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April 15, 2005



Vint: I believe you made a mtsaike in your explanation of "transmission rate caps", defining it as "a given minimum data rate" when I believe you meant to write a maximum data rate. From the user's perspective, I agree that a rate cap (AKA bandwidth limit) is easier to deal with than being charged by the byte (or megabyte). But, as Chris noted, that's exactly what most ISPs are doing today.You don't believe volume caps are the way to go and you evidently don't think rate caps are sufficient. So you suggest "prioritization should be applied across the board to all low latency traffic." Are you referring to the packet prioritization functionality in IPv4 and IPv6 or something similar?If packet prioritization was completely agnostic, applications would specify a packet's priority, not ISPs. But that assumes application developers will prioritize packets appropriately. There's nothing to stop one peer-to-peer software developer from designing their software to assign all of the packets their software sends as high-priority in hopes that their software will then perform faster than their competitors', giving them a competitive advantage. It's a tragedy of the commons' problem: since there's little to no cost to the individual for "cutting in line" by assigning their packets the highest priority, most application developers will assign their packets a high priority.Do you think ICANN should formulate guidelines for packet prioritization? If not ICANN, what about the Internet Society, IETF, or some other entity? Adam Thierer has asked this question over on .

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