[discuss] What does this mean: "equal technical treatment of all protocols"

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Tue Apr 15 04:18:30 UTC 2014

On 15/04/2014 15:48, Chip Sharp (chsharp) wrote:
> Reading through the draft Outcome Document for Netmundial that was released today.
> First question:
> Can someone involved in the drafting of this text please explain what this means?
> "equal technical treatment of all protocols and data, delivered by the underlying communications”
> I believe Brian had a similar question on the leaked document.  
> I don’t believe “equal technical treatment of all protocols” is really possible on the Internet (or any coherent network), especially while meeting the “Unified and Unfragmented Space” principle.

It isn't technically reasonable, in any case. If they used the word "fair"
it would make more sense - it's fair to ensure that audio, video, browsing
and email traffic get appropriate shares of the total capacity and that
audio/video get timely delivery (milliseconds) whereas browsing traffic might
be slightly delayed and email can be queued up. (I'm simplifying, of course,
but the point is that "equal" is the wrong solution.)

What I think is intended is that traffic from different service providers
and from different users should be treated in the same way, with no
discrimination based simply on who sends or receives the traffic.
The word "equal" is misleading though.


> Perhaps if I understood the intent behind the text, it would make more sense.
> Thanks,
> Chip
> *** I am employed by Cisco Systems, Inc, but these comments reflect my own opinion and not any position of Cisco.***
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