A Question of Priorities

Jerry Brito, a legal scholar who’s a fellow at the Mercatus Center, posted a thoughtful piece about Internet priorities yesterday at the TLF blog, Let’s get our priorities straight. Jerry…

August 18, 2010 2

Google Responds to Attacks

Rick Whitt has penned an explanation for the thinking behind the Google-Verizon Open Internet proposal on the Google Public Policy Blog, Facts about our network neutrality policy proposal: Over the…

August 12, 2010 0

Shrill Reactions

I’ve really been amazed by how shrill the reaction has been on the left to the Google-Verizon proposal. You’d think they’d set fire to the Internet Exchanges simply by proposing…

August 10, 2010 1

A Ferrari for the Price of a Geo Metro

The Wall Street Journal has a pretty decent survey of the reaction to the Google-Verizon Internet Proposal: Phone and cable companies say they need leeway in managing their Internet networks…

August 9, 2010 3

Battling Visions of Traffic Management

Jay Daley, an Internet address registrar in New Zealand, offers an interesting “net-head view” of Internet traffic management: Traffic management by definition is about protocols and pipes, about balancing services…

August 6, 2010 0

Paul Vixie on DNS Blacklisting

Paul Vixie is well known in the Internet community as the implementor of DNS. He makes a very important announcement today on CircleID about a new tool he’s developed to…

July 30, 2010 0

Measuring Internet Performance

In my last big article, I explored the technology that makes the Internet different from the telephone network, packet-switching. This time I want to explore one of the major implications of packet-switching, statistical behavior. The short version of this piece is that the telephone network oriented a generation of regulators and policy geeks toward certain expectations about network behavior that are no longer valid, and the tension between the old view of networks and the new view is the source of a lot of conflict.

Measuring the performance of non-deterministic, packet-switched networks such as those comprising the Internet is much more difficult challenge than is generally appreciated, but it’s necessary – or viewed as necessary – by a host of consumer-oriented policies. As currently operated, the Internet provides no performance guarantees, relying on a “best-effort” system of packet transfer across facilities shared by a large number of users – some 500 million systems are attached to the Internet presently – operating under wildly different loading scenarios. Many advocates argue that this “best-effort” system represents an ideal state of affairs, and are offended by the notion that network operators might supplement basic service with a more deterministic, for-fee system with bounded performance guarantees. Bob Frankston, for example, believes that the Internet represents a “paradigm shift” in network construction because it radically separates transport from applications. How radical this shift is from a historical perspective is debatable, as the wheel pretty much accomplished the same thing. But I digress.

July 28, 2010 0

FCC’s Deeply Flawed Broadband Report

In my day job, I’m a policy researcher at ITIF working on Internet issues, so the FCC Broadband Deployment Report naturally caught my eye. See the analysis: The bottom line…

July 22, 2010 0

Internet Congestion 201

This is the second part of an examination of the nature of congestion on packet switched networks such as the Internet. In the first part, Internet Congestion 101, we looked…

July 22, 2010 2

Internet Congestion 101

One of the questions that comes up most persistently in discussions of the Internet is congestion. Traffic management by ISPs is a response to congestion, and naive critics of the…

June 28, 2010 2