/27 the new /24

Jeremy Austin jhaustin at gmail.com
Fri Oct 9 20:51:12 UTC 2015

On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 12:04 PM, Owen DeLong <owen at delong.com> wrote:

> The future is here, but it isn't evenly distributed yet. I'm in North
> America, but there are no IXPs in my *state*, let alone in my *continent*
> -- from an undersea fiber perspective. There is no truly competitive IP
> transit market within Alaska that I am aware of. Would love to be proved
> wrong. Heck, GCI and ACS (the two providers with such fiber) only directly
> peered a handful of years ago.
> Alaska is in the same continent as Canda and the Contiguous US.

Geographically yes, but not IP-topologically. It may strictly speaking be
an exaggeration to speak of continental latencies, but we do feel a bit cut
off up here. From me to Ohio is just about twice as far as from me to CA.
The distance from the eastern US to Portugal is only about twice as long as
the Anchorage to Seattle route.

> VANIX (Vancouver), CIX (Calgary), Manitoba-IX (Winnipeg), WPGIX
> (WInnipeg), TORIX (Toronto),
> and an exchange in Montreal (I forget the name) exist as well as a few
> others in Canada (I think
> there’s even one out in the maritimes).

If there were ever an Alaska-to-Canada pipeline or gas line built, no doubt
there could be fiber. To my knowledge no non-Arctic Alaska to Yukon route
exists or is in public planning. I think AT&T may have some microwave. The
Yukon has less overall population than the city of Fairbanks, AK, and it
would be difficult to justify a fiber build, say, from Tok to Whitehorse,
without other reasons. I'm not looking at great circle routes at the
moment, but an overland route would probably be *longer* from Anchorage to
Vancouver than the current undersea routes.

> There are tons of exchanges all over the contiguous US.

Exactly. Now imagine an area — Alaska not including Anchorage — twice the
size of Texas, with the population of Pittsburgh, in tiny clumps far apart.
It is *possible* that the lack of IX in Alaska is due solely to geography
and not, say, to an inadequately competitive ISP environment.

I’m surprised that there isn’t yet an exchange point in Juneau or
> Anchorage, but that
> does, indeed, appear to be the case. Perhaps you should work with some
> other ISPs
> in your state to form one.

Juneau, I'm not so surprised; how many other cities that small and isolated
have IXes? I'm curious. It's an interesting prospect, at least for some
value of $location. Anyone interested, hit me up.

According to this:
> http://www.alaskaunited.com
> There is subsea fiber to several points in AK from Seattle and beyond.

Said undersea fiber is owned by GCI and ACS. There are some pending routes
west and north, I believe.

> And on a continental basis, quite a bit of undersea fiber in other landing
> stations
> around the coastal areas of the contiguous 48.
> If you are buying DIA circuit from some $isp to your rural location that
> you call "head-end" and are expecting to receive a competitive service,
> and support for IPv6, well, then your expectations are either unreasonable,
> ignorant or both.
> Interestingly both statewide providers *do* provide both IPv4 and IPv6
> peering. The trick is to find a spot where there's true price competition.
> The 3 largest statewide ISPs have fiber that meets a mere three city blocks
> from one of my POPs, but there's no allowable IX. I'm looking at you, AT&T.
> I’m not sure what you mean by “allowable IX”, to the best of my knowledge,
> anyone
> can build an IX anywhere.

 I should have been more clear. No allowable IX *at the nearest fiber
meetup to me*.

It would be illuminating to see what minimum peak hour per-capita bw is
necessary to make rural IX pay, and for what value of $rural.

"Alaska suffers from… an abject lack of density." —Joe Freddoso, Mighty

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