North American Network Operators Group

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Re: MPLS VPNs or not?

  • From: Craig Partridge
  • Date: Wed Aug 08 09:22:55 2001

In message <[email protected]>, "Kavi,
 Prabhu" writes:

>I don't think UUNET considered it a waste. UUNET could not have grown
>as quickly as it did during the mid to late 90s without L2 (Frame and
>ATM) technologies.  Fortunately for them, they did not have any pure IP
>only zealots that prevented the pragmatic use of other technologies
>in their networks.  Otherwise they probably would not have been able
>to outrun the other ISPs.

I know the history here pretty well (though since I was never employed
by UUNET, I'll probably get some of it wrong).  It doesn't quite match
this description.

UUNET was an excellently run ISP well before it starting doing the ATM
activity.  It came (I suspect) from Rick Adams' days as a struggling ISP,
competing against Govt subsidized regional networks, in the 1980s.  If you
look at their various SEC filings in their first few years, they're a
tightly run company.

Once UUNET was acquired by Worldcom, UUNET had access to Worldcom's
network infrastructure, which was heavily ATM, and which UUNET had to
share with the Worldcom's (very lucractive) voice traffic.  In that
context, there was a real cost to using bandwidth and UUNET had to use
account for its usage.

Some other ISPs were/are in a different business model -- they owned their
fiber runs, outright, and the question for them was whether to put run
ATM over that fiber, and subdivide the bandwidth of a single waveband,
or light two wavebands (one voice/one IP).  I've seen the marginal cost
analysis for that kind of decision, and it often favors two wavebands.