Here follows the text of Greg’s Why the Internet is Broken… posting to the alt.www.webmaster usenet group:

In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected]*nospam* (Dick Huddleston) wrote:

> In article <[email protected]>,
> [email protected] says…
> >It doesn’t matter about multiple connections UNLESS your routers are
> >programmed CORRECTLY to route past bottlenecks (as InterNAP is supposed
> >to) – as most routers try to battle their way THROUGH bottlenecks, rather
> >than round them, as the net was designed.
> huh? some ISPs (Verio/Rapidsite included) tout multiple connections. Is that
> just for bandwidth and busy signals?
for the little diagram, you’ll need a fixed width font for it to line up
as I intended it to:


From A to Z – one connection – simply choice! The only carrier gets it.

      1             2

From A to Z – 1 connection from A to B, then 2 choices from B to Z.

If Carrier A owns Connection 1 and 2, chances are, this will be the only route they offer, even if route 3 is faster.

However, if they own all three pieces of fiber, traffic will use 2 or 3 depending on which is faster. However ,if Carrier B owns the 3rd piece of fiber, it will virtually never be used – why? Read on…

The key is billing.

If provider A is servicing the data-centers at A and Z, it bills them both for the same traffic – A pays for traffic it originates over the connections it has, and Z pays for traffic it receives. This piece of traffic gives the carrier 2 places to bill for handling one piece of traffic – it’s like a phone call costing both the caller and the person recieving the call! What a racket eh?

Anyway, if Route 3 is faster, but owned by another Telco, they will prefer not to give that billing opportunity to it’s competition – almost NEVER will they give away money to the competition – not even if the net as a whole benefits – to do so would mean programming the routers properly – ie, to yield to faster connections – simple in theory, commercially not a great idea though.

This is why the net doesn’t work as designed. When the motive to get traffic from one point to another is a financial gain, you’re never going to get the net you want – only what they (the telcos) are willing to let you have… their version of the Internet! ;{)

In a nutshell – you and I are being screwed by greed and stock-holders!

What does this mean to the end user?

It means your provider should have the routers and make the decisions on the network to use – the end user data-center must have the ability to choose the network with the best chance of getting through – because you can’t rely on the telco chopping the direction to another provider mid-stream. So – your hosting company must route PROPERLY to give you the best chance of getting to your destination. Does this work? Hell no! The routers and systems set off on the best connections their end – they don’t know what has happened 3,000 miles upstream – hence, outages and systems that can’t be reached, when in reality, there is almost always a route available to the node you’re trying to reach! The problem still comes back to the telcos – these greedy sons-of-b’s won’t provide the net that you and I require, because it doesn’t satisfy their commercial model!

If anyone has any inside knowledge of telco routing policy, I’d be happy to listen – my inside info is a few years old, but I honestly don’t think the greed factor changed since then, or there would be almost no such thing as an internet outage being noticed by you and I!