routing around Sprint's depeering damage

Daniel Senie dts at senie.com
Sun Nov 2 09:01:39 CST 2008


At 09:33 AM 11/2/2008, Mikael Abrahamsson wrote:
>On Sun, 2 Nov 2008, Rod Beck wrote:
>
>>It is a short term issue that probably doesn't merit government intervention
>
>The only government intervention I can imagine as being productive 
>would be to mandate what the "Internet" is, and if someone is 
>selling access to it, mandate that customers can demand a refund in 
>case the "Internet Access" doesn't provide access to enough a big 
>part of it in a well enough working manner.

Precisely the issue I am concerned about. End consumers cannot go off 
and multihome easily. Comcast got in trouble for altering traffic 
flows to its residential customers. Sprint has broken access to its 
EVDO customers. Does it make sense for end customers to be protected 
from companies providing access to only parts of the Internet?

Sprint could, in response to this partitioning, buy some transit to 
provide complete connectivity to its EVDO  users. But unless they're 
willing to allow termination of contracts for cell phones and data 
cards without penalty, consumers are NOT free to switch carriers, and 
they are not getting unfettered access to the Internet as was sold to 
them. The other carriers in the space aren't much better. Verizon got 
in trouble for selling "unlimited" access via data cards, then 
cutting people off who used it heavily.

Is it worthwhile for the government and/or the courts to set rules 
for such? As a consumer, I would prefer the government protect me 
from large businesses selling me one thing, then delivering another. 
Consumer protection is a valid and useful function of government, IMO.






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