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Re: The Gorgon's Knot. Was: Re: Verio Peering Question

  • From: Sean M. Doran
  • Date: Fri Sep 28 19:42:45 2001

Alex said it better than me, but this week he has a 1 time zone advantage. :-)

Sean Donelan writes:

| What annoyed me isn't the technical decision, but the marketing
| blitz used to justify it as "saving the Internet."

Marketing blitz?  There was me.  And me.  And me.  And more me.
Find another Sprint person who blitzed. 

I had alot of vocal supporters, many of whom were at vendors and customers.

If it was shrill at times, it was because there were real problems
that went beyond Sprint, and which were contained only by virtue
of Sprint's relative size and inertia.

The one-direction-only filter was an attempt to goad Tony Bates
in particular into putting in place a "revenge filter" because
it was causing him headaches in dealing with his new customers
who were cut off from Sprintlink, and it was causing his sales
staff headaches in terms of lost upgrade/2nd-circuit orders to us.
The arrival of money to connect directly to Sprintlink and thus
avoid the filter (and there was some) was what kept other people
at Sprint from putting in the energy to overcome the inertia,
otherwise the filter would have been gone gone gone a long time ago.

Sales guys weren't saying "because our routers can't handle the
full routing table" or anything of the sort.  Weren't you trying
to buy from Sprint sales people then?  You *know* what they were like.
Indeed, some of the cleverer ones were thrilled that their jobs got easier.

The grillings of sales people over the filter and the bad PR surrounding
it in the first year of the filter could be counted on one hand, and
in base ten.   

Likewise, so could the number of "revenge filters" that would have
encouraged our customers to clean up their own long prefixes so that
our sales people wouldn't have to say:

| say "because our routers can't handle the full routing table."  

instead of "MCI are filtering you, those bastards.  We're sorry. 
There's nothing we can do.  You'll just have to renumber."  (or 
connect to them... and the next big network that filters you, and
the one after that...)

So I'm far from perfect, but I think I had good reasons for
making the filter one-way-only, and it mostly worked.   

Or perhaps you could now argue in hindsight that the filters did
NOT affect the global growth of the routing system at all or in
any positive way, and that the people who believed otherwise at
the time were badly misguided?


ps - for the other networks, large and small, that filtered, i would
     be interested in your experiences with sales/marketing/pr/etc.