Status Report - Mail Bombing of by Sprint Client + FAQ

Gordon Cook cook at
Mon Jan 6 03:40:15 UTC 1997

Barry Shein wrote:

A7: Yes, I am saying that Sprint policy is such that their personnel
is not authorized to install even one route block without lengthy
bureaucratic process taking several days.

Q8: Why do you think this is so?

A8a: Because there is an atmosphere of fear, essentially, at Sprint's
NOC and their personnel have been completely unempowered from 
taking operational actions they know are required of them to 
operate within the greater internet. Essentially, they (Sprint policy-
makers) apparently believe that any damage to the greater internet 
or any host or site is less important than their ability to run internal
bureaucratic process at whatever pace and using whatever 
management style which suits them.
Cook:  I wish Sprint no ill, for I would not like to see the big five
become the big four.  Yet I agree with most all of what Barry says.  they
ARE a strange bunch.  MCI, UUNET, and BBN certainly do not suffer from the
same sense of ennui.  Indeed people at these providers have real three
dimensional personalities.  Sprint does not and seems to govern by
committee.  I have had two official interviews on the phone with them in
the last year.  They placed three executives on the one call and *four* on
the other.  The list of sprint allumni is pretty awesome.  SprintLink has
never had a spokesperson like a john curran, vint cerf, or mike O'dell.
At least not for any length of time.  First bob collet, vadim, then sean.
All gone now.  Last summer I was told that Sean Doran had occasionally
angered some people..... who went looking for someone to hand Sean his
head.  They never could find anyone who had the authority, he said.

Yet Sean now is gone.  The same Sean who DID anger many but who seems to
me to be one the sanest, most level headed, most articulate and most
knowlegable people in this business, this Sean bit the dust in the space
of less than a day early last september.  Fired with no warning.... in the
space it seemed of minutes.  [I knew about it in less than 2 hours after
it happened.] There are in the internet official and unofficial
titles..... often the unofficial are in many ways the MORE important.
Sean had some VERY important UNofficial titles.  Given the demand for
talent like his for Sprint to terminate him without notice as happened is
virtually **incomprehensible.**  Yet Sprint did so.  Why?  it makes no
sense.  But it certainly can explain the reference to fear within the
Sprint NOC that Barry made.

What if, in placing the filter to make Barry happy, a hapless SprintLink
engineer unwittingly angered someone with considerably more power than
Barry and caused another blow to descend from management?  Why chance it?

I have been told that Sean, endeavoring to carry out a known Sprint
policy, angered an outside and powerful person last September.  I have no
proof of this 'rumor'.  But if anyone does have any verifiable information
as to exactly what DID happen I'd certainly like to know.  Because, if
Sprint did capitulate to an outside power in the way described to me, such
action deserves to be made very public.  I have discussed the specifics of
the allegation with the key people directly involved.  They all denied the
allegation.  But they also offered no alternative story.  From what they
told me all parties appear to have signed an agreement not to talk about
what actually happened.  I want to make very clear however that nothing I
have heard indicates to me any shred of unprofessional behavior on Sean's
part.  I have the highest respect for him and, were I the responsible
decision maker for a major provider, I'd be moving to get him working for
me ASAP.

Like it or not Sean was SprintLink's voice on the net.  In view of his
sudden demise I am not surprised to find that Barry has found a malaise.
>From what i can tell the Sprint decision makers are the telco people and
at least one and probably two levels above the OPs people -- telco people
to whom the Internet is still terra incognita. A pity because it is
certainly contrary to Sprint's interest to be the de facto training ground
for the employees of its competitors.

If nanog folk deem this off topic, i'll be glad to remove nanog from
future responses.

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