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Re: Tier-1 without their own backbone?

  • From: Matthew Sweet
  • Date: Wed Aug 27 17:46:03 2003

Hi there Rick!

On Wed, 27 Aug 2003, Rick Ernst wrote:

> We are sending out feelers for adding an additional DS-3, or possibly frac
> OC-3.  One of the responses came back with "we won't be competive with
> <provider> because they don't have their own backbone.

Alot of carriers that have a "Nationwide backbone" actually lease their
circuits (Layer 1 and 2) through various other carriers.

> Is there a cross-reference for provider vs network backbone, or is this just
> something that we have to ask each provider for?  I "assume" that UU, Sprint,
> and AT&T are self-owned backbones, but others... ?

Wish I knew of one. Just keep in mind, though, that just because a carrier
does not own it's own fiber / long-haul circuits does not mean they suck.
It's the routers that are doing the work for the customer. A circuit is a
circuit: it either works or it doesn't (wish I could say the same for
IP routers.) For some people, this is a big issue (especially if the
carrier is in or just coming out of Chapter 11 :-) .)

> One of the providers we are looking at is Level-3.  Any comments good/bad on
> reliability and clue?  We already have UU, Sprint, and AT&T.  I also realize
> that the "they suck less" list changes continuously... :)

We just migrated from Genuity to Level 3 down in Miami, FL. With careful
planning, the total downtime was about 5 seconds. The engineer I worked
with was excellent and very professional.

Level 3 had an issue this past weekend that caused latency issues (due to
the worm or some DDoS attack of a customer of theirs in Puerto Rico). We
had some issues and it took a few hours to resolve, but that was it. Level
3's NOC and TMG were top-notch in talking to me and did not hold any
information back. They are one of the nicest NOC groups I have ever spoken

I have to give Level 3 a thumbs up. They really have a nice network and a
good NOC/engineering staff.

Hope this information helps you out.


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