[ih] Fwd: History of "accounts"

Adrian Chadd adrian at creative.net.au
Wed Feb 12 12:06:38 PST 2014

On 12 February 2014 10:50, Brian E Carpenter
<brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 13/02/2014 00:46, John Day wrote:
>> Actually, it was quite common at the time for networks to charge for
>> both connect time and bytes sent.  Datapac, Transpac, Telenet, Tymnet
>> all did this.
> It was a clear design advantage of X.25 for the PTTs that it made
> such charging much easier. There was even a theft of service attack
> possible at one stage, when they *didn't* charge for the initial
> connect packet, which contained a Call User Data field that the user
> could set to any value - after a while they started charging for
> failed connects, so that people couldn't send free bits in that field.
>> One of the arguments against datagrams at the time was,
>> how to charge if the network had no idea what packets were being
>> delivered and which ones weren't.  Even they realized that they
>> shouldn't charge for retransmissions.
> I wasn't in New Zealand at the relevant time, but I understand
> that charging by the Internet byte was normal due to the high cost
> and scarcity of trans-Pacific capacity in the 1990s.

We had the same in Australia. The advent of internet exchanges changed
the dynamic for a while and we dumped a bunch of effort into netflow
based billing systems that provided free IX traffic and charged
transit. That mostly went out the window when ADSL came along - the
congested part became the ATM interconnect to the DSL provider network
and the "free" traffic was interfering.

(And yes, some of us tried QoS and adaptive shaping techniques to
mitigate this, but the industry as a whole migrated..)


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