North American Network Operators Group

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RE: How reliable does the Internet need to be? (Was: Re: Converged Network Threat)

  • From: Steve Gibbard
  • Date: Thu Feb 26 13:57:05 2004

On Thu, 26 Feb 2004, Pendergrass, Greg wrote:

> I think how reliable the internet needs to be depends on what you want to
> use it for: if you want to call an ambulance you DON'T use the internet, if
> you want to transfer money from one account to another you DO use the
> internet. In other words right now it's good for things that are important
> but not critical from an immediate action standpoint. If it can wait until
> tomorrow use the internet otherwise pick up the phone and dial.

This seems to me to have very little to do with network reliability, and
far more to do with feedback.

When sending somebody e-mail you assume they'll probably check their
e-mail and receive the message eventually, but you have no idea if they'll
get it right away, or if they'll notice it along with all the other
e-mail they get.  When phoning somebody, you know right away whether they
answer, and you know right away how they respond to whatever you have to

If you really need to get in touch with somebody right now, do you call
their presumably more reliable land line, or their presumably less
reliable cell phone?