[e2e] traffic engineering considered harmful

Jonathan M. Smith jms at central.cis.upenn.edu
Wed Jun 13 06:20:31 PDT 2001

1. Dave Sincoskie suggested a similar idea in active networking - named
somewhat unfortunately (from an acronym point-of-view) "self-paying information
2. Yechiam Yemini's MarketNet ideas also have many overlaps with this


At 10:02 AM 6/13/2001 +1000, Bob Smart wrote:
> > Why isn't this the Tragedy of the Commons waiting to happen?
>Proposal: the Guerilla Internet.
>The Internet is divided into Blobs which might be: a PPP link,
>an ISP, a backbone service provider.
>Each blob puts out quotes for service and receives payment based
>on those quotes. The payments will specify what packets they are
>for: source range; destination range; QoS; maybe others.
>With appropriate payment technology [I have one that is fairly
>well tuned to this] then the payer never has a large account. The
>money flows continuously. It is kept positive by a callback
>mechanism. The provider calls back with usage information and
>to indicate when money is low for particular sorts of packets.
>Initially ISPs would keep accounts with backbone providers and
>end users would just pay their ISPs as now. However later it would
>be possible for users to cover their own costs all the way, and
>to use loose source routing to pick backbone links with particular
>properties: cheap / fast / reliable.
>I guess we would need a new ICMP: unfunded packet.
>Some nice things happen in this model:
>When there is a DoS attack then somebody suddenly gets a lot of
>"need to top up account" requests. Hopefully the software doing
>that will then raise alarms. It will then be possible for the
>payer to start specifying payments that cover all packets except
>those in the attack, which will then get dropped.
>If somebody wants to broadcast free to air style then they can
>cover the cost of their multicast packets on all links. End users
>can then receive those broadcasts for free and the broadcaster
>can recover the costs in other ways (e.g. advertising).
>At the other extreme, service providers might not pay any of the
>costs of their packets and the users will have to cover the
>packets to and from that service on all blobs. This will the
>overcome the current situation where it is very expensive to
>provide a popular public service. This will enable unfunded
>volunteer run services.
>Why do I call it the Guerilla Internet? Well suddenly it is worth
>while to provide a new link. Whether you put up a satellite or
>just run an ethernet cable across to your neighbor so they can
>share your DSL link, you can charge and recover the cost of that
>without the need to be in some monster vertically integrated
>service provision arrangement. We can bring a market free for
>all to Internet service provision. It would be a mistake to
>underestimate the positive results of doing this. It would be
>a mistake to underestimate the costs of the current arrangement.
>In particular the current zero marginal cost of packets and
>services is a key reason for DoS attacks and SPAM.

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