Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sandvine to the FCC: Internet Fast Lanes are not Needed

Rick Wadsworth [pictured], Director Corporate Communications, Sandvine summarizes on the vendor's blog Sandvine's submission (here) to the FCC's latest Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the Open Internet (See  "FCC: New Net Neutrality? Just be 'Commercially Reasonable'" - here and "People Care about Net Neutrality" - here).

"Sandvine has over 250 customers around the world. Despite the large customer base, we have not deployed any Pay for Priority plans, nor have our operator customers expressed significant interest in them. To the best of our knowledge, none of the innovative service plans that Sandvine has helped implement across our customer base have involved payments between operators and edge providers for traffic priority, nor (again to the best of our knowledge) have any negotiations or direct arrangements between the operator and an edge provider occurred in connection with such service plans.

Also, technically speaking, we don’t believe that Pay for Priority would work. At a moment in time, there is a fixed amount of bandwidth available to all applications, content, etc. on a given network. If one application has paid for more of that bandwidth (and this is how the priority is achieved) then there is less “best efforts” bandwidth remaining for all other applications and content. It’s a zero-sum game. Other applications and content providers will start paying for priority as well. It is not hard to imagine the best efforts bandwidth shrinking quickly and those who paid for priority not receiving it because the prioritized section of the pie has been sliced too many times. If everybody has priority, nobody has priority.

The FCC’s rules should be focused on protecting and encouraging the full breadth of “commercially reasonable” service plans, including those that are becoming very popular globally today. Sandvine has seen firsthand how innovative service plans have increased adoption of the Internet around the world, enhanced competition, and given consumers more (and more affordable) choice.

See "Dear FCC, deprioritize Pay for Priority" - here.

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