Sprint Service Problems

Forrest W. Christian forrestc at imach.com
Wed Dec 20 08:11:30 UTC 1995

Time for me to jump on the bandwagon.

We're a Sprint Customer.  Right now we have a 256K fractional T1 line to 
the net.  We're tied to Stockton-7.  "Our End" of the line is in Helena 

For months now, I've been asking them why our ping times look like:
Sending 100, 32-byte ICMP Echos to, timeout is 1 
Success rate is 100 percent (100/100), round-trip min/avg/max = 
100/104/204 ms

Note the 100 ms.  I have NEVER seen it below 100 ms EVER.  No matter what 
the traffic, time of day, etc.  Well, maybe I've seen it at 98 or 99 once 
or twice.

In theory, a round trip time should be two times the single direction 
distance, which should be composed of the following two items:

1)   256K maximum bitrate (amount of time to clock the bits out) -
     32 bytes * 8 bit bytes = 256 bit times
     256 bit times * (1/256,000) (one bit time) ~= 1 ms
2)   Speed of Light Limit (The Rest)
     In vacuum, light can travel 186 miles per millisecond.
     Not sure how much it differs in fibre, but I figure that 
     even if you assume that its 150 miles per millisecond,
     you can travel roughly 7000 miles in the remaining time (59ish ms).

So, that puts my link 7000 miles away.  Now I'm curious as to how they 
have my line routed over 7000 miles.  So I call up their INSC and ask who 
I can talk to about this.  I end up opening a trouble ticket, and 
eventually the engineer I talk to say's that it is in the acceptable 
limits for the distance of circuit, which they tell me goes from Helena 
to Seattle and then to Stockton California in more or less of a straight 
line between the points.  According to my calculation there's about 1200 
miles of fiber there.  Still 5800 miles short.

I backed off after reading some papers on ping times versus maxumum 
flow.  That is until I had an outage last week caused by a Fiber Cut in 
Texas.  Now I'm mad.  I supposedly have a line from Helena to Seattle 
to California which somehow goes through Texas.  After finally yelling loud 
enough about either this cut not being my problem or my line isn't routed 
where I was told it was, I finally got a manager or VP who was kind 
enough to tell me that my line is routed through Arizona, and Texas, and 
a couple of other places in what I call the "mideast", and then to the 
Dakotas, through montana to the spokane (eastern washington) area, and 
then back to Montana.  Adding up the miles, I get about 4-5,000 miles.  
I can believe that, with some switch latency.

They've promised me that this problem will improve when we go up to a 
512K line come January.  (We'd switch but we're in a 3 year contract, and 
we don't have the cash to put out for the "overhead" of a different 
provider).  We'll see if it improves.  I doubt it.  Knowing that larger 
pings increase the ping time by the correct amount (via the formula 
above) I'm confident that this will still be around 100ms of round trip 
times for the small packets, unless they reroute the circuit in the 

Now, the other thing that gripes me..  The fiber cut and my related 
ticket occured on thursday.  I got a call monday at 4:30 p.m. asking if 
the service had been restored.  This is probably due to my insistance 
about the cut not being my problem, but to take a weekend to return a 
call about a out-of-service ticket?  You've got to be kidding.

forrestc at imach.com

On Tue, 19 Dec 1995, Justin Newton wrote:

> On Tue, 19 Dec 1995, Melise wrote:
> > Mr. Lewis,
> > 
> > If you are a Sprint customer and are not calling these service lapses to their
> > Network Management Center's attention, you are not giving them the opporturnity
> > to serve you properly.
> > 
> > Escalate the problem. 
> Well, when you call and you get some brand new temp (who sometimes I 
> actually know irl and they can barely /spell/ computer) who says, "Uhm, 
> we aren't having a problem".  You then explain the problem to them and 
> they go "Routing loop?" at which point you explain what a routing loop is 
> so that they can write an intelligible trouble ticket, at which point you 
> get in a queue where you get a call back by someone who at least know 
> that Cisco makes routers an hour later, well, it doesn't inspire 
> confidence (It does, however, inspire run on sentences).  I stopped 
> calling in anything except the most major of problems months ago (It was 
> pointless, nothing got fixed unless I stayed on the phone long enough to 
> actually teach the people what a router was, how the internet worked and 
> then got ecalated, after about the third escalation I would get someone 
> reasonably competent and they would fix it in ten seconds.  I let someone 
> else waste their time in the hold queue now.)  Yes, I have bad feelings 
> towards sprint.  When they make a backbone that works then they should 
> come back to the internet.  As seen in sig files everywhere, "The 
> internet was built to survive a nuclear strike?  It can't even survive 
> Sprint."
> > 
> > 
> > respectfully,
> > 
> > Melise Jones
> > Sustaining Engineer
> > BBN Systems and Technologies
> > 

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