Horrible Service Agreements

> > Now, I understand the need to be able to terminate spam havens. I also
> > understand the need to require your customers to use compatible and
> > reliable equipment.
> So do I.
> So is the strange clause about hiding the backbone name the one you are
> worried most about?

Actually, no. What I'm worried about is that under both contracts we've
seen so far (From two different providers) if a single customer sends spam
(or even flames another user, the way they're written) and our upstream
finds out, then they have the right to terminate immediately without
notice to us AND then require us to pay for the remaining service.

Sprint's policy is much better which basically states:

   "Complaints about customers or end-users of a Sprint IP customer
    will be forwarded to the Sprint IP customer's hostmaster
    for action. If irresponsible or illegal activity continues, then
    the Sprint IP customer's Products and Services may be
    subject to termination or other action as Sprint deems
    appropriate without notice."

It does seems to be a better set of terms. But you need to remember that
the whole SPAM thing has gotten so big that the providers are knee-jerking
to get it solved. Every major and minor backbone provider has been hit
with SPAM related problems in one way or another. They do what you to take
pre-emptive measures, from like terms for your own customers, to hardening
all your servers, routers, and whatever else, to limit SPAM as much as is

What you want are terms that defer any termination should you have an
uncontrolled incedent. But they may want terms in return that require
you to pay all their losses from it. And that can be extensive, too.

I have no problem with that. We'd just like to be able to get out of a
contract under the (unlikely) circumstance that we are either unable or
unwilling to comply with their requirements - Without paying up to

Then you need to make yourself attractive. Unfortunately it is a sellers
market, especially in remote locations that want discount prices.

This is for the Montana Internet Corporation. (Haven't changed the names
on the internic records yet.) I'm on the board of directors and one of
the system administrators.

That sure makes it sound small. So how big is it? Big enough to cover
the whole state? Soon?

How about hauling your own lines right up to MAE-WEST and CHI-NAP or

Something comes to mind about beggars can't be...

It's business out there.

What does your own lawyer (legal department) say about it?

We could "afford" to drag a T1, although it would put a fairly deep
strain on our resources. That isn't the issue. Basically, if we
stick with MCI, AT&T, etc. (I.E telcos) we can easily get T1
service + loop for under $3k. I'm just leery of getting 30 days further
down the road with ISP #3 just to find that they have the same terms in
their contract which they won't let us see until we agree to a proposal
which takes them 30 days to produce.

So you aren't attractive enough to them to get them to bring in the
contract and proposal at the same time? Can't you tell the sales people
that bring in the proposals to bring the contract with them, too? Or
are they not even making the visit to Montana?

It all sounds to me like lawyers who better understand how other lawyers
think, might need to be in on this. And there aren't many on NANOG.

In a market like Dallas, Texas, there is a lot more willingness to negotiate
the deal. But then, they are typically getting the same $2500/mo with the
loop that often only needs to run down the street a ways. Well, the big
boys are getting that because they know they are good. The smaller ones
are discounting and you get what you pay for, too.