links on the blink (fwd)

Hans-Werner Braun hwb at
Sat Nov 4 15:31:05 UTC 1995

I have heard this argument very many times (and used it myself, and
sure understand it at a technical level). It is a very network-centric
argument serving a specific service provider.  As a customer I don't
buy it. You guys need to take a customer centric approach and make the
customers happy. You sell yourselves and get money as services providers
for the *Internet* not your *local environment*.  If you only sell
XYZnet services, not problem, but please then do not advertise you
provide Internet services just because you are marginally connected to
the rest of the world with no clue about how to make the NANOG and
global system work.

In the end this will be a market driven by customers, not service
providers. Customers will make the rules and will determine whether a
service is good or lousy. Look for other examples. If my power outlets
would regularly drop to 50 volts (or zero) I would get quite irritated.
"Power" is sold on the open market between service providers. I would
not accept an argument from a local service provider that my power is
always dropping because some service provider 2,000 miles away is
screwing up. I would consider that to be their problem to watch out for
such things and to coordinate it right.  Same with phones. I don't care
what region you are in, but if I would call you, above the 99th
percentile, as long as you are close to your phone and pick up, my call
will get through and work without significant service degradations
*despite* the fact that there are at least three service prodivers
(local, long distance, local) involved. Why? Because power and phone
companies have their shit together on that stuff, and coordinate and
cooperate because they do understand they are all in the same boat. Of
course, obviously it is not a fairly new and anarchic environment
there, but has grown quite well into coordination. Are you guys up to
it, or would you need regulation do it for you? Y'know, life can be
easier if your parents tell you what to do, if you cannot get your act
together yourself. Less stress, too. Less flexibility as well, perhaps,
but methinks we have to choose some optimization function here, and buy
off on the cost.

In the end, this is not a sandbox for having a good time. People today
*depend* on their network connection, and that it works is importenat
to them. You *have* to go beyond just thinking locally.

>On Sat, 4 Nov 1995, Nathan Stratton wrote:
>> On Fri, 3 Nov 1995, Hans-Werner Braun wrote:
>> > I think Dave has the right idea here. Given the lousy overall network
>> > performance that I (and others) are often seeing for months from
>> > varieties of service providers, I think the service providers should be
>> > forced to provide rebates. I frequently have 10% packet losses to get
>> > from where I am to the Bay area (via New York). And my service
>> > provider (CERFnet) is telling me that their service provider (Sprint)
>> > is not even answering to their trouble reports.
>> Well, I think the problem is that providers lock people in 1 and 2 year 
>> contracts so if people get bad service they are stuck. That is why I only 
>> have month to month service, if people don't like there T1 then they can 
>> quit. I think we need more providers to do that, I know of a lot users 
>> that are on providers that want to switch, but have 8 months left on 
>> their contract.
>Some comments from my side, which are, however, not official comments of 
>IDT Internet Services:
>Internet works the way that a provider can only guarantee a standard of 
>quality within the perimeter of the provider's networks. E.g. guarantee a 
>customer that he is a certain number of hops away to the meetpoints, or 
>hand out a latency matrix between POPs, guarantee that the packet loss is 
>under a certain margin, and of course, guarantee a certain percentage of 
>There is no way to talk about end to end connectivity quality assurance. 
>I have at all times at least one customer raging about how bad we are 
>reachable, and that his partners on other networks can only get to us 
>with such and such a delay/packet loss/unavailability. 
>The understanding must be that a provider can ony control the own 
>network. How traffic is routed outside is mostly uncontrollable, because 
>most people do not run route servers yet that would take a policy from 
>the radb (I have no special policy in btw, but will do this as soon as we 
>run our route servers).
>>From this I would say it is a very different issue, if a provider has 
>quality of service problems within the own network: e.g. a NOC not 
>answering, sluggish links, packet loss above a normal tolerable level. 
>I would say, that in 
>such cases any contract can be terminated, and sued. But, of course a 
>customer must be certain that the problems are caused within his 
>provider's network. That's where most people are not sure, of course, 
>even most 'consultants' have in reality no clue how to check something 
>like this.
>> Nathan Stratton		  CEO, NetRail, Inc.    Your Gateway to the World!
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Phone   (703)524-4800			       NetRail, Inc.
>> Fax     (703)534-5033                          2007 N. 15 St. Suite 5
>> Email   sales at                      Arlington, Va. 22201
>> WWW                Access: (703) 524-4802 guest
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
>                                                   IDT
>Michael F. Nittmann                             ---------
>Senior Network Architect                        \       /
>(201) 928 1000 xt 500                            -------
>(201) 928 1888 FAX                                \   /
>mn at                                         ---
>                                                    V 
>                                                   IOS

More information about the NANOG mailing list