North American Network Operators Group

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Re: BBN (GTE) Suffers another major power problem.

  • From: Sean M. Doran
  • Date: Fri Aug 08 23:19:39 1997

| There is no excuse for a large player like GTE to lose power for any
| extended period off time. (I can understand a brief, reboot long, outage
| if something went awry, but hours? No sir.)

Sure there is.  It's called money.  Enough of it can by
enormous physical plant redundancy that this sort of thing
would never happen, but then I imagine whoever invests that
kind of money would want to recover costs plus a percentage,
which will tend to push their prices upwards.

People who expect prices to rise on the consumer front very
soon in the U.S. and consumers to choose to spend more for
their connectivity to a network with lots of diesel generators
in bomb-proof buildings and the like are probably radicals
who don't expect what price theory people call rational behaviour.

Consequently, look carefully at anyone who starts investing
huge sums of money into preventing against edge cases in
the Internet like massive long-term utility interruptions.
It may be smart engineering but I wouldn't want to invest
in them.  Moreover, I would begin wondering if the absence
of a known set of potential failures was worth a large extra
price to me as a consumer, when there are much more frequent
known potential failures that the extra price wouldn't fix
in the short run.

However, note that there are companies who leverage _previous_
investments into such facilities into their Internet business.

Such facilities almost always belong to or are leased by businesses
involving per-minute charging with such huge gross per-minute
revenues that most outages cost more than the fortunes required to
prevent them.

The Internet connectivity market has consistently demonstrated
for some time now that there is no huge drop in revenues as
a result of failures due to third parties that could only have
been avoided by raising Internet connectivity prices substantially.

Picking on BBN Planet (which is not yet fully GTEified, I mean,
it hasn't been THAT long since they were acquired) because they
were the victims of a weird accident that affected most of the
rest of the city is economically irrational and also makes
little engineering sense.