[LINK] Australian ISPs offer US advice, smugness, on net neutrality

Adrian Chadd adrian at creative.net.au
Wed Oct 1 10:04:58 EST 2008

On Wed, Oct 01, 2008, Michael Skeggs mike at bystander.net wrote:
> A large driver of the bandwidth caps in Oz, and the lack in the US, is
> the historical peering arrangements. An American start-up ISP could
> peer into a major node and get the vast bulk of their traffic free, in
> Australia they need to pay for every drop of transit.
> The various regional peering points here tried to get around it, with
> IMO limited success against the gang of four.
> In the US I am aware the big players are now operating peering
> policies that only allow no cost peering with similar scaled ISPs, but
> the horse had bolted in the late 1990s to the point where unlimited
> was the default offering for home users.

Australian ISPs could peer too. Nothing stopped them doing that. And some
did (and do, hi internode, telstra, even OGN! :). They however would have to
drag circuits over to the US to do the peering; and the US peers weren't
interested in paying half. (Or weren't where I was involved.) Settlement
based peering didn't help either; the traffic generally flowed one way.

Note that "peering" traffic isn't free for the bulk of Australian ISPs
where it used to be unmetered. Capex costs of infrstructure growth and opex
costs like (pre-PIPE) backhaul to exchnges for DSL makes it very unattractive
to offer "all you can eat" unmetered traffic of any type.

Note that in Australia, ISPs are making deals with content producers for
their content to sit in the ISP "free zone". I'm sure the ISP gets a kickback
from this (they'd be stupid not to!) which justifies having it "open".
This is precisely what the content/SP companies in the US want, and almost
exactly what the whole "net neutrality" concept wants to avoid.



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