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Re: Cooperation between *SMALL* ISPs (not the way I want it to be)

  • From: mike
  • Date: Fri Feb 16 10:25:49 1996

On Thu, 15 Feb 1996, Alan B. Clegg wrote:

> On Thu, 15 Feb 1996, Michael Dillon wrote:
> > The Internet market is miniscule. It is growing fast. It will continue to 
> > grow fast. No one company can hope to grow fast enough to dominate in any 
> > particular city. That's why you don't have to work with your local 
> > competition, you just have to work with your other local ISP's in 
> > building your local Internet infrastructure and growing your local 
> > Internet market..
> I know that and you know that, but the people that are forming the small
> startup ISPs that are NOT ON THIS LIST (and don't even know about this
> list) don't know that, and don't care.
> As I have stated in other mail, I'm just playing devil's advocate and
> looking at the position of smaller ISPs that see the 'big boys' taking
> away all the users. 

I can positively confirm that the big ones do not take away 'all users': 
most companies are really fed up to be 5 to 12 hops away from meetpoints, 
limping over legacy equipment and routing protocols like is-is, and being 
part of a network that does not offer unlimited Internet access due to 
their provider's routing policies.

There are tries by some 'big ones' to bend the fate to their favour by 
not peering, or by using the liberal nature of Internet development to 
put in little nudges that they believe works into their favor.

I am sometimes ranting against that, but in reality: the doomed ones stay 
doomed, since they cannot replace all their equipment. They can reflect 
traffic to other's ports to no avail, whatever.

A startup has the chance to build a nice network from scratch, which up 
to date equipment, and with up to date equipment replacement and 
migration schedules in a managed growth environment.

In reality: I guess we are just fine.

The market: that's right too: there is room for everyone. We recently 
upgraded POPs for dial , the created void was filled immediately. On the 
Internet are worldwide about what, 50 million users (not hosts, users). 
There are alone in the U.S. over 200 million people, Europe is about 400 
million. Most are younger (see demographic typical age pyramids), eager 
to explore the new technology. There's room for everyone. 

What will win in the end is quality and reliability of service. The costs 
charged are differing incrementally: everyone has the same per port costs 
when using adequate equipment in dial and dedicated access operations. 

I would say the big differentiator are the people that do the networks. 
This is not about router config, this is about the view and the overall 
design. Anybody can learn router configuration, go to cisco training and 
whatever. Most don't do good networks, it's that simple.

Also, the qualification of startups is most of the time nil zip nada 
zero. Seeing that there is potential for enormous profitability, most 
believe in putting up modems in basements all over the place is enough. 

AS I see it: cooperation and mutual respect brought the Internet to where 
it is now. Only we must now watch more than ever that some destructive or 
too shortsighted minds don't destroy the freedom we all have.

.... that's why I am ranting from time to time heavily, when I see stuff 
sneaking in that could cause trouble. 

.... preaching to the choir ....


> I would be happy to get every new ISP in a region to work together to make
> a better world for us all, but too many of them are worried more about the
> $$$ bottom line than the 'good of the net', and the way they build their
> $$$ bottom line is to get the most clients while the ISP across the street
> goes belly up. 
> I guess you could push the idea that once you manage to kill the fellow
> across the street's business, you get all that address space to yourself,
> but I still don't think that REAL cooperation in the small ISP marketplace
> is a reality. 
> Just my opinions on human & business nature.
> (they may change if you give me a good reason)
> I really _DO_ want the net to work, as it is my lifeblood, I just don't
> see this as realistic in the current scheme of things. 
> -abc
>                                       \             Alan B. Clegg
>          Just because I can            \            Internet Staff
>         does not mean I will.           \, inc.
>                                          \     <>

Michael F. Nittmann                             ---------
Senior Network Architect                        \       /
(201) 928 4456                                   -------
(201) 928 1888 FAX                                \   /
[email protected]                                 ---