GeoIP database issues and the real world consequences

frnkblk at frnkblk at
Sat Apr 16 19:48:28 UTC 2016

Note that for E911 purposes we are required to use the MSAG ( to verify street addresses.  From what my co-workers at my $DAYJOB tell me, there are many new addresses that are not resolvable.  

Despite those shortcomings, E911 calls are responded to and US postal mail is delivered, specifically because a human remains involved in interpreting the information.  The same needs to be done with GeoIP results.


-----Original Message-----
From: NANOG [mailto:nanog-bounces at] On Behalf Of Jeremy Austin
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2016 8:55 AM
To: John Levine <johnl at>
Cc: niels=nanog at; NANOG list <nanog at>
Subject: Re: GeoIP database issues and the real world consequences

On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 3:55 AM, John Levine <johnl at> wrote:

> Please don't guess (like, you know, MaxMind does.)  USPS has its own
> database of all of the deliverable addresses in the country.  They
> have their problems, but give or take data staleness as buildings
> are built or demolished, that's not one of them.

A qualifier.

USPS has a database of *most* of the deliverable addresses in the country.

I'm in an unorganized borough. The USPS actually has no mandate, funding or
lever that I can pull (that I can find) to keep their database up to date.
Easily 30% of the legitimate addresses in my area are not geocodable nor in
the USPS database.

I suspect that there are areas of my state with an even worse percentage of
unavailable data.

UPS and FedEx rely on the USPS database, but will not lift a finger to fix
this gap.

Even as a municipal body there is no available federal mechanism for
updating the database. I've tried multiple times over 15+ years.


So yeah, USPS' database does have its problems.

Jeremy Austin

(907) 895-2311
(907) 803-5422
jhaustin at

Heritage NetWorks
Whitestone Power & Communications
Vertical Broadband, LLC

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