[e2e] end2end-interest Digest, Vol 39, Issue 32

Peyman Faratin peyman at MIT.EDU
Mon May 21 13:32:54 PDT 2007



I am not sure whether the folks are building computers from sand in  
the playground of the media lab, but I can say that you are  
"inventing your own science from scratch".

Network externality is _not_ the same concept as increasing return to  
scale. One is to do with (desirable/undesirable) side-effects of  
actions of one agent on another not in the original contract  
(externalities) and the other is to do with efficiency gains of  
productions of a _single_ firm (where the average cost of production  
diminishes with increasing quantities produced). The marginal cost of  
checking these facts is insignificant in this day and age of google  
and wikipedia.

Regulation and economics of networks are non-trivial and require  
attention to the details of the arguments that people so freely  
misrepresent. Government regulation did have a very significant  
impact on the Internet (through differential settlement structures  
between interconnecting PSTN and early dialup ISPs). This government  
regulation of settlements in fact _helped_ Internet scaling, not to  
mention their public investment in the interchanges and the backbone.  
MSN was rolled out and could've tipped to become the dominant  
standard (as many other inferior technologies have done so  
historically - VHS/Betmax, Gasoline/steam,....). See [1] and [2] for  
some more recent text on the economics and regulation of Internet.

Determination of causality in an (un)regulated economy is a very non- 
trivial task and, like all sciences, the validity of an economic (and  
the accompanying regulatory) hypothesis/proposition is conditioned on  
the semantics of the model primitives (externalities, returns to  
scale, etc). The devil is in the details.



[1] H. E. Nuechterlein and P.J. Weiser (2005) Digital Crossroads:  
American Telecommunications Policy in the Internet Age, MIT Press,  
Cambridge, MA, US, 2005

[2] Handbook of Telecommunications Economics, Technology Evolution  
and the Internet, Vol.2, S.K. Majumdar, I Vogelsang and M. Cave  
(eds), Elsevier, 289—364, 2005.

> One can, at any time, create a non-interoperable network.    
> Corporations
> do it all the time - they create a boundary at their corporate edge  
> and
> block transit, entry, and exit of packets.
> That is not the Internet.   It's a private network based on the IP
> protocol stack.  Things get muddier if there is limited
> interconnection.   Then, the Internet would be best defined as the
> bounded system of endpoints that can each originate packets to each
> other that *will* be delivered with best efforts.   It's hard to draw
> that boundary, but it exists.
> Given this view, I don't think government regulations played a
> significant role in the growth of the Internet.   We have had lots of
> private networks, many larger than the Internet.   I know, for  
> example,
> that Microsoft built a large x.25 based network in 1985 to provide
> non-Internet dialup information services for Windows.   It was called
> MSN, and was designed to compete with the large private AOL network.
> What the Internet had going for it was *scalability* and
> *interoperability*.   Metcalfe's Law and Reed's Law and other "laws".
> Those created connectivity options that scaled faster than private
> networks could.   Economists calle these "network externalites"  or
> "increasing returns to scale".
> Gov't regulation *could* have killed the Internet's scalability.    
> Easy
> ways would be to make interconnection of networks a point of control
> that was taxed or monitored (e.g. if trans-border connectivity were
> viewed as a point for US Customs do inspect or if CALEA were  
> implemented
> at peering points).
> But lacking that, AOL and MSN just could not compete with the
> scalability of the Internet.
> That has nothing to do with competition to supply IP software  
> stacks in
> operating systems, or competition among Ethernet hardware vendors.
> However, increasing returns to scale is not Destiny.   The Internet  
> was
> not destined to become the sole network.   But all the members of the
> Internet (people who can communicate with anyone else on it) would be
> nuts to choose a lesser network unless they suffer badly enough to
> outweigh the collective benefits.
> Individualist hermits don't get this, I guess.   If you want to be  
> left
> alone, and don't depend on anyone else, there are no returns to scale
> for you at any scale.   Grow your own bits in the backyard, make your
> own computers from sand, invent your own science from scratch.   If  
> the
> walls are high enough, perhaps you can survive without connectivity.
> ------------------------------
> Message: 3
> Date: Fri, 18 May 2007 14:46:03 -0400
> From: Haining Wang <hnw at cs.wm.edu>
> Subject: [e2e] Call for Participation - IWQoS'2007
> To: end2end-interest at postel.org
> Message-ID: <FDC6B43C-8B6E-4FFD-8799-3A7DAE1091AE at cs.wm.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; delsp=yes; format=flowed
> (Apologies if you have received this more than once)
> ====================================================================== 
> ==
>                            CALL FOR PARTICIPATION
> Fifteenth IEEE International Workshop on Quality of Service (IWQoS  
> 2007)
>                       Chicago, IL, USA,   June 21-22, 2007
>                         http://iwqos07.ece.ucdavis.edu/
> IWQoS has emerged as the premier workshop on cutting edge research and
> technologies on quality of service (QoS) since its first establishment
> in 1994. Building on the successes of previous workshops, the  
> objective
> of IEEE IWQoS 2007 is to bring together researchers, developers, and
> practitioners working in this area to discuss innovative research
> results, and identify future directions and challenges. We will  
> continue
> IWQoS's long standing tradition of being highly interactive while
> maintaining highest standards of competitiveness and excellence. This
> characteristic will be re-emphasized through a technical program
> consisting of keynote addresses, rigorously reviewed technical  
> sessions
> (including both long and short papers), and stimulating panel
> discussions about controversial and cutting edge topics. The panel and
> the short paper sessions will be highly interactive and leave much  
> time
> and space for the audience to get involved.
> We encourage you to check our Web site for the registration and  
> advance
> program as well as up-to-date conference information:
> 1. Registration.  The early registration deadline is 6/4.  Please  
> check
>     out the registration online at
>     http://iwqos07.ece.ucdavis.edu/registration.html
> 2. Hotel reservation. We have reserved a block of rooms at Hilton  
> Garden
> Inn.  The group rate is USD 129 per night, USD 10 per extra person.  
> The
> group code is "IWQoS". The reservation line is 847/475-6400 or
> 1-877-STAYHGI (782-9444). Please be sure to mention the group code to
> get the discounted rate. The CUT OFF DATE for this reservation is MAY
> 29.
> That is, the reservations and the rate are valid only till then.
> Therefore,
> PLEASE RESERVE YOUR ROOM ASAP.  Note that it will be very hard to get
> any room after the deadline.  For more information, check out the
> travel page
> at the IWQoS website:
> http://www.cs.northwestern.edu/~ychen/services/iwqos07-travel.html
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