Nice Internet overview

The recently-published Nemertes study, Internet Interrupted: Why Architectural Limitations Will Fracture the ‘Net, includes a fine overview of the Internet, explaining public and private peering, content delivery networks, and overlay networks. It was necessary for the study to cover this ground as it had to correct the mistaken picture of Internet traffic that’s been foisted off on the regulating public by the MINTS study published by Andrew Odlyzko. MINTS only studies data gathered from public peering centers, a part of the Internet at which traffic growth is significantly lower than it is at private peering centers. Nemertes has a controversial model of traffic growth, but for understanding the way the Internet is put together, it’s excellent.

One thought on “Nice Internet overview”

  1. This study reflects what we, as an ISP, are seeing. In part due to the economic downturn, consumers are trying to engage in price arbitrage; they are cutting off their cable connections and telephone lines and cutting back on purchases of music. They are hoping to get the same services and content at no incremental cost via their Internet connections. The trouble is, you can’t get something for nothing: the crushing demand caused by pervasive use of Internet video (which is incredibly inefficient compared to broadcast or trunked distribution) and P2P is forcing ISPs to look at raising their rates to accommodate higher duty cycles on Internet connections. Soon, no ISP may be able to offer a 768 Kbps connection for less than $80 a month, because users will be expecting 100% CIR (committed information rate). And, of course, they’ll be accused of charging consumers too much, or of being greedy, when in fact they’re just charging more to accommodate their own costs — including backbone bandwidth and beefed up local loops. This is NOT going to be fun for me as an ISP. I’ve told users that we expect our prices to be going down — and this is true, if you take prices as being per bit delivered. But their monthly fees may go up because they are sucking in so many more bits.

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