Market for diversity (was: Re: Cogent latency / congestion)

Marshall Eubanks tme at
Tue Aug 21 18:43:39 UTC 2007

On Aug 21, 2007, at 12:55 PM, David Lesher wrote:

> Speaking on Deep Background, the Press Secretary whispered:
>> On Tue, 21 Aug 2007, Adrian Chadd wrote:
>>> Or there might suddenly be a reason/market for properly  
>>> physically diverse
>>> paths which provide partial 1:1 (ie, some services are guaranteed  
>>> full backup
>>> bandwidth, other services get degraded access) IP paths..
>> I don't think the target customer in this case is really in the  
>> market
>> for properly physically diverse paths which provide partial 1:1.  The
>> target customer seems to be looking for no-frills, cheap Internet.
>> Customers in a market for properly physically diverse paths with  
>> partial
>> 1:1 probably are already buying Internet from other ISPs.
> And still not getting it. A friend oversees various expensive USG
> networks. They pay for physically diverse routing from multiple
> sources. Yet every year, when they do an laborious audit down to
> the "what fiber, in what bundle, in what trench" level; they find..
> Guess What! Yep, someone has moved this circuit or that one to
> where both pipes are intimate neighbors.

My rule is that you never really know where bits are actually going  
you put in the fiber yourself. (Of course, you can know where the  
bits _went_,
once the backhoe or the train crash takes out your circuit, but by an  
extension of the quantum measurement theory, that only applies to the  
past, not the future.)

> It's inevitable given buying throughput is rather like moving
> something by ship. You never go to the ship [fiber] owner; you
> go to a freight broker who deals with a consolidator who calls an
> agent who knows who has chartered ships from A to B on DATE and....
> [Look up the "GTS Katie" incident for a side effect of this.]

Yes, and likewise you never know how your (literal) shipment is going
until you get it. (Vienna, Austria, to Norfolk, Virginia, with a  
stage by truck from St Louis, Missouri ? Happened to me. They must  
have been using some sort of hot potato routing.)

Totally OT, but it made me really happy to learn that Dulles Airport  
is officially a port, and I can literally send things by ship to IAD  
for customs clearance and pickup for the same price as to Norfolk,  
Virginia (an actual port, with docks and water and ships and all  
that). Of course, I don't have to care about their routing protocols  
or their last mile problems.


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