routing around Sprint's depeering damage

tvest at tvest at
Sun Nov 2 21:09:04 UTC 2008

Repent repent, for the end is near.

People like to say that the Internet interprets (censorship,  
monopolies, clue deficits, et al.) as congestion, and routes around --  
but they got the causality exactly backwards. The Internet is an  
epiphenomenon of the possibility of bypass, which enables "cost  
discovery," which enables cost-effective routing -- at least wherever  
bypass is possible.

But bypass is only possible where someone has invested in alternate  
paths, and those kind of investments (no matter how large or small)  
have been almost always been entirely contingent on positive  
regulation of the pro-competitive kind... That is to say, the kind  
that the US pioneered but subsequently abandoned, the kind that Japan  
and Korea et al. subsequently adopted (and which still holds), the  
kind that many countries in Western Europe et al. have adopted even  
more recently... and which still holds.*

Those who are currently willfully violating the conventional routing  
services distinctions would be wise to be patient a little longer; the  
only thing you'll buy now is cartelization, regulation of which may  
not ultimately favor your interests. Those who are  currently actively  
attempting to kill bypass altogether would be wise to be desist; no  
one is going to think that the idea/expectation/requirement of  
multiple, fully redundant fiber entrance to every residence is  
anything other than absurd, so the rhetoric of "facilities based  
competition" is about find to its proper place in the ashcan of history.

Work it out, or else someone else will do it for you. And they won't  
be entirely clueless if it comes to that.


*re: the latest NANOG iteration of the AU debate: nothing that the  
ACCC could have done would have made any major difference, because  
Antipodeans speak English, and ever since 1999 the continent has been  
captive to whatever CIT could/did (i.e., couldn't/didn't) do. Bu that  
may be changing too... 

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