ISP support for Email (was Re: DDoS Question)

Sean Donelan sean at
Fri Sep 28 17:47:59 UTC 2007

On Fri, 28 Sep 2007, Martin Hannigan wrote:
> After researching the outsourced mail options, I found that the market
> is not mature or flexible enough yet. For example, we need the hook
> into automated systems, we need some level of control for front line
> support,

AT&T, Verizon, BT and so on have outsourced most of their subscriber
email to other vendors (MSN and Yahoo) for years. I think they are
the poster-children for companies with big, unwieldy OSSes.  Likewise 
Critical Path has made a decent business supporting white label e-mail 
for many ISPs around the world.

I've saw the duct tape from the inside and the outside.  It ain't
pretty, but they seem to make it work.

> and we need assurances that the provider will comply with the
> laws of where *the subscribing network* may be regulated. Not another
> country. If we get a subpoena or surveillance request, we need to be
> in the loop since we (and you all) are regulated.

Of course, you could outsource your legal support to trusted third
party vendors too :-)  For only a small fee, they will solve all
the problems.

> Google was my best hope and it was too bad they barely responded. The
> application suite for ISP's might have been ok if it were tuned up a
> little, or had more information and a real person running the program.
> They seem to have the right idea. Throw massive reasons at the
> problem, build user base, generate ad revenue to pay for it, and sell
> services to others i.e. anti-fraud and anti-phishing.

Why should ISPs still pay to support subscriber e-mail either inhouse
or outsourced, any more than paying to support USENET, Chat, FTP/HTTP 
Hosting, etc?  Let subscribers choose whichever "free" or "fee-based" 
supplier, and wash your hands of both the support issues and the legal 
compliance issues.

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