Network end users to pull down 2 gigabytes a day, continuously?

Gian wrote:

"From a big picture standpoint, I would say P2P distribution is a non-starter,
too many reluctant parties to appease. From a detail standpoint, I would say P2P
distribution faces too many hurdles in existing network infrastructure to be
justified. Simply reference the discussion of upstream bandwidth caps and you
will have a wonderful example of those hurdles."

Speaking about upstream hurdles, just out of curiosity (since this is merely a
diversionary discussion at this point;) ... wouldn't peer-to-peer be the LEAST
desirable approach for an SP that is launching WiFi nets as its primary first
mile platform? I note that Earthlink is launching a number of cityscale WiFi nets
as we speak, which is why I'm asking. Has this in any way, even subliminally,
been influential in the shaping of your opinions about P2P for content
distribution? I know that it would affect my views, a whole lot, since the
prospects for WiFi's shared upstream capabilities to improve are slim to none in
the short to intermediate terms. Whereas, CM and FTTx are known to raise their
down and up offerings periodically, gated only by their usual game of chicken
where each watches to see who'll be first.


On Mon Jan 8 22:26 , Gian Constantine sent:

My contention is simple. The content providers will not allow P2P video as a

legal commercial service anytime in the near future. Furthermore, most ISPs are
going to side with the content providers on this one. Therefore, discussing it at
this point in time is purely academic, or more so, diversionary.Personally, I am
not one for throttling high use subscribers. Outside of the fine print, which no
one reads, they were sold a service of Xkbps down and Ykbps up. I could not care
less how, when, or how often they use it. If you paid for it, burn it up.I have
questions as to whether or not P2P video is really a smart distribution method
for service provider who controls the access medium. Outside of being a service
provider, I think the economic model is weak, when there can be little
expectation of a large scale take rate.Ultimately, my answer is: we're not there
yet. The infrastructure isn't there. The content providers aren't there. The
market isn't there. The product needs a motivator. This discussion has been
putting the cart before the horse.A lot of big pictures pieces are completely
overlooked. We fail to question whether or not P2P sharing is a good method in
delivering the product. There are a lot of factors which play into this.
Unfortunately, more interest has been paid to the details of this delivery method
than has been paid to whether or not the method is even worthwhile.From a big
picture standpoint, I would say P2P distribution is a non-starter, too many
reluctant parties to appease. From a detail standpoint, I would say P2P
distribution faces too many hurdles in existing network infrastructure to be
justified. Simply reference the discussion of upstream bandwidth caps and you
will have a wonderful example of those hurdles.

Gian Anthony ConstantineSenior Network Design EngineerEarthlink, Inc.
On Jan 8, 2007, at 9:49 PM, Thomas Leavitt wrote:So, kind of back to the

original question: what is going to be the reaction of your average service
provider to the presence of an increasing number of people sucking down massive
amounts of video and spitting it back out again... nothing? throttling all
traffic of a certain type? shutting down customers who exceed certain thresholds?
or just throttling their traffic? massive upgrades of internal network hardware?

Is it your contention that there's no economic model, given the architecture of

current networks, which would would generate enough revenue to offset the cost of
traffic generated by P2P video?

Gian Constantine wrote: There may have been a disconnect on my part, or at

least, a failure to disclose my position. I am looking at things from a provider
standpoint, whether as an ISP or a strict video service provider.

I agree with you. From a consumer standpoint, a trickle or off-peak download

model is the ideal low-impact solution to content delivery. And absolutely, a
500GB drive would almost be overkill on space for disposable content encoded in
H.264. Excellent SD (480i) content can be achieved at ~1200 to 1500kbps,
resulting in about a 1GB file for a 90 minute title. HD is almost out of the
question for internet download, given good 720p at ~5500kbps, resulting in a 30GB
file for a 90 minute title.

Service providers wishing to provide this service to their customers may see

some success where they control the access medium (copper loop, coax, FTTH).
Offering such a service to customers outside of this scope would prove very
expensive, and likely, would never see a return on the investment without
extensive peering arrangements. Even then, distribution rights would be very
difficult to attain without very deep pockets and crippling revenue sharing. The
studios really dislike the idea of transmission outside of a closed network.
Don't forget. Even the titles you mentioned are still owned by very large
companies interested in squeezing every possible dime from their assets. They
would not be cheap to acquire.

Further, torrent-like distribution is a long long way away from sign off by the

content providers. They see torrents as the number one tool of content piracy.
This is a major reason I see the discussion of tripping upstream usage limits
through content distribution as moot.

I am with you on the vision of massive content libraries at the fingertips of

all, but I see many roadblocks in the way. And, almost none of them are technical
in nature.

Gian Anthony ConstantineSenior Network Design EngineerEarthlink, Inc.Office:

404-748-6207Cell: 404-808-4651Internal Ext:

Please see my comments inline:

[] Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 4:27
PMTo: Bora AkyolCc: <>Subject: Re: Network
end users to pull down 2 gigabytes a day, continuously?

I would also argue storage and distribution costs are not asymptotically zero

with scale. Well designed SANs are not cheap. Well designed distribution systems
are not cheap. While price does decrease when scaled upwards, the cost of such an
operation remains hefty, and increases with additions to the offered content
library and a swelling of demand for this content. I believe the graph becomes
neither asymptotic, nor anywhere near zero.

To the end user, there is no cost to downloading videos when they aresleeping.I

would argue that other than sports (and some news) events, there ispretty much no
content thatneeds to be real time. What the downloading (possibly 24x7) does is
to stress the ISP network to its max since the assumptions of
statisticalmultiplexinggoes out the window. Think of a Tivo that downloads
content off theInternet24x7. The user is still paying for only what they pay each
month, and this is"network neutrality 2.0" all over again.

You are correct on the long tail nature of music. But music is not consumed in

a similar manner as TV and movies. Television and movies involve a little more
commitment and attention. Music is more for the moment and the mood. There is an
immediacy with music consumption. Movies and television require a slight degree
more patience from the consumer. The freshness (debatable :slight_smile: ) of new release
movies and TV can often command the required patience from the consumer. Older
content rarely has the same pull.

I would argue against your distinction between visual and auditorycontent.There

is a lot of content out there that a lot of people watch and thecontentis 20-40+
years old. Think Brady Bunch, Bonanza, or archived games fromNFL,MLB etc. What
about Smurfs (for those of us with kids)?

This is only the beginning.
If I can get a 500GB box and download MP4 content, that's a lot ofessentially

free storage.

Coming back to NANOG content, I think video (not streamed but

multi-pathdistributed video) is going to bring the networks down not by
sheerbandwidth alone but by challenging the assumptions behind theengineering of
the network. I don't think you need huge SANs per se tostore the content either,
since it is multi-source/multi-sink, thereliability is built-in.

The SPs like Verizon & ATT moving fiber to the home hoping to get in onthe

"value add" action are in for an awakening IMHO.

Boraps. I apologize for the tone of my previous email. That sounded grumpierthan

I usually am.

Ah-ha. You are mistaken. :slight_smile:

My focus is next-gen broadband and video. The wifi guys have their own department.

Good try, though. :slight_smile:

Personally, I am against the peer-to-peer method for business reasons, not technical ones. It will be difficult to get blessed by the content providers and painful to support (high opex).

I have confidence in creative engineers. I am sure any one of us could come up with a workable solution for P2P given the time and proper motivation.

All in all, P2P is really limited to a VoD model. It is hard to say whether or not VoD would ever become such an important service over the Internet, as to press content providers into an agreeable nature.

Gian Anthony Constantine
Senior Network Design Engineer
Earthlink, Inc.