[nycbug-talk] Cogent and Sprint - a signal of things getting Oldschool?

Alex Pilosov alex at pilosoft.com
Sat Nov 1 20:32:38 EDT 2008

On Sat, 1 Nov 2008, Isaac Levy wrote:

> >> After years of (happily) paying ISP's, I see little change or
> >> explanation from ISP's for why speeds/quality/reliability remains the
> >> same.
> > Disagree. People think that Interwebs is now a mission-critical
> > service, and demand 100% availability. They are getting close to it
> > now.  Whereas, 5 years ago, it was quite different and people were not
> > really expecting 100%.
> >
> >> I see old networking gear, and a massive multi-billion dollar
> >> business maintaining a status quo which I'm not happy about.
> > Point fingers, please.
> Oh- let me clarify one thing in my tone and meaning: I'm DEFINATELY not
> pointing fingers at you, Alex.  I'm pointing them at the backbone
> telcos.
I meant to say, "who do you think is not upgrading their network"? I'd 
like to know so I can refute. 

> >> Examples: ISP's getting into the CDN business: AT&T, XO, Internap,
> >> etc...
> > Nothing wrong with that, it's where the money is. Means new builds for
> > CDN etc.
> Sure- but what about their network customers who are CDN's?
So what, let the market decide. Contrary to what you think, the 
carrier-CDNs are not anywhere as successful as dedicated-CDNs - mostly 
because its not their core business and they have no idea what do to. Top 
3 CDNs are still not "major carriers" and it's likely to stay that way.

> >> Network Providers focused on ringtones: Telewest, Sprint, AT&T
> > That's where the money is.
> Great- but did it make my network connectivity any faster, or heck- did
> it make my mobile phone any more reliable?
No, but if stupid people want to pay for ringtones, why should carriers 
refuse their money? I don't see your point.

> >> None of this free market has opened up the market for various content
> >> businesses to use the internet, however my point here is that none of
> >> it has made our providers re-invest significantly in their own
> >> networks either.
> > What data do you have that providers don't "re-invest significantly in
> > their own networks", I'm dying to know.
> DSL available to me in 2002: 768/6.0, around $100/mo
> DSL available to me in 2008: 768/6.0, around $100/mo
Last mile is something else, and its a monopoly issue. That being said, 
FIOS is changing this - and it is *serious* money for VZ. TWC also moving, 
albeit slowly, going from 3 to 5 to 10 to 15Mbit...

> The point here is that from my vantage point, computing machinery
> available in the market is advancing- and internet connectivity is not
> keeping pace.
> I want this to change, and before that can happen, I feel it's important
> to explore *why* it's not changing.
Cause you don't pay enough. 50$/month doesn't cover 1000$/port linecards.

VZ's investment into FIOS is serious. And I'm kinda hoping it'd bankrupt 
VZ. Unfortunately they have too many cash cows for this to happen :(

> >> My point here, is that upgrading the networks seems to be happening
> >> in big waves- instead of a more cumulative or calculated manner- and
> >> therefore has pains.
> > Explain what you mean by waves of upgrade, and how are they different
> > from cumulative or calculated.
> Big waves of upgrade: Re-Wire all of NYC with FIOS and light it all at
> once (big expendature all at once)
Except that it isn't. FIOS thing will take many years.

> Cumulative upgrades: An example: At an old job of mine, if a production
> server was taken offline, it was policy to drop more RAM into the box
> when it was out of the rack- regardless of need.  RAM was always
> cheaper/better/etc... and the cost of taking a production box offline
> was high.  This can be applied to *many* small aspects of a tech
> business, but the cost is the organization and management overhead of
> paying attention to detail. I am willing to see this cost of managing
> small details, and strategic planning, may not scale easily.
Example, in case of HFC upgrade for example, it cannot be done
"cumulatively".  Either plant is two-way ready, or its not. If its not, 
you toss money and make it two-way.

> >> But if a company has a network application which drives their
> >> business, and the network sucks/fails, it's out of their hands,
> >> right?  It becomes a surprise cost, and everyone down the chain is
> >> affected by the big carriers decision making?
> > Wrong. It means you didn't build *your* network right, didn't
> > multihome properly. If the network is *so* critical to your business,
> > you owe it to plan for your carrier's failures - just like you plan
> > for your own equipment to fail.
> I get your point from a carrier perspective-
> I'm saying that on a smaller-scale than before, the functioning internet
> is critical to businesses.
> How does a small office of 5 people, deal with loosing the internet for
> a day?  Or a building full of small offices?
Pay more money for a reliable service. Your 50$/month DSL is not mission 
critical - and not intended to be. If internet is critical for your 
business, that means there's actual money riding on it, that means you 
should spend actual money to support your infrastructure. 

If this is mission critical, you *should* expect to pay more than grandma, 
for whom it isn't. 

> >> What, no comment on "Separation of Content and Infrastructure"?
> > I don't think there's a problem with it. If content merges with a
> > network, nothing's wrong. It's when you get into the monopoly (or
> > duopoly) situation, problems happen.
> Yes- but aren't we talking in general about a monopoly here?
I wasn't necessarily.


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