Level 3 is one of the Tier 1 backbone ISPs. And they've had enough of US monopolist ISPs blaming service issues on them. So they addressed it on their blog. And it's a bombshell, folks. In the tech industry, this is pretty much a declaration of war.
Follow me below the fold for the details.
First, the post's author, Mark Taylor, blows away the idea that there's a strain on the backbone level (emphasis mine):
Level 3 has 51 peers that are interconnected in 45 cities through over 1,360 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports (plus a few smaller ports). The distribution of that capacity with individual peers ranges from a single 10 Gigabit Ethernet port to 148 ports. The average number of interconnection cities per peer is five, but ranges from one to 20.Then, he tees off on the US ISPs:
The average utilization across all those interconnected ports is 36 percent. So you might be asking – what is all the fuss about with peering? And why did we write the Chicken post? Well, our peers fall into two broad categories; global or regional Internet Services providers like Level 3 (those “middlemen” listed in the Renesys report), and Broadband consumer networks like AT&T. If I use that distinction as a filter to look at congested ports, the story looks very different.
A port that is on average utilised at 90 percent will be saturated, dropping packets, for several hours a day. We have congested ports saturated to those levels with 12 of our 51 peers. Six of those 12 have a single congested port, and we are both (Level 3 and our peer) in the process of making upgrades – this is business as usual and happens occasionally as traffic swings around the Internet as customers change providers.
That leaves the remaining six peers with congestion on almost all of the interconnect ports between us. Congestion that is permanent, has been in place for well over a year and where our peer refuses to augment capacity. They are deliberately harming the service they deliver to their paying customers. They are not allowing us to fulfill the requests their customers make for content.Read that last line again, people -- this is why we need common carrier regulation! In countries or markets where consumers have multiple Broadband choices (like the UK) there are no congested peers.
Five of those congested peers are in the United States and one is in Europe. There are none in any other part of the world. All six are large Broadband consumer networks with a dominant or exclusive market share in their local market. In countries or markets where consumers have multiple Broadband choices (like the UK) there are no congested peers.
While Level 3 doesn't name names, he notes that the companies in question are routinely rated last in customer satisfaction across all industries, and Zack Epstein at BGR does the legwork:
Taylor also noted that the ISPs in question “happen to rank dead last in customer satisfaction across all industries in the U.S.,” and he linked to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which regularly ranks ISPs including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Cox, Verizon and Cablevision at the bottom of customer satisfaction surveys.We need Common Carrier regulation now. We need competition in the broadband marketplace now. We need to not let the last mile ISPs become the gatekeepers of our future. These problems -- no, this whole debate -- does not exist in markets where competition exists...otherwise known as the rest of the civilized world -- because any ISP that pulled this shit somewhere else would be fucking FIRED by their customers.
Sign the petition. Comment on the FCC's site. Contact your elected Representatives and Senators. Do not sit idly by while companies like Comcast seek to become the gatekeepers of our future.