[Here is part 1]
The Internet is split up into three different provider types. The first type are the access provider. They provide you with DSL access via old copper based phone lines or with access to their shared TV-cable. The counterpart are the service provider, they operate datacenters where you can rent webspace, cloud foo or dedicated servers. The third type are the provider between them, Tier1 and Tier2 carrier who provide connectivity between two points (for example level3, INIT7, NTT, GTT, OX). I’m working together and for hosting providers since 2009. Most of them really care about their backbone. They operate redundant fiber rings with connections to multiple access provider and carrier and they always try to have ‘the best network, the lowest latency’, compared to their competitors. The quality and the maximum amount of bandwidth of their backbone is an essential quality attribute.
We’ve got access provider on the other hand. they often have a monopole in certain areas. If you want internet in your living room, you need a certain provider. This leads to a really big problem; they don’t have to care about their network quality, because the customer can not change the provider. The really big player like Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Telecom Italia or Telefonica (all of them were owned by the local government and had a monopole in the complete country for a long time) don’t operate any big peerings, they want to create a “double payment system”. Their customers have to pay them to connect the customer with the internet, and they want money from the big hosting providers like netflix or youtube to provide them fast access to their network. This leads to serious drawbacks for the customers. during primetime, they have got packet loss to youtube or they only get a few kb/s through their 10mbit-50mbit line.
Most customers are not aware of this issue. They think that the root of this issue comes from the hosting provider and they start to blame them. We all should really measure our available bandwidth and their quality. Do we have a direct routing or 30 hops to the destination? Do we have packet loss? We all should constantly report these issues to our access provider, otherwise it will get worse each year.