[TUHS] V7 Addendem [ really lawyers and AT&T consent decree ]

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Tue Dec 12 05:23:28 AEST 2017


    > From: Clem Cole

    > IP and datagrams were very much built on no central control

Well, yes and no. One can easily have a centrally controlled datagram network
(q.v. the ARPANET) - although it's true that its path-selection algorithms,
etc were not centrally controlled - but other aspects of the network were.
(Interestingly, after various routing disasters the Internet caused by
improper configuration, some aspects of path selection in _parts_ of it are
now effectively centrally controlled; but I digress.)

The IP Internet was designed with no _overall_ central control, but as a
collection of autonomous entities.

    > In the end, it was MetCalfe's law (which was formulated on observations
    > about the phone system) that caused IP to win

Over any and all comers, including other decentralized datagram networks like
CLNP. MetCalfe's law doesn't talk about decentralized, it's just about 'first
to field'.


    > all want to see the net neutrality go away

This whole 'net neutrality' campaign drives me completely crazy.

If all people wanted was a rule saying 'ISPs can't give third parties _worse_
service, or - more importantly - deny service altogether, unless those parties
pay up' (i.e. what would amount to targeted extortion), I'd be _all for_ a
rule like that.

But the 'net neutrality' aficionados (most of whom, I'm fairly sure, are not
aware of/thinking about these details) are all signing up for a much more
expansive rule, one that says 'no ISP can offer anyone _better_ service for
paying more money' - which is quite different. My problems with this latter
form are two-fold.

First, what's wrong with that anyway? Do we have a rule saying you can't get
better road service if you pay? Absolutely not - restricted toll lanes are
becoming more and more common. So there's clearly no societal agreement on
this principle. (I suspect this 'net netrality' campaign has as a goal some
sort of 'forced equality' thing - unless the people behind it simply don't
even understand the difference.)

Second, that rule is, with a little extra work on the ISPs' part, ineffective
anyway. All they have to do is build _two_ networks, one better provisioned
than the other - and priced accordingly. You want better service? Sign up for
the second network; you'll pay more, but it's your choice.

    Noel


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