20%

BlueC

join:2009-11-26
Minneapolis, MN
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Integra Telecom
reply to Oh_No

Re: He forgot a level.

While I agree, I think it's still appropriate for residential ISPs to have the contract leverage to (passively) enforce "residential-use only".

I agree that UBB is simply for profit, as it doesn't take into consideration of peak/off-peak usage.

I would disagree that almost 100% are fixed costs. Outside of ILECs, most CLECs and other independent ISPs have significant recurring costs to supply capacity to their network (both WAN and MAN).

rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
reply to Oh_No
So if I apply your reasoning to a brick-and-mortar retail store chain, Sam's and CostCo are probably the only retailers capable of making a profit. The rest are just cooking their books and doomed to bankruptcy.

If I apply it to car manufacturers, they too are cooking their books because I don't have to belong to a car club that pays for their billion dollar manufacturing plants all so they can build and sell me a car.

I just don't understand that line of thought.

What you need to understand is I don't like metered billing either and I agree with you that we should be able to have unlimited bandwidth for some set, monthly fee. However, that doesn't mean that a truly metered service is IMPOSSIBLE. The cost per byte and average monthly usage needs to be set a rate that pays for all the property, plant and equipment depreciation and maintenance. They could even offer a deal so that the cost per byte drops as you reach certain usage plateaus.

We don't have metered services today. We have some bizarre money grab from monopolistic/duopolistic corporations whose investors are expecting get-rich-quick schemes. They aren't satisfied with a 5% dividend payout. They want to double their money every three years and any company that doesn't will be devalued and dumped by the market.

iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
reply to rradina

Re: Disk is cheap and the data is immutable...

I'm unsure myself. Maybe someone can come on here and clarify


firephoto
We the people
Premium
join:2003-03-18
Brewster, WA

Hardware vendors lobbying too most likely

I'm sure the hardware vendors are right in line with the select copyright holders in lobbying for this along with the mentioned people scraping content and personal habits for money.
--
Say no to JAMS!


DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000
You know it !

rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
reply to DataRiker

Re: Disk is cheap and the data is immutable...

Regulations are nothing new. I work for a grocery retailer and years ago we were forced to implement country of origin labeling (COOL) in response to the mad cow scare. This required changing package labels and retaining invoice/shipment/PO records in case the worst happened. We're also a wholesaler and our customers looked to us to keep their invoices in electronic format, which we did. Of course now COOL turns out to be a pretty good idea since purposely tainted food supplies are possible with the uptick in terrorism. Did it cost money to implement? Absolutely. Did it run anyone out of business? Not to my knowledge. Given the seasonal volatility of various supply costs and the length of time we had to implement compliance, I doubt consumers noticed whatever tiny price increase that might have been passed on to them.

It's easy to say something costs more but that's like taking a poll and making a statement about how America thinks. Without the supporting methods of data collection (how many samples, what confidence interval, how random is the sample), the results have zero context. In fact I'm sure people have repeated polls until they get the answer they want to serve dubious purposes.

In an era where minorities complain about skewed results on standardized tests because the tests might have context that cannot be universally understood, how can we be so arrogant as to believe those polled even understand the issues or the question?

I'm sure retention will cost more but if we cannot put context to that cost, there's simply not enough information to form an opinion and take sides. Anyone who does is ignorantly coming to a conclusion that they cannot support.


tubbynet
reminds me of the danse russe
Premium,MVM
join:2008-01-16
Chandler, AZ
kudos:1
reply to rradina
said by rradina:

Can we define "costlier"? Even if it's exceedingly large volumes of data, they can use tiered storage, compress the hell out of it and move it off-line onto something cheap.

its not about the size and tier of the storage -- its just as much about the performance of said architecture.
i work in the network architecture/design field and routinely have to engage technical architects around performance requirements for the virtualized compute environments and storage arrays. there are many "gotchas" around each of the major storage vendors and even down to the drives and protocols/access methods in use. it comes down to having a storage architect designing the entire array and infrastructure to handle that.

plus -- you have to start looking at the infrastructure to even capture or log this data. inline taps on the network are great -- but are you simply going to look at them at the egress point(s) on the network? can you find a device or cluster of devices to archive and log this data -- then dump it onto the storage network without losing any information? if you can't -- how do you spread this load out so that it is workable? can you fit it within your existing architecture. what about capex for the gear and redesign work? what about opex for the spin-up, training, and management of these new components in the network?

its not like a home network where you just throw another drive in the nas and go. there is a lot of high-performance infrastructure design needs that need to be met to fit this into a network. there isn't a 'one size fits all' solution -- nor is it something that is easy to overcome. dane has it right -- this is *costly*.

q.
--
"...if I in my north room dance naked, grotesquely before my mirror waving my shirt round my head and singing softly to myself..."

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
reply to rradina
In whole I would agree with you, but regardless it shouldnt be done.

To implement the scope of this information gathering in hopes of catching maybe 1000 nonviolent criminals and 2-3 violent ones a year is ridiculous at any cost.

The only logs that should be required are DHCP to MAC logs so they can see who had an IP at any one time. And the only time that information should ever be used is when there are crimes against a person that has involved physical or mental harm.

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

1 recommendation

reply to BlueC

Re: He forgot a level.

You can disagree if you want, but a network whether it is running at 0% capacity or 90% capacity has little cost difference. Virtually everything in the network is purchased as a fixed cost.

The ONLY time it is not fixed is when you are dealing with a small provider that does not have good peering agreements and then you are talking about fractions of a penny for large amounts of data.


ctceo
Premium
join:2001-04-26
South Bend, IN

Eratta

There's really only 1 level of ISP evil and that is charging for access.

The rest is only a problem because the choices are made for them and by proxy their subscribers are coerced to perpetuate the cycle.


rchandra
Stargate Universe fan
Premium
join:2000-11-09
14225-2105
reply to BlueC

Re: He forgot a level.

#include "why ISPs should not be utilities"

Let's just say for a moment I were on board with running an I[SA]P like a utility (with UBB). There are any number of models which could be applied, as there are a wide variety of ways utilities bill; it's not just limited to flat rate and pay-per-(prefix)byte-moved. For example, National Fuel, my gas provider, bills some fixed rate every month, which includes some (small) volume of gas. Then there is a charge per (volume, therm, something), which is further broken down into supply, delivery, etc., then taxes and such are added on. So to make an analogy to an IAP, there could be some flat rate charged per month which goes towards equipment and equipment maintenance, optionally including your first (prefix)bytes transferred, and then a hopefully reasonable charge per (prefix)bytes transferred.

I further really can't be on board with it though because it's my understanding there aren't companies which charge per-byte-moved anymore, just charge for some CIR. I also am very much opposed to this peak/off-peak notion, simply because I have yet to be shown how it costs the IAP anything more to move bytes during some peak period. Again, if this were the upstream policy, I could relate, and change my thinking on that. But as it is, the costs are relatively stable over the course of a day or week. The only minor variation on that which I can think of is local electrical providers and their darned peak/off-peak billing, and the fact that a non-idle processor (such as in a router) will draw more electric power than an idle one. But I doubt the difference is a large enough percentage of operating costs to even matter.

Again, I plead possible ignorance, and I'm thoroughly willing to be told by a credible source that my understandings are wrong.
--
English is a difficult enough language to interpret correctly when its rules are followed, let alone when a writer chooses not to follow those rules.

Jeopardy! replies and randomcaps REALLY suck!


Oh_No
Trogglus normalus

join:2011-05-21
Chicago, IL
reply to rradina
said by rradina:

So if I apply your reasoning to a brick-and-mortar retail store chain, Sam's and CostCo are probably the only retailers capable of making a profit. The rest are just cooking their books and doomed to bankruptcy.

If I apply it to car manufacturers, they too are cooking their books because I don't have to belong to a car club that pays for their billion dollar manufacturing plants all so they can build and sell me a car.

I just don't understand that line of thought.

What you need to understand is I don't like metered billing either and I agree with you that we should be able to have unlimited bandwidth for some set, monthly fee. However, that doesn't mean that a truly metered service is IMPOSSIBLE. The cost per byte and average monthly usage needs to be set a rate that pays for all the property, plant and equipment depreciation and maintenance. They could even offer a deal so that the cost per byte drops as you reach certain usage plateaus.

We don't have metered services today. We have some bizarre money grab from monopolistic/duopolistic corporations whose investors are expecting get-rich-quick schemes. They aren't satisfied with a 5% dividend payout. They want to double their money every three years and any company that doesn't will be devalued and dumped by the market.

Sorry, but you can't compare the costs of how an ISP is to things like retail, manufacturing, etc.
Of course that does not make sense if you want to try to compare unlike things.

If you want to do 100% metered billing and you divide the costs by all the available bandwidth to the byte, then if the network is not maxed out 24/7 then you will not make enough money. If you base your byte rate on 4/7 then those that use their connections more than 4 hours a day unfairly pay more above the cost of the network than others. The easiest thing to do is have no metered billing and just make sure you charge enough to cover the costs of that line so you know everything is paid for.


Oh_No
Trogglus normalus

join:2011-05-21
Chicago, IL
reply to rchandra
said by rchandra:

#include "why ISPs should not be utilities"

Let's just say for a moment I were on board with running an I[SA]P like a utility (with UBB). There are any number of models which could be applied, as there are a wide variety of ways utilities bill; it's not just limited to flat rate and pay-per-(prefix)byte-moved. For example, National Fuel, my gas provider, bills some fixed rate every month, which includes some (small) volume of gas. Then there is a charge per (volume, therm, something), which is further broken down into supply, delivery, etc., then taxes and such are added on. So to make an analogy to an IAP, there could be some flat rate charged per month which goes towards equipment and equipment maintenance, optionally including your first (prefix)bytes transferred, and then a hopefully reasonable charge per (prefix)bytes transferred.

I further really can't be on board with it though because it's my understanding there aren't companies which charge per-byte-moved anymore, just charge for some CIR. I also am very much opposed to this peak/off-peak notion, simply because I have yet to be shown how it costs the IAP anything more to move bytes during some peak period. Again, if this were the upstream policy, I could relate, and change my thinking on that. But as it is, the costs are relatively stable over the course of a day or week. The only minor variation on that which I can think of is local electrical providers and their darned peak/off-peak billing, and the fact that a non-idle processor (such as in a router) will draw more electric power than an idle one. But I doubt the difference is a large enough percentage of operating costs to even matter.

Again, I plead possible ignorance, and I'm thoroughly willing to be told by a credible source that my understandings are wrong.

I would say you keep thinking about it wrong by comparing unlike things.
Natural gas can be stored and used later. Nothing is lost when you are not using it. They charge you the fixed amount to pay their pipeline costs, everyone must pay this (even when they do not use gas) or their fixed costs are not covered for the money they spent on the 24/7 connection.
Then they charge you usage for what gas you use as it COST them money for the gas separately than their pipelines.

Bandwidth cannot be stored, it is use it or lose it. Most ISPs are not paying for bandwidth, they have paring agreements.
Your internet connection is basically just made of fixed costs and does not have usage costs.

So with internet you would be billed a fixed amount regardless of your usage and the company will be very profitable.


rchandra
Stargate Universe fan
Premium
join:2000-11-09
14225-2105
One, you've confirmed my suspicions about IAP costs.

Two, I never said that was an exact analogy; it was just to make the point that many, many billing models have been devised. I apologize of you inferred gas service was anything like providing Internet service. I could have equally stated any one of a number of power company billing scenarios (which is arguably more apt since likewise the ability to store electricity on a large scale is rather limited) ranging from peak/off-peak, tiered KWh, and so on; or telephony which likewise on some plans (not mine) has a fixed per month charge, then adds either per call or per minute charges. The analogy (in terminology only, mind you) of the gas company having a base charge per month for installing and maintaining the pipeline is a good one in the sense of installing and maintaining the Internet pipeline.

Three, I'm not agreeing it's just at all. In fact, unless as stated my assumptions are proven wrong, I'm totally against UBB. See the linked BBR post. My main objection is lack of control.

I'm also against it because UBB doesn't magically come into existence. I oppose it, based on quite a potential for my bill to go up because the IAP needs to install and maintain yet another gadget (for billing purposes), and in general, it just complicates the whole mess.
--
English is a difficult enough language to interpret correctly when its rules are followed, let alone when a writer chooses not to follow those rules.

Jeopardy! replies and randomcaps REALLY suck!

rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
reply to Skippy25

Re: Disk is cheap and the data is immutable...

I thought that was all that was required. As I said in another reply, I didn't know they required ALL the data to be kept. That's ridiculous and it seems like an unreasonable request that isn't even feasible. Are we sure they want ISPs to keep ALL the data and not just the logs for 18 months?

rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
reply to Oh_No

Re: He forgot a level.

I don't buy it. By your own logic, your scheme will have the bandwidth hogs pay less than those who just do some light surfing and e-mail. That's why the ISP's claim we all should welcome metered billing.

You can fix that by dropping the price once you go beyond four hours. Don't the electric, gas and water companies do this? Aren't their business models the same? You don't get any free electricity, gas or water. While electricity and gas companies expenses rise with increased usage because there is a cost to create/acquire the raw product they deliver, what about the water company? Where I live they draw water from the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. As far as I know, mother nature doesn't charge a fee and their sanitation costs should be fixed, sans adding chlorine and fluoride, since they build to a certain capacity just like ISPs.

Try again to convince me why an ISP is so special that it cannot be run like any other business.

rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
reply to tubbynet

Re: Disk is cheap and the data is immutable...

An excerpt from the bill:

(a) IN GENERAL. Section 2703 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
(h) RETENTION OF CERTAIN RECORDS.—A provider of an electronic communication service or remote computing service shall retain for a period of at least 18 months the temporarily assigned network addresses the service assigns to each account, unless that address is transmitted by radio communication (as defined in section 3 of the Communications Act of 1934).

They don't have to capture all the data and it doesn't appear to apply to wireless providers (assuming mobile, not fixed). Mobile wireless would be a nightmare since the IP logs are probably a mess with folks moving from place to place.

Are you honestly going to tell me they cannot retain DHCP logs?!?!?! According to this, they don't even have to keep URL access logs. In my opinion, the ISPs are whining about nothing. And, as usual, information is power and the uninformed crowd has taken sides and is crowing about NOTHING!

What's ridiculous is that I posed a question, "define costlier". I get tripe responses like "it would cost more" or folks going off the deep end talking about the architectural complexities and costs of storing hundreds of terabytes of data per month.

Now I'll be the first to apologize if I missed something in the bill that forces ISPs to keep the DATA and the logs. Keeping the DATA is unreasonable and if true, everyone who said it was crazy is correct. However, I read the ENTIRE bill and the only part that I can find that applies to ISPs seems like a VERY REASONABLE request from our government. ISPs will incur practically NO additional cost to implement regardless of size.

talz13

join:2006-03-15
Avon, OH
reply to rradina

Re: He forgot a level.

said by rradina:

So if I apply your reasoning to a brick-and-mortar retail store chain, Sam's and CostCo are probably the only retailers capable of making a profit. The rest are just cooking their books and doomed to bankruptcy.

If I apply it to car manufacturers, they too are cooking their books because I don't have to belong to a car club that pays for their billion dollar manufacturing plants all so they can build and sell me a car.

I just don't understand that line of thought.

What you need to understand is I don't like metered billing either and I agree with you that we should be able to have unlimited bandwidth for some set, monthly fee. However, that doesn't mean that a truly metered service is IMPOSSIBLE. The cost per byte and average monthly usage needs to be set a rate that pays for all the property, plant and equipment depreciation and maintenance. They could even offer a deal so that the cost per byte drops as you reach certain usage plateaus.

We don't have metered services today. We have some bizarre money grab from monopolistic/duopolistic corporations whose investors are expecting get-rich-quick schemes. They aren't satisfied with a 5% dividend payout. They want to double their money every three years and any company that doesn't will be devalued and dumped by the market.

Car manufacturers: Once you buy a car, it doesn't cost them anything for that car anymore.

ISPs: Setting a cost per byte is not possible because a byte of traffic doesn't COST them anything! Running their entire nationwide network to transfer 1 byte per month would cost the same as transferring 1PB per month. Peak usage is the issue, since the peak determines how much bandwidth they require. If the usage was spread out, the same amount of data could be transferred at a constant rate, and a smaller pipe could be used. But since the traffic all needs to go through NOW from the hours of 5pm-midnight, they have to use a pipe big enough for that.

rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
reply to iansltx

Re: Disk is cheap and the data is immutable...

I read the bill. It's just DHCP access logs.