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RE: Cogent/Level 3 depeering

  • From: Schliesser, Benson
  • Date: Fri Oct 07 11:58:24 2005

> What is "Internet"? Let's channel Seth Breidbart briefly and call it  
> the largest equivalence class in the reflexive transitive symmetric  
> closure of the relationship "can be reached by an IP packet from". It

> should be clear that the nature and extent of this network depends  
> very much on the perspective of the connected device from which is it

> measured.

At last, a definition we can all agree on! ;)

Honestly this might be closest to the truth, but it's not quite the
perception that the marauding forces of marketing have encouraged over
the previous 10 years. Rather, the market which exists to support ISPs
tends not to include people who understand the nature of the network,
and its instability. Sadly, for many of the market constituents the
"Internet" equates to the "Web"; for some of them it equates to a
platform to support their applications; for very few of them does it
equate to a unique perspective into a subset of possible IP
relationships. As I said, this definition is closest to the reality
today, but not even everybody on this knowledgeable mailing list feels
happy with buying such a service, no less so the end-users at large.

> Do people in Spain complain that they can't call numbers starting  
> with +350, and insist on getting money back from their monthly bill?  
> Or do they accept that their government has an ongoing dispute with  
> the UK over whether Gibraltar is in fact part of Spain?

Good counter-example. Instead of trying to compare how this example of
political dispute and the resulting customer satisfaction or frustration
is similar to the Cogent-Level(3) situation, I'll simply acknowledge
that my analogy, like most, is imperfect.

I still hold to my fundamental point, however. The market has evolved to
expect more than "Internet as an research experiment/hobbyist toy", and
now expects the "Internet" to be a component of their critical
infrastructure. Service providers that don't understand this, in
addition to having unsatisfied customers, may perhaps incur outside
intervention. Would that ultimately be so bad for end-users?


Benson Schliesser
(email) mailto:[email protected]

I barely understand my own thoughts, much worse those of my betters.
Thus, the opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of my
employer. Ponder them at your own risk.