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BDFL - Memuneh
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Topic # 37681 17-Jul-2009 09:38
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One of our Geekzone readers sent this letter to the Communications Minister Stephen Joyce, the presidents of InternetNZ and ISPANZ. We received a copy and I got authorisation to publish it here:


Dear Sirs,

Firstly, I just wanted to thank both the TUANZ and InternetNZ for their excellent work in the NZ Internet scene in the recent past.  Tireless efforts by organisations such as yours have vastly improved the quality and price of Internet access for New Zealanders in the past few years! 

It is also heartening to see the current National government continuing the good work completed to date in improving Internet connectivity and conditions in NZ.

I'd like to raise the issue of unmetered data transfers for national Internet traffic (that is; Internet data transferred between two endpoints, both located within New Zealand).  I am speaking from both the perspective of a private Internet user and as a member of an Internet based backup company (Databack Ltd).

Back in the early days of ADSL connections in NZ, unmetered national traffic was available, but we have taken a turn for the worse on this front and this charging model is no longer available to the average private user.  I see unmetered national traffic as being a very important aspect of Internet access, and without it, Internet based businesses and private users in NZ are being artificially disadvantaged.  There are a number of Internet based business models which are currently not economically viable due to this issue.  For example; businesses selling digital video products are particularly disadvantaged due to the size of the data transfers required.  In addition to businesses, private Internet users are needlessly being charged for traffic which could easily be transferred without charge.

From what I understand, the root cause of this issue is that the major NZ ISPs (namely Telecom & Telstra) have ceased their national peer connections to the rest of the country's ISPs.  This has in turn given the other ISPs no choice but to charge for all traffic, national and international.  There are probably other factors involved, but I see this action by Telecom and Telstra as both anti-competitive and unproductive; this attitude doesn't benefit Internet users or the economy.

A reversal of this situation and a return to unmetered national traffic will benefit all Internet users and providers in NZ.  If private users know they will not be charged for national traffic, they will go out of their way to source their data from within NZ rather than be charged for international traffic.  This obviously also benefits ISPs due to the continued high cost of wholesale international bandwidth.  Without national traffic metering for private users, business utilising digital delivery models become viable and innovation and the economy in general will be stimulated.

Are there any plans or actions in motion aimed at reversing the 'metered national traffic' situation?  Are we likely to see unmetered Internet access reinstated in NZ in the near future?

Thank you,

Sam Fickling.
Private Internet User
Member of 'DataBack Ltd'





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  Reply # 236365 17-Jul-2009 09:47
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Hear, hear. I remember when I first got broadband at home, NZ downloads were 1/10 of the cost of international. I'd love to see a return to cheap or free NZ data.

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  Reply # 236438 17-Jul-2009 13:21
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The problem with unmetered data is people will abuse it. There is also still a cost to send that data locally / nationally - do you think all that fibre back-haul cost nothing to install / maintain?
However, I do agree that a reduced cost or maybe a bundle of national data included would be a great idea.




Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend from $150 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
Rural Broadband RBI installer for Ultimate Broadband and Full Flavour

 

Need help in Auckland, Waikato or BoP? Click my email button, or email me direct: [my user name] at geekzonemail dot com


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 236459 17-Jul-2009 14:41
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I would like to add that we should have super fast nationwide data by now, and probably the big telcos would need to peer for that to happen too.




Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^

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  Reply # 236555 17-Jul-2009 21:08
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I agree, perhaps free is a little too much to ask & yes, it could be abused. I guess there's nothing to be lost by aiming high however :) The main issue here is that even a 1/10th cost model is currently not viable due to the main players refusing to come to the party. Until that is settled it's all moot!

Sam (Fickling) :)

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  Reply # 236557 17-Jul-2009 21:18
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Biggest issue of course would be websites with say a .co.nz domain but are hosted overseas...no easy way to tell unless you trace route every site you visit

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  Reply # 236588 18-Jul-2009 00:29
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Abused? What about every other country with uncapped plans? That's even international too. To say that it will be "abused" (and thus have some negative effect) is absurd.


DjShadow:
Biggest issue of course would be websites with say a .co.nz domain but are hosted overseas...no easy way to tell unless you trace route every site you visit


Well that's mostly a chicken and egg situation - a lot of NZ websites are hosted overseas exactly because of the lack of peering. If ISPs peered properly, then it would become cheaper to host NZ sites in NZ rather than in the US (see: TradeMe).

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  Reply # 236592 18-Jul-2009 01:10
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Hear Hear!

I agree completely, local traffic must be cheap enough already to allow enough of a local ratio of lines to backhaul to be able to included in the price of a internet connection. It's only ethernet switches and fibre runs.

This would enable so many services like my personal pet online backups, media transfers, legal entertainment content and be such a immersive technology environment that the benefits would flow into education and healthcare.

I would love to live in a society of one of  the most technology literate workforces in the world, knowing the best surgeon in our country can look at my scans if I'm sick not just the closest.

Wheres the ambition we used to have, where our schools and technology was the best, and we had a can do attitude. Citylink has already achieved it, this is what real competition can do.

The best time to invest in our future is in a recession. Lets teach, learn, build our way out of it.






Tyler - Parnell Geek - iPhone 3G - Lenovo X301 - Kaseya - Great Western Steak House, these are some of my favourite things.

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  Reply # 236637 18-Jul-2009 10:50
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Screeb: Abused? What about every other country with uncapped plans? That's even international too. To say that it will be "abused" (and thus have some negative effect) is absurd.

Unfortunately it is not absurd, and is exactly what happened in the previous days of unmetered NZ traffic that some ISP's had. One of the main culprits was DC Hubs, shifting up into the Terabytes of data per month.




Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend from $150 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
Rural Broadband RBI installer for Ultimate Broadband and Full Flavour

 

Need help in Auckland, Waikato or BoP? Click my email button, or email me direct: [my user name] at geekzonemail dot com


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  Reply # 236666 18-Jul-2009 14:14
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coffeebaron:
Screeb: Abused? What about every other country with uncapped plans? That's even international too. To say that it will be "abused" (and thus have some negative effect) is absurd.

Unfortunately it is not absurd, and is exactly what happened in the previous days of unmetered NZ traffic that some ISP's had. One of the main culprits was DC Hubs, shifting up into the Terabytes of data per month.


Yup, this is all true and was it not only last year on XNET?

My point is, since local traffic is so dirt cheap, I'm sure that ISP's could build into the cost of a normal connection a 50:1 ratio or similar for access to the national core?

The fibre's already mostly laid, put in some bigger switches in the core, watch the range of services florish. There are so many new services we could offer at work if traffic across town wasn't $2/$5/GB, look at Sky TV which had to pull their service offline because their helpdesk was flooded with people asking why their internet bills were huge.

We can deal with the abusers on a one by one basis, but to hold a whole society in the technical dark ages because of a few?





Tyler - Parnell Geek - iPhone 3G - Lenovo X301 - Kaseya - Great Western Steak House, these are some of my favourite things.

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  Reply # 236670 18-Jul-2009 14:23
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Actually, speaking of X-Net, who do free 'local' traffic (ie; to the XNet servers), is there any reason why they (or any other ISP) couldn't offer free traffic between it's users?

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  Reply # 236731 18-Jul-2009 19:18
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What makes you guys think using the backhaul network is free/cheap?

You > Exchange > Backhaul Network > ISP's Handover Point > ISP's Network




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  Reply # 236735 18-Jul-2009 19:30
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Try signing up for a guaranteed 80GB of traffic per month = $165 on a 256Kbps UNS connection. OK, so this is a commercial hi grade service, but how much would it cost to do the same for residential? ISP's work on very slim margins, you would need a reasonable price hike to make anything near unmetered national data a reality.
This was all fine a few years a go when 5GB per month was a huge amount of data, but not so now.




Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend from $150 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
Rural Broadband RBI installer for Ultimate Broadband and Full Flavour

 

Need help in Auckland, Waikato or BoP? Click my email button, or email me direct: [my user name] at geekzonemail dot com


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  Reply # 236738 18-Jul-2009 19:40
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coffeebaron:
Unfortunately it is not absurd, and is exactly what happened in the previous days of unmetered NZ traffic that some ISP's had. One of the main culprits was DC Hubs, shifting up into the Terabytes of data per month.


coffeebaron:
Try signing up for a guaranteed 80GB of traffic per month = $165 on a 256Kbps UNS connection. OK, so this is a commercial hi grade service, but how much would it cost to do the same for residential? ISP's work on very slim margins, you would need a reasonable price hike to make anything near unmetered national data a reality.
This was all fine a few years a go when 5GB per month was a huge amount of data, but not so now.



But how is that different to other countries? How do THEY handle this "abuse"? Why is NZ any different?

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  Reply # 236748 18-Jul-2009 20:13
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I don't think national traffic should be free, as with anything if it's free it will be abused.  The flipside of this is an ISP's billing engine may not be setup to count traffic differently so there will be costs involved in installing hardware/software to count traffic differently.

National traffic also does cost to backhaul around the country.  Kordia don't give ISPs free bandwidth, so if national was free, more capacity would be needed, so ISPs would require a larger pipe down the country.  With ADSL margins already very, very slim, this overhead has to be covered somewhere else.

Maybe a smarter solution would be that content providers such as TVNZ, Sky, et al peer directly at a peering exchange (such as the APE), then ISPs can pass data directly between them, and zero rate this.

Last query, for the normal ADSL user, who would use copious amounts of national bandwidth anyway?

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  Reply # 236763 18-Jul-2009 21:41
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I can understand all the arguments about UNS, and the fact that yes there is more gear needed than fibre runs and ethernet switches, but we used to have free national traffic, still do at some ISP's and on more expensive fibre connections from as least that I know of Orcon, Telecom, Horizon Pacific.

Why not have the government fund what Telecom proposed last year, that a series of 13(?) local peering exchanges are placed around the country and anyone which brings there own cable to that location can peer for free.

Free national traffic really fell out of the tree when TelstraClear decided to make a gob of money from it, and now local traffic trombones through Australia for local NZ content.

How is THAT cheaper than local peering...




Tyler - Parnell Geek - iPhone 3G - Lenovo X301 - Kaseya - Great Western Steak House, these are some of my favourite things.

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