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Re: UUNet?

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Fri May 26 15:21:55 2000

On Fri, 26 May 2000, Alex Rubenstein wrote:
> Welp, they had another 'something' in the northeast today, and no more
> information than a "there is an outage and we're fixing it" was released.
> I think the funniest part of the whole thing was when a UU sales driod
> called me mid-afternoon today trying his monthly sell-thing on me, and
> when I asked him about the current outage, he said he was unaware and that
> he'd get right back to me. I've not heard from him yet.

This seems pretty SOP for Worldcom.  After the AT&T frame-relay outage,
worldcom sales reps were calling to let everyone know about it.  But
when worldcom had a frame-relay outage, you couldn't reach a worldcom
sales person for days and then they didn't know anything.  After the
abovenet IP network outage, worldcom sales people were calling letting
everyone know about.  But when worldcom/uunet had an ip network problems,
the sales droids know nothing about their own network.

> When will large companies learn that hiding from outages like this is a
> bad thing?

Because its not a bad thing from their point of view.  Look at the
difference in coverage in the places shareholders look at.  Abovenet's
"full disclosure" earned it a lot of ugly press, which will get quoted
every time there is a story in the future because most reporter's
"research" consists of punching the company name into NEXIS.  UUNET's
disclosure policy earns it a few disgruntled posts on mailing lists,
which Worldcom's PR people will likely dismiss as gossip, but no
permanent coverage.

While us techies may say we like abovenet's reaction more than uunet's
reaction to their respective incidents, most of the buying decisions are
made by managers who find abovenet's honesty scary and uunet's lack of
publicly reported incidents comforting.

If you talk to the PR people, they will all tell you if you have "major
problem" you should be as honest and transparent as possible.  But if it
is a "minor problem" you don't want to attract more attention to it than
the problem deserves.  The "problem" is you don't know what type of problem
you have until its too late.

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