[AusNOG] From DBCDE: National Broadband Network: 21st centurybroadband

Adrian Chadd adrian at creative.net.au
Tue Apr 7 17:05:09 EST 2009

On Tue, Apr 07, 2009, Kevin Littlejohn wrote:

> AARNet has nothing to do with charging anyone other than the  
> University - not students, staff, or faculties.  AARNet don't charge  
> an "excess use fee" as such.

Their current billing model requires you to estimate your use for
the next 12 months, and any excess use gets an excess use fee. :)

> AARNet publish a BGP-extracted list of "on-net" IPs - that's IP  
> addresses which are routing within their network.  Most, possibly all,  
> Universities use that to differentiate charging to students and staff  
> (where charging can be quota management or charging dollars).

The trouble is aarnet's billing, at least around mid last year,
is based on periodic BGP snapshots. I remember inquiring about
why certain networks enter and leave AARNet's "on-net" table
(and if I poked a bit, I could probably pull out their nightly
"on-net" network additions and deletions from a billing system which
pulls said data from AARNet) and their reply was they reserve the
right to change their network to suit the current "requirements".
(ie, stuff going off-net due to outages, congested links, etc, is
the universities problem.)

> If students are downloading personal content at home, then I'd imagine  
> most Universities would count that a policy success - the AARNet  
> network is designed around providing good solid research/academic  
> access (and their speeds for that are unparalleled in Australia), not  
> around commercial 'net access.

I never said it was personal content. :) "Large amounts of content"
doesn't always translate to "illegal or personal content".
These are students, and students can and do exchange research content
with other students at other universities. Nothing
is more off-putting than a department secretary receiving a bill for
$5000 because some student transferred some data from an -on-net-
university, but AARNet's billing that day decided it was 100% off-net.

I'll credit AARNet to being mostly reasonable when it happens but
at that point students, staff and academics can and do just stop
thinking about doing anything with their quota besides checking email,
and even -that- was starting to be billed to them. (We ended up having
to absorb the cost of spam before it hit the users's quota, because
some users were getting more spam than legitimate email..)

For specific academic projects which have specific requirements,
and I speak as one of those funny university students and staff members
of past, AARNet's speed is great. Right until you run out of quota.
At which point your department gets slogged with a bill which, and I
really am quoting reality here, entire departments wonder why they don't
just buy an ADSL link for the bulk of their research traffic.
At this point, as I said in a previous email, staff and students alike
just start exchanging university related content at home.

> (Incidentally, _most_ Universities are quota'ing students and charging  
> something to individual departments/faculties based on the total per- 
> year AARNet charge and each faculties' proportional use thereof.)

Anyway. This is one of thos discussions which is now far off-topic for
an operations group and for that I apologise. :)


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