[e2e] end of interest

David P. Reed dpreed at reed.com
Mon Apr 21 12:02:26 PDT 2008

James -

Connectivity in the Internet is NOT free (at least "as in beer").   The 
Storm worm used already paid-up capacity, paid for by the users in bulk 
form.  One can get confused because the phone companies charge "by the 
minute" for some things, but give away *for free* so-to-speak the 
always-on connection between home instrument and line card.   How dare 
you not pay for receiving all the bits of information that come from 
knowing that "no one is calling you right now" - you should pay at 
texting rates for those bits, unless you are a pirate.  :-)

I'd suggest using accurate terminology, lest one just add to the confusion.

The primary cost base of a communications company is composed of capex 
for the wires and switches, power for them, and salaries for humans who 
interface with customers.   None of those are correlated even slightly 
with minutes of voice or bits of data.

Economics is hard work, but its probably worth learning the meaning of 
the term "free".

James Kempf wrote:
> Jon,
> According to Patrick Peterson at Ironport (presentation week before 
> last the RSA Conference), the Storm worm made over 70,000 connections 
> during the first 36 hours after infection. And the Storm network earns 
> the spammers over $150 million in revenue through fufillment of Viagra 
> orders through CandianPharmacy.com from Indian and Chinese sources.
> If the architecture were such that connectivity was not free, you can 
> be sure that the ISPs, equipment vendors, and others in the ecosystem 
> would do something to ensure that this didn't happen. Otherwise, 
> infected users would be screaming about their bills.
>                  jak
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Jon Crowcroft" 
> <Jon.Crowcroft at cl.cam.ac.uk>
> To: "James Kempf" <kempf at docomolabs-usa.com>
> Cc: "Saikat Guha" <saikat at cs.cornell.edu>; <end2end-interest at postel.org>
> Sent: Monday, April 21, 2008 9:10 AM
> Subject: Re: [e2e] end of interest
> so that leads to an interesting conclusion which might align
> business models with anti-spam and anti-ddos economic
> incentives.
> 1. charge a sender for the number of reachable recipients
> per unit time...doesn't  hurt the average joe q public much,
> collects much money of supernodes, big server sites, and
> spammers/ddossers...
> 2. retire
> In missive <026d01c8a3c8$a64278e0$1a6115ac at dcml.docomolabsusa.com>, "J
> ames Kempf" typed:
> >>>the value of the net to users is that it connects them to content. the
> >>>network providers
> >>>are in the business of taking a fraction of the business that the 
> content
> >>>providers are in
> >>>...
> >>
> >>If you look at any of the research on networks, most researchers 
> agree that
> >>the value of the network is in connectivity. There's arguments about 
> whether
> >>the value scales as O( n**2  ) via Metcalfe's Law or something more 
> like
> >>O( n log(n)  ) which Briscoe, Odlyzko, and Tilly claim.  But nobody 
> claims
> >>that the value of networks is in the bandwidth.
> >>
> >>Last time I looked, network providers weren't charging for 
> connectivity,
> >>they were charging for bandwidth. Google makes tons of money off of 
> small
> >>text ads that use almost no bandwidth but cash in from free 
> connectivity.
> >>Network providers are forced to give away connectivity because the 
> Internet
> >>architecture provides no way for them to charge for it. Not a 
> particularly
> >>good business when you are forced to give away what is of value and 
> charge
> >>for what isn't.
> >>
> >>My blog post this week discusses this more and the connection with
> >>end-to-end (http://cleanslate-internet.blogspot.com).
> >>
> >>                     jak
> >>
> >>
> cheers
>   jon

More information about the end2end-interest mailing list