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For the Record: Dave on Comcast/Level 3
Tuesday, 30 November 2010 00:38
Comcast's Joe Waz argued on the Comcast blog and Dave Farber's list that Comcast should charge Level 3 because the they were downloading from Level 3 more than they were uploading. The issue is that today essentially all U.S. broadband providers upload far less than they download. That would mean charging everyone, something I disagree with. So I posted

A question.
Are you contending that Comcast need not peer with carriers with substantial asymmetry, say within 100% of the national average?
  I ask because the current ratio of downstream to upstream traffic on the U.S. Internet is about 4:1, which means essentially everyone except the carriers will have significantly asymmetric traffic with any large carrier such as Comcast. Comcast will always receive far more traffic than it sends with any backbone provider and the proportion is increasing.
  Which implies that Comcast could charge for just about all the traffic coming in. If I'm reading you wrong, please get back to me.
I haven't heard from Joe with an answer. 
Ben Popken of the Consumerist called as well, and quoted me saying
"Industry analyst Dave Burstein told Consumerist, "The Justice Department should step in with antitrust."

"As far as I know, no primary backbone provider like Level 3 has ever been required to pay to deliver traffic to another major carrier. Payments have only been required from smaller carriers who are not truly "peers."

"In particular, Comcast's claim their charge to a backbone provider is ordinary "paid peering" is bs. The details of Comcast's claims would mean they collect a fee from every bit, especially video over the Internet unless it's sent by AT&T or Verizon. AT&T and Verizon would of course gladly collect fees for video to their customers as well."

Nate Anderson of Ars Technica (a great site) included me in his storHow Comcast became a toll-collecting, nuke-wielding hydra