Collocation Access

I just ran into something for the first time, and apparently it isn’t that uncommon. AT&T was asked to install a circuit into a collocation facility where, like any I’ve been into, required them to show a government ID. They refused claiming it was against policy. After making some calls, I found out there are union regulations which restrict AT&T from asking their union employees to hand over personal property, ID’s included.

Is this some new trend or have I just gotten lucky in the past? Wouldn’t someone like AT&T be better served by giving their employees some company issued ID that they can submit to secure facilities? I know it wouldn’t be government issued, but would at least be a step in the right direction. Or, they ask the unions to amend their policies considering it is a requirement of the job to do these kinds of installs to present a government ID.


In a similar vein, it'd be nice if colo facilities who require government-issued ID could be taught that there is actually more than one government in the world, and that if they mean "US-federal-or-state-government-issued" they should say so.

(They let me in eventually with a passport. But if they're going to trust a foreign-issued passport as photo id, it's not really that obvious to me why they wouldn't trust a foreign-issued driving licence. It's not like they can really tell whether either of them are forged.)


I rant in to this situation recently. When I placed my order I made sure that the sales droid understood that it was in a datacenter facility and that ID was required to enter. When the tech called the day of the install he said that they can't surrender their AT&T ID (which the colo would accept, I guess) and that "company policy" prohibited him from surrendering his personal ID. I said fine, whatever, meet me outside the facility and I'll go do the needful and let you know if the circuit is good. I then called my sales droid and told him about it and said that we would not be paying the install fee for the circuit since their tech wouldn't be doing any work. The sales droid was unfamiliar with the "policy" and asked me to have the tech call him to confirm.

So I get to the datacenter and meet the tech. I give him the number of the sales droid and ask him to call and explain the policy - I wasn't paying for the install and he needed to know why. The tech got all mad and then proceeded to give his ID datacenter security folks. I told him I didn't want him violating company policy and he then admitted that it wasn't company policy - they had just been told that they didn't have to use their personal ID if they didn't want to. He proceeded to lecture me about how he works for AT&T and thus shouldn't have to provide his personal ID. Never mind that I do the same thing every time I go there.

Basically, in my opinion, AT&T sent me a tech that had personal objections to the requirements of the job at hand, requirements that I had made clear to the sales droid up front. So if you're running in to a situation like this make sure your sales droid knows that this could happen and that making sure the install happens smoothy is his job, not yours.

Every AT&T employee on company business is issued an official company employee card with the employee's name and photograph. Employees must
show the card while working on company business.

It is up to the co-location facility operator whether to accept the company issued ID card or not. Although it varies by person, and sometimes the security guard is on a powertrip and the telephone
person will suddenly become stickler on the rules, the LECs and USPS tend to the most resististant to most landlord special rules.

I've heard similar complaints from government agents that some facilities
wouldn't accept their government issued law enfocement badge, and wanted to see their state issued driver's license or state ID card. Part of the problem is there are thousands of different official IDs, and minimum wage security guards can barely detect forgeries of common state ID cards and have no experience with credentials issued by other groups. On the other hand, some state ID cards have a lot of the information someone could use for identity theft, and you don't always know what the guard or the facility will do with the information.

The US NSTAC group has been studying the issue of Trusted Access to telecommunications facilities, and whether we need a better method
to credential people for co-location access.

We've had a few customers report issues. We don't see anything too bad from here, but Keynote scoreboard has been showing some ugly between those two networks for the past hour or so. It has been about a year since the last time hasn't it?

--chuck in seattle

Apparently not:

[...] 0% 10 10 1.12 13.67 63.39 0% 10 10 6.88 7.29 8.70