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Topic # 10164 7-Nov-2006 23:31
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I've got this in my e-mail today:

Telecom’s “Traffic Management” Threatens Broadband Neutrality


Telecom has opened up another offensive against internet-based competitors in the calling market with the introduction of "traffic management" on its Xtra broadband “Go Large” plan, according to a University of Otago computer scientist.

Computer Science lecturer Simon McCallum says Telecom’s move, which enables them to create high or low traffic priorities for different internet applications, shows the need for “net neutrality” legislation in New Zealand.

“Telecom claims that traffic management is being used to share the available bandwidth between all users, but by targeting all peer-to-peer connections they are able to prevent users from taking advantage of free international calling with Voice over IP programs such as Skype.”

“This could be seen as a cynical attack on one of the major threats to traditional telecommunications providers. By limiting the bandwidth available for VoIP software, Telecom is crossing the line and discriminating against certain types of internet usage.

Similar behaviour has sparked heated debates about net neutrality in the US and Europe, he says.

“Net neutrality is the principle that companies that run the internet infrastructure should not discriminate against certain providers and set up differential pricing for "preferred" content. Legislation has already been passed in several European countries and is before the US Congress.

“If New Zealand wants to benefit from the use of broadband, and have a free and open infrastructure we need to pass net neutrality legislation.

“As the internet becomes our main source of information, the issue of net neutrality will become a core principle of an open society.

“Without adequate safeguards, telecommunications companies will be able to dictate what content and information is “acceptable” and what should be blocked.”



Interesting perspective raised by the academia...





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Reply # 51548 7-Nov-2006 23:53
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Simon McCallum is a well known as being odd and very anti-Telecom. There is no huge surprise to hear this from him.

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  Reply # 51550 8-Nov-2006 00:04
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The important thing is that there are at least some internet plans available in NZ which are "net neutral", even if they do not include plans designed with leeches in mind, such as Go Large.

Someone raised an interesting point in one of the other threads that the "Pro" plans (with unrestricted upstream bandwidth) are not subject to the kind of traffic shaping which we are seeing in Go Large.  If this is the case, then those types of plans would seem to meet the net neutrality provisions, without needing to resort to more legislation.

cwk

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  Reply # 51552 8-Nov-2006 02:47
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There should be a vote to the whole New Zealand as to who would like 3.5M and be able to do everything, and who would like to be on 7.6M being capped and blocked everywhere.

Out of topic but have you seen on Telecom's website, they explained why the speed was slow?  One of the reason they said is that if you are far from the exchange, then higher speeds will cause your connection to degrade (which makes sense, the higher the frequency the more inductance and impedance you get with the line).  But hey, if you already knew this was a potential problem, then why not say it out and let those people choose whether they want the "faster" line or not?  Apparently you can tell that Telecom (from that explanation) plans to do nothing about those people who are far from the exchange.  I hope I am not one of them because I cannot live with 200Kbps.
Telecom is also offering no refunds unless you continously get under 256Kbps..  compare that with the maximum 7.6Mbps that we should be getting, and 256K is about 3% of 7.6M.  So they are only guaranteeing 256K (3% of maximum).


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  Reply # 51556 8-Nov-2006 08:00
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cwk: 

There should be a vote to the whole New Zealand as to who would like 3.5M and be able to do everything, and who would like to be on 7.6M being capped and blocked everywhere.

While we are at it, there should be a public voting system on every other privately run business in New Zealand...





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  Reply # 51557 8-Nov-2006 08:01
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cwk:

There should be a vote to the whole New Zealand as to who would like 3.5M and be able to do everything, and who would like to be on 7.6M being capped and blocked everywhere.

Out of topic but have you seen on Telecom's website, they explained why the speed was slow? One of the reason they said is that if you are far from the exchange, then higher speeds will cause your connection to degrade (which makes sense, the higher the frequency the more inductance and impedance you get with the line). But hey, if you already knew this was a potential problem, then why not say it out and let those people choose whether they want the "faster" line or not? Apparently you can tell that Telecom (from that explanation) plans to do nothing about those people who are far from the exchange. I hope I am not one of them because I cannot live with 200Kbps.
Telecom is also offering norefunds unless you continously get under 256Kbps.. compare that with the maximum 7.6Mbps that we should be getting, and 256K is about 3% of 7.6M. So they are only guaranteeing 256K (3% of maximum).



Actually it's a little more complex than that. ADSL is known to cause interference and cross talk in the cable bundle, especially when run at higher speeds. So your connection running at a higher speed, could be causing interference on someone else’s JetStream connection.

ADSL2 which Telecom promised New Zealand would be available in July just been (but has been delayed, new rollout date unknown!) fixed a lot of these interference issues.

Alcatel told Telecom before they unleashed that this would cause a lot of problems, and they needed a spectrum interference plan.

Also, it interferes with SDSL which Telecom are using for their managed services (OneOffice etc.)

I would not like to be a Telecom JetStream engineer this week, wading through this mess.




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  Reply # 51564 8-Nov-2006 09:11
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bradstewart: Simon McCallum is a well known as being odd and very anti-Telecom. There is no huge surprise to hear this from him.

Hi Bradley,
    It is somewhat strange that you attack me rather than talking about the issue.  The debate over net neutrality is quite important and that you would dismiss the issue because of the person raising the topic is unfortunate.  Perhaps you would like to discuss the topic instead of me.  Though I am also happy to discuss my own opinions, but that would be an entirely different thread, or even forum Smile.

The existence of neutral plans is actually part of the argument.  Up until this point you have been charged on the quantity of data and the speed that you access those packet.  The net neutrality debate is saying that the line provider should not look inside the packets and decide how to serve that data.  The underlying network should be neutral to content.   If Vodafone were offering free movie downloads from their site, telecom could limit all the xtra go large customers accessing the site.  This is the sort of situation you end up if you do not discuss why a lines company is looking at the content of the packet.

This is already happening in South Korea, and they tried it in Norway. 

There is no difference between the p2p packets and other packets, why should the broadband provider be allowed to charge differential pricing.

They already have a congestion limiting policy in the fair use part of the plan, so what exactly is traffic management attacking?

Simon

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  Reply # 51567 8-Nov-2006 09:27
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SimonMcCallum: Hi Bradley,
It is somewhat strange that you attack me rather than talking about the issue.

That's the Telecom style, shoot the messenger rather than putting up a reasoned argument.



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Reply # 51569 8-Nov-2006 09:30
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BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 51570 8-Nov-2006 09:34
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SimonMcCallum: There is no difference between the p2p packets and other packets, why should the broadband provider be allowed to charge differential pricing.

They already have a congestion limiting policy in the fair use part of the plan, so what exactly is traffic management attacking?


Simon. Welcome here...

About these points. Have you contacted the InternetNZ? I actually joined the society, and will blog about some points later.






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  Reply # 51572 8-Nov-2006 09:41
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Anyone care to shed some light on exactly how they do their traffic prioritising?
Based on ports? keywords like HTTP GET and POST etc?
Done on a datastream or on individual packets of data?




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Reply # 51576 8-Nov-2006 10:25
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SimonMcCallum:
bradstewart: Simon McCallum is a well known as being odd and very anti-Telecom. There is no huge surprise to hear this from him.

Hi Bradley,
    It is somewhat strange that you attack me rather than talking about the issue.  The debate over net neutrality is quite important and that you would dismiss the issue because of the person raising the topic is unfortunate.  Perhaps you would like to discuss the topic instead of me.  Though I am also happy to discuss my own opinions, but that would be an entirely different thread, or even forum Smile.

The existence of neutral plans is actually part of the argument.  Up until this point you have been charged on the quantity of data and the speed that you access those packet.  The net neutrality debate is saying that the line provider should not look inside the packets and decide how to serve that data.  The underlying network should be neutral to content.   If Vodafone were offering free movie downloads from their site, telecom could limit all the xtra go large customers accessing the site.  This is the sort of situation you end up if you do not discuss why a lines company is looking at the content of the packet.

This is already happening in South Korea, and they tried it in Norway. 

There is no difference between the p2p packets and other packets, why should the broadband provider be allowed to charge differential pricing.

They already have a congestion limiting policy in the fair use part of the plan, so what exactly is traffic management attacking?

Simon

I fully agree with every word you said. Net neutrality is something that needs to be legislated. We don't want end up with the same situation at the U.S.

People should be allowed to have unrestricted access to the net for whatever purpose they want without fear of shaping. Unless of course they are P2P and BT users stealing all our bandwidth... shape the hell out of them.

Anyway it will be good to have somebody of your considerable knowledge here at Geekzone. I'm sure we will clash on some things. Especially if you mention linux....

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  Reply # 51584 8-Nov-2006 10:57
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exportgoldman: Actually it's a little more complex than that. ADSL is known to cause interference and cross talk in the cable bundle, especially when run at higher speeds. So your connection running at a higher speed, could be causing interference on someone else’s JetStream connection.

ADSL2 which Telecom promised New Zealand would be available in July just been (but has been delayed, new rollout date unknown!) fixed a lot of these interference issues.

Alcatel told Telecom before they unleashed that this would cause a lot of problems, and they needed a spectrum interference plan.

Also, it interferes with SDSL which Telecom are using for their managed services (OneOffice etc.)

I would not like to be a Telecom JetStream engineer this week, wading through this mess.


It's important to note that unlike other carriers that implemented an interference management plan (not spectrum management) from the beginning, Telecom never did that. The Commerce Commisson looked into the claims that unconstrained DSL would make the entire network fall over, and its consultant found this to be incorrect. (If someone can find the actual report on the ComCom site, please post the URL to it.)

The present performance degradation that some customers experience is because of insufficient network capacity mainly, from what I can tell.




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  Reply # 51600 8-Nov-2006 12:16
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Consultant reports here

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  Reply # 51605 8-Nov-2006 13:07
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Hmmm, if I were cheeky I would say that a telco could leave their current infrastructure intact (in all it's glory), and build a new service based on new technology. It would be relatively empty, have nice dedicated backhaul, and you could charge a shedload more for it without going down the path of building an expensive backbone middleware control system. And ensure you kept the service level up and ignored the other one (just let it slowly die). Achieves a two-tier service by stealth.

Ooops, it's called OneOffice, isn't it ? Laughing




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  Reply # 51606 8-Nov-2006 13:11
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antoniosk: Hmmm, if I were cheeky I would say that a telco could leave their current infrastructure intact (in all it's glory), and build a new service based on new technology. It would be relatively empty, have nice dedicated backhaul, and you could charge a shedload more for it without going down the path of building an expensive backbone middleware control system. And ensure you kept the service level up and ignored the other one (just let it slowly die). Achieves a two-tier service by stealth.

Ooops, it's called OneOffice, isn't it ? Laughing


Heh. To be fair to Telecom, isn't OpenOffice being offered to wholesalers as Unbundled Network Service?

Not sure how equivalent to OO it is though.




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