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Re: Of Fiber Cuts and RBOC Mega-mergers

  • From: Gordon Cook
  • Date: Mon Aug 08 16:20:22 2005

So although we have the technology to build networks controlled at the edge and networks that are less subject to failure,
the old business models that we cant seem to break out of insist that we remonopolize walled garden telephone monopolies.
Why? Because we imagine them to have wondrous new capabilities of economy of scale. We concentrate the fiber and the
switching centers into evermore centralized potential points of failure. We rob ourselves of redundancy. As with the cisco
router monoculture in our backbones which god help us if it ever failed, we are now building a potential concentration of fiber.
Higher and potentially more fragile than the twin towers. How sad.

How can we gain some understanding of other ways to look at infrastructure? This is terribly short sighted.

How many enterprises do you see Frank that may begin to understand they better build their own infrastructure.
because perhaps placing all your infrastructures marbles in the equivalent of a new set of twin towers is not a good
execution of your fiduciary responsibility to your shareholder...never mind the public at large?

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On Aug 8, 2005, at 1:51 PM, Frank Coluccio wrote:


Tracking the preceding discussion on fiber cuts has been especially
interesting for me, with my focus being on the future implications of
the pending RBOC mega-mergers now being finalized. The threat that
I see resulting from the dual marriages of SBC/AT&T and VZ/MCI will be
to drastically reduce the number of options that network planners in
both enterprises and xSPs have at their disposal at this time for
redundancy and diversity in the last mile access and metro transport
layers. And higher than those, too, when integrations are completed.

These mergers will result in the integration and optimization of
routes and the closings of certain hubs and central offices in order to
allow for the obligatory "synergies" and resulting savings to kick in.
In the process of these efficiencies unfolding, I predict that business
continuation planning and capacity planning processes, not to mention
service ordering and engineering, will be disrupted to a fare-thee- well,
where end users are concerned. The two question that I have are, How
long will it take for those consolidations to kick in? and, What will
become of the routes that are spun off or abandoned due to either
business reasons surrounding synergies or court-ordered due to
concentration of powers?

While it's true that an enterprise or ISP cannot pin point where their
services are routed, as was mentioned upstream in a number of places, it
is at least possible to fairly accurately distinguish routes from
disparate providers who are using different rights of way. This is
especially true when those providers are 'facilities-based.' However,
the same cannot be said for Type- 2 and -3 fiber (or even copper) loop
providers who lease and resell fiber, such as Qwest riding piggy-back
atop in an out-of-region metro offering.

But thus far, for the builds that are owned and maintained by Verizon,
SBC, MCI/MFS and AT&T/TCG, such differentiations are still possible.

Not only will end users/secondary providers lose out on the number of
physical route options that they have at their disposal, but once
integration is completed users will find themselves riding over systems
that are also managed and groomed in the upstream by a common set of NMS
constructs, further reducing the level of robustness on yet higher
levels in the stack.

Eight or nine people I had
talked to thought they had geographically distinct
ring loops that turned out to be on that one cable
when the second cut took it down hard.

Perhaps now people will begin to take physical separacy
seriously and write grooming protocols and SLAs into
their contracts?

Or was this type of service "good enough"?

--Michael Dillon

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