Interesting AP Article

Larry J. Plato ljp at
Wed Mar 13 23:24:37 UTC 1996


I am not really trying to flame you but why is this article 
interesting?  It is really a poorly written rehash of the
filtering policy Sprint has discussed for the last 18 months.
I don't agree w/ Sprint's position but I don't see this 
article as being particularly interesting.  It's not even 
very well written.  If anything I find it annoying and 
irresponsible that the author did not seem, IMHO, to
research his topic very well.  As far as I can tell he neither
asked the opinion of Sprint, or any other major NSP, as to why
someone would do this.  Yet he had the call to title his
article "Sprint says ..."

I think this is sloppy, yellow, journalism.

Larry Plato
I speak for myself only
#include <std.disclaimer>

> Spelling errors are most likely mine, I take no responsibiltiy
> for the rest of the errors :)
> ---
> "Sprint says its being forced to block smaller Internet users"
> Gannett Rochester Newspapers
> ROCHESTER, N.Y... In a medium where everhboy is supposed to be linked
> to everyone else, some Internet users are finding that you can't always
> get there from here.  
> The reason is usurprising: A major Internet service provider, U.S. Sprint,
> is intentionally blocking users communications.  Sprint says it is being 
> forced to do so because of overcrowding on the fast-growing global computer 
> network.
> Critics say it's a sign of bad things to come.
> "I see it as being a pissible start of the fragmentation of the Internet.  
> The alarms are starting to be rung." said Kurt Schweitzer, a Rochester Internet
> consultant who has researched the problem.
> Sprint is applauded by some for being first to take action to address crowding.
> But even supporters note that company's approach contradicts one of the 
> Internet's most hallowed premises... that participants will allow the free 
> passage of any and all information, regardless of its origin or destination.
> "This is unusual.  It's contrary to the cooperative approach," said David
> Staudt, an Internet Export at te National Science Foundation in suburban 
> Washington.  
> Sprint is now blocking electronic mail, file transfers, and visits to
> World Wide Web sites.  The people who are affected are mostly new customers
> who have accounts with smaller Internet serivce providers.
> No one can say for certain how large the group of blacklisted [oh god] 
> users is, though several knowledgeable people put the number at 10,000 or more
> nationally and growing daily.  
> Sprint's policy remains little known outside expert circles.  But some Internet
> users can point to several cases where communications are blocked.
> "Our company is really quite concerned about it," said David Luckett,
> executive director and vice president of NYSERNet, which sells Internet
> access to many New York companies and which use Sprint. "I don't think we
> should be looking at Sprint and pointing fingers, though.  The problem Sprint 
> is having today is the same problem that the other major providers will 
> face some day."
> That problem stems from wild popularity of the Internet.  There are so
> many linked networks and users that the system used to route all the
> Internet information to destinations has become too complex.
> "There's been for quite a while within the Internet community some concern
> about performance problems... caused by this explosive growth," said Sprint
> spokesman Reg Rowe in Dallas. 
> Internet information is sent in "packets," small bursts of data that are
> addressed with the numerical ID number of the packets destination.
> Millions of these packets move through the Internet daily, 
> shepherded by computers called routers that check the addresses and send 
> packets toward their destination the fastest possible way.
> To do that, routers have complex software that lists all the known addresses
> and routes to reach them.  But that lists of addresses, kwno as a router
> table, has outgrown the computer memory of many routers, experts say.
> One solution is to route in blocks, with routers sending all packets with
> similar addresses to end-user computers for final distribution [huh?]
> It's similar to a U.S. Postal Service worker looking at a letter whose ZIP
> code starts with "146" and automaticly sending it to Rochesters central
> office for distribution, without looking at the street name.
> Sprint, apparently alone among the big Internet companies, adopted this routing
> system several months ago.  
> But one drawback is that the addresses must be part of a block controlled
> by an enduser who handles final distribution.
> Thats fine for Sprint, MCI and other national Internet service providers
> that are issued Internet addresses in large blocks.
> But it leaves out smaller Internet companies that tend to acquire addresses
> a few at a time.  those are the addresses Sprint is blocking.  "It's a very 
> emotional topic.  They're basically saying that they're not talking to the 
> little guy's anymore," said Liudy Bukys, a computer system administrator at
> UR.
> Smaller companies might be able to "sublease" block addresses from larger
> providers, but their customers would have to change the addresses on their
> computers, and there would be no guarantee the larger provider wouldn't take
> back the addresses later.  
> Most of those knowledgeable of the problem agree that the block routing is not
> a bad way to address overvrowding ... unless you're the one left out in the 
> cold.  "What they're doing is a community-spritied thing in concept," Staudt
> said.  "Where I somebody who is unreachable... it would sure look to me like Sprint is trying to force me out of business."
> -- 
> Steven Eric Rubin - the godfather	 	Aimnet Corporation
> Senior Network Engineer                 	2350 Mission College Park
> (408) 567-3820 x511				Santa Clara, CA 95054
> Work: ser at  Play: ser at	 URL:

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