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TuiaNet is the current New Zealand research and education network which connects seven New Zealand universities and various government owned research institutes. TuiaNet joins Internet via a single link between the U.S. subnet FIX-West and Waikato University in New Zealand. This link was initially partly supported by NASA but is funded by New Zealand Internet users since January 1994.

Initially, the universities agreed to fixed, equal shares of traffic and therefore cost, but quickly realized that a more sophisticated approach was needed. They agreed that a volume-charging scheme would better reflect the value of the link to each university. Another advantage of charging for the use of the network was that the cost of expansion could be paid by those who demanded it the most. The growth of the network indicates the relative success of the scheme:

Improvement Of The Internet Link (1989 - 1994)

April 1989 9600 bps analog cable to Hawaii
November 1990 14.4 kbps analog cable to Hawaii
September 1992 64 kbps satellite link to NASA Ames
February 1992 128 kbps satellite link to NASA Ames
March 1994 256 kbps digital cable to NASA Ames
July 1994 512 kbps digital cable to NASA Ames

One disadvantage of charging for the actual volume was that universities could not easily predict month-to-month costs and had difficulty budgeting for the use of the Internet. To provide predictability, they adopted the notion of 'committed traffic volume' per month.

The charging scale has large steps, and the price per Megabyte decreases as the volume increases. Each site made an initial choice of their committed volume, and thus their monthly charge. The actual traffic was monitored month by month and reported back to all the sites. If a site's traffic falls into a different charging step for more than one month, that site's committed volume is changed to the actual rate. This allows a site to have a single unusual month, and it gives at least a month's warning of a change in the charge.

The gateway that administers the link is called NZGate and is responsible for monitoring the traffic between the Internet and New Zealand users. The NZGate International Internet Charging Rates as of 8 Apr 94 are given below. More information can be obtained from nic@waikato.ac.nz


Uncommitted rate $6.00 per MB

Committed Rates:

MB/month
$/MB
Fee ($)
100 4.00 400
200 3.80 760
300 3.70 1,110
400 3.60 1,440
500 3.50 1,750
600 3.40 2,040
700 3.30 2,310
800 3.20 2,560
900 3.10 2,790
1000 3.00 3,000
1,250 - 1,000 2.90 3,625
1,500 - 1,250 2.80 4,200
2,000 - 1,500 2.60 5,200
2,500 - 2,000 2.50 6,250
3,000 - 2,500 2.50 7,500
3,500 - 3,000 2.50 8,750
4,000 - 3,500 2.50 10,000
4,500 - 4,000 2.40 10,800
5,000 - 4,500 2.40 12,500
5,500 - 5,000 2.40 13,200
6,000 - 5,500 2.30 13,800
6,500 - 6,000 2.30 15,000
7,000 - 6,500 2.30 16,000

Committed rate buffer period: If the committed rate is exceeded for a single month, the charge step remains unchanged (and similarly if it is not reached for a single month).

Low priority discounts: Low priority traffic (currently FTP and MAIL) is discounted by 30%. Normal priority traffic is discounted by 15%. The full rate is charged for high priority traffic (currently TELNET and FTP commands) These are applied before the committed rate is determined.

Off peak discount: An off peak discount of 80% applies to all traffic between 8pm and 9am. This is applied after the committed rate is determined.

 

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