Vendors call on EU to allow tech giants to contribute to network costs – IT Pro – News

Most of the comments on this topic I do not understand at all.
The internet for large businesses works very differently than the internet for consumers.

As a consumer you pay a fixed amount and then you can do whatever you want with your connection almost indefinitely. It doesn’t matter if you use a lot or a little, load or unload, or communicate with American or Dutch parts. You don’t see any of this. If you go really too far you will just get pinched.

That’s not how it works on the big Internet at all.

First, Internet cables are one-way. Everyone needs two to communicate. They do not necessarily have to be two physical cables (as with optical fiber) but “upload” and “download” are simultaneously separate. That’s where it all starts. Where do you connect these two cables to your partner’s network? Exactly in the middle will not work in practice, especially if there is an ocean in between. So one party pays more than the other. So a powerful party tells a little one “if you want to connect you have to pay for the cable under the ocean”.

A more important point is that you have two cables and you don’t have to connect them in the same place. These two cables do not have to have the same capacity. Big players (like Netflix) also play there. Then they lay a thick pipe for the “outward journey” to their data center in New York and for the “way back” a wafer-thin thread runs under the ocean from Amsterdam.

What you also need to know is that the biggest parties on the internet don’t send each other an invoice, but each pays their own piece. This is provided that both sides are roughly the same size and send approximately the same amount of traffic in the direction of each other. If not, and one party only sends and the other party only receives, this is not fair and one party will have to pay the other party.

The convention is that the sender pays for the traffic until it reaches the recipient’s network.
All major networks have connection points around the world. As a broadcaster, you prefer to find a pairing point nearby, so your costs remain low. As a receiver, of course, it works exactly the other way around. As mentioned above, it is very important if you have to go under the ocean. If you have something to choose from, you will obviously be looking for a mating point on your side of the ocean.

But sometimes there is no suitable coupling point, for example because it is too expensive to run an additional cable. So you can use the network of others. There is a price tag attached to that.

There you see the problem arising between Netflix and ISPs. Netflix sends a huge amount of data over the internet and gets next to nothing in return. ISPs get all those mountains of data, but their own customers charge a lot less (with asymmetric connections like ADSL and coax it’s almost impossible to do otherwise).

Under conventional rules, Neflix would have to pay to deliver traffic to our ISP’s network. Given the enormously skewed upload / download ratio, it would be very expensive.

However, Netflix says “Dear ISP, we will not bring traffic anymore, come and get it from us. Otherwise, your customers will complain that Netflix is ​​not working properly and you will be blamed for it.”

I’m jumping a lot into the story above, but it’s complicated enough. The point is that the internet payment model is based on a decentralized network with symmetrical traffic between many small operators. That model no longer works as the Internet becomes increasingly centralized between the data centers of some Internet giants and the networks of consumer ISPs.

It’s not a simple “bad ISP, good Netflix” story, nor vice versa. It’s a pivotal discussion of how we pay for the internet and how to stop the internet’s most powerful companies from freely riding on the networks of their partners or even competitors. Without an investment in the internet, it will eventually break down. If the larger parties don’t co-pay enough, things quickly go wrong.

How much is “sufficient” and how we divide the costs “equally” is an open discussion that has been going on for years. Unfortunately, the discussion is dominated by the image we have of ISPs (consumers). Coupled with what the biases are or what the “good” and “bad” companies are, this gives a completely wrong picture of the situation. I sincerely hope that the EU will make a good contribution, but I can already predict that the reactions will be decidedly negative.

Or the EU is mishandling the problem on the basis of its lack of internet knowledge. Then everyone in the know will be furious at the stupidity of the legislation.
Or the EU is dealing with the problem well. So all consumers are furious because they don’t understand the problem and the solution and therefore misinterpret it.

The fact that we’re dealing here with pretty good companies at “media” and “pr” doesn’t help. The fact that most of these companies (on both sides) are from the United States and operate around the world does not help address the problem from Europe. It is explained very quickly as an “EU” against “US” spell, or “EU” against “Internet” or something like that.

So folks, put all your assumptions about what is “right” and who is “right” and “wrong” in the closet. There is no big bad crook who is the cause of all the misery. We have a serious problem here without a simple solution.

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