Verizon FiOS - is BGP an option?

Frank Bulk frnkblk at
Mon Aug 6 18:31:18 UTC 2012

Even though we know it's technically possible, service providers aren't
going to overprovision power backup unless there is a business reason to do
so.  Some state PUCs have minimum battery run times -- I'm sure service
providers who provide telephone service are meeting that because their
certificate depends on that.  After that, it's just providing enough
services to remain comparatively competitive.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ralph E. Whitmore, III [mailto:ralphw at] 
Sent: Sunday, August 05, 2012 11:54 PM
To: nanog at
Subject: RE: Verizon FiOS - is BGP an option?

What I think most people are objecting to is that most of the issue with
maintain service is not related to technical capabilities, but related to
the cost of providing these support services impacting the profit margins of
the large monopolistic carriers.  Verizon with their FIOS offerings, at
least in my area is CO based and all optical, so all I have to provide is
power to my own FIOS terminal which is easy to do, floated on batteries (not
the POS that VZ provided but a real battery bank) and I stay online. We have
been through 10 outages at least 10 hours in duration and one 3 day outage
all courtesy of SCE who can't figure out how to replace the 57 year old
wires that keep breaking from corrosion here in So. Calif.  As a subscriber,
I paid for the copper Wire that VZ installed, I paid for the Copper that
Edison installed, I pay to maintain  both of these services on a 7x24x365
basis. And each and every month, SCE and VZ take  a mandatory deduction out
of my bill specifically to replace the copper every  50 years (the design
life of the infrastructure).  Edison squanders that money and just patches
the infrastructure with no regard for the customers, and VZ replaces the
copper with FIOS so they don't have to allow any competition from anyone
else and demos the copper when they are done so no one else can use it.  All
of these companies fail to understand that they were granted a license  and
handed the keys to provide a public service and we expect them to perform
that job rain or shine 7x24x365.  Hurricanes (while not a problem where I
am) are a known problem in many parts of the company and it is their job to
maintain service despite the hurricanes.  These fiber huts/RSU's were
installed to minimize VZ's (insert your favorite carrier here) cost of
maintenance for their network . This way, they can increase their profits by
laying off more workers and hiring more subcontractors.  So be it, that is
their business model.  What people/PUC/ Regulatory bodies fail to follow up
on is that just because they are allowed to install Fiber Huts/RSU's the
customers should expect the same level of service and redundancy that is
provided by a brick and mortar CO built to the ATT/Bellcore standards for
stability and reliability.  I am all for the carriers pushing the edge
closer to the customers, but it should not be allowed to occur at a
substandard level.  They certainly aren't offering a discount for
substandard service received by some.  My customers get 99.999% reliability
from my infrastructure, I expect the carriers to do at least as well,
obviously that doesn't happen.

All my Roadside cabinets have a DC plant that is engineered to hold the
facility for  at least 18 hours based on the equipment in the box. All my
facilities have an external Transfer switch and a generator plug.  A single
5kw generator, with one cable and padlock,  with one tank of fuel (generally
propane or diesel)(about 5 gallons) will run the hut for 8-10 hours, fully
recharge the DC plant inside buying you another 18 hours on battery
(therefore 28 additional hours before fuel is needed) and to boot have
electronic monitoring to tell me if there is another AC failure of the
generator during that 8-10 hours.   One contractor, god forbid we wouldn't
do this with actual employees of the company, with a pickup truck and a
small trailer should be able to support between 12-20 Fiber Huts /RSU's in a
single shift. If your site is bigger than a 5KW site then you should have
generator backup onsite in the first place.  If I can do this
Verizon/ATT/Centurylink should have no trouble supporting their facilities
in a similar fashion.  I am a little dinky company with 12 employees, but
Verizon( your carrier name here) If you want to use Wisper Watt 25KW
generators, more power to you, they will just pass the costs on to us
anyways in the next rate hike.  The argument about lack of fuel availability
is total bunk as well as I can't believe that any carrier doesn't already
have  1000's of gallons onsite already to support their CO's, trucks, ect.
if you need more you can order a 5000gallon tank like everyone else in the
real world does, you can probably have it delivered tomorrow afternoon if
you place the order tomorrow morning before noon.  Lack of power at an Fiber
hut/RSU is negligence at best on a carriers part, not an unsolvable
technical problem

My uncle who retired from Bell Atlantic/VZ after 30 years was in a rural
area of Virginia and now works as a contractor for emergency restoration
after storms.  He was called in to work on Storm  restoration  he along with
20 other crews, were told report to the staging yard and wait for an
assignment. It took three days to get to the staging area, They waited 4
days in the yard  before being assigned work and was then told that they
couldn't work more than 12 hours in a day, because VZ would only pay for  a
max of 4 hours OT for any personnel  in a 24 hour period.  They worked for 4
days and were then sent home as they were no longer needed.  To the best of
my recollection  people were without service for weeks if not months. The
safety wackos in the world will say well we don't want to tax our employees
and more than 12 hours isn't safe. Ok, I will not argue the validity of
their argument, personally I disagree with it,  but this is an emergency
response not a shareholders meeting, but sending the crews home weeks before
all service is restored doesn't resonate well.   IMHO Restoration was not
about serving the people who were out of service, but rather spending at
little as they could get away with without regard for the people who pay for
the infrastructure and pay their bills.  While we are at it,  my uncle
installed the RSU he is serviced from at his house before he retired from
Bell Atlantic/VZ, they engineered only 4 hours of battery backup for their
site near his house, the fiber hut/RSU is approx. 8'x8'x5' and it has only 4
-105AH batteries installed in it, there are three vacant shelves for more
batteries and one totally vacant compartment left in the cabinet for battery
expansion.  Given the rural nature of his service RSU, the nearest stocking
yard for VZ is better than an hour's drive from his RSU.  Given the Union
contract gives the workers 2 hours to show up at the yard from the time they
are contacted ( which could take hours to do in the first place if his RSU
is down) there is almost no way that you can callout a tech and make it to
the site before the battery back is exhausted and Dominion Power is highly
un-likely to arrive onsite in less than 12 hours from the time of call. So
this site is doomed to go down from the start.

A single house, my house, your house, despite what we think are not critical
infrastructure to the carriers, but the fiber huts that service them
certainly is and needs to be supported better than they are now.

Back to the original topic, BGP works great over FIOS if you have a business
account with static IP's and a Cooperative Colo.  I have IPv4 and IPv6
running at my house and office (we microwave the Home's business FIOS to the
office) through a GRE tunnel.  It's the cheapest 35x35Mb connection around
for about $200.00 with 32 static IP's around TWC wants about $2k for the
same service.  It took a little bit of fiddling to get the  MTU right across
the tunnel (ip tcp adjust-mss is your friend)  I could upgrade the service
for another $100.00 to 150Mb x  65Mb, but the wireless link won't support
that without a large expenditure and for 12 people it's not needed.

Boy that was a lot, glad I had time on a Sunday night to write this after
fueling my generator.


-----Original Message-----
From: Frank Bulk [mailto:frnkblk at] 
Sent: Sunday, August 05, 2012 7:41 PM
To: 'William Herrin'; Andy Koch
Cc: nanog at
Subject: RE: Verizon FiOS - is BGP an option?

I think the term "critical" is being used in different senses in this
discussion.  Are people's lives critical?  Yes, but the regulations for
wired and wireless infrastructure don't require service providers to expend
any and all costs to maintain connectivity.  And we don't have ambulances
and fire trucks at every corner and hospitals in every subdivision.  Despite
the almost incalculable value of life, there are still limitations on all
the services provided to residences.  Would I like to have the same uptime
at my home as we have in the CO? or data center?  Sure, but collectively we
aren't willing, nay, able, to pay that price.


-----Original Message-----
From: William Herrin [mailto:bill at]
Sent: Saturday, August 04, 2012 11:15 PM
To: Andy Koch
Cc: nanog at
Subject: Re: Verizon FiOS - is BGP an option?


On Sat, Aug 4, 2012 at 10:26 PM, Nathan Eisenberg <nathan at>
>> Residences aren't critical infrastructure, no matter how angry the 
>> owners
> 911 access isn't a critical service?  Fire and security panels aren't
critical services?
> If basic life safety and property protection aren't critical services, 
> I'm
not sure what is.

Whether each individual's residence contains critical infrastructure is a
decision best left up to that individual. By necessity that makes the
upstream aggregation components critical infrastructure. No different than
it was for POTS 20 years ago.

The Internet isn't just a toy any more. It's the primary communications
channel in to many folks homes and well on its way to becoming the primary
channel period.

Bill Herrin

William D. Herrin ................ herrin at  bill at
3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <> Falls
Church, VA 22042-3004

More information about the NANOG mailing list