I was out most of yesterday, so I missed responding to the bandwidth management thread. I don't want to respond to any of the individual emails at this point. Below is a summary of responses in not particular order.

I believe customers should pay for the bandwidth they want/need and in turn the ISP should deliver on that. I know this is possible to do since we do it everyday. Is it harder with best effort customers? Absolutely, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. The trick is not the technology; its the business model. Make sure you can profitably sell what the customer is buying. Further, make sure the customer understands what they are buying and offer to sell them something else if that's not what they want.

Technically, I don't think traffic shaping is a good way to go. Today, P2P traffic may be a big problem, but what about tomorrow? What happens when everyone is downloading video from Apple or some other legitimate traffic? You will never be able to beat bandwidth requirements with shaping since they will continue to rise and others will find ways around the shapers.

I don't believe the amount of bandwidth you sell has to be a 1:1 ratio with the amount of bandwidth you have. Some users will maximize their connections, while others will not. In the voice world, the number of channels you need is based on the number of calls during the busy hour. Similarly, the amount of bandwidth you need is related to your customers' peak usage. This is very different than saturating your available bandwidth and only getting more as you run out.

The cost of your bandwidth is only one component in what it will cost you to deliver bandwidth to your customer. We have some large customers that only pay $10 per meg for bandwidth yet I can't buy transit at a similar commit for that price. Does that mean I am losing money? No it doesn't. It simply means I was able to sell the bandwidth for one price that doesn't have any relation to what I may pay. A significant amount of traffic --the vast majority of our usage in fact-- is our customers interacting with content. Since we peer with the large content providers we are able to exchange this traffic on a settlement free basis. Additionally, another large portion of traffic is P2P, which seems to be exchanged primarily with universities. Again, since we peer with all the large universities in the Southeast we are able to exchange this traffic on a settlement free basis.

-Matt
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