routing around Sprint's depeering damage

Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2008 14:09:43 -0500
From: Adam Rothschild <>

> But seriously, it shouldn't be necessary to have two connections at
> work [...]
If anything, these recent de-peerings underscore the lack of wisdom in
end users connecting to (or purchasing CDN services from) members
of the tier 1 club directly.

This is the take-away message for me. Buying transit from Tier 1 (and especially almost-Tier 1) providers is a risky idea for single-homed customers. Tier 1 connectivity could be cheaper, and could be better-performing, but has this potential for severe connectivity issues.

Single-homed end users would be well-advised to buy transit from a multi-homed tier 2/3 ISP. Single-homed SPs (such as Sprint Wireless, for example) should become multi-homed or buy transit from such a multi-homed tier 2/3 ISP as well.

- Eric

Repent repent, for the end is near.

People like to say that the Internet interprets (censorship, monopolies, clue deficits, et al.) as congestion, and routes around -- but they got the causality exactly backwards. The Internet is an epiphenomenon of the possibility of bypass, which enables "cost discovery," which enables cost-effective routing -- at least wherever bypass is possible.

But bypass is only possible where someone has invested in alternate paths, and those kind of investments (no matter how large or small) have been almost always been entirely contingent on positive regulation of the pro-competitive kind... That is to say, the kind that the US pioneered but subsequently abandoned, the kind that Japan and Korea et al. subsequently adopted (and which still holds), the kind that many countries in Western Europe et al. have adopted even more recently... and which still holds.*

Those who are currently willfully violating the conventional routing services distinctions would be wise to be patient a little longer; the only thing you'll buy now is cartelization, regulation of which may not ultimately favor your interests. Those who are currently actively attempting to kill bypass altogether would be wise to be desist; no one is going to think that the idea/expectation/requirement of multiple, fully redundant fiber entrance to every residence is anything other than absurd, so the rhetoric of "facilities based competition" is about find to its proper place in the ashcan of history.

Work it out, or else someone else will do it for you. And they won't be entirely clueless if it comes to that.


*re: the latest NANOG iteration of the AU debate: nothing that the ACCC could have done would have made any major difference, because Antipodeans speak English, and ever since 1999 the continent has been captive to whatever CIT could/did (i.e., couldn't/didn't) do. Bu that may be changing too...