Who owns the Internet pipes?

Who owns the Internet pipes?

Summary: Ben Worthen of CIO has an interesting post about who in the context of the Net Neutrality debate. He worked with Lumeta's chief scientist Bill Cheswick to create a map of the North American Internet backbone, including 134,855 routers, colored by telecom company (Verizon, AT&T, Qwest, Level 3, Sprint Nextel, cable companies, smaller players).

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TOPICS: Verizon
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Ben Worthen of CIO has an interesting post about who in the context of the Net Neutrality debate. He worked with Lumeta's chief scientist Bill Cheswick to create a map of the North American Internet backbone, including 134,855 routers, colored by telecom company (Verizon, AT&T, Qwest, Level 3, Sprint Nextel, cable companies, smaller players).

lumetamap.jpg

Worthen concludes that while AT&T and Verizon have the biggest piece, they don't dominate enough to be considered monopolist candidates. On the other hand, if the telecom consolidation continues unabated that may not be the case. 

Topic: Verizon

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4 comments
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  • Tenuous Peer Agreements - the Internet is Fragile

    Remeber when Level 3 severed it's peer connections with Cogent citing that the existing business model wasn't advantageous? Millions of users couldn't access portions of the web, anyone who used Level 3 or Cogent, for many days resulting in mind boggling financial loses. It's disadvantageous for companies to do that...

    ...so long as there aren't any behemoths. Any sufficiently well funded ISP here could hold the world hostage if they negotiate their peer sharing arrangements carefully. I don't think anybody has a clue how precarious this situation is. Legally there is nothing preventing something like Level 3 negotiating an unholy alliance with say Verizon to force the other providers into unfair peer contracts. Half of these contracts are gentlemen's agreements - like the one between Level 3 and Cogent, and either can sever connections for any reason they want without facing any legal repurcussions.

    Think about it.
    daver_z
  • Fragile is better than the Feds

    Immagine if a Government claimed ownership. Sounds like China and all that monitoring and censorship.

    Fragile it may be, but that's better than the alternatives.
    theoldman59
  • If bush gets his mits on the internet.

    It isn't the function of the internet to babysit kids and teenagers while their parents aren't home. These families can't be doing too bad if they have a computer connected to the internet even a slow connection. Everything in the minds of humans should be on the internet. Good, bad, deviant, horror, truth, all of it. A fast running river for the sophisticates to weed out what they need. The internet is the first free flowing "data" highway in history. To limit this do to archane religious and educational failings would be a crime against humanity. If these parents who might have a grade school education, the very flower of the republican trash succeed in dousing this flame, then all IS LOST. all is lost. Most of us have the intracranial capacity to handle most of what is on the internet. So far it seems law enforcement "officers, and republican politicians are the pedophiles. NEVER let these sick bastards restrain the internet.
    tedbohne
  • Monopoly vs. Neutrality

    Very interesting map! And I think Mr. Worthen is correct in his opinion that it does not show any clear cut monopoly of ownership. However, I think this is only tangentially related to net neutrality.

    Imagine gasoline companies deciding what to charge you for a gallon of gas based on where you want to drive. This is a bad idea, regardless of who is selling the gas.

    Net neutrality, as I understand it, is not about anything as blatant as one carrier refusing to carry data from or to a competing carrier. Why? Because this scenario is too obviously imbalanced and wrong.

    Preventing refusals to interoperate is pretty much a side effect of net neutrality. Net neutrality prevents the artifical imbalance of multi-tiered services. The telcos, who favor multi-tiered services, want you to pay to connect to the network, and then they want you to pay more to actually send or recieve data. The telcos want to prioritize the transmittal of your data based on how much you're willing to pay.

    Mr. Worthen says, "Real briefly, the telecommunications industry is lobbying for the right to manage the traffic that flows over their networks as they see fit." This sort of radical oversimplification distracts from the fact that payment-based prioritization of packets artifically un-levels the playing field and creates arbtrary barriers to innovation. The only thing a lack of net neutrality will accomplish is the enrichment of the telcos while impeding internet innovation.
    marlinj@...