[LINK] Fee structure stymies online use
link at todd.inoz.com
Fri Jul 30 14:30:25 EST 2004
At 15:24 29/07/2004 +1000, Eric Scheid wrote:
>JULY 29, 2004
>AUSTRALIA has the highest internet traffic charges in the world and the
>country's unique volume-charging regime is stifling internet use and content
>development, an internet peering expert says.
Gee, I've been saying that since 1997.
>Many ISPs did not understand their own internet traffic in great detail, he
I've been saying that since 1995 :)
>"Only one in 20 of the ISPs we've worked with around the world knew where
>their traffic was going," he said.
Going? As in from their ISP to the rest of the world? THat's more useful
for a marketing department than the operation of an ISP. It's inbound
traffic that one wants to have concern for as an ISP.
Where is it coming from?
Can I peer with someone and get the same data over a cheaper path? Is that
duplicate path cost effective: ie. does the cost of the link come out
cheaper than the cost of the traffic over an expensive single source?
What sites do the majority of my users use and how can I increase
performance and reduce traffic costs as we pay by the byte in Australia?
I've been asking these questions in all network designs since I started
network designing in the 1980's. Not only for Internet, but WAN and LAN
>Australian transit charges were the highest in the world, he said. And
>another anomaly of the Australian market was the practice of volume charging
>-- charging for the amount of data downloaded rather than by bandwidth.
And in Telstra's case, UPLOADING as well.
>Peering is distinct from normal internet traffic charges because data is
>shared between ISPs for a fixed cost, in contrast to the volume or
>bandwidth-based charges paid by most ISPs to upstream internet bandwidth
>providers, such as Telstra.
I've tried to encouraging peering between ISPs for almost 10 years. I was
even at the first Ausbone meeting, which was an interesting
experience. The result of course is that most ISPs can't coordinate
between themselves and only seem to cry for help when they are personally
>Another feature of Australia's internet traffic landscape is the notorious
>"gang of four" -- a mandate set out by the Australian Competition and
>Consumer Commission in 1997 that forces Telstra, Optus, Telecom NZ's Connect
>.com.au and OzEmail owner MCI to peer with each other.
>The four do not peer with any other carriers or service providers, who must
>instead pay for traffic they receive from them.
Of course! That's how they up the profits! And MCI should know better
because they only charge by PIPE in the USA.
But hey, if you are in a market that tolerates Byte Charging, why not do it
and reap the benefits. If consumers refused to pay Byte Charges things
would change very quickly.
If ISP's worked together and established ZERO COST Traffic paths between
themselves from one to the other up and down the coast, and users routed
most of their traffic via those paths, then traffic costs drop. Only one
costly pipe needs to be in place and with good proxy's and gateway
management, the Gang of Four loose a huge amount of business.
But then Telstra just ups the pipe price :)
>Several telcos such as Comindico and iiNet have argued that the "gang of
>four" arrangement is no longer relevant because Connect.com.au for example,
>carries less traffic than some of those companies excluded from it.
>The ACCC is reviewing the gang of four arrangement but is finding the matter
>complex, and a draft report has been delayed by almost a year. Peering tends
>to appeal less to larger carriers, for whom the benefits of a reciprocal
>relationship are smaller.
Because they charge for download! If you take away the download cash flow,
they have no fluctuating and growing cash surplus each month.
>"Telstra makes a lot of money selling transit and they want to continue
>doing so," he said
They should NEVER have been allowed to in the first place. I said it in
1995, 1996 and 1997.
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