Ungodly packet loss rates

... and, eventually, the users get fed up with low service levels, and
stop buying, and the network stops growing. That's what's known as
market feedback. If you anticipate the feedback, you can roll with
it and reduce its impact. If you ignore it, it hits you hard.

Nope, people aren't going to stop buying; they may move, but they'll
stay connected. Once connected, no matter how horribly, I've never
seen anyone disconnect totally.

> > Do you say "No, that won't
> > work because <x>"?
>
> Erm, maybe I missed something, but I don't see your Add Water
> solution to the problem. Are you suggesting we limit customers
> that have access to the Internet?

Actually, I did suggest that, or at least I suggested that providers
not take on new customers until they're sure they can reliably service
the ones they have... and, yes, I know that not everybody would do it,
and that the people who didn't do it would gain market share over the
ones who did. That could potentially be fixed by contractual
arrangements among the providers, or by refusing traffic from
"rogues", but that could get you into antitrust trouble. It's obviously
not a trivial problem, and it may not be possible at all, but the
alternative may be collapse.

There will be no collapse due to providers provide poor service/
connectivity/reachability. New providers, methods of exchange, etc...
will pop up, though.

Some people do. The United States, however, is not, except in certain
ritual speeches that nobody believes anyway, marketed as being
perfect. The Internet *is* marketed, by essentially all providers, as
providing useful global connectivity. The implication of everbody's

Yes, on a best-effort-delivery basis.

marketing material is that, by connecting to their networks, you'll
get access to the whole Net, *including* people connected to other
people's networks.

Obviously depending on the reachability and internal connectivity of
the other nets. People do understand when you explain to them (and
prove to them) that the problem lies inside of someone else's network.
And they will pressure the sites they're trying reach. And those sites
may or may not switch providers. Or multi-home :slight_smile:

If a site is multi-homed, I may tune outgoing and/or incoming data
delivery to prefer the "better" of the paths to that site, if a customer
calls and says they're having reachability problems. But none of my
customers (many of whom are providers themselves) expects me to fix
someone else's network.

The average person has only the most tenuous grasp of the relationship
between her own provider and the Net as a whole, and providers as a group
haven't done all that much to change that.

We explain it to people. Generally not in detail to dialup customers, though
sometimes we do. But most providers and cmpanies connected via dedicated
connections can be helped to understand what's going on.

It's your problem because your customers are affected by it. From the
point of view of 99 percent of your customers, any problem on the
network is your problem. If this particular incident doesn't affect

I disagree...

any of your customers, wait a while, and there'll be one that does.
In a very real sense, what you're selling to your customers is the
performance of the entire network, not just your part of it.

As I say, our customers have understood (especially when it's some
provider's one POP that is hosed for almost a year, or when it's
some provider that has really never worked quite properly).

Look, I don't know what the internal topology of the Internet is. I
don't know who's connected to whom. I am capable of finding out, but I
have limited time to spend on such matters. Your average customer is
less capable, has even less time to spend, and wouldn't be able to
draw any conclusions that were of any real use to her if she *did*
find out.

We'll help them to understand that at the point where it's a problem
for them...

It's fine to say that people should choose better providers, but that
only holds water if there's some useful way for them to do that,
and, incidentally, if there really is a difference between the
services offered... a difference that's meaningful to the *user*.

As I said, it's up to the potential customers of the remote sites to
push the sites they're trying to access to multi-home or switch providers.

          -- J. Bashinski

Avi