Level 3 accuses six broadband providers of degrading network traffic2014-05-06 10:09 by Daniela
Tags: Level 3, ISP
Network provider Level 3 claims that five US consumer broadband providers and one European ISP are refusing to upgrade their peering connections for the past year, thus causing their customers experience degraded quality for services going over Level 3's network. The company declined to name those ISPs.
The dispute Level 3 has with these six broadband providers is part of an ongoing debate over so-called network peering arrangements. Companies like Level 3, Cogent Communications, and Netflix, which have brought the issue out in public, argue that more government oversight is needed to ensure big broadband companies are not abusing their power. Meanwhile, broadband providers say these disputes are part of an established way of doing business on the Internet.
The basic problem is those six broadband providers want Level 3 to pay them to deliver traffic. Level 3 believes that's unreasonable. After all, the ISPs' own customers have already paid these ISPs to deliver the traffic to them. And the long-standing norm on the internet is that endpoint ISPs pay intermediaries, not the other way around. Level 3 notes that "in countries or markets where consumers have multiple broadband choices (like the UK) there are no congested peers." In short, broadband providers that face serious competition don't engage in this kind of brinksmanship.
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