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					LayerOne Gear in Telco Hotels Provides Cost
Effective Optical Interconnect for Carriers
Ciena Core Director Provides Service that Grooms
Circuit Interconnection Between Fiber of Many Carriers
Editor’s Note: Alexander Muse: is the        supplier and charge a monthly fee for        takes less space to do what you are
President and CEO of LayerOne Inc. He        doing so.                                    doing than it takes Equinix to do what it
has spent his entire career in telecommu-                                                 does, you are able to locate in existing
                                             You may go to a co-location facility like
nications starting six years ago with ITT                                                 ‘co-los’ or carrier hotels in core cities
                                             Equinix to buy access to a port. You may
Communications, a competitive access                                                      where the fiber density is high and
                                             be buying private line or frame relay or
provider based in Denver. From there he                                                   where Equinix can’t find enough room?
                                             ATM or Internet services. For whatever
went to IXC Communications which is
                                             it is that you are buying, you simply pay
now called Broadwing. Next he ran a                                                       Muse: Yes. But the basic question
                                             the port fee. The co-lo facility also pro-
DSL company called Muse Communi-                                                          should be what is their business model
                                             vides a distribution technology. For that
cations. Before starting LayerOne he                                                      and what is ours? We are a carrier. We
                                             service they charge you the so-called
worked for Genuity. He began in the                                                       have “CLLI” codes assigned to us by
                                             cross connect fee. They are adding value
area of metropolitan networks, moved to                                                   Telcordia and are recognized as a point
                                             by making it easy for you to connect by
the long haul area, and then, with                                                        of interconnection between carriers.
                                             means of an organized and efficient
Genuity, got into the IPworld. The com-                                                   Every carrier site has a separate “CLLI”
                                             method. There are two pieces of your
mon thread running through each of                                                        code. It is an identifier that enables car-
                                             bill, the port fee and the cross connect
these businesses, a thread that he found                                                  riers to do business with each other.
                                             fee.
made it difficult to do business, was the                                                 We are recognized by other carriers as a
problem of interconnecting networks.                                                      carrier even though we do not carry
                                             In the case of Equinix as a co-location
He found that one of the issues in scal-                                                  traffic anywhere. But with the “CLLI”
                                             facility, because Equinix Centers are
ing, as a local access provider, was how                                                  code we are able to accept and assign
                                             usually new and quite large buildings,
such a company could efficiently con-                                                     circuit facility assignments and we
                                             they are normally not located at the
nect to enough long-haul carriers to sell                                                 accept LOAs (Letters of Authorization)
                                             areas of the greatest fiber density. Since
them services. We interviewed him on
                                             such areas are normally down town (60
February 23, 2001.
                                             Hudson Street and 111 8th Ave in                     On the Inside
                                             Manhattan for example), Equinix has to
COOK Report: I need to understand
                                             pay some carriers for bringing fiber out
                                                                                             Issues in Metro Optical
more accurately LayerOne’s intercon-                                                               Networking
                                             to their centers and making it available
nection scheme. Would you for example
                                             to their customers which are not inter-       LayerOne                     pp. 1-14
be a customer of an Equinix Exchange
                                             connecting at layer one but are doing
point?
                                             things at a higher levels in the protocol     Net Access Build Out         pp. 15-25
                                             stack. To repeat: our business at
Muse: No. Equinix facilitates intercon-
                                             LayerOne is connecting carriers togeth-       ICANN Deceit                 pp. 26-35
nection primarily at layer three with
                                             er at layer one.
devices like Foundry gigabit Ethernet
                                                                                           OBGP Draft                   pp. 36-37
switches. We help carriers connect to
one another. Equinix helps retail cus-
                                             Altering the Paradigm
tomers of those carriers connect to carri-   of Carrier                                    Dante Comment                pp. 37-38
ers. At Equinix, you run a fiber between     Interconnection                               Executive Summary            pp. 39-40
yourself and your customer. They let
you connect directly to your customer or     COOK Report: Therefore because it
                        COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
to manage these circuits. In other words drop-off locations. But the only way to much longer to do.
to turn them up and turn them off. We get around this is to install another ring,
do circuit record locators and all the buy another shelf, drop off more cus- COOK Report: In such an environment,
things you have to do as a carrier. Thus tomers and strand more bandwidth.               how do you segregate the SONET play-
carrier interconnection is really our busi-                                              ers from the gigabit Ethernet World?
ness model. I see Equinix’s business We find this to be a flawed model. It was,
model as marketing really nice, high nonetheless, the model which dominated Muse: That is a good point. For example
security co-location space.                   the early stages of the development of the Telseon, who is one of our biggest cus-
                                              Internet. You must remember that the tomers, has said we are only Ethernet. So
We can do what we do in as little as some NSF funded NAPs were OK for Internet they buy dark fiber from MFN and today
2000 square feet although our optimal activity until the total demand for band- they’re attempting to connect carriers
space is about a 11,000 square feet. If we width started to exceed the backplane together. But most carriers will not
had 2000 square feet, we could likely capacity of the ATM switch. The problem accept this as a solution because Ethernet
only interconnect about 4000 strands of now is that this architecture cannot sup- is a highly shared medium and is by def-
fiber as opposed to 31,000 strands with port the connectivity needed for even the inition incapable of five nines perform-
11,000 square feet. The heart of our smallest players let alone the seven or ance since Ethernet packets will collide
interconnection technology is our Ciena eight large global transit backbones.            with each other when the shared medium
Core Director switch. It does not take                                                   is overloaded.
that much room but the ADC Next Gen Centralized
Fiber Frames and all the other fiber dis-                                                But rather than ask whether gigabit
tribution gear surrounding the Core
                                              Interconnection Better                     Ethernet is better than SONET or vice
Director does occupy floor space.             Than Gigabit Ethernet                      versa, I would have you ask how is the
                                              Shared Architecture                        shared Ethernet technology being
Equinix is building new facilities. We are                                               deployed? And the answer is exactly like
not. We are locating in existing carrier A telco co-location environment like 60 the SONET technology is being
hotels and we are building inside these Hudson Street or 111 Eighth Avenue in deployed. That is: they buy a ring of fiber
facilities what we call Nexus Optical New York City is typically where the from MFN and they drop a Riverstone (a
Distribution Exchanges ™ . These long haul and the local access providers Cableton subsidiary) gigabit Ethernet
Exchanges are engineered to facilitate are going in order to do their intercon- box in each facility of each of their cus-
the exchange of traffic between carriers necting. A carrier will get 5,000 or tomers. They also have a box in our inter-
at the most basic level, the transport layer 10,000 square feet and sometimes put in connect facility. They insert customers
– layer one of the seven level OSI proto- a raised floor with air-conditioning and on what amounts to a gigabit Ethernet
col stack. We are offering the direct car- generators-all the things that you think a ring. What the Telseons of the world
rier interconnection services and related carrier would typically do. Here in Dallas have done is created a big Ethernet pipe.
services to facilitate to the ability of car- there is an equivalent building at 2323 In a year with the arrival of ten-gigabit
riers to take advantage of the opportunity Bryant with 56 carriers and over a hun- switches, we will have a ten-gigabit pipe.
to connect their fiber to our fabric and by dred other providers co-located. This is a And what is that? It is an OC-192. In the
doing so exchange bandwidth with each perfect facility for us today. Perhaps on meantime, they have a one gigabit pipe
other.                                        the ninth floor you may have IXC into which they insert new clients or cus-
                                              (Broadwing) , on the 11th floor you will tomers by adding a gigabit port card into
We exist to alter the paradigm of inter-      have WorldCom and on the 15th floor their switch.
connection. The paradigm in the past has you will have Level 3. Now these
been for a third party to build a ring providers buy services from one another. To sum up what we at LayerOne have
architecture. That ring would intercon- In order to do this they utilize the servic- learned it by looking at companies that
nect the major buildings of the local mar- es of someone like XO. What XO then must operate within this shared ring
ket and then the architect of the ring will do is bring its own fiber into the architecture, be it SONET or Ethernet or
would connect a SONET shelf into each building and drop off a fiber shelf with fiber in general, is that while there are
of the long haul providers. This is done SONET gear for interconnection on interesting uses for it, it is not the way the
by companies like Brooks Fiber, ATT, every floor.                                        you should be interconnecting your net-
MFS, and XO. The problem is that this                                                    work to that of another carrier. It is also
architecture is not a cost-effective means But now the problem is it that if everyone not the best way for a carriers ‘ carrier to
of satisfying the bandwidth demands of must connect everyone else, and you do inter connect and it is not a way for
today’s markets. With a SONET OC 48 it on a one-off basis, you get a horrible Internet service providers to interconnect
shelf powering a ring, every time you mess. No one knows where everything is with each other. It is not cost-efficient. It
drop off a customer, you must subtract and we have a provisioning nightmare. takes a long time and the architectures
that customer’s bandwidth from the total When we have a tremendous number of are invariably non scalable. What
available. The problem is that you effec- pieces of equipment scattered every- they’ve done is accomplished a one off
tively strand bandwidth at each of these where, we find it that everything takes connection with everyone with whom
                                                              2
                                             The COOK Report on Internet May 2001
they want to do business. When you had       connected today but rather you need to       relatively close proximity. While the new
only four five major backbone carriers       do it at the base layer. No matter whether   networks differ considerably in size from
out there, this was not a big issue. But     you are Avi Friedman or Telseon or           one another, they have many things in
now if you include the carriers the          Yipes or Metropolitan Fiber Systems, the     common and one of these is that intelli-
CLECs, the DSPs and the ISPs, the total      one thing that you have in common is         gence within the network is moving
is more like 1700.                           that you are all running optical networks.   toward the edge. Whatever protocols you
                                             See Figure One offering a block diagram      are running, are running at the edge. And
Consequently, in view of the optical         of a Nexus Exchange on this page.            at the center of the networks at the first
technology that has now arrived, we                                                       layer of the OSI we find fat optical cores
think it’s time to change the rules. We      Ubiquity of Optical                          made up primarily of the DWDM tech-
want to marry this optical technology                                                     nology. Thus while we are using quite a
with an architecture that enables carriers
                                             Networks                                     few different technologies, we are doing
to do business, faster, cheaper and more     What has become very apparent is that        so on top of a common architecture.
reliably than they could before. A cen-      everyone is building optical networks. If
tralized metro inter connection is what      you talk to Telegeography, they will tell    If you continue to examine these net-
you need not only for your internet net-     you that there are approximately 1700        works, the next thing you realize is that
works but also for your long distance        network service providers in the U.S.        there is a proliferation of different net-
carriers and your ATM networks and           that use optical equipment. Forester         work application technologies that ride
your private line networks and so on.        claims there may be more than 6000. In       at layer 2 and above. For example at
Moreover you need to do this not at the      our in Dallas facility we have over 45       Qwest, there are multiple networks rid-
protocol level where everyone is inter-      carriers. We know of 150 carriers within     ing atop the glass: frame relay, ATM, IP,




Figure One: Equipment Used to Connect Carrier Fiber to the Core Director
                                                            3
                         COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
and voice long distance. You also start to they do not.                                    with out having to go to an ATM plat-
realize that each of these providers see                                                   form or Gig E platform made up of a
their applications as part of their own While physically LayerOne does not sit shared environment that adds buffering
network and not part of some larger in the middle of their networks, logically and error correction and is made up of
whole.                                         we have the opportunity to connect their PVCs and does a lot of interesting things.
                                               own optronics and to take as a connec- But we ask you: why have something
There are a lot of interconnections going tion off the optronics where you current- adding that latency and overhead when
on. The style has been to interconnect ly run all the network applications that you could have a direct optical intercon-
your carrier backbones based upon your you have and interconnect that to a single nect to the network provider with whom
network applications. These intercon- fabric. If in every metro market these you want to do business? You simply
nections are carried out basically in every providers could connect to a single net- take a huge OC 48 or OC-192 pipe and
city. In any one city, at the edge of your work fabric instead of directly to all the give it to us. You let us carve it up for
network and behind your ATM switch customers that they wanted to reach, they you into OC-12s, or OC -3s or even the
and your router, they are provisioning would in effect be connected from the smaller chunks of bandwidth, depending
connections to other folks. Also if you best place in their network instead of on what ever level of transit or peering
are an Internet service provider, you need from the worst.                                 you need to provide to the party with
to peer and/or get transit with other net-                                                 whom we are connecting you.
works.                                         COOK Report: Then this singular fabric
                                               is what you provide? It is the core of your Now this is just talking about Internet
COOK Report: And you’re doing it on a business model?                                      interconnections. But this same carrier
first-come first-served rather haphazard                                                   with a fat optical core likely used as
basis.                                         Enabling Direct                             voice and video bandwidth that might not
                                                                                           be appropriate for an Internet intercon-
Muse: Indeed. You are doing it on a one-
                                               Interconnection of Many nection. Because LayerOne is agnostic
off basis with as many people as you can. Carriers                                         about the applications that travel on it,
Let’s say you are a local exchange carri-                                                  we can groom those circuits for intercon-
er. In that case, you are trying to sell local Muse: Yes. We have today the capability nection with other non Internet voice and
access to as many inter-exchange carriers to enable a large number of carriers to video circuits and just as easily as we can
as possible. You try to connect to as interconnect with one another. Today the assist our carrier customers to do Internet
many people as you can, but you have to technology will enable you to do as many peering. We are saying in effect why not
do this relative to each successive appli- as 2500 OC 48 interconnections. interconnect optically with each other
cation at the edge. The problem all this Between these optically based carriers and by this gain the ability to layer on in
presents you with it is that the intercon- we insert what we call a logical core. each instance what ever protocol is
nection of your networks happens at the This is a Ciena Core Director optical desired by your bandwidth interconnec-
worst possible place. At these spots each switch with a capacity of 256 OC 48 s. tion partners? If you don’t want to use
interconnection occupies a minimal This switch gives us the capability of the IP protocol for your voice and video
amount of bandwidth compared to the dividing that bandwidth in any combina- transfer, we will give you the ability to
total with which you must deal given the tion of OC 3s all the way up to OC-192 avoid doing that.
fragmentation of the industry where, interfaces. We can also go to granulari-
instead of four or five major carriers, ties of DS3 circuits and one can expand With the Internet we’ve designed a con-
                                               the interconnected equipment up to a nectionless technology that is very good
there may be up to 150 .
                                               total of 10 bays worth of 256 OC 48 in having to deal with errors and recover-
COOK Report: What you are saying is capacity bringing us beyond the prom- ing from them when they happen. But in
that for the cost of an ATM interconnect , ised 2500 OC 48 capacity at anyone loca- the optical world at layer one, when we
you will get a lot less then you would if tion.                                            transmit just bits of light, we have far
you simply tried to connect your bit                                                       fewer errors to contend with. We can
                                               If you are a carrier and want to connect therefore safely interconnect far larger
stream with my bit stream at layer one?
                                               your various network application servic- circuits. We think that in some cases,
                                               es to those of another carrier, you may do having shifted into the IP world, the
Muse: Yes. If you look at these
providers, you will see that what they do so as a customer of ours by connecting, potential for the economic handling of
not have is the exact same set of match- to our logical core, the biggest possible bandwidth may shift back into the time
ing applications. But that what they do pipe that you can give to us. We will then division multiplexed world. In my opin-
have in common are fat optical back- groom circuits according to your needs ion this is why some of Avi Freedman’s
bones. Once they consider things from within that connection. For example if customers are telling him that they want
this point of view, they may come to the you are an ISPand you need to peer with traditional time division multiplexed
conclusion that they have an opportunity 10 other circuit providers, we can enable voice circuits as well as IP circuits.
to take advantage of what they have in you to do so within our core switching
common with each other rather than what fabric. And we can enable you to do this

                                                                4
                                               The COOK Report on Internet May 2001
                                               our exchange is wel-
Interconnection                                come to use in the com-
Architectures                                  mon software platform
COOK Report: I note that you are in            that all are given to
Miami. Are you familiar with the NAP of        determine who else is
the Americas?                                  connected at what level.
                                               Such a provider by
Muse: Yes I am. It is right across the         using the software
street from us. All the providers partici-     would be able to deter-
pating in the Nap of the Americas are also     mine that, for example,
in our exchange. They get to the NAP of        Cable and Wireless was
America’s through local access providers       connected with an OC
which are in our exchange. Telseon con-        48 available while in the
nected to our exchange the other day           meantime I need to get
through ATSI fiber. They are carrying a        an OC 3 connected to
lot of data from providers in our state to     them. Our logical core
the exchange. Then we have Cable and           exchange fabric also
Wireless, Global Crossing, Level 3 and         does a very efficient job
all those folk.                                of translating from
                                               SONET into a gigabit
COOK Report: Do these folk do lower-           Ethernet. Our common
level things with you across the street and    denominator is that
higher level things at the NAP?                everything is operating
                                               optically.
Muse: If you want to have someone sit-
ting between you and Telseon when you          COOK Report: So you
carry out peering agreements, that is cer-     are changing the dynam-
tainly something we’re not going to do.        ic from the idea of
So in that sense we’re not all competitive     someone in a carrier
with the NAPs. But a lot of the carriers       hotel running a physical
                                                                         Figure One:         LayerOne's Position in a Telco Hotel
who are really interested primarily in         fiber cross connect from
connectivity and can do their own BGP          their equipment rack to someone else’s         optically multiplexing our customers
talk sessions and they have been initiat-      rack when two entities want to intercon-       make economic sense. In order to do this
ing their own private peering agreements.      nect to the idea of a single connection to     we must change the basic architecture
In this sense we are a perfect opportunity     your “logical core.” Using your equip-         paradigm of how we think about inter-
when you would not want a third party to       ment and bandwidth management soft-            connection to begin with.
sit between you with an ATM switch or a        ware, a carrier customer would configure
gigabit switch.                                one or many connections from his single        We take a very large optical signal from
                                               interconnection to your “ core.”               you and convert it to electrical pulses in
In fact one of the limitations to our strat-                                                  order to groom it for you into smaller cir-
egy is that some of carriers continue to do    Muse: This is precisely our point. You         cuits. And we can slice it and dice it for
business in the way that they always           can all interconnect at one logical place      you usually in the precise manner that
have. That is to say sometimes people          or build your own mesh of physically           you desire. As a middleman specializing
interconnect to our exchange from the          separate connections.                          in this conversion for you and for many
edge of their network and not from the fat                                                    others, we can buy and operate equip-
core of the center of their network. As a      COOK Report: Five or six years ago             ment more efficiently than each of you
result, they only want to make a relative-     when the MAEs were just beginning this         can do for yourselves. In each metro mar-
ly narrow connection through our central       higher level protocol interconnection          ket the cost to us of installing logical core
fabric to their customer. But we are           scaled. Now with the increased number          conversion facility is 2.5 million dollars.
agreeable if they want to do this because,     of players in the marketplace, it no longer
for example, some providers might only         makes sense.                                   COOK Report: What does that 2.5 mil-
have an IP network.                                                                           lion dollars buy you?
                                               Muse: Indeed. With far fewer players and
We think the value of our exchange cen-        much less bandwidth, predominantly in          Muse: The 2.5 million is basically for the
ters on the fact that we don’t prescribe the   DS 1s and DS-3s, it worked. Now with           electronics that does the conversions. The
method of interconnection. A fat pipe is       individual players needing very expen-         Core Director is a box about 7 ft. tall-
most cost-effective. But almost any pipe       sive optical interconnects such as OC-48s      roughly the size of refrigerator. This is the
is acceptable. Any provider connected to       to multiple other players, our means of        core fabric that will allow it to connect
                                                               5
                        COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
seamlessly into everyone else. In addi- Director. The size of the fee depends on Version 2.0 Shared
tion to the core electronics, we need lots the bandwidth of the connection which
of fiber to be able to be easily brought can range from DS-1 to OC192.
                                                                                     DWDM Ring
into our exchanges by our customers.                                                 Muse: Agreed. Our current version 1.0
Therefore we have a framework of the COOK Report: Then you are taking opti- product does have some limitations. Our
ADC FEC boxes and the ADC FL2000 cal equipment made by other people and version 2.0 product-out late this year or
SC Connectors ELF bay. For electrical integrating for your own purposes?             early next-will be a shared DWDM ring.
connections at the DS1 and DS3 level we                                              This should be very interesting for Bill St
use a customized ADC Entraprise Frame. Tributary Exchanges                           Arnaud and the other people at Canarie.
Optical to optical connections at levels                                             The reason for this is that we are going to
ranging from dark fiber to OC-192 we Muse: If you talk to Ciena you will find enable to the same density of connections
make via ADC’s Next Generation Fiber out that they’d never imagined that the to multiple providers and yet we’re going
Frame.                                     Core Director would be utilized in the to organize the connections in a different
                                           way that we have. What we are saying is way by using DWDM technology.
The equipment is shown in Figure One that there is an advantage to doing inter-
on page three above. It will support the connection in the centralized place with- Again this is a paradigm shift. DWDM
exchange of about 31000 strands of fiber in a metro market rather than intercon- technology is typically used between
coming into our building from multiple nection at the overlapping intersection of places like New York and Los Angeles.
sources. The sites that we have opened rings. We have deployed the product in What you would do is to put a DWDM
today have an average of about 7500 such a way that we do not create rings device on one end and a DWDM device
strands per site. We look to have growth with it but rather so that we create what on the other end and then you would
into the 12,000 range over the next year we call tributary exchanges.                basically put channels on that fiber in
so.                                                                                  order to make it appear to be 20 fibers or
                                           COOK Report: For example they imag- 30 fibers or 60 fibers. We’ve determined
The 31,000 strands are there as the upper ined that MCI WorldCom would buy that there is another application that you
limit on what we think we will ever need several of them for deployment in their can have with this that would create rings
to accommodate. The 7 ft. tall “ refriger- own rings and that all the inputs to them within a single platform within a single
ator” or a group of them is what we as well as the out puts from them would exchange.
would connect all that glass to.           belong to the single carrier owner?
                                                                                     We will be creating shared lambdas and
COOK Report: In other words this rather Muse: That’s correct. Other people have will be able to provide our customers
complicated diagram is really a map of deployed them - including Broadwing who are connected to the fabric with
your ports or your entry ways?             and Genuity. They usually put them in interfaces to those lambdas. Moreover
                                           the core of their networks. What we’ve we will be able to do so relative to the
Muse: Yes. That is the exchange. It is a indicated is that we are deploying the application for which each of our cus-
combination of the active electronics and boxes without having a network of our tomers is connected. For example we
the physical devices that enable the fiber own. What we are going to literally pro- would have one a wavelength for BGP
to get connected to those electronics. So vide is the ability, should you have your connections. Another wavelength might
let’s say that Next Link (now called XO) own Core Director, for you to intercon- be used solely for OBGP connections
would want to use our exchange. They nect it with ours and insert the traffic that and yet another wavelength dedicated to
would normally come in and bring their you want to bring into your network not ATM connections. Or another for frame
own opto-electronics — in other words from the edge of your network but from relay. We will organize the fabric by
bays full of expensive SONET equip- the core of your network. Now while you applications. Remember that I was con-
ment or Cisco gear. They would simply may not have a Core Director, you may cerned about the existence of a limitation
deliver us fiber strands — 96 or 192 have Lucent’s Bandwidth Manager or that when an interface was available it
strand cables. Initially they will connect Nortel gear and, if you do, you may use might be only an Internet interface and
two of them to the Cienna Core Director that for the same purpose.                   not one that dedicated to a particular pro-
— each of which can handle up to 256                                                 tocol.
OC48s and each of which uses transpon- It doesn’t matter what gear you run. All
ders and tunable lasers to do its work. you need is the appropriate high-density With this environment if you wanted to
Within the Core Director those would be platform. Today the Core Director looks send IP over any particular transport pro-
then lit to a level of OC 48 or OC-192, best but tomorrow it may be something tocol, you would know that such a proto-
depending on how they would want to else. We are married not to the technolo- col would be available. Note also that
interface. From there we would groom gy, but to rather to the paradigm.              this permits essentially no limitation on
those to electrical STS -1s and then map                                             bandwidth on a single ring because you
those to the other providers to whom they COOK Report: And to the bang for the can concatenate or combine wave-
wanted to connect. We charge them a flat buck.                                       lengths. Therefore, theoretically you can
monthly fee for connecting to our Core                                               have any number of connections to a sin-

                                                              6
                                              The COOK Report on Internet May 2001
gle ring from any number of providers         have to do is install a multiplexer into     Francisco and St Louis. We have leases
and never run out of bandwidth relative       that architecture for every customer with    signed in Atlanta, Houston, Fort Worth,
to the ring.                                  whom they want to do business.               and a second Los Angeles facility.

COOK Report: In order to do this doesn’t      Of course, as you go out to buy the mul-     Our current customers include : Enron
each connection have to represent a sep-      tiplexer, you have to guess how many         Broadband, Verizon, FPL Fibernet,Giant
arate wavelength? Help me to understand       cards to purchase for it unless you have     Technologies, Genuity, Maxcess, MFS
how this is possible.                         assurance in advance of what customer        (Worldcom),XO (Nextlink), Progress
                                              wants. With our solution what you can        Telecom,     Qwest,     SpheraOptical,
Muse: On your end you have interfaces         do, instead of buying a multiplexer is to    Stonehenge Telecom, Wired Business,
that are relative to tributaries or poten-    connect your fibers to our BIG multi-        Yipes!, Cable & Wireless, Global
tially wavelengths. Typically, however,       plexer and from there permit us in to help   Crossing, MFN, Tekom, McLeod
your interfaces will be associated with       you connect to anyone with whom you          Softswitch Level (3), Williams, Telseon,
tributaries. A wavelength would hold a        need to. We do this within a single device   Cidera, Yahoo!, TXU, El Paso Global
single tributary or multiple tributaries.     and giving you the flexibility to avoid      Networks, Epik, Edgix.
                                              stranding any bandwidth and to avoid
COOK Report: I thought a wavelength           buying something like an OC 48 shelf if      A master service agreement (MSA)
had to be an OC-192?                          you only need a small fraction of that       means that a customer has agreed to
                                              much equipment.                              locate in all our exchanges on a national
Muse: Not at all. The ITU has a grid and                                                   basis. It sets up the parameters by which
has defined different colors or frequen-      Now come up with a single pair of fibers     we will do business together on a nation -
cies at which photons of light can be mul-    inserted into Core Director, and you can     al basis. We have signed MSAs with
tiplexed through a fiber. A wavelength is     sell to 10 different providers or for that   MFN, Williams, Verizon, Qwest, Level
not relative to an OC 48 or an OC-192.        matter of a hundred different providers.     (3), Yahoo, Yipes!, Telseon, Sphera
What it is relative to is the number of OC    When you do this you have no capital         Optical, Cogent, Cidera, Edgix, EPIK,
48 or OC-192s that can be interfaced          expense issues that you are forced to        Innovative and TXU. MSAs are under
onto it. You could actually have multiple     make. You have no difficulties in terms      negotiation with more than 40 other com-
OC-192 s on a single lambda or an OC          of provisioning time frames. You have no     panies.
768 on a single lambda. The way you cre-      reliability issues of having to manage up
ate a wavelength and push it down the         to a hundred different multiplexers.         COOK Report: Doesn’t Equinix have
pipe or the tributary is not important to                                                  similar agreements with some of the
the wavelength. The wavelength doesn’t        What we have shown is that, instead of       same folk?
really care.                                  distributing our connections, we can
                                              more cost effectively centralize them and    Muse: If you look at Equinix’s S1, you
For a DS1 the underlying transport layer      do so relative to optical interconnects at   will find some interesting insights. At
is LayerOne. Now you might put a layer        LayerOne. In our version 2.0 product         one point we thought of collocating with
two protocol like frame relay on top of it    then we are giving customers the ability     them. In other words putting our distri-
or even a layer three protocol like IP on     to operate protocol’s in the their native    bution frames and Core Directors inside.
top of that. Now in terms of grooming         mode over layer one technology. IP over      One problem however is that they are
internally to the box, our customers          wavelengths.                                 located typically outside the central busi-
always want to be able to groom down to                                                    ness district and not where the fiber net-
DS3 levels. DS3 is an electrical level.       COOK Report: And the relationship of         works are most dense. Consequently,
But you are not doing a DS3 per se. You       the version 2.0 product to version 1.0 is?   what they’ve had to do is to pay a MFS,
are doing what is called an STS -1.                                                        XO and GTE to bring fiber out their sites.
                                              Muse: 2.0 is layered on top of our current   If you looked at the S1 of Equinix, you
Cost Effective                                version 1.0. Some of it is functionality     will notice that Equinix has paid them
                                              that we will be able to add to the Core      $10 million worth of its stock to bring
Centralization                                Director.                                    fiber to their exchanges. In addition they
In that environment you have been able                                                     pay for monthly circuits. Equinix pays
to groom. So you may have an OC 48            COOK Report: So where are you then in        for this and it enables customers to co-
connected box and you may want to buy         your national roll out?                      locate there. Many of these customers
a DS3 s worth of service from 10 other                                                     are web hosting companies and dot com
providers. We would groom that DS3            The National Roll Out                        companies that use the fiber to buy
level out through the box. But the other                                                   access back to their Internet service
providers who connect to the box would        Muse: We have three exchanges current-       providers.
be connected to large optical pipes as        ly open. Dallas Chicago, and Miami. We
well. In order to achieve this, what the      are under construction in Boston, Los        Compare this to our Dallas exchange
carriers with their ring architecture today   Angeles, Minneapolis, Phoenix, San           where we are interconnecting 29 carriers
                                                              7
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
ranging in size from Level 3, MFN,             strands are in the MFN city ring, they can   traffic goes through our site.
Global crossing, Qwest, Verizon and            get them say for a one time fee of $2 mil-
SBC to predominantly local entities like       lion or a lease of $20,000 a month.          COOK Report: What are your criteria for
Global Metro. Numbers of strands of                                                         choosing location of a new Nexus
fiber range from 3500 to 16. Circuits lit      In a case like this we have sales reps who   Exchange?
range from 3 OC-192s, to 12 OC48s, to          work with sales reps from MFN. These
76 OC 12s, to 90 OC 3s and more than           guys go to a company like EDS on our         Muse: In every city we look for the car-
100 each of DS3s, DS1s and Ethernets.          behalf. While MFN can show the EDS           rier hotel or hotels with the highest den-
Total strands of fiber number about            how to put all its telecom and data serv-    sity of fiber. In New York City we hope
16,000. We are contractually bound to          ices on those four strands of fiber, MFN     to be signing a lease at 60 Hudson with-
tell the members of the exchange the           is not very good in getting that data        in 90 days although a feasible alternative
identity of all the other members of and       delivered to the proper carriers. That of    would be 111 Eighth Avenue.
the number of strands belonging to each        course is where we come in. We tell EDS
member. However we are prevented               you buy a piece of optronics on your end     Evaluating the Market
from giving this information to the out-       and then chose to bring the four strands
side world.                                    of fiber to us where we will interconnect    COOK Report: What would happen if
                                               them with our Core Director. We will         there were no space at a location where
COOK Report: Who is Global Metro?              then sell you interconnects with your dial   you really need to be?
                                               tone provider, your long-distance
Muse: They are an example of a new             provider, your high-speed Internet           Muse: You choose to do something as
phenomenon. Non carriers that buy fiber.       provider, as well as with any other kind     close as you possibly could. In Seattle
There are real estate company that owns        of data on network service that you need.    for example there is a building that abuts
office buildings. There want to light up                                                    the Westin Building which is the best
those office buildings so that they’re         COOK Report: In other words you can          building in all of Seattle for carrier inter -
more attractive to telecom clients. In         become a cost-effective middleman for        connections. However there’s no more
thinking about the entire market for fiber     someone like an EDS?                         room in the Westin building. What peo-
you have to remember that it doesn’t take                                                   ple did was go to the building that abuts
the sale of many strands to put a substan-     Muse: Indeed. EDS took a local loop          it and blew a hole in the wall to let the
tial competitor in businesses. For exam-       monthly cost of one half million dollars     carriers come through.
ple Qwest seeded Frontier and then             came to us and to MFN a together we
through Frontier Global Crossing and           reduced it to a monthly cost of $50,000.     The closer in proximity you can get to
also seeded Genuity by means of its orig-      As far as connection goes, Yipes! and        the very best places, the easier it is to do
inal sale to the GTE . Level 3 purchased       Telseon did essentially the same thing.      your business. At the end of the day we
many of its strands from IXC, called           They took strands of fiber purchased         could be anywhere and eventually every-
Broadwing now and then sold one-fourth         from MFN and placing their gigabit           one would build to us, if they liked our
of them to Next Link now called XO.            Ethernet boxes in our Nexus Exchange,        model. We went for best locations first
                                               where they connect to other carriers.        and signed as many national agreements
Guys like MFN have built networks run-                                                      as we could until we got everyone in the
ning hundreds of strands of fiber into         At the end of the day MFN is rather like     habit of doing business with us. We made
buildings in outlying metropolitan areas.      the guy who sits at the top of our food      it as easy as possible for the largest num-
When you look at the Yipes! and Telseon        chain. They are really good to have.         ber of carriers to do business with us
business models, you find that to get into     They help to ensure that a lot of people     quickly. Then, as we expand, we lever-
these buildings they only need a few           come to do business with us. But they        age the attractiveness of the early con-
strands. In this case however you must         are just one of the players. Level 3 is      nections that we’ve made — in other
realize that your target market may be the     another. Level 3 has local dark fibers and   words the attractiveness of our franchise.
entire fortune 1000. Let me tell you           long-haul. So does Qwest and so do a         We should be able to convince them to
why. Consider a company like Electronic        lot of other folks. Our exchanges ensure     come to some other locations that are not
Data Systems (EDS) who had been                access to both metro and long-haul carri-    quite as convenient because they have
spending $500,000 a month in the Dallas        ers.                                         seen the advantage of dealing with us.
area on local loop fees — either with
SBC or competitive local exchange carri-       Of course long haul and metro carriers       COOK Report: If you look at your cus-
ers. These fees only get Compaq from           exchange traffic but long haul carriers      tomers in Dallas how many of them have
their offices to the ports of the              also exchange a lot of traffic with each     built national networks as opposed to
Interchange carriers. In a case such as        other especially WorldCom and                having bought fiber from other people?
this is potentially very attractive for EDS    Broadwing. Both are customers of our
to buy say four strands of fiber from          Dallas exchange while in Miami basical-      Muse: You raise an issue that is much
Metromedia fiber networks.            If the   ly all of WorldCom’s Latin of American       misunderstood. In my opinion really only

                                                                 8
                                               The COOK Report on Internet May 2001
AT&T and Sprint have laid national fiber       swaping sections with some other carri-        for them to understand what interfaces
networks. Qwest and some of the more           er. In view of these fuzzy boundaries,         are available at any one point in time. We
recent players like Level 3 have certainly     you must realize that so much of what          also wanted to give them the capability to
laid fiber, but have also wherever possi-      happens is really unrelated to current         put their fingers really into the workings
ble have bought existing fiber to fill in      ownership. No matter what kind of              of the Core Director program where it is
gaps.                                          attempts you have to brand services, they      our intention that they will eventually be
                                               tend to remain a commodity because             able to provision their own circuits. We
COOK Report: So they do swaps. Let             there are simply no distinct boundaries        have a java run web-based interface rela-
me rephrase my question. If you look at        based on the ownership of infrastructure.      tive to the inventory today. For circuit
the fiber market what portion of it would      While one carrier may outright own or          provisioning, they will get their software
seem to be occupied by owners of a lot of      have more long term control over a larg-       hooks via open API interfaces.
fiber infrastructure as opposed to what        er percentage of the fiber it uses than
percent might be made up of newcomers          another carrier, there are no significant      All the carriers have Metasol or other
just the buying into the market?               boundaries of long and short term owner-       provisioning platforms. We gave give
                                               ship or control that affect day-to-day car-    them software hooks so that they will be
Muse: That would be a hard question to         rier operations. What they sell to the         able to use their own provisioning plat-
answer. I will tell you how I look at the      public and to businesses is a combina-         forms for lighting circuits within the core
world. If you own a strand of glass, it        tion, not just of what they have built, but    Director. They are called OSS platforms.
doesn’t matter to me whether you leased        also of what they have borrowed,               Using these the carriers can self provi-
it or whether you laid it or whether you       swapped, leased or resold.                     sion infrastructure within their own net-
have an IRU for it. At the end of the day                                                     works.
that is your network and that’s the only       COOK Report: So how would you begin
way I see it. And there are folks who are      to sum up your own market position?            What the carriers do not have is good vis-
carriers’carriers who sell to other carriers                                                  ibility into their own interconnections
and there are carriers to sell to the          LayerOne’s Market                              with other providers. When combined
Fortune 1000. Most of the carriers out                                                        with their provisioning programs, our
there do a bit of both. IXC is a classic
                                               Position                                       software will allow them to see their
carrier’s carrier. Before perhaps 15 years     Muse: We see ourselves today as having         interconnections. As a result using soft-
ago you never heard of IXC if you were         four major requirements for the success        ware of their own they will be able to see
not in the telco business.                     of what we’re trying to do so. First, we       what interfaces exist with other
                                               are focusing on a highly interconnected        providers. At this point they can instruct
Their biggest customers were MCI,              venues or territory where the cores of         their software to interconnect with an
WorldCom, Sprint, Cable and Wireless           long haul networks and head ends of            interface coming from another provider.
and just a few other providers. They           Metro networks customers access con-           When they do so LayerOne watches the
sold either dark fiber or lit fiber. They      verge. In other words, we are looking to       event, authorizes it, and then builds the
sold tributaries - perhaps OC 3s or DS3        position ourselves at the location of the      interconnection out to the desired to
s and they only sold those to other carri-     greatest density of customers.                 provider.
ers. And those carriers made what they
bought from IXC into their own network         Secondly, we control the infrastructure        COOK Report: How do I find out how
and may have resold much of it to others.      by which our customers access us —             much a given interconnection will cost?
Then they merged with Cincinnati Bell          namely the fiber vaults at the building’s
and were renamed Broadwing. As a               entrance and exit, the vertical and hori-      Muse: Through discussions with the
result, they have a huge wholesale carrier     zontal conduit within the building handed      other carrier you have already deter-
to carrier business and a retail business      the distribution frame connecting the          mined the price. Price negotiations must
focused on Cincinnati Bell — one that          fiber to the Core Director. Third we must      always come in advance of actual circuit
includes Internet services. Now Telseon        have a minimum of 2000 square feet and         provisioning. It’s possible that this had
may be thought of as an Ethernet player        conditioned AC and DC power. Fourth            bandwidth provisioning Interface could
that only does wholesale services. They        and finally we use a software based            also be used to bandwidth traders. People
do not sell you Internet access. Instead       inventory and provisioning platform.           sometimes look at us as a bandwidth
they just offer a shared gigabit Ethernet                                                     pooling or trading point. In reality we’re
pipe to someone else. They only sell to        COOK Report: Tell me more.                     not. The reason that we’re not is that we
carriers to ISPs or to hosting companies .                                                    don’t do anything associated with band-
                                               Muse: In March 2000 we filed about 50          width trading.
No carrier has a truly ubiquitous net-         patents on technology that we had built
work. Carriers talk in terms of ‘their net-    relative to interfaces and modeling that       In the trading business model you set up
works” while in reality they often grow        we did to help carriers utilize this kind of   a multi-lateral contract so that everyone
or complete their networks by buying or        exchange. The software makes it easy           has the same terms to deal with. They do


                                                                9
                         COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
an anonymous listing which means list- most contracts.
ing the routes available for purchase.                                                  Let’s consider cross connects. Wherever
They set prices for those routes and then COOK Report: In other words while you you have carriers meeting you have cross
bring buyers and sellers together. This is plug the two networks together, you connects. The problem is that these are
the business model of Band-X, Rate have no ability to do anything about how generally single physical connections
Exchange, and Arbanet.                      the remainder of the seller’s network is used to provision a single circuit from
                                            run.                                        provider A to provider B. In a co-lo facil-
Now our platform hook could give API                                                    ity after a while, they tend to form a con-
hooks to bandwidth traders so that they Muse: Quite true. A couple months ago fusing tangle of wires.
can do their standard contract. They can the carriers walked out of one of the
then give the carriers all the listings of bandwidth trading meetings. They said And we consider our cross connects to be
what is available for sale. When they “all that you want to do is to comoditize of a quite different nature. They do not
needed to provision a sold circuit, on our what we do — making it cheaper and take away any of their revenue. The rev-
platform they could actually make it hap- more interchangeable. Why should we enue that we can get from cross connects
pen. The biggest problems that the cooperate with you? The bottom line is is relative to the teledensity created by
emerging traders have are those of liq- that everyone is nervous as they can be our shifting of the interconnection para-
uidity and the actual ability to provision about this and that, for this and other rea- digm through very very cost effective
when they sell. Carriers do not have ade- sons, they don’t have a contract yet. So optical multiplexing of resources.
quate connectivity to one another. That is we’re not in the position of helping band-
a liquidity crisis. Now we create liquidi- width traders trade. But, if at the end of The answer is that if you have a hundred
ty by bringing the carriers together and the day, this begins to happen, it will be carriers at a single location that is a fun-
the same device with which we do this great solution for both the carriers and damentally different situation than the
(the Core Director) may also be used by the bandwidth traders. And if it never one you have when you have 50 co loca-
the bandwidth seller to deliver what he happens the carriers will still need to get tion customers in 50 different locations
has sold.                                   interconnected.                             within a single co-lo facility and all of
                                                                                        them need to get to XO. In this case you
COOK Report: and that’s a very interest- COOK Report: How you define your are talking 50 physical connections that
ing. Because when I talked to an author- competition? Have you mapped out a you have to build and test out. If you
ity in this field a couple of weeks ago and totally unique business model?              have 50 carriers connecting to each other
asked him how things were coming, he                                                    optically, the number of interconnection
replied that the biggest roadblock to Muse: We compete in four different cat- possibilities is several orders of magni-
progress was the problem of arriving at egories. Interconnects; cross connects; tude higher.
uniform contracts and that a large part of peering and transit; and provisioning and
this in turn a hung on the issue of penal- trading. Looking at the interconnects, Peeing and Transit
ty for non delivery. He added that people you will find that in some respects we
were really frightened by this issue compete with MFS, TCG, and XO but Let’s move on to consider peering and
because they didn’t have been of a sense that in most respects these companies are transit. While we will not facilitate mul-
of what it will take for them to be able to our best customers. To some extent you tilateral peering by running a shared a
guarantee delivery.                         can say that we compete with perhaps media that gets in the middle of the con-
                                            5% of the local access market. This 5% nections, we can still facilitate peering
Muse: If you look at a contract for tele- is the carrier-to-carrier local access mar- connections the carriers have built. Of
phone service today, you will find that ket.                                            these the most critical are of course the
you are not guaranteed much of any-                                                     high-speed interconnects of the Tier One
thing.                                      The reason that MFS, TCG, and XO stay providers. If you have your peering rela-
                                            happy is that the biggest product they sell tionships already well-developed and all
COOK Report: But what you are doing is assisting the long haul carriers to reach you need is easy access to carry them out,
would make it more feasible for such local markets. Although a long haul car- we are a great solution for that objective.
guarantees to begin happen?                 rier could connect through us directly to
                                            Global Metro and by pass MFS, TCG, We have developed a particular solution
Muse: Provisioning guarantees would and XO, most do not. The business for establishing private peering
certainly be more attainable. If you sell model of MFS, TCG, and XO focuses on exchanges between Yahoo and the seven
something, you’d have to be able to a reaching beyond our exchange and serv- largest Internet backbones. While it is a
provision that within a defined period of ing the metro area — something that we bit technical I would describe it as a com-
time after the sale or you pay liquidated do not do. Furthermore in connecting at bination of our DWDM solution plus our
damages. We solve that part of the prob- level one they get advantages in cost tributary model that really gives them
lem. but we do not solve the rest of the speed and reliability that they would not great flexibility. Nevertheless at the end
problem which is than that quality of get with interconnecting routers at level of the day, we are really not competitive
service conditions will be attached to 3.                                               with the NAPs. People who do peering
                                                               10
                                               The COOK Report on Internet May 2001
with us simply do not do peering busi-         do this I don’t think we will.
ness at the NAPs and haven’t for a long                                                       COOK Report: Well now I understand a
time. However the over riding factor is        Let’s consider, what can happen if Bill St     lot better what you’re doing. I cannot
that we help our customers implement           Arnaud gets his way and OBGPbecomes            believe that while you may be in 8 or 10
only bi-lateral peering. Two networks          a standard. Then customer “x” could use        cities by years end there would be a mar-
inter connect and peer and while they          OBGP to directly connect its own lamb-         ket for you in a great many more. Is there
would generally use high bandwidth, the        da with that of customer “y”.                  really no one else who is trying to do
determining factor is the bi-lateral nature    Furthermore, those customers could             what you doing?
of the connection not the bandwidth. We        themselves route the results. There are
do not facilitate multi-lateral peering        development efforts underway to create         Muse: I don’t know anyone directly who
between 3 or more networks plugged into        really intelligent edge devices that will be   is doing it. We have been out in the pri-
a shared environment like a FDDI ring.         able to do this routing from the edge          vate equity markets raising additional
This gets into layer 3 issues - an area that   rather than the center.                        capital and the folks to whom we’re talk-
we do not want to play in.                                                                    ing have not run across anyone else who
                                               COOK Report: He also has a team at             is doing what we are. There are people
Finally lets look at provisioning in trad-     Carleton University working on putting         who were on the periphery of what is
ing. Light Wave and Enron have built           code in an inexpensive switched that           happening but there is really no one who
pooling points to help facilitate the trades   would sit in front of the router should the    is doing exactly what we are today. We
that they hope to do. These efforts how-       OBGP standards process bog down.               have 15 sites nailed down and our goal is
ever are primarily associated with city                                                       some 30 cities total. This is a number
pair trading       between long haul           Muse: The limitation of a process is it        that we think the best taps out the
providers.                                     that everyone who wanted to play would         Telecom density that can be advanta-
                                               then have to use the same switching            geously interconnected by our technolo-
COOK report: What would a pooling              equipment. Furthermore I think it’s like-      gy.
point look like?                               ly that everyone would have to connect to
                                               everyone else in a one-off mesh type           Standardizing the
Muse: Enron has a pooling point that           fashion. Unless that this they come to
they have placed in our Miami Florida          optical exchanges like layer one to do
                                                                                              Process for the Next
facility. What they do is get carriers who     their interconnects.                           Level and Foreign
are plugged into our system to go through                                                     Expansion
it and into their system. And then they        In anticipation of this we will be creating
make the anonymous transactions hap-           an OBGP Based open lambda. Therefore           However we think there is a macro mar-
pen on their own frame. Enron is our cus-      he will be able to take the header infor-      ket for the next 100 cities. Therefore
tomer because they could not get carriers      mation from an optical packet from one         what we’ve done this to say let’s partici-
to come directly to them. What they            of his labeling routers on the edge. The       pate in standards committees and open
decided to do instead was to come to us        header data will say I need to go to uni-      this up as standard. We have adopted a
where the carriers already are. Today          versity X. therefore send these packets        buyer pays philosophy for our inter carri-
Enron it does not have any people going        via that lambda to university X. And then      er connections. We’ve done a lot of other
through that platform but they hope to         other packets might be coming down the         things. What we have decided is to open
have people doing so someday.                  stream saying I need to go to university       it all up and tell everyone how we do the
                                               Y. Our device would basically just             things that we do, so that, if you are a co
In the meantime what we’ve done with           accept the information coming in from          location operator in Kissimee Florida and
Enron, Rate Exchange, and Arbanet is to        the edge and send it on. The idea is that      you have a group of carriers already on
say “why deploy your own platform              we can take instructions from intelligent      your site, say 5, 6 or seven, you can help
when you can come to us instead and do         edge devices and just send them on. The        them do business with one another more
it on top of ours?” At present we are          problem with routers is that they have to      effectively than they can do business
hopeful that Enron will do just this. If       have a memory that contains routing            today. Although there will likely be lim-
they do it with us, they can have every-       tables. if you can do it the opposite way      its to the size of such a business, you will
thing ready to go and not have to pay for      and take information from the edge that        nevertheless be able to add value to your
it until they actually use it.                 says as long as you know where you need        local market.
                                               to go, you don’t necessarily need to know
Now at the end of this year the beginning      where everything is. You really need to        We have four sides fully open now where
of next when we roll out the shared BGP        know only where your destination is            carriers are doing transactions with each
DWDM ring, our bilateral peering envi-         located. Your device at the center can         other. We have another two where carri-
ronment will change. That ring could be        tell me how to get there. And I will see       ers are installing fiber. We are closing
used to negotiate multilateral agreements      that my device puts you on the track on        another round of financing and expect to
at layer one. But even though we could         which you need to go.                          be able as a result to complete all 15 sites


                                                                11
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
in about the next four months. We will        Afterword from a                               mensely impressed with what they have
turn our attention to the final 15 as soon                                                   been able to achieve. And I say this as
as the first 15 are running and stable.
                                              Subscriber                                     someone who has contemplated - to put it
                                                                                             very mildly - on more than one occasion
COOK Report: What about Europe and
Asia? Somebody else must be doing this
                                              What It Is That                                the same type of neutral aggregation and
                                                                                             switching architectures for local
somewhere?                                    LayerOne Has                                   providers and IXCs, alike, during some

Muse: It is possible. But we think it is
                                              Done                                           earlier days.

most likely to happen as a result of a con-   Editor's Note: Frank Coluccio is a             We Have Needed These
fluence of events that began to take shape    COOK Report subscriber with whom we
in United States only around 1996.                                                           Achievements Since the
                                              discuss technical issues from time to
Three things came together — the coin-        time. During the preparation of the            late 1980s
cidence of lots of different networks, a      LayerOne article he expressed strong in-
lot of applications and the need for a lot                                                   Our earlier efforts were at a time when
                                              terest in the subject. We asked him to
of bandwidth. These three issues have                                                        optical technologies were just not up to
                                              react to a draft. He (fcoluccio@dticon-
combined to create a terribly acute prob-                                                    the task, yet. In lieu of the real thing I re-
                                              sulting.com) is president of DTI Consult-
lem. This problem is why your friend Avi                                                     call drawing a future black box on one
                                              ing Inc., 133 Beekman Street, South
has his customers calling him and saying                                                     diagram, and labeled it the “Phase II up-
                                              Street Seaport, New York 10038,
that it takes forever to get anything be-                                                    grade,” behind rows and rows of add-
                                              (212.587.8150).
cause the truth is that carrier connectivi-                                                  drop muxes for the discreet carrier feeds
ty is so badly fouled up it’s almost im-                                                     on the same diagram that represented the
                                              Gordon: allow me to get some house-
possible to get anywhere .                                                                   Phase I rollout. That black box in the di-
                                              keeping issues out of the way. I’ll refer to
                                                                                             agram was intended to do many of the
                                              Layer One, the company, using Upper
COOK Report: Probably the situation in                                                       same things as the Core Director and
                                              Case. And I’ll refer to layer one, the
Europe and Asia is that the three factors                                                    other switching elements do, today.
                                              physical layer of the OSI-Reference
are not as acute there and the additional     Model, in lower case. Also, as a dis-
fact that they do not have nearly as many                                                    In this sense I actually see what Layer
                                              claimer I should further state, for the
carriers as you find in North America?                                                       One has done as a form of validation for
                                              record, that I have no financial ties or in-
                                                                                             a number of business plans that I, along
                                              terests to, or with, any of the players
Muse: Absolutely. In Paris for example                                                       with a number of my partners, had a hand
                                              mentioned in this writing.
you don’t have 150 carriers. I believe the                                                   in developing over the years, even if
figure would be somewhere under 20.                                                          many of those never went to fruition.
                                              As you know, some of the reservations I
When you get the operational factors that     initially voiced to you about Layer One’s
you have here becoming also fully                                                            One such model was half-seriously
                                              claims were either premature or without
mature in Europe, you certainly will need                                                    dubbed ‘MECCA,’ which was an
                                              substantial merit for the optical platform
our solution in Europe as well. We do                                                        acronym that stood for Multiple Entry
                                              they’ve deployed. Some of my concerns
have ideas about European expansion                                                          Common Carrier Architecture, a multi-
                                              were based on dated information, as well
and have eight facilities under option                                                       ring-based SONET platform that consist-
                                              as from my not being aware of some new
there among them: Paris, Marseilles,                                                         ed of eight different carriers each sup-
                                              ground that Layer One had broken in
Frankfurt, Rome, Geneva, Stockholm.                                                          porting their own nodes, and each sup-
                                              conjunction with their chosen optical
Last June we bought a company called                                                         porting their own cross-connects. The
                                              switching vendor.
Co-lo Ho which has secured us leases is                                                      primary challenges were designing the
in a lot of locations. For a while we did                                                    fiber optic meet point and SONET inter-
                                              And after re-reading the interview for a
have some grandiose ideas that we would                                                      operability, which apparently LayerOne
                                              third time (yes, I said third), and after
go into Europe before the need was fully                                                     has not had any trouble with. Handoffs
                                              doing some more diligence on the
mature. But, given the state of the capital                                                  were to be accommodated by add-drop
                                              switch, I’ve done a 180 on some of my
markets in March of 2001, it seems like-                                                     mappings. We suggested this design to
                                              earlier concerns, and amended some oth-
ly that those plans will have to be post-                                                    one of the Stock Exchange’s carrier sub-
                                              ers. But all in all I’m convinced that they
poned. We have made a decision to focus                                                      sidiaries in 1993.
                                              (Layer One) are in a lot better shape than
on the United States first.                   I had previously thought. A lot better, in-
                                                                                             We perceived this to be the next step up
                                              deed.
                                                                                             from the simpler DACS model that was
                                                                                             used in the Securities Industry Associa-
                                              If we accept what Alex Muse states on
                                                                                             tion’s community of interest networks of
                                              face value on this matter, and I don’t
                                                                                             the day, such as the SIA Data Network,
                                              know of any reason why we should not,
                                                                                             or SIDN. Today, I would suspect that
                                              then I’m not only pleased, but also im-
                                                                                             such a design might revert back to a form

                                                                 12
                                                The COOK Report on Internet May 2001
of resilient packet ring architecture, if not   and in so doing, apparently, gaining a         wdm, respectively), only they are doing
one using a 10Gb Ethernet approach. We          first-to-market advantage in this space.       this in a far more efficient and dense
do work in cycles. LayerOne talks in            From what I can see they’ve put together       manner, to put it mildly.
terms of effectuating a paradigm change         a reproducible template that exemplifies
in the way carriers interconnect. Certain-      what I see as the next significant step up     In the strictest sense of the term, there-
ly it is bringing about a vast improve-         in the local exchange model, even if they      fore, Layer One does not constitute or
ment. But in doing so it is building on         don’t see it quite as such, yet - the extent   foster a new paradigm, per se. Instead, it
momentum that has been there for more           of which has been made possible only re-       has capitalized on recent technological
than a decade.                                  cently through advances in opto-electron-      improvements and presented a much-im-
                                                ics and the extremely dense integration of     proved ‘paradigm’ than the one that ex-
From the late eighties to the mid nineties      very high speed switching applications in      isted before it. If the manner in which
the digital cross connect system (DCS)          silicon.                                       they do this can be interpreted as a para-
was to play a heavy role in each of these                                                      digm shift, then so be it.
models, since it was at the time constant-      I would like to add that other fiber optic
ly being upgraded to accommodate in-            exchanges of considerable size and den-        Secondly, the exchange hardware from
creasing line rates, and eventually ac-         sity exist in such venues as IXs, peering      Ciena “talks to,” or inter-operates at the
commodated native SONET rates, as               points, NAPs, colos and hotels, as well.       physical layer, with other devices from at
well. Consequently, since the DCS ac-           Most notably, and aside from the more          least three or four other optical vendors.
commodated the highest line rates and           common “meet-me” kinds of rooms that           From what I have read, there needs to be
subrate densities of any platform, it was       are typically found in the just-mentioned      some additional level of assurance from
also the most cost effective option avail-      exchanges, there is the agreement be-          the vendors involved that they will guar-
able for the purposes at hand.                  tween Verizon and Metromedia Fiber             antee that those boxes will in fact always
                                                Network, for example, that allows MFN          talk with one another. At the present time,
In principle, the DCS did then the same         to aggregate CLECs over MFN fiber in           and I’m not certain about this, but I’m in-
thing as the Core Director now does; only       Verizon serving areas on an optical colo-      ferring that no such guarantees exist. I’ve
it did so under a less responsive mapping       cation basis on Verizon’s own frames. To       also inferred that the capabilities that
regimen, and it took about an eon longer        the best of my knowledge, these are still      Layer One demonstrated were possible,
to accomplish, in relative terms. But the       passive cross-connects at this time, al-       were not capabilities that their vendor,
DCS did, and does, just like the Core Di-       though it stands to reason that they would     Ciena, would have initially guaranteed,
rector, radically reduce the number of          upgrade them at some point to o-e-o in a       much less expect LayerOne to attempt to
lines that were required to support a very      way similar to what LayerOne has done,         accomplish.
large number of connections. It accom-          or simply using their metro WDM ring
plished this by eliminating a great num-        capability as they do for enterprise cus-      I would expect that before they placed
ber of lower speed voice grade circuit          tomers, by placing CLECs and ISPs on           the reliability of their customers’ (other
provisions, including modem lines and           their own lambda allocations.                  carrier’s) links in the balance, that they
stat muxes, replacing them with T1 and                                                         would first want to get such assurances
T3 lines and digital data services.             I think that it’s also very telling to note    covered in their procurement and service
                                                that LayerOne claims these two carriers        contracts. In fact, according to LayerOne,
One client went from over 20,000 analog         (Verizon and MFN) as customers of their        Ciena was surprised to learn that their
copper lines to just a few diversely rout-      own. Especially Verizon, who I would           own box was actually able to talk with
ed fiber loops (plus some holdout copper        have suspected to be among the                 competing optical network elements. I
lines for wet circuit battery in the event      staunchest holdouts of all, but they’re in     would sleep a lot more comfortably at
of a total fiber outage), in about a year.      there, too.                                    night if I were the guy sitting in the
Paradigm shift? I don’t think so. It was                                                       LayerOne NOC if I had contracts with
instead a dramatic improvement in logis -       Some Key Issues                                sharp teeth in them with the vendors in
tic- and administrative- handling, with a                                                      question, stating that their optical net-
commensurate decrease in circuit costs.         Allow me to summarize the issues that          work elements will talk to one another.
That was radical in its time, but it’s alto-    stand out in my mind from your inter-
gether commonplace today.                       view with Layer One’s Alex Muse:               I’m not questioning LayerOne’s report-
                                                                                               ing on the fact that they achieved inter-
LayerOne Offers the                             First, Layer One claims that their Optical     operability. On the contrary, I have every
                                                Exchange represents a new paradigm. I          reason to want to believe that they have,
Industry a Reproducible                         happen to disagree with this characteriza-     especially as it relates to the MAN venue.
Template                                        tion, primarily because they are actually      I think that WAN optics, such as schemes
                                                leveraging all of the time-honored capa-       now being used in ultra-long hauls, will
I applaud LayerOne for executing their                                                         present another set of issues at some
                                                bilities of time-, frequency- and space-
plan at this point in time as they have,                                                       point, but that’s another topic. I am, how-
                                                division multiplexing (SONET/etc and


                                                                 13
                        COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
ever, suggesting that they need assur- the same end. By doing this, they hide all what is called a paradigm shift these days
ances from not only “their” vendors, but of those ugly and expensive (to buy, to can actually be traced to earlier iterations
also the other vendors that their cus- house and to administer) boxes from of the same model of architecture, which
tomers use, as well, stating that they will view. The Core Director, as a case in were based on the same fundamental
be able to talk to one another in a consis- point, along with a growing number of principles that the new version uses.
tently compliant manner across a wide other vendors’ platforms, does some of
range of operating conditions. I would this now and will be doing more of the So, if we had to use the “p” word at all,
strongly suspect on the basis of other same, in addition to the more-obvious I’d call it a paradigm enhancement or im-
measures they’ve apparently taken that lambda-centric applications, such as provement. Although, their horizontal
they’ve addressed these issues, as well.    MPLS and MPLamdaS switching and business model, which I could go on
                                            routing schemes, too.                       about at length for its brilliance is a radi-
Though Situated at                                                                      cally effective one, which capitalizes on
                                            Those are the constructs that you need to new capabilities at just the right moment
LayerOne Core Director focus on in order to fully appreciate how in time to effect superb market position-
Also Carries out Higher their platform takes an “optical” signal at ing. And all the while capturing and har-
Layer Functions                             the OC-192 rate and then splits it up into nessing many of the ideals that have been
                                            a so many lower speed “optical” tributar- sought after for the past hundred and fifty
Third, while LayerOne states that they ies, with each of them mapped to their years of networking, beginning with the
are operating primarily at the physical own “optical” lambda port. Behind the telegraph. Has this ever happened be-
layer - indeed, their name itself causes curtain it’s all taking place electronically, fore? Certainly it has, many times, but in
one to conjure up images of nothing BUT and at various sublayers within the stack. the past it’s always been to a lesser de-
the physical layer - one must look be- In other words, one has to un-do all of the gree, the same as could be stated about
yond the words that make up the name, optical related imagery that we use for each previous improvement. And that’s
and peek behind the silicon curtain to ex- mental props when trying to figure these my point. On a global scale issues of the
amine what is happening in the switching things out for the first time, and do a existence of at least of some degree of
fabric and on their backplane, in order to simple walk through of the more mun- backward compatibility will continue to
gain a better understanding of how they dane steps that take place in the electron- be a concern for an new technology that
do the things they do.                      ics within the switching fabric. Hint: just expects to make an impact. Here the
                                            sit back and visualize all of the back-to- issue of compatibility is the bandwidth
True, their I/Os are layer one, as are back legacy boxes that are being dis- unit of currency (OC3, OC48, DS 3 and
every other carrier’s at the port level in placed.                                      so on.)
every SP, central office location and ex-
change point. If we believe in the OSI- Fourth, and this is in some ways directly The model keeps improving with time,
RM, there is no other way to enter the related to three, above, future offerings by degree, but not by anything radically
physical port of a box than to go in at will include lambda switching (a la new in principle. When “radically new in
layer one. However, there’s a bit more MPLambdaS), and other forms of layer 2 principle” happens - and I’m not refer-
than glass works going on inside.           processes. At one point it’s even men- ring to something as bland as sending
                                            tioned that Optical Border Gateway Pro- voice over packet or anything like that,
Ciena and others will do the same things tocol, or OBGP, will, or might, be sup- which I’ve also heard called a paradigm
that have been done inside digital cross ported. These claims would appear to fly shift in the past - then we’ll have the po-
connects (see clarifications below) with in the face of what was stated to be a tential to disrupt all that came before it.
regards to SONET/SDH, add-drop, purely Layer One paradigm. Or, does it? And very few want, or can afford that,
grooming, etc., until lightspeed switch- After all, every Telco, CAP/CLEC, right now. For that matter, as complexity
ing at the packet level is both possible CLEC, ICP, ISP, NSP etc., must interface increases, it will become even more dif-
and economically viable, or until end at the physical layer, or layer one, of the ficult to do in the future.
users and carriers, alike, cease to use OSI-RM. There is no other way to get
those formats to define their units of cur- there than by using layer one, no matter
rency. Namely, OC-3, OC-48 and OC- what rides atop.
192.
                                             Paradigm Change?                                A Note to Subscribers
Here are the clarifications I alluded to
earlier: The main difference is that the     Getting back to our earlier question:           Effective with this issue we have
newer, primarily-optical boxes are driv-     Does the LayerOne optical exchange             switched from Page Maker to Quark
ing these processes deeper into their own    model represent a new paradigm or “par-        Express. We are using auto leading
backend switching fabrics, as opposed to     adigm shift?” With all due deference to       which we hope you will find makes for
using discreet boxes, such as external       Alex Muse and Co., my preference                    increased ease of reading.
back-to-back add-drop muxes, to achieve      would be to avoid such verbiage. Most of


                                                                14
Changing Bandwidth Provisioning
Models in Metro Area Fiber Markets
Net Access Chooses Acquisition of Dark Fiber and Self
Provisioned Circuits Over Purchase of Shared Gig Ethernet
Prices of Telseon and Yipes! Viewed as Too High and
Cogent's Business Model Seen to Be Unsustainable
Editor’s Note: While still in college Avi    COOK Report: What is the business             you actually don’t want to fill lambdas
Freedman founded Net Access, Philadel-       model of Net Access?                          because they can seriously do you harm
phia’s first ISP in 1992. In the COOK                                                      if their frequencies are off. And general-
Report’s basement in 1995, he put in a       Freedman: It’s really a three part model.     ly we would not sell you an OC48 lamb-
56k-connected “POP.” However, at the         One is IPconnectivity. There are 80 ISPs      da per se. What we would do is sell an
same time, he discovered DS3s, back-         and Internet centric companies that are       OC48 that just happens to take up a
bones, and routing. Consequently, the        wholesale customers of Net access.            lambda.
POP never got beyond the 100-pair cop-       There is an enterprise market, which at
per cable from the pole to our roof. Since   this point, is some number of “n” thou-       COOK Report: Where is Gigabit Ether-
1995 Avi has been one of the most wide-      sand of enterprise, connectivity, and ded-    net, in the overall scope of what you’re
ly-known advocates for small and mid         icated co-location customers. Finally,        doing?
size ISPs. In 1998 he joined AboveNet as     there are a number of content providers
VP of Engineering and, in late 1999, he      as well as about 5000 dial-up users pri-      Freedman: Gigabit Ethernet is some-
joined Akamai as Vice President and          marily in Philadelphia. Although we           thing that we’ve actually found that peo-
Chief Network Architect. As he put it in     began with a dial-up network, dial-up is      ple don’t want primarily because of com-
February 2001, his weekday job is still      presently a very small part of Net access     panies like Telseon and Yipes!. The fact
with Akamai and his weekend job is           revenue. Net Access is now $10 million        is if I give you an OC12, you know you
CTO of Net Access of which he is still a     a year company and growing. We offer          are getting an OC12 and there’s nothing
principal owner. We interviewed Avi on       three core services. One is leased lines.     I can do to short change you on the mat-
February 8, 2001. He speaks in this in-      The second is co-location. We have            ter of how many bits you can pump
terview in his capacity as Net Access        opened the first 15,000 square feet of a      through it. You know that you have your
CTO. He last appeared in our June 2000       co-location Center in the Conshohocken        full circuit even if it is being time sliced
issue in a long interview on Akamai.         area of Philadelphia - one that is costing    and sent over my WDM infrastructure.
                                             $6 per square foot per year and is en-
COOK Report: By way of background            abled by dark fiber. We took possession       But if I give you a Gig E, you have no
please tell me about the current status of   in May, went live in August and had the       clue whether that’s a VLAN on a big
Net Access and its infrastructure. I gath-   “grand opening” in October. The center,       trunk or whether it is a real Gig E dedi-
er you still own the network even though     called EarthStation Netaxs, is in Lee         cated all to me, because the technology
you are not running it on a day-by-day       Park, in Conshohocken, PA.                    allows you to sell 10 people a GigE, put
basis and that you have infrastructure in                                                  a 10 meg Ethernet in the middle and then
a number of East Coast cities.               COOK Report: I’m beginning to under-          sell you all Gig Es at the other end. Fur-
                                             stand how you could be in a position to       thermore there is no 10 gigabit Ethernet
Net Access:                                  be a customer for some serious infra-         switch today, so if I tried to do aggrega-
                                             structure.                                    tion, you would be unable to tell what I
Infrastructure and                                                                         had done. You might think there was a
Business Model                               Freedman: We are not yet in the MFN in        full GigE there, but you really couldn’t
                                             top 25 but we hope to get there. Now our      prove it.
Freedman: For a couple of years now          third service which we had not really
Net Access has had a T3 and OC3 net-         thought would be big but is turning out       COOK Report: The point you were mak-
work that goes from Boston to New York       to be, is selling circuits. The model is      ing is that there is a very big difference in
to Philadelphia to Baltimore and to          simply if you want a circuit (OC or           having a gigabit Ethernet and your own
Washington D.C. It is part of the network    DS3), tell us and we will turn it up for      lambda for in the latter case you know
that has transit from AboveNet and Level     you from any co-lo that we are located in     you have the full 1000 megabits. But if
3 and now OC12 transit from AT&T and         to any other co-lo that we are in. A lot of   you have a gigabit Ethernet on a shared
Sprint.                                      people talk about buying lambdas. But         transport mechanism, then you have no
                                              The COOK Report on Internet May 2001
way of measuring exactly what you are         ence between a 20-year monthly lease           levels of some WDM gear, some people
being given.                                  and an IRU. The IRU is a capitalized in-       think it that the equipment used with the
                                              strument which you depreciate. The 20-         fiber could be damaging it. The big dif-
Freedman: There is a great analogy be-
                                              year lease is just like a monthly telco ex-    ference is the gear that’s used with the
tween the people who are doing in the
                                              pense. With the IRU they typically give        fiber, not quality of the fiber itself. The
managed gigabit Ethernet “ stuff “ and
                                              you a discount over what you would pay         issue is that if you drive your laser equip-
ATM and frame relay garbage that was
                                              for the total period. You pay for it upfront   ment at sufficiently high power, could it
forced upon ISPs some years ago. Basi-
                                              or finance it. And the carrier gets the        actually damage the fiber itself? There
cally, unless you can see the infrastruc-
                                              money in a lump-sum up front. And you          are people who are going to start doing
ture, you have no way of knowing what
                                              get to treat it as a capital asset on your     that relatively soon.
is in the middle.
                                              books rather than as a liability. If I’d buy
COOK Report: What does it take to see         one of your 20 year contracts to get fiber,    COOK Report: Why would someone do
the infrastructure?                           for me it is booked as a liability. If I buy   this? What would be the motivation?
                                              an IRU, it becomes an asset that I depre-
Freedman: It takes the willingness of the     ciate. At the end it is all the same. I have   Freedman: The difference between
provider to put up graphs showing the         the fiber for 20 years whether I pay for a     more expensive long haul equipment and
link utilization of all the points on their   monthly or whether it is an IRU. With a        cheaper short haul equipment is pretty
network starting with the end at which        lease, in every case, no matter whether it     much the quality of the lasers. If your
you connect and ending with the other         is 3, 5 or 20 years, I pay a monthly fee.      lasers are super high-quality you can go
end at which you connect. The tools                                                          longer distance with less power. But if
MRTG or RRDtool (by the same author)          COOK Report: So you could actually             you’re trying to do something strange
are easy to come by. The tools show over      commit to a monthly fee for five to 20         like Net Access which is using metro
time what traffic is going from device x      years because you know that while the          fiber gear to amplify your bits over a
to device y. The device could be either a     price of bandwidth will change through         long haul, then you can get into the dan-
switch or a router. So if someone says he     DWDM, you will be able to put more and         ger zone if you push it. (Now we’re not
will give you 100 megabits and he will        more bandwidth on that strand of fiber.        pushing it but we could.) Everything is
put you on with nine other 100 megabit                                                       engineered to be roughly 28 DB between
customers on a Gig E trunk, then you can      Freedman: I can certainly think five to        amplification huts.
go and see that indeed this is what is hap-   seven years on fiber because indeed I can
pening. Or, if it is not happening, you       add more bandwidth. The cost of gener-         We are within 28 db on the equipment we
will find that out as well.                   ating a lambda (on which you can put           are using. But there is new equipment
COOK Report: Doesn’t it come down to          SONET or GigE) from a single strand of         from ONI and Zaffire that is promising
the point that that if you own your own       fiber is certainly headed downward —           four to 600 km range with cheap lasers.
fiber from point A to Point B, you can put    while the direction of the cost of IP over     Which many people who know more
a gigabit Ethernet switch on each end and     fiber is less certain.                         about the fiber physics than I do - and as
know for sure that you have a Gigabit                                                        you can imagine spending a lot of time
worth of bandwidth? However if you do         COOK Report: Have you just done 3, 5,          near MIT I meet a lot of people who
not own the fiber and somebody else it        and 7 year contracts?                          know physics - claim is potentially dam-
supplying the GigE, there becomes a                                                          aging to your fiber and could lower its
problem of trust. Is that essentially where   Freedman: No. I’ve been involved in 20         lifetime toward the five-year range. This
we are?                                       year leases because that seems to make         is especially true for long haul fiber but,
                                              sense. For example let’s say you want to       but to the extent that metro fiber is part of
Freedman: Yes. And let me clarify one         be Mr. Network in New York City. But at        it, it simply is part of the same over all
issue: that is what is meant when we say      some point, New York becomes ruled by          network.
“own.” By “own” I mean have the right         the Green Party which decides there will
to provision fiber that there is nothing      be no more digging in the streets. What
else on. In other words, while I don’t                                                       Pricing: OC Pipes
                                              happens then? How do you get the fiber
own all the fiber I get from MFN, for 20      you need? Consequently I would rather          Versus Dark Fiber
years no one else may put anything on it      have the certainty of knowing that I           Now Net Access has a room full of Cisco
except me.                                    would have the fiber. Now the fiber itself     equipment to power the fiber network
COOK Report: I think that you are talk-       may not last 20 years. But then you will       that we have purchased from an MFN.
ing about an IRU?                             have to replace it and that will be their      (The room is because it’s being set up in
                                              problem.                                       a lab and not yet deployed.) The network
The Dark Fiber                                                                               will be run from Conshohocken, but the
                                              COOK Report: People seem to think it           Cisco gear will be and is stationed
Business Model                                will be good for least 15 though?              throughout the physical extent of the net-
Freedman: There is a significant differ-                                                     work itself. There is a ring that goes
                                              Freedman: Unclear. Given the power             around the Philadelphia area. We have lit
                                                               16
                        COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
one segment of it using $5,000 Cisco gi- both full and expensive. Of course 111 None of them have been installed yet.
gabit Ethernet switches and attaching Eighth is almost full now as well. But
generically named ZX GBIC laser elec- while there are a lot of people there, the COOK Report: Why are they so slow?
trical interface modules to the switches. cost of room to room cross connects is
The GBIC is a standard and the card that pretty reasonable.                              Freedman: I simply don’t know how it
Cisco sells is one made by someone else                                                  can take them so long. Other than, as a
which Cisco marks up and resells. So for There are a lot of international providers friend of mine said: “they have difficulty
$8000 on each end you can do 70 kilo- who are in New York and want to connect with fecal aggregation” - in other words
meters of gigabit Ethernet.                  to down to D.C. When they find out with getting their s___ together. Net Ac-
                                             where we will take them, they ask how cess used to be able to order a T-1 and get
But then it gets trickier. If you look at much we will charge them for a cross it installed in a day and a half in the
how to light fiber, there is this equipment connect to some other building in the Philadelphia area in 1995. It currently
which only goes 70 kilometers. But then same city? So we figure the cost of the takes months to get a T-1 in from Bell At-
there is coarse WDM made by people gear and profit and tell them $3,000 a lantic (now Verizon). Verizon wound up
like N-BASE Xyplex where you can put month. And they reply: that is only half using Nynex’s methods because they
four or eight lambdas on a fiber pair. Fi- what the local exchange carrier would thought that the Nynex people who did
nally there’s the normal DWDM gear charge. They say, when can you do it? leased lines were more wonderful than
which is stuff that can do 32 to 256 or We reply that we can do it within a week the people who did leased lines for Bell
more lambdas. There are two varieties of or two after the fiber is in. Then they say Atlantic and that of course was simply
this. The metro gear and the long haul do you mean that we can continue to not true.
gear. The metro gear can go typically no order circuits from you? Sure we reply.
more than 28 db or roughly 100 kilome- Once we are up our provisioning time Now WorldCom (MFS) used to be able to
ters without amplification. These boxes should be no more than a week.                   give you a FOC date - Firm Order Con-
all cost somewhere between 20 and                                                        firmation. Now it is known as a “FOC
$40,000 per lambda per end.                  Now there are people like Enron who you” date because it is so unreliable. It
                                             spend a lot of time and a lot of money on used to take only a day or two. You
COOK Report : Suppose you needed software that will do circuit provisioning would put the order in and get the date
some 20 to 35 lambdas from point A to in a minute. I think that there is clearly a and know that you could count on no
Point B. Is it more cost-effective to invest happy balance out there somewhere be- more than 30 days from that date. But
in a single pair of fibers and more expen- tween “it will take me a week” and “it now WorldCom decided to use the Wil-
sive DWDM gear or to take the coarse will take me a minute”. The number of Tel circuit ordering system which has to
WDM gear and use several more strands people who need a circuit in a minute and be the worst in the industry. They then
of fiber?                                    would know what to do with such circuit wound up taking a month to get you a
                                             if they had it is relatively low. Of course date by which they might have it in-
Freedman: It is often more cost-effec- it may be that you don’t want to order in stalled.
tive to buy more fiber than to pay the OC12 for only 15 minutes. But on the
large depreciation on the DWDM gear. other hand you can order the local loop to COOK Report: Is the reason for this a
Based on customer demand, because Net someone and get temporary bandwidth huge expansion in the orders that they
Access needs to be able to sell circuits, it for 30 days.                                must deal with?
doesn’t make sense to burn a whole
lambda for one circuit and do coarse COOK Report: When they say they need Freedman: I don’t know for sure. Re-
WDM there. In other words I can put 16 a circuit between New York and Wash- gardless of volume, it should not be an
OC3s on an OC48 lambda.                      ington, who is in a position to sell it?    insolvable problem.

Our first thought was that we would ex-       Provisioning New                            As far as the core aggregated Ethernet
tend our fiber into the co-location facili-                                               business model goes, the fact that it does-
ties and sell people IP connectivity. But     Circuits                                    n’t make any sense might mean that their
we found that our customers were be-                                                      investors will get some return because
                                              Freedman: Qwest, Level 3, Sprint,
coming apoplectic about their relation-                                                   other investors will buy their software. I
                                              WorldCom, Broadwing, Winstar, XO.
ships with the phone companies which                                                      know that there is at least one company
                                              Those are all potential candidates.
were taking six months or longer to pro-                                                  that has gotten venture funding just to
vision circuits. Still thinking IPwe asked:                                               make software that will let people provi-
                                              COOK Report: How long does it take?
to their Internet connection? And they                                                    sion.
said no. Between 111 Eighth Avenue and        Freedman: 3 to 6 months. At Akamai,
8100 Boone Boulevard (MAE East). In                                                       COOK Report: I think Williams makes
                                              from one of the carriers whom I just men-
Manhattan 111 Eighth Avenue is where                                                      provisioning software.
                                              tioned above, we ordered two OC12s and
people are now because at 60 Hudson is        four OC3s about seven months ago.

                                                                17
                                                The COOK Report on Internet May 2001
Freedman: Well, as to how fast Williams         the OC12 would have. Furthermore, if           thought they did.
could turn up a pipe, I must say they           you want to double your investment you
haven’t given us pricing that is good           will find that normally you can extend         Freedman: Yes. Net Access has been
enough to make us want to try. This does-       your fiber pair into a ring around a cen-      selling IP connectivity and co- location
n’t mean that they are bad company. It          tral downtown area. For example, in a          related to that.
just means that we have not been suc-           city with a fairly concentrated downtown
cessful in extorting good pricing from          area you will not pay more than $20,000        COOK Report: But now you are moving
them. Seriously, when they do their pric-       a month for a fiber ring around that area.     down on the protocol stack into a funda-
ing, a lot of these guys don’t seem to re-      Now if you were talking about Boston or        mental transport.
alize that their potential customers can go     San Francisco it would be more than the
out and get their own dark fiber if their       $20,000 per month. But it wouldn’t be          Freedman: We are having to do this be-
prices are not good enough. I should say        double even though there’s a lot more          cause there is a vacuum of people selling
that the carriers I know find Williams          distance involved.                             what other people want to buy. And by
dark fiber pricing attractive, though, and                                                     people I mean smart people who actually
besides normal building termiantion de-         So let’s say that for $6000 a month or         understand how other people have gotten
lays, they seem to be able to deliver rea-      $8000 a month I’m going to get my dark         harmed in the past by purchasing certain
sonably well. But once Williams delivers        fiber pair from Level 3. While I like their    services and people who also understand
dark fiber, their job is over in terms of the   pricing, it doesn’t mean I trust them          the economics of what their options are.
circuits that ride on that dark fiber.          when they assure me that the ring they’ve      What I’m talking about are the options of
                                                sold me is redundant. They are after all a     buying dark fiber for people who have
Economics of OC12                               telco-albeit disruptive telco whom every-      been shortchanged by buying aggregated
                                                one else in the telco world hates. There-      services blind.
Versus Dark Fiber                               fore, I make sure I don’t use them for
                                                everything. I do have OC12 s from other        COOK Report: And people who have no
Let me put it this way. Net Access has
                                                people than via dark fiber carriers at both    means of judging or themselves the qual-
tried to order in the past perhaps 8 OC12s
                                                Net Access and Akamai. I should add            ity of what it is that they’re paying their
and from its experience has determined
                                                that Level 3 here is an example, as dark       money for so they don’t know what
that lighting your own fiber is cheaper if
                                                fiber pricing seems to be fairly similar all   they’re going to get for the money that
you are already acquiring such. If I want-
                                                around in the metro area.                      they do pay out.
ed OC12 in one of my cities, most of the
companies had been talking about charg-
                                                COOK Report: Are you responsible for           Freedman: True. If you are talking about
ing me somewhere between six and
                                                provisioning Akamai’s network?                 layer two packet delivery, your quality is
$14,000 a month depending on the dis-
                                                                                               does it get there or does it not. It is not as
tance between its start point and termina-
                                                Freedman: Everything that touches Aka-         much of an issue as would be IP quality
tion point. They all use the Bell model,
                                                mai’s network is my responsibility. But        at layer 3 where you would want to know
which means there’s a termination charge
                                                Akamai and Net Access don’t compete            what your throughput was. Let’s say I
per end. If it goes outside the CO there’s
                                                so there is no problem in my wearing           choose to light up a piece of dark fiber
a separate charge. Finally they charge
                                                both hats.                                     and put a gigabit Ethernet switch on ei-
you some rate per mile per month. This
                                                                                               ther end. I could turn around and sell you
rate generally depends on the length of
                                                And the network is huge. Akamai cur-           a gigabit Ethernet circuit on that. If you
your contract. It is basically the same
                                                rently handles between five and 10 bil-        are the only one to whom I sell such a
way that T1s and T3s have always been
                                                lion transactions per day. In compressed       circuit, you are happy. But what if I put a
priced. By the way, if you don’t take a
                                                form these transactions take it 360 GB         hundred megabit per second customer on
five-year term on that OC12, the circuit
                                                and that we must send back and have to         there? Well now you need more than nine
becomes about $25,000 a month.
                                                deal with in real time. This is how we be-     hundred megabits per second, you are
                                                lieve, bigger than almost any telco billing    not so happy. Now what if I say am going
COOK Report: So you do the math and
                                                system. And this is complex but it’s only      to go out and sell to everyone and their
find out that, if you already have some of
                                                about one-tenth of the total complexity of     uncle and I sell you a gigabit Ethernet
your own fiber, you might as well use
                                                building a content distribution network in     with only one megabit behind it? And I
that or get more?
                                                which everyone thinks only have to do is       say that when you want to you can go on
                                                buy a couple of boxes and put them to-         to consume a full gigabit.
Freedman: For about that price you will
                                                gether.
find that you can call anyone who sells
                                                                                               COOK Report: There’s a lot of multi-
dark fiber (MFN, Level 3, and others)
                                                COOK Report: So you have a need for            plexing going on and you don’t know
and you will find that for about the price
                                                this infrastructure. What did you find out     how that is going to shakeout.
of one five year contracted OC12, they
                                                when you went out and tried to purchase
will sell you three year point-to-point
                                                it? I gather you found out that people         Freedman: You know there has to be
fiber pair allowing you to connect what
                                                wanted to buy even more than you               multiplexing going on because no one
                                                                 18
                         COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
has a ten-gigabit per second Ethernet Freedman: Yes. Net Access has grown how badly the math doesn’t work on that
switch. In other words if I can do a 10 gi- without outside investment or a huge model.
gabit Ethernet and then sell ten one giga- debt. It has grown by the reinvestment of
bit Ethernets off of that, and that is OK. its revenue stream. As you get into opti- Peter Christy recently did an analysis and
But all I can currently get on a gigabit cal gear, you do wind up leasing against said “If I had 400 fibers I wanted to light
Ethernet circuit is a single gigabit. There- your expected revenue stream which it is in a Metropolitan area and put IP on - not
fore if I’m selling gigabit Ethernet and I not quite the same thing as debt. To the just light over DWDM - that it would
sell such a circuit to more than one per- extent that you are leasing you are cover- cost me $4 billion to put IP on both ends
son, by definition those to whom I sell ing it from your revenue or from cost of those 400 fibers running say 32 OC-
are not going to get the full gigabit. Now savings in your network. The entire dark 192s on each fiber”. That’s just the thing.
people could be doing strange things to fiber infrastructure that Net Access is You must realize now that IPbegins to be
take layer 2 over OC-192. But reality putting into place is no more expensive a real cost at those speeds.
says probably they’re not.                   than the infrastructure that it is replacing.
                                             But the replacement gives us “N” times But to get back to your question. Yes. It’s
Issues of Scale and the                      the capacity that we had when we were been clear to me for about a year because
                                             just buying DS3s and OC3s. And now we I saw AboveNet making very good use of
Economics of OC-192                          can go sell circuits on them if people dark fiber for private interconnects and,
Why? Because they don’t have enough want that in addition.                                 for backbones and circuit replacements.
                                                                                           It certainly was the goal of AboveNet to
money to do this. They don’t have
                                             Cook Report: You’ve been working on get entirely changed over to dark fiber.
enough money because OC-192 cards are
$250,000 per port whenever router you this for how long?                                   And that is why AboveNet pursued MFN
                                                                                           and to say that it really made sense for
are looking at. Furthermore this figure
                                             Freedman: About six months. It took both companies to come together. Conse-
does not include the cost of the router.
Now how many OC-192 ports can you by awhile to get some of the buildings lit. quently it was probably about a year ago
with a hundred million dollars? You Some of the edge of buildings still aren’t that Net Access started asking “How
could buy 400 OC-192 ports with the lit because of permit issues. But the core much it would cost to do this”?
$100 million that Telseon just raised. In buildings are lit.
                                                                                           COOK Report: For about past year you
other words 10 ports in each of 40 metro-
                                             Leveraging                                    been asking questions and for the past six
politan areas.
                                                                                           months you been doing some implemen-
                                             Infrastructure into                           tation?
Cook Report: Is part of what I’m hearing
that at your particular market level there
                                              Quantity of Strands
                                                                                          Freedman: Yes. I had been looking at a
is an opportunity of making a more ef-        COOK Report: Was it a year ago then         offerings from some of the players like
fective use of a small amount cash when       that it began to become clear to you that   Telseon and Yipes! And had immediately
you are dealing with OC12 and nothing         the best course of your expansion for the   been saying: “Well you know, that’s pret-
larger because the cost of bigger circuits    long run would be to pursue this model of   ty retarded. Why would you think that I
is simply out of sight? While the cost of     acquiring fiber?                            would want to buy that?” I had been talk-
generating OC12 s and handing them out
                                                                                          ing to about eight different fiber gear
to customers, compared with OC-192s, is       Freedman: Oh absolutely. Dave Rand          vendors who all have annoyingly similar
very economical.                              who was my CTO at AboveNet first            pricing although they are all configured
                                              pointed out what I think is a deep truth.   differently.
Freedman: Yes if you can just get more        QoS should mean “quantity of service”,
fiber. If you can do 32 OC48s and get an-     not “quality of service”. Or as recently    I have the Uber Spread Sheet of Doom
other fiber pair, do 32 more OC48s, it can    amended, QoS should stand for “quantity     which actually lets you play around with
be cheaper (especially if you’re trying to    of strands”.                                how many circuits of what you want on
make your capital last) to just do this. In
                                                                                          what different topologies to show you
other words the most cost-effective           COOK Report: In other words you be-         how much each vendor ’s gear will cost.
course is to burn the fiber pair for now      long to the “throw bandwidth at it” side
and then later go back and put other gear     of the debate.                              COOK Report: Where did that come
on.
                                                                                          from?
                                              Freedman: Yes. Or to the school that
COOK Report: I have the impression that       says QoS the way most people mean it is     Freedman: I built it. I can’t give it to you
your economic model for Net Access            that “if you pay more money to me I will    because it uses all nondisclosure pricing.
from the very beginning has been one of       drop the other guy’s packets first”. Now    I’m going to write a Boardwatch article
self-financing. Have you been able to         this brings us to the Cogent discussion     on fiber gear because it’s all very simple.
maintain that method of operation?            and here I don’t know how to describe       Except that all the fiber gear vendors are


                                                                19
                                              The COOK Report on Internet May 2001
very annoying. And they’re even worse         their market and understand that getting
than router vendors. They want to tell        dark fiber would be an alternative to buy-     COOK Report: So you taken a lot of les-
you: “Give me the configuration and I         ing their products.                            sons from AboveNet?
will tell you how much it costs.” And we
say: “No. Tell us what parts do and how       Maybe they thought that MFN would              Freedman: Yes. AboveNet did a lot of
you put them together and then we can         stop selling to people? But selling to en-     things right. That’s why I wanted to work
build our own configuration.” The prob-       terprises and ISPs is MFN’s core busi-         there. On the other hand, what I have
lem is sometimes even their own engi-         ness. MFN sells using a return on invest-      learned from being at Akamai is that con-
neers don’t understand how they put the       ment calculator themselves.                    tent distribution is not nearly as easy is it
parts together. We actually had one of the                                                   seems and that you should resell Akamai
very largest of the fiber gear vendors        COOK Report: And Level 3?                      if you want to have a hope of having a
who wanted to hire a couple people from                                                      good commercial product.
Net Access just because we could correct      Freedman: Level 3 does sell dark fiber
their quotes.                                 but more on a wholesale basis. There are       An Issue of Scale:
                                              other people in various markets who sell
COOK Report: Is part of the disconnect        fiber as well. These include utility com-      Hacker Ethic Meets
that you’re seeing perhaps that these         panies and there are some smaller fiber        National Corporate Roll
companies have hired MBAs who tend to         players. 360 networks in some places.          Out
work on abstract principles rather than       Enron brokers dark fiber. GPU in Penn-
knowledge gained from the trenches in         sylvania sells dark fiber. Amtrak sells        Going back into the business proposition
actually running ISP operations?              dark fiber. And there is even a web site       of Yipes! and Telseon the idea that I
                                              that will tell you who sells dark fiber in a   would want to run an aggregated Ether-
Freedman: I can’t speculate on why            particular geographic area which inter-        net for the same amount of money that I
these companies evolved the way they          ests you - http://www.fiberloops.com -         could install my own fiber and circuit
did. They obviously have technical peo-       per fiber mile Metro fiber is more expen-      makes no sense to me. And aggregated
ple. I think the decision may have been       sive because, though, because it is more       Ethernet is simply not attractive because
that five or six years ago people wanted      expensive to install.                          I don’t know who else is on it. When I
to buy ATM or frame relay and now I                                                          ask them they say our best practice is in-
want to buy a similar thing on a gigabit      COOK Report: One has to wonder where           dustry standard . . . mumbo jumbo. . . and
scale - not having realized that the pric-    the business models for Yipes! and             that we have double the capacity so that
ing which they are claiming they have to      Telseon came from?                             if half the network goes down, we don’t
get in order to be able to stay in business                                                  oversubscribe it. And I say “OK, show
makes no sense.                               Freedman: I don’t know. I didn’t talk to       me”. “Our best practice is that we don’t
                                              them about how they started. I know that       do that.” And I say “How do I know
COOK Report: Somewhere there must             every time I’ve been hit with a “Hey           that?” And they say “Because we said so.
been a disconnect between their market-       would you like to buy this”, I respond         “ In doing this they are operating like
ing people and those in change of the         that it doesn’t look very interesting be-      telco. And telcos lie because they don’t
technology?                                   cause we can extend our own dark fiber         even understand what customers asking
                                              to those buildings. Or that the customer       sometimes. Frankly they can’t know.
Freedman: My assumption is that the           could just to buy another pair of fibers       Most in telcos did not put all their fiber in
price that will turn away business is the     that has nothing to do with our network.       the ground so if you ask them, they can’t
price that they have decided that they        In terms of buying I represent two differ-     tell you where it goes.
must get in order to stay in business. It     ent contingencies. For Net Access if I am
sounds like a simple concept. They could      going to provisioned a circuit to a cus-       COOK Report: In other words, if you
say we are simply not going to bargain        tomer - in other words if a customer           want to promise a quantity of service,
because it will lead to price erosion. But    wants to get a 30 megabit capacity circuit     you better own your own infrastructure
if you are a new start up company, the        to me and Yipes! wants to charge me            and have control over it so that you can
price at which you are willing to turn        $3000 a month but I can extend my fiber        deliver what you have promised.
away someone with cash in hand is prob-       there for $2000 a month and get $500 a
ably some number that you figure does         month as depreciation on equipment, it         Freedman: Yes. And there are ways of
not give you cost plus some margin. And       definitely makes sense for me to get my        leasing fiber and finding out, but the bot-
it is probably not 500 percent margin be-     own capacity there because Net Access          tom line is most telcos don’t do it. If I get
cause these companies are about to go         always shows its customers link utiliza-       across country circuit, a year ago, the
out of business if they don’t get more        tion. I know if I put a gigabit Ethernet in    chances are it would have gone through
money. The point is if they want to sell      there and I give them 30 megs they will        10 different segments. Today there are a
me something that costs more than dark        be able to see that I’m not oversubscrib-      couple of vendors you can give you an
fiber, maybe they just didn’t analyze         ing it.                                        OC12 across country all on their own but


                                                               20
                         COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
not very many and not along all paths. this complicated equipment and compli-
Furthermore of the 10 paths on a circuit cated software. Then you may point out Freedman: In my opinion the compa-
the chances are that at least two were lies. that you have an extra capacity for multi- nies’combination of services and pricing
In other words they don’t actually go ple fiber vendors and pledge that you will did not make sense six months ago any
where they state they do. What you need show me the status of your infrastructure, more than they make sense today. To be
to do when you take the circuit is every we have a basis for a conversation.             fair I also must tell you that we have zero
once in a while take it down and tests the                                               customers who are buying circuits from
latency of each of the pieces and see But it becomes much more difficult if us today. That will be different in 30 to 60
whether they can possibly go the way you say I’m going to charge to two-thirds days and frankly I hope there are many
that they say they do. We had a San Jose or even one half of what dark fiber costs companies that will say “I will sell you
to Chicago Circuit delivered to us with a and I’m going to make promises without an OC3 from New York to D.C. for
hundred and 20 millisecond round trip back up of how much capacity might to $3000 a month”.
time which is how long it takes to go exist or might not exist between points A
from San Jose to London and back. We and point B and I’d like you buy it from COOK Report: You are welcoming com-
made them test each segment and found me. And then I say “How much is an petition along the lines of what you’re
out what was wrong. Now the problem is OC48?” and you have told me that the doing. Is that what you’re saying?
when you order a circuit, if you don’t cost that is more than twice what dark
have an SLA (Service Level Agreement) fiber costs. I say that I don’t know that Freedman: Yes. Of course for a compa-
on latency in your circuits, which most that capacity is actually there, or even if ny that has zero circuits sold right now to
people don’t, they can simply say we it is why would I pay twice as much as welcome competition could be a pretty
don’t care how slow it is, there are no bit dark fiber costs for one 32nd of the ca- grandiose ego driven statement. Never-
errors and then you are out of luck.          pacity that I could otherwise receive if I theless my answer still is yes. And do you
                                              lit my own fiber?                          know what? I’ve talked to a couple of
I have two broad reactions to what is                                                    Metropolitan Ethernet plays. One of
going on. One, with Telseon and Yipes is This is especially true when I don’t even them actually said: “We have looked at
it doesn’t make sense to me. Two, with need a capital expenditure to put an our aggregated Ethernet product and
Cogent I can prove to you that they will OC48 on to the dark fiber. In other words based on what we learned I hope that all
die.                                          I have the routers anyway and it costs me we use it for is out of band control to our
                                              no extra to go from one building down- boxes and that all we sell is circuits. Be-
Cogent is very “strange”. ISPs are buying town to another building downtown on cause of our software we can provision
from Cogent but it is a situation where, OC48s. Pricing for an OC48 the would circuits quickly. We can do it economi-
although they are buying from Cogent, cost me more than the price of getting cally.” This person found out that when
they are not really relying on it because dark fiber on my own to get a lambda presented with a choice of purchasing ei-
they secretly of course both hope and from which I could get such a circuit just ther aggregated Ethernet or circuits, cus-
know that Cogent will die. The ISPs that doesn’t make sense.                             tomers preferred circuits.
are buying from them are selling what
they are buying for much more than the COOK Report: It sounds like these com- COOK Report: It sounds like you are
$10 per megabi they are payingt. So that panies, Yipes! and Telseon have been set saying that there is a significant percep-
situation is very strange.                    up to do it in their metropolitan areas tual disconnected between what Yipes!
                                              somewhat the same thing and that you and Telseon think their markets to be and
But Telseon and Yipes! are going to have want to do for your own customers?              what people really want?
to adopt a model that makes sense mean -
ing that if you sell me a 100 meg circuit, Freedman: Absolutely. You are right. Freedman: Yes and quite frankly I think
it better cost less than half of what i could But it is not because I have grand dreams that companies like Enron will eat their
buy dark fiber for or I will just go and of becoming the “uber” telco. It is be- lunch because Enron will soon be in
buy and dark fiber and have infinite ca- cause some people want to buy some- dozens of buildings and in 50 cities.
pacity. Or I will charge you are reason- thing that is not available to them in the Enron will be in a position pretty quickly
able amount that is greater than half the marketplace.                                   to say “You want to the OC3 from there
cost of dark fiber but I will also give you                                              to there. I will turn it up for you in 15
view into my infrastructure.                  COOK Report: I also have the impres- minutes and sell it to you for as long as
                                              sion that these companies are set up with you like. If you want a ten year contract,
Or you can say you are going to charge the intent of beginning to operate imme- I will do the financial derivatives (or
me a quarter or sixth or an eighth of what diately on a very grand scale in a large price protection) for you. And when you
dark fiber costs to give me the hundred number of cities and to go into the capi- are done with that I’ll sell it to someone
meg circuit. Next you tell me that you tal markets with stock offerings. Conse- else.”
have redundant capacity which I might quently all of a sudden there’s a whole set
not have and yes with my way there are of criteria that involves satisfying people Net Access is obviously not going to
more points of failure because I have all other than your immediate customers.           dominate this market. I don’t know for
                                                               21
                                                 The COOK Report on Internet May 2001
sure but I do expect Enron to enter this         Freedman: The issue with Cogent is that        Cogent and the OC-192
business. Now therefore it could be that         it can’t be done.
some point in the future Yipes! and                                                             Brick Wall
Telseon will also figure that out and start      COOK Report: And despite the fact it           COOK Report: So is part of the problem
selling circuits instead of aggregated gi-       can be done, they have gotten Cisco to         with Cogent an issue of scale?
gabit Ethernet.                                  invest several hundred million dollars in
                                                 them?                                          Freedman: Yes. IP bandwidth does not
COOK Report: What do you hear from                                                              scale right now. It costs more to move an
XO which owns 25% of level 3’s dark              Freedman: Why they would do that is            OC-192 than it does to do the same for
fiber?                                           certainly a mystery to me. My calcula-         four OC48s. It used to be that it cost less
                                                 tions show that the gross cost of provid-      to go up the food chain in IP. The broad-
Freedman: XO has a wavelength prod-              ing what they want to sell is more than        er your bandwidth, the less it would cost
uct which means that you are basically           what it would cost them to run the net-        to send a single bit. That stopped hap-
on GigE and unfortunately costs about as         work for the next three years. Remember        pening somewhere between the OC12
much as dark fiber. The only thing to be         an OC-192 will allow you to do 10 giga-        and OC48 levels about a year ago. Let
said in its favor is that apparently it is not   bit Ethernets — they are selling gigabit       me explain to you the two reasons why
aggregated. Still, XO sells circuits and         Ethernet to ISPs for VPN purposes for          OC-192 ports are expensive. One is that
from that point of view as far as I’m con-       $10,000 a month per location. Now if           lasers capable of doing 10 gigabits per
cerned they are a telco. And again my            they were selling $10 per megabit cir-         second are in limited supply. Further-
question becomes “Am I going to trust            cuits no problem. But as soon as you           more, supplies may become more limited
the telco when they tell me that my              have to take bandwidth and make it IP          and not less so.
wavelength is not aggregated?” The               they have a problem. The reason for this
question is what does the market want?           is that if you want to make a redundant        Look at the OC-192 card. Not only does
The people whom we’ve talked to would            network with ingress and egress in order       it have an expensive laser on it but it also
rather have an OC12 than a Gig E. That           to step up and step down, you will have        has tens of nanoseconds to move a pack-
is strange you might say because an              to pay an order of magnitude more just         et. The refresh time for the memory in
OC12 is less bandwidth and costs more            for the equipment to provide the service       your computer is on the order of 30 to 60
to put IP on.                                    to the ISP. Now it is true they may not        nanoseconds. The refresh time on the
                                                 use an entire GigE if they are aggregating     very fastest RAM made is six to eight
COOK Report: In other words they know            it, but he who sells to and ISP and plans      nanoseconds normally. This would be the
they have the bandwidth.                         on the full amount not being used is a         cache RAM that is off the CPU but near
                                                 fool.                                          it. I am not a hardware guy so I don’t
Freedman: Well, they are 99 percent                                                             know what the access time of the ram on
sure of it. There are strange devices that       If I were Cogent customer, which I may         the chip is. But you certainly can’t put a
let you do OC12 emulated over IPwhich            well be soon, I would light (fill) that        gigabit of RAM on a chip without it
doesn’t work and is a completely ridicu-         GigE up because you know what hap-             being unusually expensive.
lous idea. For all intents and purposes          pens to bandwidth if you don’t use it. It
they can be sure however that they have          goes away. If I don’t use the GigE it gets     Remember that if you have packets com-
an OC12. Whereas with the Gig E they             aggregated. If I do use it they can’t ag-      ing in at the rate of 10 gigabits per sec-
have to be a little bit nervous and with         gregate me without affecting other cus-        ond and you want to buffer it for one-
the Gig E that someone tells them is ag-         tomers. And on the IP side if I wanted to      tenth of a second, you need, all of a sud-
gregated they must be somewhat more              take Akamai’s traffic and ramp it onto         den, a lot of RAM. If you want to buffer
nervous - somewhere between somewhat             Cogent, we’d bankrupt them because             it for an entire second you need 10 giga-
and a lot depending on what one knows            they pay transit to get to UUNET. The          bits of storage where you have to index
about the company.                               only question in my mind is how long are       and store packets somehow because of
                                                 they going to be able sell me at $20 a         course they’re not all the same length.
My conclusions here have nothing to do           megabit bandwidth that they pay $200 a         There are a lot of bits on which you are
with the technical quality of the company        megabit for. They are hoping they can get      going to have to do something like a two
because these companies have very smart          peering but the fact is that if people don’t   nanosecond lookup. I grant that you can
people. They don’t have anything to do           want to cooperate in putting circuits in       do a large number operations in 10
with funding because they may run out of         they are either going have lousy service       nanoseconds on a modern computer. But
the money at the end of the year or they         or have to send the bandwidth through          only on stuff that is on the chip. Maybe I
may not. But the same is true for many           transit which will cost them a huge            could see how to do an IPv4 look up in
companies.                                       amount of money — namely about 10              10 nanoseconds. But if I need to do any-
                                                 times as much as they’re going to be col-      thing else like an IPv6 look up, it is a lot
COOK Report: What about Cogent?                  lecting.                                       more bits that I simply do not have time
                                                                                                to grab. If I have to keep everything lo-

                                                                  22
                        COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
cally right on the CPU, I have a very ex- ment.                                        the thing at the end. There is no 10 Gig E
pensive computer that I must make in                                                   MPLS thing that takes layer two and
order to do OC-192 routing.                  COOK Report : Sycamore is talking moves it to layer three or takes layer
                                             about switching of wavelengths or lamb- three traffic and moves it onto MPLS.
Remember that there are different das. Are they going to be able to take it With MPLS we still have to have an IPto
philosophies of routers. On the backplane the expensive scaling issues that you MPLS “thing” in front with an OC-192
you have something like the Juniper. have just explained at the IP level and card inside that it speaks MPLS and has
Avici believes that you should need a push them down one level in the protocol to be able to handle OC-192 IPin order to
PhD to read the manual. Nortel believes stack with any greater cost effectiveness? get it on to the network. At least you have
they have come up with a simpler way                                                   to have this until the point that you just
except the only problem is they haven’t Switching MPLS Ciruits                         say to someone “I’m going to give you
yet made the chips that will implement                                                 only an MPLS circuit from here to there”.
the simpler way.                             Freedman: The switching things that
                                             people are doing seem to be: I can do COOK Report: My understanding is that
Consider then the backplane of the Ju- faster that which you can already do with a part of what CANARIE wants to do
niper M160 which can do eight OC-192s. your dumb optical gear. But using dumb with the OBGP protocol is to give Net
That router is roughly $300,000. The M5 optical gear actually makes me happier Access like customers the opportunity to
is their smallest router and has the same because then there is no software com- interconnect wavelengths that exchange
switching capacity as an M40. So the M5 plexity and software is what makes points independently of carriers and to
is perhaps one quarter of the switching things crash that otherwise wouldn’t. Or keep the bandwidth of such wavelengths
capacity of an M160 and costs some the switching people say that they are off of the major transit Internet back-
$40,000. The M160 is basically four building a router in to their switch. But bones. I gather that you are saying there
M40’s glued together.                        then they have the same problem that the is good reason to do this?
                                             router makers do. Their solutions seem to
Now Cisco has been very happy about be little cheaper than just putting the op- Freedman: Absolutely. There certainly
possibility that if you have a Juniper OC- tical gear and router next to each other. is. Let’s look at it as an analogy to MPLS.
192 network with one flow on it (that They still have the problem of moving The question is do you want to build a
means nothing but communication be- packets in 10 nanoseconds.                         just and MPLS infrastructure and hand
tween to post on the same source port)                                                 people an MPLS pipe and tell them it to
that it could possibly reorder packets. There are things that people are playing provision it somehow? I’d rather have
This is the worst that Cisco could say. Of with as, for example, at Nortel where someone say “Here’s your circuit Mr.”
course Juniper could say “Go read the they have queues that are made up of He may do this by going into the com-
Cisco Release Notes. They crash all the fiber loops and that they can use to in- mand line and provisioning my MPLS
time and their software doesn’t work.” spect the packet before it gets there and circuit from one point to another. Or a
The hardware is expensive to make but it in a microsecond to instruct a mirror to software package to use in the way that
does a lot. The Juniper chips each have to redirect the packet from the input to one people who provision ATM circuits at
move a quarter of eight OC-192s.             of eight queues and have the queues all Mae East now have. If someone wants to
                                             go to different interfaces. And that is do an MPLS to MPLS interconnect,
Let’s say that I really want to do OC-192. what people are playing with. It is inter- doing so is not as stupid as doing ATM.
I will have to have a $300,000 router and esting in a sort of MPLS sense. All in all You least would not have the data loss
a $250,000 OC-192 card on each end. I am not aware of anything that is more that comes with ATM. So overall eco-
Frankly I really need another $300,000 cost-effective now than taking a Juniper nomically it might be workable thing.
router in front of it to do OC-192 to Gig M160 and mating it with fiber gear if you But I don’t think that doing it by using
E because there’s no magic box that want to do IP. However, if you want to do software to automatically tear things up
translates OC-192 to GigE. There are MPLS, in other words if you want to do or break things down is a particularly
switches that will do this but they are also just circuits, then MPLS is much cheaper good idea because the software that we
very expensive. So it is going to cost me than doing routed IP (in the core, at have seen that would do this is not of
a fair amount of money to turn IP into least).                                         good quality in design or implementa-
OC-192 to Gig E. If you add up the parts                                               tion.
it’s going to cost probably million dollars COOK Report: So to the extent that peo-
an end to be able to stick the aggregation ple are enthusiastic about MPLS it may COOK Report: This sounds like just one
stuff in. What I am doing is taking a 10 be because it handles these scaling is- more interesting example of Internet is-
gigabit Ethernet and throwing it into a sues?                                          sues related to problems of scaling —
router with some redundancy over an                                                    problems that I’m hearing about more
OC-192 that’s going to go somewhere. Freedman: That is for sure. That is what and more often.
Furthermore, when I do this I still have people are interested in. But you know
not paid for the cost of the fiber equip- what? You still have to get the IP on to Freedman: Let me say that such scaling


                                                              23
                                              The COOK Report on Internet May 2001
issues are not presently a problem for the    dors (except for Cisco and Juniper) have      last is hardware. A router crash is consid-
growth of the Internet as we know it. The     not a clue about how they are used.           ered a software problem. Outages that
growth scaling bottleneck comes from                                                        you see are not caused by routers physi-
networks that don’t want to peer with         Cook Report: So the PSTN has grown up         cally dying. Hardware itself is not a big
each other. Internet growth has slowed        more gradually but also with a very firm      issue. Cisco routers and the 5E switch a
down because broadband isn’t and net-         sense of its purpose in comparison to the     been mature for about the same amount
works don’t peer with each other. The         explosive growth of the Internet?             time. Yet the 5E is stable and Cisco is not
fact that there are scaling issues in going                                                 because it still doesn’t have a real operat-
to the next level of bandwidth doesn’t        Freedman: I would say it somewhat dif-        ing system. In my opinion there really is
matter yet. We are not some bumping           ferently. The PSTN had to work or you         is no excuse for the telco industry to be
into them yet because your average            would lose your job. Number 2: It was         able to build switches today that are more
DSLAM has 500 users at one megabit            simpler. Number 3: The vendors who            stable than Internet routers. There are
and on the other end is a 34 megabit          made the gear understood more about           problems on the Internet but having
ATM pipe. Your average cable plant has        how it was going to be used.                  routers crash because of stupid bugs that
200 ten meg users on a 10 megabit uplink                                                    have not been rooted out of Cisco’s oper-
that does not have adequate bandwidth         Current Problems More                         ating system - which should not be a
fed into it. This is what I mean when I                                                     valid excuse.
say that broadband isn’t yet.                 of Stability than Scaling
                                                                                            COOK Report: Is Cisco’s enormous
                                              So there are some technology issues
And then you go to the other hand and                                                       growth a reason why?
                                              here. It is more simple to do circuit
say I’m going to hook up my fancy 10 gi-      switching and than it is to do packet
gabit Ethernet pipe to provider “x” and                                                     Freedman: I think that the reason Cisco
                                              switching in a reliable way. But there’s
expect 10 gig to everywhere. You must                                                       doesn’t have a new operating system
                                              also no excuse for the fact that there is
ask to whom does provider “x” send                                                          now is that people got fed up and left and
                                              not a router out there today that will hap-
those alleged at 10 gigabits. In fact if                                                    went to Juniper. Cisco didn’t have
                                              pily move packets for ever and is hard-
provider “x” has 40 peers to whom does                                                      enough people to do a new operating sys-
                                              ware redundant. The main reason that Ju-
it have it even as much as one gig Ether-                                                   tem.
                                              niper is more stable than Cisco is because
net available? Not many. So there are         they only have a single forwarding path.
utility problems in the infrastructure of                                                   Let me state the problem another way.
                                              They have a single point of failure in a
the Internet that have to do with politics                                                  Networks have not demanded stability
                                              sense in their smaller routers and are
and poor design decisions at the last                                                       above all else. If networks said: “I will
                                              using a base OS that has big security
mile. In my opinion, these issues are                                                       not buy your product if it crashes,” we
                                              problems. So although there are prob-
making it so that we are just not seeing                                                    would have more stable routers. In fact
                                              lems with the Juniper approach, people
the problems that exist due to lack of                                                      the issue of stability is the reason why Ju-
                                              put up with it because the Junipers do not
scaling at the core.                                                                        niper has grabbed a huge part of Cisco’s
                                              crash as often as Ciscos. Nortel actually
                                                                                            market share. Five years ago Cisco had
                                              has a clue but they don’t have the hard-
COOK Report: Is there something inher-                                                      90% of the provider market and that was
                                              ware to put it on. No one else whom I
ent in the structure of circuit switched                                                    five to ten percent of their revenue. My
                                              have seen is actually doing a good job
networks that has been keeping people                                                       current estimate, while not based on any
                                              with software.
from seeing the scaling issues that are                                                     formal information, is that about half the
now lurking at the edges of the connec-                                                     packets that travel the Internet will hit a
                                              And there is no one who is actually doing
tionless Internet ?                                                                         Juniper because an amazing number of
                                              something where you load your BGP
                                                                                            networks are using them in their cores.
                                              module and run it on eight CPUs, you
Freedman: Rather than discuss issues of                                                     Probably half of the “Cisco powered net-
                                              have the results come out, you pull out a
philosophy let me ask a rhetorical ques-                                                    works” are using Juniper and Cisco has
                                              board and the other guys keep running
tion. Why did the Y2K remediation hap-                                                      been forced to turn a blind eye to these
                                              yet. You put in a new board. You put in a
pen successfully? Because it had to.                                                        defections.
                                              new BGP module and start getting up-
There was no option. You would not have       dates and then once you see that it is
a job (or worse) if you didn’t do it right.                                                 COOK Report: So aside from stability
                                              doing the right thing turn off the other
What was done properly was simply                                                           what you see as the key issues underlying
                                              BGP modules.
amazing. I will answer your question                                                        Internet growth over the next couple of
technically but I will also say that I be-                                                  years?
                                              I believe that there are four major prob-
lieve that the reason the PSTN has            lems with the Internet in terms of stabili-
worked is because it had to work. I guar-                                                   Freedman: Until broadband really be-
                                              ty. Nortel actually articulated this for me
antee you that the guy who maintains the                                                    comes broadband and networks get better
                                              and I believe that they’re right. Router
5E switch knows how it is used. I will                                                      and bigger connectivity to each other I
                                              software. Router user interface that caus-
also guarantee you that most router ven-                                                    think we are still at least a year way from
                                              es misconfiguration. Fiber. And a distant

                                                              24
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
having scaling problems all over the vides? It can be summarized by the fol- means that it is transparent to IP address-
place. UUNET is having scaling prob- lowing points:                                     ing schemes and the IP routing protocols.
lems that they are really the only ones                                                 Our Service Level Agreement provides
having today.                             It is a virtual connection (we call it a log- for 95 th percentile one-way latency of 5
                                          ical wire) with an Ethernet interface ms and packet loss of less than .004%.
UPDATE: Since our interview Netaxs (10/100/1000).                                       The SLAalso provides monetary guaran-
has sold 4 dedicated circuits on their                                                  tees for downtime and missed installation
Philly ring, and 7 circuits on the NYC- Each logical wire has a Bandwidth Pro- commitments.
DC route, though the system is being file that allows bursts up to 75K bytes
brought up still, so the customers aren’t and a selectable average bandwidth or 1, We could go on but we think that this
live.                                     2, …, 20, 25, 30, …, 100, 150, … Mbps. makes the point that there is more to our
                                          The price of the logical wire is a function service than just throwing together some
Response from Bob                         of the Bandwidth Profile with the cost Ethernet switches. Furthermore, we agree
                                          per Mbps dropping as the bandwidth in- that ultimately it is our performance that
Klessig                                   creases. By using Gigabit Ethernet will earn us the trust of our customers.
Mr. Freedman makes a number of nega- switches, link aggregation, and wave di- We would welcome the opportunity to go
tive comments about Metropolitan Area vision multiplexing, our network equip- into the additional details of our network
Network providers, such as Telseon, who ment costs are about one tenth that of a with Mr. Freedman to start to earn his
use Gigabit Ethernet in their infrastruc- similar capacity SONET ring network.          trust. Several of the principals in Telseon
ture. It appears that many of his concerns                                                   have experience with industry standards
                                                New logical wires between two authoriz-      and the attendant “mumbo jumbo.” We
are based on the fact that he is consider-
                                                ing customers can be set up in minutes       know it when we see it and you have our
ing how a service such as Telseon’s
                                                via our on line provisioning system and      “no mumbo jumbo” promise!
would work for something for which it is
                                                in a few hours via a telephone call to our
not well suited. In particular, he is look-
                                                Customer Support Center. Bandwidth
ing to connect two large routers together
                                                Profiles on existing virtual connections     Avi Freedman Responds
with a Gbps or faster link. It is safe to as-
                                                can be changed even more quickly.
sume that the traffic between the routers                                                    Just a few points on Bob’s response:
is highly concentrated and that the
                                                Whenever a logical wire is established or
routers will be in place for a long time.                                                    There are no applications or software de-
                                                the bandwidth profile increased, Telseon
As Mr. Freedman says, this is a great                                                        manding highly granular and changeable
                                                developed software analyzes the network
scenario for a dedicated link such as dark                                                   bandwidth today that I know of from Net
                                                to insure that both a primary and a sec-
fiber if it is available.                                                                    Access or Akamai.
                                                ondary path exist with sufficient spare
                                                bandwidth to fully accommodate the
But Telseon is offering a switched serv-                                                     The base cost of Telseon and Yipes! 1mb-
                                                change. If capacity does not exist, the
ice. It provides for new data connections                                                    over-100mb/1000mb services are as
                                                change is not effected. If capacity does
in minutes to hours between any two                                                          much as customers will shortly be able to
                                                exist, the bandwidth is reserved. We do
points on a Telseon metropolitan net-                                                        pay Net Access, and probably Enron and
                                                not oversubscribe our network.
work. Bandwidth choices are highly                                                           others for a 100mb provably dedicated
granular and quickly changed. The                                                            pipe.
                                                Utilization reports on a logical wire are
Telseon network is designed for busi-
                                                available via a standard Web browser.
nesses that need to have dynamic rela-                                                       Analyses and promises are no substitute
tionships with customers and partners.                                                       for proof of infrastructure where the pos-
                                                Primary and secondary paths are always       sibility for aggregation follows.
                                                available for each logical wire to fully
Certainly the communications business
                                                protect against a single link or switch
tends to hyperbole with a strong tenden-                                                     SLAs are interesting if you’ll guarantee
                                                failure.
cy to characterize every new idea and                                                        me 3-4 months credit for any failure due
technology as the Glorious Ultimate So-                                                      to aggregation. An SLA can cover
                                                Bandwidth Profiles are enforced at the
lution for all known communication                                                           99.9999999% but if the financial teeth
                                                ingress to the network to ensure that one
problems. At Telseon we avoid such                                                           aren’t there, it’s meaningless.
                                                logical wire cannot interfere with another
claims and understand that a switched
                                                logical wire.
service is not the absolute best fit for Mr.                                                 And in summary, I wish them well, of
Freedman’s need to connect big routers.                                                      course - I just don’t see the application
                                                Security features include intrusion detec-
But describing our service in the wrong                                                      for their model in the enterprise or ISP
                                                tion, MAC address spoofing lockout, and
context obscures information that is use-                                                    markets.
                                                monitoring for unauthorized customer
ful to the readers of the Cook Report.
                                                equipment on logical wires.
What is the service that Telseon pro-
                                                The logical wire operates at layer 2 that
                                                                  25
ICANN and VeriSign in Alliance to
Reinstate Defacto NSI Dot Com Monopoly
in Return For Financial Support of ICANN
ICANN's Pattern of Fraudulent and Deceitful Action Continues
With Board's Capitulation to Staff and Vint Cerf in Melbourne
ICANN was imposed on the Internet             been fed a myth that ICANN was estab-                                 ership will automatically extend its abili-
with the promise that it would limit itself   lished to carry out a mission of technical                            ty to operate the .com/.net/.org registries
to technical coordination and abjure pol-     coordination and consensus management                                 for an additional four years is a powerful
icy. It was created with the promise that     designed to allow the internet industry to                            incentive to cause that separation to hap-
it would bring the arrogant behavior of       self regulate.        This statement of                               pen. On the other hand, that ownership
Network Solutions under control and free      ICANN’s “purpose” has been fraudulent                                 separation is clearly not as valuable to
the Internet from having to operate under     from day one. What we have been given                                 the community or ICANN under today’s
the growing dominance of a company            instead is an ICANN -Verisign duopoly                                 market conditions as it appeared it would
uninterested in playing by the basic rules    that is also free from any of the con-                                be at the time the agreement was signed.”
of internetworking norms. And most of         straints of due process to be expected in
all it was hyped as the fulfillment of the    the process of government regulation                                  "Given these circumstances, the manage-
industrys promise to self regulate so that    based on civil and administrative law in-                             ment of ICANN and VeriSign began ex-
the US government would not have to. It       stead of on the whim of two parties. The                              ploring whether there was an alternative
is now starkly clear that all these promis-   one motivated by commercial greed                                     set of arrangements that would be more
es should never have been taken serious-      while the other is motivated by reliance                              attractive to both parties. The result of
ly.                                           on the first as the predominant source of                             those discussions, which have been on-
                                              its revenue.                                                          going since last summer but more in-
ICANN’s JDRPlawyers run it according                                                                                tensely over the last two months, is a pro-
to their own agenda which, to the extent      Lets examine what happened. From                                      posal that VeriSign has now made to the
it can be fathomed, is that of the trade-     h t t p : / / w w w. i c a n n . c o m / m e l b o u r n e / p r o-   ICANN Board to amend the existing reg-
mark industry. These attorneys, and the       posed-verisign-agreements-topic.htm                                   istry agreement.”
staff speak a language that purports to       we read: “Perhaps most relevantly,
make decisions based on cooperation and       VeriSign’s once-dominant market posi-                                 What the obscenity of industry self-regu-
consensus spawned by open decision            tion has been severely eroded. VeriSign’s                             lation “ICANN style” has permitted is
making. The words of this language bear       share of total registrations has fallen to                            the unchecked growth of the alliance be-
no relationship to any reality. Listening     about 50%, its share of new registrations                             tween ICANN and Network Solutions
to ICANN is like listening to the cascade     to under 40%, and its share of net new                                the first stage of which was brokered by
of lies purporting to be truth that comes     registrations (taking into account non-re-                            IBM in the secret meeting held in down
flooding forth from Big Brother in Or-        newals and transfers) to an even lower                                town Washington on July 31, 1999. The
well’s 1984. The arrogant clique of           level. This trend appears to be continuing                            ICANN strategists at IBM and ISOC had
ICANNites gets away with what they do         in 2001.                                                              ridden to power trumpeting a holy mis-
because they have established a rogue                                                                               sion to restrain an unfettered greedy mo-
regulatory bureaucracy so complex that        “For all these reasons, when ICANN and                                nopoly given NSI by the National Sci-
only a handful of full time ICANN             Verisign began to discuss VeriSign’s                                  ence Foundation. Becky Burr, as a mat-
watchers can adequately grasp the enor-       plans to divest itself of its registrar busi-                         ter of alleged public interest, had wrested
mity of the fraud being perpetrated in the    ness so as to qualify for the automatic                               control of the government’s power over
name of the new Board Chair, Internet         four-year extension to operate the                                    NSI from NSF and given it to the IBM
“father” Vinton Cerf. Hash words are          .com/.net/.org registries, it quickly be-                             friendly Commerce Department. Maga-
these. But we believe they are deserved       came apparent that the importance and                                 ziner was able to give birth to a highly
because the duplicity of these people         value of the separation of ownership of                               secretive and authoritarian ICANN be-
seems to know no boundaries.                  VeriSign’s registry and registrar busi-                               cause he, Mike Roberts, Esther Dyson,
                                              nesses to ICANN and the community had                                 John Patrick and others who were in-
What follows is the latest example.           diminished quite significantly over the                               volved were shrewd enough to focus at-
ICANN is in full collusion with Verisign      15 months since the original registry                                 tention on the perception that NSI was
as the new owners of Network Solutions        agreement was signed. While VeriSign                                  the evil monopoly from the grasp of
to run the Internet through the DNS con-      might well wish to retain its registrar                               which ICANN would free Internet users
trol point as a duopoly. The public has       business, the fact that separation of own-                            by opening the domain name space and

                                                                        26
                        COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
introducing competition. I asked Maga-                                                    turned out to be the dot org registry. In a
ziner in a September 1998 interview what Here is how Verisign CEO Stratton move clothed as a gift to non profits and
got the US government involved in the Sclavos justified his actions in a letter of NGOs, they falsified the purpose of the
DNS, He told me that in November or February                         28,            2001. dot org name as being always intended
December of 1996 representatives of two http://www.icann.com/nsi/sclavos-letter- for non profits and promised to find a
large corporations asserted to a meeting 28feb01.htm                                      ‘non profit’ organization to run the reg-
of his Internet task for that the commer-                                                 istry and return it to its original purposes
cial promise of the Internet would never “For all of these changes in the term pe- — adding that such unnamed organiza-
be realized if trademark violations in riods and provisions in the agreements tion would determine the conditions
DNS names were not brought under con- for .com, .net and .org, and the further under which registrants could keep their
trol. This is what powered well hidden commitments discussed below, we have names. In doing so they delivered to the
the moves over the next two years to mutually agreed to modify the current trade mark industry the opportunity to
form ICANN.                                  provision in the .com agreement concern- put out of business dot org web sites set
                                             ing the procedures for any subsequent up to criticize corporations – such sites
The problem by the summer of 1999 was agreement.”                                         often             being               named
that no one had stepped forward to pay                                                    “corporation”sucks.org
ICANN’s bills. ICANN’s request for an “We have accepted new and substantial
annual one dollar per domain name tax obligations on the part of all three reg- As Sclavos phrased it: “We would agree
had been met with derision. ICANN’s istries to pay fees, as part of ICANN’s to terminate our operation of the registry
assertion of control over the DNS and cost recovery program, identical to those for .org on December 31, 2002 and to co-
trade mark issues depended on Network paid by similarly situated registries. Be- operate with ICANN in transitioning .org
Solutions becoming an accredited regis- cause there is an existing fee structure al- to management by a new, non-profit or-
trar. Burr had been threatening to recom- ready in place for these registries and the ganization representing the global uni-
pete the Network Solutions contract. accredited registrars that register names verse of non-profit organizations. Among
NSI’s long term financial interests de- in them, there will have to be a transition the issues to be determined in this transi-
pended on postponing such an event for plan to move to the new fee system; that tion is whether .org should be limited to
as long as possible. ICANN’s long term transition will be the subject of continu- registrations only by non-commercial en-
interests depended on tapping into the ing negotiations between ICANN and tities, and if so, what transition arrange-
NSI cash cow in order to be able to col- VeriSign, with the objective of coming to ments need to be established for those ex-
lect enough money to pay for the multi an agreed transition before these agree- isting registrants that would not qualify
million dollar annual bills of its law ments become final that can be put in under that limitation. ICANN has agreed
firms, business class tickets for board place by the end of ICANN’s fiscal year that, at a minimum, existing registrants
members quarterly junkets to board on June 30, 2001. ICANN has committed would be permitted to remain in the new
meetings and so called "essential tasks" that the final agreement will ensure that .org registry for one renewal cycle under
like the $440,000 bill announced on VeriSign will not pay more than its pro- its new management. In addition, and as
March                 9,               2001 portional share of the overall Variable another part of the transition process, all
http://www.atlargestudy.org/budget7.sht Registry-Level Fee (currently capped at ICANN-accredited registrars would con-
ml for Swedish technocrat Carl Bildt’s $3.5 million for all registries) as meas- tinue to be permitted to register qualify-
study expected to justify getting rid of the ured by its share of registrations, and that ing names in the .org TLD for three years
at large membership.                         an appropriate mechanism will be includ- after termination of our operation of the
                                             ed to ensure that any future increases in .org registry, during which period the
The result was that at the end of Septem- this Fee can be offset by appropriate in- new registry could develop whatever reg-
ber of 1999 ICANN and NSI signed creases in the fees that VeriSign charges istration policies for the future it thought
agreements that turned them from ene- to accredited registrars, on the same basis appropriate. Our objective is to provide a
mies into the best of friends. In return for as that set forth in the registry agreements permanent and affordable home on the
guaranteed payment of a major portion of for new TLDs. We believe that this regu- Internet for the non-profit sector and in
ICANN’s budget NSI was guaranteed larization of the fee structure with respect so doing make a major effort to close the
control of dot com for several additional to the .com, .net, and .org registries will digital divide on a worldwide scale. To
years. Given the lack of any oversight further assure ICANN’s financial stabili- see this through, we also would agree to
NSI and ICANN remained fee to contin- ty and enable it to accomplish the impor- support the new non-profit .org registry
ue their collusion. ICANN remained in tant tasks ahead.”                                  operator, and provide it with a contribu-
need of guaranteed budgetary cash flow.                                                   tion of $5 million that would be used for
NSI’s new masters (Verisign) wanted ICANN and Verisign had in effect con- an endowment to help cover its operating
their monopoly on dot com reinstated and spired to ensure ICANN’s financial via- expenses. Further, we also agree to make
guaranteed in perpetuity. Never mind bility by building in the right to arbitrary available to the party designated by
that such action was a stark reversal of annual rises in fees. In a bizarre twist ICANN as successor operator of the .org
the commitments on which ICANN Verisign had to be made to appear to be registry the use of global resolution and
grabbed what power it now holds.             giving up something. That something distribution facilities at no charge for one
                                                                27
                                              The COOK Report on Internet May 2001
year.”                                        [financially] attractive specifically to      “ICANN has agreed that, at a minimum,
                                              VRSN?                                         existing registrants would be permitted to
Of all the violence done by language to                                                     remain in the new .org registry for one
the truth in these agreements Sclavos’as-     “ICANN management believes that there         renewal cycle under its new manage-
sertion that “Our objective is to provide a   is a persuasive argument that amending        ment.”
permanent and affordable home on the          the existing registry agreement with
Internet for the non-profit sector and in     VeriSign as proposed would be of far          Rony: Meanwhile, registrars have been
so doing make a major effort to close the     more benefit to the Internet community,       collecting fees for playing upon the para-
digital divide on a worldwide scale.” —       and do more to enhance long-term com-         noia of registrants to protect their names
stands preeminent. What is diving these       petition, than would the continuation of      in all three TLDs. Does ICANN really
events is raw and naked corporate greed       the existing agreement”                       need to give us yet another reason to hate
– nothing more and nothing less.                                                            it’s manipulative ways.
                                              Rony: ICANN management? That be
The Melbourne Australia ICANN Board           whom, Sims/Touton/McL?? Persuasive            Also on March 1 Milton Mueller wrote:
meeting (March 10 -12, 2001) offered a        argument? Let’s hear it.                      I just read the contract. This is regulation
predicatble charade. Even the loyal op-                                                     by contract. Prices are set, reservations
position of long time watchers and critcis    “The rationale is that ownership separa-      are made to set policy (as Michael points
fouund it diffficult to contain themself-     tion is no longer necessary or useful in      out below), not just technical standards
seves in the face of policy made in secret    promoting competition, so long as the         but codes of conduct and particular data
by Vint Cerf as new Chair, Jones Day          structural separation is effective in ac-     formats. It’s also a way to finance
Reavis and Pogue.                             complishing the basic purpose.”               ICANN. UP to15% annual increases in
                                                                                            the contribution of the registry industry
The not for attriibution comments by key      Rony: Could someone please translate          to ICANN, for no particular reason.
figures were filled with outrage. Critc:      this ICANNspeak for me. Separate build-
"With no warning, with the text of the        ings required, but not separate owner-        Isn’t this the template contract they will
agreements not even published, the            ship? Buildings provide a separation of       apply to the new TLDs? I’m afraid my
Board accepted a series of contracts that     conflict but financial assimulation does-     longstanding FCC analogy is being
turn ICANN into a super-regulator for         n’t?                                          played out to the max, to a degree that
the internet. These new rules will make                                                     surprises even me. I see that Froomkin as
ICANN rich, and make ICANN a highly           “This reflects ICANN’s belief that there      usual is already fully on top of this. He’s
intrusive regulator of registries. And this   is little if any additional competitive       right. This contract represents the fully
happens without advance notice to the         value under today’s market circum-            developed model of what ICANN
public that this decision was to be pro-      stances in forbidding the registry opera-     has/will become. Complete leveraging of
posed. Indeed Karl didn't know it was         tor from also being a registrar, so long as   the root to regulate the industry and im-
coming. I bet they didn't tell Andrew M-      it is done is such a way so as not to dis-    pose name-related policies.
M either. I think we've all just been had,    criminate against other competitive reg-
big time." Observer: "You guys still          istrars.”                                     Rony: RFC1591 states: ORG - This do-
think you can reform ICANN?" Critc:                                                         main is intended as the miscellaneous
"No. Right now I think the time has           Rony: ICANN’s justification for just          TLD for organizations that didn’t fit any-
come to ask Congress to abolish it.           doing a 180 degree turnabout.                 where else
Maybe I'll feel calmer after a good
night's sleep."                               “VeriSign would agree to permit any           So ICANN is unilaterally scrapping the
                                              ICANN-accredited registry operator (in-       RFC definition and providing a jackpot
                                              cluding .org) access to its global zone       for VRSN, all the while providing insuf-
BWG and Other                                 resolution and distribution facilities at
                                              terms to be determined. “
                                                                                            ficient time for public comment before
                                                                                            completing this landmark agreement.
Mail List Reaction                                                                          Further, by indulging in such market ma-
                                              Rony: Would someone please explain            nipulation as outlined in this agreement,
On March 1, Ellen Rony commented to
                                              the technical ramifications of this.          it has blatantly violated its charter as a
BWG.
                                                                                            technical coordinator. VRSN’s dropping
                                              “The elimination of special rules or pro-     market share in registrations was an in-
ICANN writes, “ the management of
                                              visions dealing with VeriSign is an im-       evitable consequence of introducing
ICANN and VeriSign began exploring
                                              portant step forward in the ICANN             competition among registrars. While it
whether there was an alternative set of
                                              process.”                                     may be at 50%, it still is five times larg-
arrangements that would be more attrac-
                                                                                            er than the second place registrar and
tive to both parties”.
                                              Rony: All the while making special rules      even at the lower market share certainly
                                              or provisions in dealing with VRSN.           has far more customers than it did two
Rony: Why is a technical coordinator
                                                                                            years ago. And what does any of this
working on arrangements that would be
                                                              28
                          COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
have to do with technical administration and the press precluded from participat- perfectly well, ICANN defines and im-
of the Internet?                               ing. This was in fact a congratulatory an- plements policy through its contracts
                                               nouncement staged for the financial com- with registries and registrars. If the
Mueller: the key here is to look at the munity, and it worked. But ICANN is DNSO cannot have any role in approving
ORG contract as a model for how hardly a neutral industry facilitator of a these contracts, then it has no influence
ICANN plans to license all registries in proposal between Verisign and the pub- over policy.
the future: on a short tether, paying huge lic.
fees to ICANN, totally subject to its IP-                                                 Your decision that ORG must be assigned
friendly policies, regulated, etc. etc.        Conspiracy? No. Brilliant business deal- to a non-profit organization is a policy
                                               ing on Verisign Inc.’s part? Yes. On decision. Deciding that registrations in
In the original concept of DNS, a name ICANN Inc.’s part, too. And that’s the ORG will be limited to “non-profit or-
delegation, at the top or any other level, problem.                                       ganizations” is also a policy decision
was a delegation of authority to manage a                                                 (one that, contrary to your assertions, has
domain. This is a major shift in that struc- Semantic Double Speak                        no basis in RFC 1591 or any other prior
ture. The administrator of the top level                                                  decision, and could have a substantial
controls everything, and simply allows by ICANN’s Attorneys                               impact on current registrants in that
tld operators to operate name servers and On March 2, Bret Fausett: I recommend space).
collect some money for their troubles.         for your weekend reading pleasure a very
                                               interesting exchange between Milton and Your decision that the current level of
Richard J. Sexton: Roberts, Touton, the forces of evil (Touton and Sims) on market competition justifies allowing in-
McLaughlin say the new .org will be “for the NC List.                                     tegrated ownership of COM registrar and
the specific use of nonprofit organiza-                                                   registry is a huge policy decision. Per-
tions,” and that under this deal .org will It’s a thread that started with my post on sonally I agree with it but on procedural
be “returned . . . to its original function as Thursday to the Names Council (“Rea- rather than substantive grounds, it flies in
a registry operated by and for nonprofit sonable Opportunity for Comment”). At the face of ICANN’s process to say that
organizations.” Go tell them that their various times, we had responses from registrar and registry and other impacted
history is bad.                                Roberts, Touton, and finally Sims. Milton constituencies have no vote on it.
                                             steered the conversation in the right di-
Karl Auerbach: I notice that in these                                                         Fixing the price of a registry is a regula-
                                             rection, focusing on the various “policy”
contracts the price that the registry may                                                     tory policy decision. Taxing the registry
                                             issues imbedded within the proposed
charge may be increased by amendment.                                                         to support ICANN (at a rate that increas-
                                             Verisign contracts. Sims takes the rather
But there is nothing to force the registry                                                    es 15% a year, interestingly) is a policy
                                             incredible position that anything in a con-
to reduce prices due to more efficient op-                                                    decision. Don’t you think registrar and
                                             tract is not a policy (yes, the distinction is
erations. In other words the contracts                                                        registry constituencies, including the
                                             apparently a matter of form, not sub-
guarantee a price floor and do not form                                                       ccTLDs, have a right to review and ap-
                                             stance).
any sort of cost+profit allowance struc-                                                      prove those decisions?
ture. So under these contracts there is no   All the posts are linked from here
reason for internet users ever to expect a                                                    The fact that these contracts are used as a
                                             <http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/coun-
reduction in the $6 fee, NSI has a perma-                                                     template that will most likely be applied
                                             cil/Arc04/mail15.html>
nent $6 lock on .com names, forever.                                                          to all future registries also has long term
                                                                                              policy implications. A policy of “pre-
                                             And here <http://www.dnso.org/clubpub-
Mueller: This is what happens when the                                                        sumptive renewal” for COM is, well, a
                                             lic/council/Arc04/mail16.html>
people who regulate an industry have no                                                       policy. Frankly, Louis, I am appalled at
experience in regulation and run around                                                       the ICANN staff’s total abandonment of
                                             I know this was the thinking underlying
denying that they are engaged in regula-                                                      the bottom-up concept.
                                             the rejection of Karl’s request for recon-
tion.                                        sideration last year, but the philosophy of
                                                                                              And on March 4: Touton: Thanks for
                                             staff has never been laid bare so com-
Judith Oppenheimer: There are only                                                            transmitting the Gomes memo. It adds
                                             pletely. Kudos to Milton for pushing this.
two corporate entities to this deal:                                                          value to the discussion. To me, it proves
Verisign and ICANN. They are the cor-                                                         that a major policy change (IANA being
                                             Louis Touton: How do you come to the
porate entities the deal is structured to                                                     the [informal] policy authority at the
                                             conclusion that the NC “must approve”
benefit. And its the board of one of them                                                     time) took place in early 1996.
                                             the agreements? The DNSO/NC’s role
whose vote will close the deal.              within ICANN is to make recommenda-
                                                                                              I could quibble with your interpretation
                                             tions for new substantive policies. It does
One only need observe how enthusiasti-                                                        of 1591 and 920 - as you could with mine
                                             not have any role in approving new or re-
cally yesterday’s “Verisign” press confer-                                                    - but isn’t that irrelevant at this point?
                                             vised agreements.
ence was championed by ICANN, with                                                            Whatever was the “original intent” in
opening remarks made by Mike Roberts                                                          1984 when ORG was created, there were
                                             Mueller: Utter nonsense. As you know
                                                              29
                                                The COOK Report on Internet May 2001
less than 100 registrations in it then. 5       said they were an Internet service            services. Andrew answers that for
years have passed and 2 million new reg-        provider, we took their word for it, un-      CENTR to draft up, and ICANN to agree
istrations have taken place since the pol-      derstanding that the definition of an In-     on, a single “contract” to be used by all
icy was changed, completely transform-          ternet service provider was becoming in-      of the ccTLDs to purchase services from
ing the nature of ORG. We are facing a          creasingly blurred and that it would be       ICANN smacks of illegal price-fixing or
completely different situation now.             extremely difficult to investigate claims     something, *so he tells them to change
                                                made by applicants. A similar problem         the name*. Silliness. Either there’s an an-
Changing ORG to turn it over to a non-          existed with .ORG, determining whether        titrust issue here or there isn’t (I think
profit, and restricting registrations in that   or not an organization was not-for-profit.    there isn’t), but if there is one changing
space, may or may not be a good idea.                                                         the name isn’t going to fix it.
But semantic debates about “original in-        In light of these issues, we consulted
tent” don’t contribute anything of value        with the IANA (Jon Postel). Jon specifi-      Bret Fausett: Isn’t one significant prob-
to that policy debate. Can we agree on          cally recommended that we stop screen-        lem facing ICANN the fact that the orig-
that? It seems so obvious to me.                ing for compliance and instead rely on        inal NSI-ICANN-DoC agreements did
                                                registrants to choose the appropriate         not specify the nature of the divestiture.
I have another important question for           TLD. We then followed Jon’s recommen-         If you listened to the Verisign conference
you. I am rather puzzled by your partici-       dation.                                       call with analysts last month, you heard a
pation in this debate in a way that reveals                                                   number of “creative” solutions discussed
a strong commitment to the policy that          The point here is not to blame the change     about what the divestiture of the registrar
ORG should be run in a certain way. I am        on Jon but rather to communicate that it      would look like.
new to the Names Council, so forgive me         was not a unilateral decision by NSI. The
if this is an uninformed question, but I        decision was made in consultation with        One thing they considered was “selling”
was under the impression that domain            the IANAand was made to deal with spe-        the registrar business, but then contract-
name policies are supposed to be made           cific problems experienced when imple-        ing with the purchaser to continue to pro-
by Board members, constituency mem-             menting the RFC 1591 guidelines. As           vide the “Network Solutions” customer
bers and their elected representatives.         others have pointed out, the Internet has     experience under contract, using the
My understanding is that you are hired          changed drastically since RFC 1591 was        name trademarks, web site, etc. on a fee
by ICANN as a staff lawyer to carry out         written. The changes related to .NET and      per domain name basis.
the corporation’s policies, not to make         .ORG domain name registrations are
them. I certainly value and welcome your        eamples of dealing with some of those         I don’t pretend to know whether there are
legal advice, but I don’t think it is appro-    changes.                                      legal standards on what constitutes di-
priate for you to be actively promoting a                                                     vestiture, but I’m sure Verisign has spent
specific policy approach. Am I incorrect?       To date, NSI still attempts to enforce        significant sums on legal analysis of that
                                                RFC 1591 guidelines with regard to            issue over the last year. When you look
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000                          .EDU registrations. That has become in-       back at the original agreements, they
From: “Gomes, Chuck”                            creasingly difficult as the number of reg-    contain no guidelines on what the di-
Subject: Re: network solutions new              istrations have grown. Moreover, regis-       vestiture should look like, who the pur-
pitch. X-                                       trants are typically very dissatisfied with   chaser could be, what approvals ICANN
To: Michael Sondow                              the response times because the requests       and the DoC had over the plan, etc. In
                                                have to be processed manually. Fortu-         other words, ICANN made a terrible
The topic of RFC 1591 guidelines for            nately, the number of .EDU second-level       deal.
.NET and .ORG registrations was talked          registrations still does not come close to
about many months ago, but it might be          the number of .NET and .ORG registra-         Against some of the things that NSI
helpful to restate some points in that re-      tions in 1996.                                wanted to do with the divestiture,
gard. In the first part of 1996, NSI was                                                      ICANN had zero contractual leverage to
still attempting to enforce the RFC 1591        Bret Fausett: Good ol’ Andrew. Now            push it in any different way. This new
guidelines with regard to .NET and              he’s an antitrust lawyer, too.                deal is a way out.
.ORG second-level domain name regis-
trations. Unfortunately, checking for           See: <http://www.centr.org/meetings/ga-       The Foreign Language
compliance had to be done manually,             9/legal-report.html>
thereby making the response time much                                                         Domain Cash Cow
slower. This was compounded by the              Jonathan Weinberg: This is pretty             COOK Report: In the meantime one of
rapid growth of .NET and .ORG registra-         amusing. The document in question is          the reasons for judging as false ICANN’s
tions. In addition, we found this: in at-       CENTR’s draft ICANN-ccTLD contract.           expressed concern about NSI’s declining
tempting to ensure compliance with the          CENTR wants to call it a “contract for        dot com registration percentage is NSI’s
guidelines, we found ourselves penaliz-         services” to emphasize its view that          unchecked foray into foreign language
ing those who were honest and rewarding         ICANN’s role vis-a-vis the ccTLDs is          domain names. The first few months of
those who were willing to lie. If someone       simply to provide them with root-server
                                                                30
                        COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
its registration of non ascii domains at *can’t* be expres- sed in ASCII without
$200 a name yielded several hundred losing the diacriticals—Americanizing it, ...thereby providing a ‘technical’basis for
thousand new customers. A good exam- as it were. (Can RACE handle apostro- the regulation of
ple of the mischief being done is reflect- phes? I doubt it.) So, in order to represent
ed in the following exchange.               it “in French” using RACE, it’d need to [1]                http://search.ietf.org/internet-
                                            be a “bq—” string.                          drafts/draft-ietf-idn-race-03.txt
On March 4 Ellen Rony cited a quote
from the e-zine The Register “Mean- The inclusion of several languages with Editor: Finally the pre Melbourne
while, we’re gonna have to get round to strong common roots in Latin will initiate ICANN board meeting string off arrogant
registering www.leregistre.com, www.el- a whole new class of UDRPproceedings: decrees ended with put downs to the
registro.com and dieregister.com.” Rony is “liberation.org” confusingly similar to loosers in what began to be referred to as
asked: That can’t be correct? Those do- “libération.org”? There are traditional or- the ICANN lottery for new gTLDs.
main names don’t require multilingual thographic hacks for getting around prob-
translation because they all use the same lems like this, for example, the represen- Fausett: Here they come folks
alphabet set as English.                    tation of the german “ö” as “oe”. So the < h t t p : / / w w w. i c a n n . o rg / c o m m i t t e e s / r e-
                                            government formerly known as the consideration/>
On March 5 Ted Byfield responded: Haider regime in Austria, which has stud-
yeah—whoever wrote that was joking, ied at the feet of Milosevic when it comes “Because we conclude the process was
Ellen, but making a sharp point nonethe- to cultural manipulations, might say that fair, and resulted in a rational conclusion
less. with these ‘multiligualizations,’ it wants fpo.org—or fpoe.org (ASCII) or that met the objectives of the exercise as
which are driven more by marketing than fpö.org (ren- dered RACE) based on how announced at the beginning, there is no
by engineering or an eye on coherent pol- it decides to represent the “O” in “Öster- basis for reconsidering the Board’s selec-
icy development, we can soon expect to reich.”                                          tions. Even if, for the purposes of argu-
see ‘collisions’ of that kind.                                                          ment, there were factual errors made, or
                                            This mess takes on new levels of com- there was confusion about various ele-
Rony: French, Spanish and German (and plexity with every lan- guage included in ments of a proposal, or each member of
other languages among the 50+ new ones the multilingual testbed. and ICANN, our the Board did not fully understand all the
in the testbed) use predominantly the alleged ‘technnical coordinating body,’is details of some of the proposals, this
same alphabet with exception of some holding valedic- tory teleconferences would still not provide a compelling
letters with accents grave and agui (?), with the organization (‘chinese walls’ basis for reconsideration of the Board’s
umlauts and such.                           notwithstanding) is bringing DNS to conclusion. Given the uniqueness of this
                                            nadirs no one dreamed of only a few process, the inherent subjectivity of cer-
Byfield: yes.                               months ago—well, except for the knuck- tain of the criteria involved, the in-
                                            lehead Paul Hoffman who intimated what evitable difficulty of reaching consensus
Rony: So, if I register croix.com, a f… up his pet RACE was when he on a fact-intensive evaluation of many
whether in English and croix.com in wrote:                                              times the number of proposals that could
French, it would require the same ASCII                                                 possibly have been selected, and the lim -
characters. Under this testbed, will Note that a zone administrator might still ited objective of finding a small number
French language be translated under choose to use “bq—” at the beginning of of acceptable proposals for this initial
RACE, so the French word “croix” be- a host name part even if that part does not proof of concept, it would not serve the
comes bq—tdgxcbvjnt or something contain internationalized characters. interests of the community to essentially
weird like that. Wouldn’t people prefer to Zone administrators SHOULD NOT cre- allow these decisions to be reargued on
see the familiar croix.com to some bq— ate host part names that begin with “bq— grounds over which, at best, reasonable
weirdness. Thus, a word in French, Span- ” unless those names are post-converted people could differ. Given ICANN’s stat-
ish, German that doesn’t use the umlaut names. Creating host part names that ed goal in this process, which we believe
or unusual characters wouldn’t go begin with “bq—” but that are not post- has been met, there is no compelling rea-
through any RACE transformation. Is converted names may cause two distinct son to reconsider the Board’s selections.”
that correct?                               problems. Some display systems, after
                                            converting the post-converted name part Judith Oppenheimer: “Since it was
Byfield: maybe this’ll help: In addition to back to an internationalized name part, clear from the beginning that only a lim-
being a “french” word, “croix” is also an might display the name parts in a possi- ited number would be selected, no appli-
alphabetical string that can be expressed bly-confusing fashion to users. More se- cant could have had any reason to believe
in ASCII—so you can think of it as al- riously, some resolvers, after converting that its application would definitely have
ready-multingual. it doesn’t need any the post-converted name part back to an been selected, and thus no one can rea-
RACE-type nonsense.                         internationalized name part, might reject sonably claim that they were misled in
                                            the host name if it contains illegal char- any way by the process — which was in
“à-l-américaine” is a French phrase that acters.[1]                                     every respect fully open and transpar-


                                                                         31
                                              The COOK Report on Internet May 2001
ent.”                                         Joe Sims: Declan, since I negotiated the       popriate organization/association/enti-
                                              proposed agreements on behalf of               ty/whatever, which would then make de-
Its the icing on the cake - “open and         ICANN, I thought I should point out that       cisions about .org registration policy.
transparent”. ICANN-speak for Who-            this particular issue is a red herring gen-
Asked-You, Go-F*ck-Yourself.                  erated by bad news reporting. The pro-         Byfield: translation: we’ll delegate the
                                              posed agreements make it clear that what       power to kick out current holders.
BWG attorney: Bottom line: your               will happen to .org after VeriSign gives it
$50,000 bought you a lottery ticket and       up, and what (if anything) will happen to      McLaughlin: I’m always amazed by the
nothing more. Everyone got the same un-       existing registrations, will be the subject    amount of misreporting & hyperventila-
fair treatment, so it doesn’t matter if we    of the normal consensus development            tion about domain name stuff — this
got the facts wrong as we were involved       process over the next year or so. To re-       one’s no exception.
in an exercise in which getting facts right   peat: contrary to some news stories (and
was not a necessary element of making a       an early, incorrect SlashDot posting),         Byfield: (except when it’s IP psychotics
fair decision.                                there have not been (and could not be)         who are hyperventilating, natch.)
                                              any decisions made on either of these is-
Hmm. ICANN’s position is that appli-          sues, since those decisions are obviously      Joe Sims: Obviously, even if future reg-
cants had no right to any particular con-     policy issues that must be resolved by         istrations in .org were limited to non-
sideration other than treatment equally       community consensus. Obviously, even           commercial organizations (which clearly
bad or good as other applicants.              if future registrations in .org were limited   was the original intent), existing registra-
                                              to non-commercial organizations (which         tions could easily be grand fathered if
Two more reactions: 1. If ICANN got           clearly was the original intent), existing     that was thought to be the fair and equi-
facts about A wrong but not about B, did      registrations could easily be grandfa-         table thing to do, as many people argue.
A really get the same treatment as B if       thered if that was thought to be the fair      The point is that this should and will be
both were subjected to the same standard      and equitable thing to do, as many people      debated to a community consensus,
of indifferent care? I don’t think so. Cer-   argue. The point is that this should and       which is the way the process should
tainly if this were an administrative pro-    will be debated to a community consen-         work, so no one is in jeopardy now.
ceeding that wouldn’t hold water. (Again      sus, which is the way the process should
we see how much worse off parties are         work, so no one is in jeopardy now.            Byfield: Jeopardy — say no more.
when limited to ‘private’ remedies; as a
general rule, private parties are allowed     Vint Cerf: The proposal is just a propos-      Vint Cerf: The proposal is just a propos-
to be much more arbitrary, and much           al - and the question of the presence of       al - and the question of the presence of
more sloppy, tan agencies when making         non-not-for-profits in the .org registry is    non-not-for-profits in the .org registry is
decisions. Here’s one decision that does-     still quite open. ICANN has no desire to       still quite open. <...> It seems unlikely
n’t look at all ‘good enough for govern-      create hardship where there isn’t any. It      that existing registrants would be “evict-
ment work’).                                  seems unlikely that existing registrants       ed” without a good deal of discussion
                                              would be “evicted” without a good deal         and planning and for the sake of simplic-
2. If ICANN’s analysis is right, it was       of discussion and planning and for the         ity and fairness, it would seem more rea-
running a lottery. Does that require any      sake of simplicity and fairness, it would      sonable to limit FUTURE registrations -
special licenses under California law?        seem more reasonable to limit FUTURE           the messy part is the possibility of some
                                              registrations - the messy part is the possi-   kind of gold rush to register before such
BWG observer: As if we ever doubted           bility of some kind of gold rush to regis-     registrations (ie of for-profit organiza-
who is the source of policy at ICANN,         ter before such registrations (ie of for-      tions) would no longer be accepted.
these messages from Declan McCul-             profit organizations) would no longer be
lagh’s politech forum show us how “con-       accepted.                                      Byfield: translation: there will be a good
sensus” for the latest contractual turn-                                                     deal of discussion, then they’ll be evict-
about was obtained.                           Byfield: That’s hilarious: Mclaughlin,         ed—because, of course, ‘registration’ in-
                                              Sims, and Cerf all respond in unison?          cludes renewal. It’s clear as day where
Mclaughlin: Declan, We don’t have any         you know something’s up—and it’s not           this is headed.
intention of kicking out existing domain      that the reporting was wrong. Witness the
name holders. The idea is to turn over        fact that Sims, who makes more hay
management of .org to some appopriate         about bad reporting than the others, yet       ICANN Watch Site
organization/association/entity/whatever,     again reasserts that .org had a positive       Revamped
which would then make decisions about         ‘ori- ginal intent.’
.org registration policy. I’m always                                                         Major Resource
amazed by the amount of misreporting &
hyperventilation about domain name
                                              Andrew McLaughlin: We don’t have
                                              any intention of kicking out existing do-
                                                                                             Created
stuff — this one’s no exception.              main name holders. The idea is to turn         In the second half of 1999 attorney David
                                              over management of .org to some ap-
                                                               32
                        COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
Post, got together with Michael the hydra headed monster are now on full We hope that the discussions on this site
Froomkin to create a web site called display.                                           will become a part of reaching consensus
ICANNWatch www.icannwatch.org . It                                                      about where we go from here. We expect
was posited on the suggestion that The site is now centered around an edited that these discussions will also aid in es-
ICANN would create the most significant web forum. At the top left of the home tablishing when, and whether, there is a
impact imaginable on the future of the in- page the reader will find the topic “In- consensus for ICANN-related activities.
ternet and therefore that what ICANN did side ICANNWatch” with the following We hope also that this forum will provide
and how it evolved was a matter of major Links                                          an occasion for us all to think broadly at
concern and deserved “watching”. Dave                                                   times about how to ensure that this com-
Farber joined as a third sponsor editor        LOGIN HERE                               municative tool we call the Internet re-
soon after.                                    Home                                     mains free, accessible, and best able to
                                               Current Topics                           contribute towards human welfare.”
The site served as a place for posting and     Send News
                                               Propose New Thread
then warehousing essays that Post and                                                   The three editors post short essays that
                                               Editors’login
Froomkin wrote as well as essays by oth-                                                they hope will become discussion threads
ers. The essays were usually quite good.       Our Mission                              contributed to by site users who are invit-
Unfortunately whatever contribution Far-       ICANN for Beginners                      ed to register for a log in and password
ber made to the site was never clear. He       FAQ                                      that will allow them to contribute to the
himself contributed no essays.                 From the Archive                         threads. We note that we found the log in
                                               About us                                 process mildly confusing. A conversa-
Early this year Michael Froomkin began         Recommend us                             tion with Michael Froomkin revealed that
devote himself to a major reorganization       Write to us                              to be an artifact of the PHP-Nuke soft-
of the site. The result has been open                                                   ware that the site is based on. This soft-
since the end of February. It is a remark- Under about us we read: “ICAN- ware apparently makes site administra-
able achievement. More important an NWatch.org is brought to you by the joint tion much easier. Given the fact that the
achievement that is quite unique. For the efforts of three different groups, each es- site is quite complex and supported en-
ICANN knowledgeable it serves as a sential in its own way.                              tirely by volunteers, it was the only rea-
kind of guide to what its happening and a                                               sonable way to achieve the desired capa-
gateway with live links to major re- First, there are the selfless techies from bilities. At any rate as long as users ac-
sources. It is a long needed tool that must Mindshare.net without whom none of cept cookies, they will only have to log in
be applied to following what ICANN is this would be possible. They have donat- once with their newly assigned id and
doing for one of the strengths of those ed the servers, plus installed and contin- password. Given the rather slow re-
pushing ICANN has been that with out ue to maintain the code. (This site uses sponse time of the site this is something
any balance, openness and accountability PHP-Nuke, which is free software re- to be generally grateful for.
ICANN has been free to tell repeated lies leased under the open source GNU/GPL
and do so with impunity. What’s more, license.) Second, there are the editors of Beneath the Inside ICANN Watch box is
ICANN has gotten away with doing this ICANNWatch. The founding trio was another box called Useful ICANN sites
because only a tiny handful of people David Post, Michael Froomkin, and
have had the motivation to devote the David Farber, but we expect the list to              ICANN itself [ICANN home page]
countless hours to acquire the necessary change over time. You can find a current           Berkman archive [Berkman Center
expertise.                                  list and short bios here. [Editor: clicking site with archival data from earlier
                                            on the link “here” brings one to the edi- ICANN meetings]
ICANN’s method of operation has been tors page which is much improved over                 ICANN Blog [Brett Fausett’s web log
to talk out of one side of its mouth about the original site. There Dave Farber is of valuable pointers to other ICANN
how it does nothing besides very minor described as “a founder editor of ICAN- sources]
consensus based technical coordination NWatch,” who “has not been active late-             Roving Reporter [Ted Byfields icann
of the DNS. The goal would seem to be ly.” Jonathan Weinberg is described as commentary]
one of convincing the press that it does- the current third active editor.] Third, and       ICANN News(DNH) [from Ellen
n’t have to do more than publish perhaps most important, are the readers Rony’s Domain Name Handbook pages]
ICANN’s press releases.                     and users of ICANNWatch, many of                  CS Democracy Project [CPSR
                                            whom sent in content that we published, ICANN education project]
The new site is designed to put on display and feedback that we appreciated, back           Gouverance de l’Internet [A French
as full a record of ICANN’s operations as when we were a static site. One of the ex- site]
can be gleaned by outsiders. ICANN citing things about our transition to our               ICANN channel [A Geman site]
novices who visit and explore should be new dynamic format is that it will in-             AfrICANN [Forum promoting African
immediately struck by the depth and crease the ways in which our users can interests within ICANN]
breadth of the activities chronicled. No interact with us and (more importantly)           Auerbach diary [This and remaining 3
innocent operation this. The activities of with each other.                             are MAL Directors pages]

                                                               33
                                              The COOK Report on Internet May 2001
  Campos home                                 gave it a highly uninformative web page,      commentator who either is in the dark or
  MKatoh.net                                  that doesn’t tell you who appointed the       comments after the fact. And if you
  Müller-Maguhn home                          members, or when it was formed. It isn’t      doubt that, just try establishing an
                                              updated much either: On March 6, 2001,        ICANN committee on WHOIS with sev-
The next Box: Membership Issues with          the page announced the committee hoped        eral consumer representatives but no one
the following links: NAIS Project; Study      to wrap up its work by January 31, 2001.      from the noted Internet technologists at
Committee HomePage; NAIS data re-                                                           the Motion Picture Association of Amer-
quest; Bildt committee charter; Mem-          The membership of this committee is           ica.
bers’Forum (ICC); ICANN (non) Mem-            truly bizarre. Indeed, the word “rigged”
bers page; ICANN Membership Election          comes to mind. Read on...                     Looks like your registrant data is going
site.                                                                                       to remain a lot more open and transparent
                                              The WHOIS committee membership, the           than ICANN’s procedures.
Finally boxes devoted to recent links at      former “informal group of people/regis-
ICANN Blog for which Brett Faucett de-        trars who have been looking at techni-        [To respond, click the “Send Your Com-
serves much congratulation and to civil       cal/operational aspects of implementa-        ment” button in the yellow box to the
liberties issues summarized under the         tion,” includes only three groups: Four       right.]
heading: Your Rights on Line.                 registrars (CORE, Domain Bank,Mel-
                                              bourne IT, NSI Registrar) The sole cur-       Snookered Again Posted by jon on
Stacked WHOIS Committee                       rent gTLD registry (Verisign) Two lead-       Monday, March 12 @ 21:53:06 MST
Issues First Report Posted by                 ing intellectual property heavyweights        Contributed by michael
michael on Tuesday, March 06 @                and a major telecom:
                                                                                            A few days ago, ICANN CEO Mike
[Editor’s Note: The article below is          the Motion Picture Association of Amer-       Roberts was explaining that the Board
filled with links to other urls. Underlined   ica The Recording Industry Association        had no set agenda for its Melbourne
words indicate links.]                        of America Verizon                            meeting. People who were getting excit-
                                                                                            ed about all the last-minute documents
The Whois Committee today issued its          Depending on what you believe, this           were over-reacting. The usual whining
first report. [WHOIS, for the uninitiated,    group exists either to give the ICANN         from ICANN-bashers. Well, it's even
is the lookup function by which anyone        staff “advice on specific issues that have    worse than it seemed: we're stupid, and
on the net can see the registration data of   arisen in the implementation of existing      we've been snookered again.
any registrant for a domain name in a         Whois provision for registrars” or to
gTLD. See also better-whois.com.] This        cook up new policies on WHOIS.                With no warning to anyone, the ICANN
interim report is fairly tame, but the                                                      staff pulled a bunch of resolutions out of
Committee has a lot left on its agenda.       If the mission of the committee were          their pockets at the last minute. There
                                              purely technical and advisory on imple-       was no public notice. No advance publi-
A long time ago now - last July - the         mentation issues, the exclusion of the        cation. As a result, the entire public com-
ICANN staff let slip that it had created a    most constituencies and the public might      ment period the day before the Board
secret advisory committee to advise it on     be understandable since this primarily        meeting was little more than a pointless
WHOIS issues. This was odd, since             concerns registrars and registries. The in-   farce, since no one except the staff (and
ICANN’s bylaws require it to be open          clusion of major intellectual property in-    maybe the Board?) knew what was on
and transparent. But, not to worry! As        terests, and of none of the other groups      the agenda, and almost no one had time
ICANN Vice-President, Secretary, and          affected by WHOIS, demonstrates that          to wade through the pile of documents.
General Counsel Louis Touton explained        something untoward is afoot. If the ob-
to Roving Reporter Ted Byfield in Octo-       jective is to include the perspective of      The issue of the new gTLD contracts is
ber, 2000, it was not a real committee,       “people” affected by the availability of      especially rank. (Recall, as you read all
just “an informal group of people/regis-      WHOIS, then membership in this group          this, that ICANN is supposed to be "open
trars who have been looking at techni-        shouldn’t be limited to bodies whose pol-     and transparent".)
cal/operational aspects of implementa-        icy agenda is to maximize access to the
tion of the Whois provisions of the           personal data of every registrant. Other      Let's recall the bidding. The gTLD con-
ICANN-NSI Registry Agreement and the          views should be represented too.              tracts were supposed to be agreed by
Registrar Accreditation Agreement.”                                                         Dec. 31, 2000. That would have given us
                                              In the past, when presented with similar      a couple of months to digest and debate
By December, 2000, the body’s cover by        arguments regarding other imbalances in       them. And make no mistake: these con-
now completely blown, Mr. Touton was          representation, ICANN tends to point to       tracts are important if only because they
calling it a committee. He even wrote it a    the availability of email-based comment       are being touted as "template" agree-
letter asking the “committee” to opine on     fora. That, quite simply, is bunk. There is   ments that should shape the relationship
a large number of questions. ICANN            an enormous difference between being at       of future gTLDs to ICANN. Further-
                                              the table and setting agendas, being a        more, these contracts further enshrine the
                                                              34
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
UDRP (whose review was promised for the new gTLDs, they are going to pay posted;
last years, but has yet to materialize), ICANN $3.5 million next year, with the
even as it becomes increasingly clear just possibility of 15% annual increases RESOLVED [01.__] that the Board shall be
                                                                                         notified of the complete posting of the agree-
how unfair that process works out to be. thereafter. Here's the key resolution that ment and appendices for any of the four un-
They undermine the first-come-first passed with only minimal debate:                     sponsored top-level domains (.biz, .info,
serve rule of domain name registration                                                   .name, and .pro) and after that notification
that was always the Internet tradition, Whereas, in resolution 00.89 the Board se- seven days shall be allowed for Board mem-
and give priority rights to (some) corpo- lected seven proposals to operate or sponsor bers to make any additional comments to the
                                           top-level domains for negotiations toward ap- President and General Counsel;
rations over individuals and other corpo- propriate agreements between ICANN and
rations. (You might think such a major the registry operator or sponsoring organiza- RESOLVED [01.__] that in the absence of the
change in the rule that has operated since tion;                                         request of any Board member to the contrary
the start of the Internet might be worth                                                 based on policy considerations, the President
some debate?). They further create a new Whereas, in resolution 00.90 the Board au- is authorized to sign the posted agreements
                                           thorized the President and General Counsel to after the conclusion of those seven days; and
class of reserved names that can't be reg- conduct those negotiations on behalf of
istered by anyone ? a list negotiated in ICANN, subject to further Board approval or RESOLVED [01.__] that upon signature of
secret between the ICANN staff and the ratification, to enter into appropriate agree- the agreements the President is authorized to
new gTLD operators without one wiff of ments;                                            take such actions, including causing reports to
                                                                                         be made to the United States Department of
public participation.
                                              Whereas, the base agreements have been ne-        Commerce, as appropriate to implement the
                                              gotiated with the four selected unsponsored       agreements.
These contracts were produced in a man-       top-level domain registry operators (NeuLev-
ner that made informed public participa-      el, Afilias, Global Name Registry, and Reg-       You know, it's hard to escape the conclu-
tion impossible. And they were negotiat-      istryPro);                                        sion that we are stupid. After everything,
ed only with the parties that had the most                                                      we believed we'd at least get notice, and
                                              Whereas, the base agreements and many of
incentive to cave to ICANN. Divide and        the associated appendices, as completed and       a real debate. It seemed obvious that
conquer. Deals in the dark. That's just       agreed by the negotiators, have been posted       there was no way these contracts could
how ICANN likes it.                           for public comment;                               be approved in Melbourne since almost
                                                                                                no one -- including, I'd bet, most of the
Much of these agreements appeared ear-        Whereas, the Board has received a presenta-       Board -- had time to read them. Indeed,
                                              tion from the General Counsel and the propo-
lier this month; key parts of the agree-      nents on the progress and results of their ne-    those stalwarts of the IPcommunity Mar-
ments in some of the appendixes were          gotiations;                                       ilyn Cade and Steve Metalitz told the
published in the last few days. Some                                                            public forum that more time was needed
parts remain to be published. What we've      Whereas, comments from the public have            to digest the contracts. No one disputed
seen so far, however, seems likely to re-     been received on a web-based public com-          that. And it seemed obvious that if the
                                              ment forum and at a Public Forum held on 12
shape Internet governance in more fun-        March 2001; [This is an especially cruel          Board were going to vote on the con-
damental ways than the VeriSign con-          clause - most of the public comment time was      tracts there might have been some public
tract. But the VeriSign deal got most of      consumed by prepared presentations by invit-      notice of that fact.
the attention, so the gTLD contracts          ed speakers. There was no notice this decision
slipped under the radar.                      was coming down the pike. And there's not         There is obviously value in rolling out
                                              much indication anyone on the Board actual-       TLDs quickly. But at the expense of lay-
                                              ly paid attention to the public comment, and      ing a decent foundation for how ICANN
Mike Roberts deserves a lot of credit         the public couldn't have read all the agree-
here. He as much as promised that the         ments since they weren't published! In any
                                                                                                will regulate TLDs? Is there any way to
Board wasn't going to decide this issue.      event, apparently not one iota of these agree-    salvage anything of lasting value from
You may recall, only a few days ago, Mr.      ments will be altered in light of all this com-   this mess?"
                                              ment.]
Roberts responded to critics by saying                                                          To conclude: the COOK Report finds the
"None, repeat none, of the items [includ-     Whereas, the Board has considered the posted      new ICANN Watch pages to be an ex-
ing the contracts] has been posted for ac-    agreement and appendices, the presentations,      ceptionally valuable set of resources that
tion in Melbourne" And, none of them          and public comments and finds that approval       should be used by everyone who cares
were, even 48 hours before the meeting.       of the agreements is necessary and appropri-      about the future of the Internet “as a
                                              ate to further ICANN's purposes;
Or 24 hours before the meeting. And, in                                                         global resource of incalculable value,”
the end, they didn't decide the VeriSign      It is therefore                                   and who values having “a central point of
contract, but they decided pretty much                                                          reference, a kind of hill overlooking the
everything else. Most importantly, they       RESOLVED [01.__] that the President and           often-chaotic information landscape,
wrote the staff a blank check on the crit-    General Counsel are authorized and requested      from which anyone seeking a better un-
                                              to complete negotiation of the remaining un-
ical matter of the contracts with the new                                                       derstanding of these developments can
                                              sponsored top-level domain appendices as
gTLDs. And ICANN can laugh all the            soon as feasible and to post the resulting ap-    survey the ever-changing terrain.” How-
way to the bank, since in addition to giv-    pendices on the ICANN web site, along with        ever, if someone does not soon move
ing it substantial regulatory powers over     any minor corrections or adjustments to the       against ICANN, we may find that we
                                              base agreement and appendices as already          have lost.

                                                                   35
Optical Border Gateway Protocol
Now Internet Draft
Editor’s Note: On Thursday March 8                                          spend before having a ready-to-publish       vendors will do a product.
we conducted an email interview with                                        spec.
Marc Blanchet. Marc is a principal in the                                                                                I was saying that the second is happen-
Quebec consulting firm Viagenie and has                                     COOK Report: Would you describe              ing, so this probably means that there
done much of the implementation work                                        some of the responses to the Internet        will be some implementation soon avail-
on OBGPfor Canarie and Bill St Arnaud.                                      draft. Just a general description is fine.   able! But as said, I cannot disclose ven-
In early March Marc and his Viagenie                                                                                     dors internal plans.
colleague Florent Parent, and Bill St. Ar-                                  Blanchet: People from different vendors
naud submitted to the IETF a formal In-                                     seem interested. We will actually meet       COOK Report: Do you have a target
ternet Draft <http://www.ietf.org/inter-                                    some of them in Minneapolis.                 date for the proof of concept code for
net-drafts/draft-parent-obgp-01.txt> for                                                                                 testing in the Quebec research network
consideration at the spring IETF in Min-                                    COOK Report: What kinds of products          switch?
neapolis.                                                                   may have the code implemented in
                                                                            them?                                        Blanchet: During the coming summer.
COOK Report: What do you expect or
hope will happen at the IETF meeting in                                     Blanchet: We don’t have information
Minneapolis?                                                                about the internal strategic plans of the

Blanchet: we will be presenting our
                                                                            vendors.                                     Network Working
draft. This will make people aware of our                                   COOK Report: I mean very general.            Group
work. We think it is focused on the inter-                                  What kind of devices can use it?             Internet Draft
ests of the working group work. We                                          Switches? Routers? Anything else?
                                                                                                                         Expiration: August 2001
would like to see our work as being in-
                                                                                                                         Florent Parent,
cluded in the working group work. We                                        Blanchet: the way the industry is doing
                                                                                                                         Marc Blanchet, Viagenie
are also looking for feedback on the pro-                                   things regarding optical and IP, it looks
                                                                                                                         Bill St-Arnaud, Canarie
posal.                                                                      like we will probably need to invent a
                                                                                                                         March 2001
                                                                            new word for describing these devices.
COOK Report: The name and purpose
of the working group that you are pre-                                      COOK Report: How long before the             Optical BGP (OBGP): InterAS
senting to is what?                                                         first commercial implementation may be       lightpath provisioning draft-
                                                                            expected?                                    parent-obgp-01.txt
Blanchet: IPO: IP over Optical. See
h t t p : / / w w w. i e t f . o rg / h t m l . c h a r t e r s / i p o -   Blanchet: I can’t guess. It is known that    Abstract
charter.html                                                                both CA*Net and Internet2 will be prob-
                                                                            ably issuing a Request for Proposal          This work investigates inter-AS lightpath
COOK Report: What may happen in                                             (RFP) soon, so there will be market de-      provisioning using BGP. BGP is current-
IETF AFTER the Minnesota meeting?                                           mand. In that context, this generally        ly deployed across the different au-
                                                                            means vendors working on an implemen-        tonomous systems on the Internet, so in-
Blanchet: Having gotten more feedback                                       tation.                                      vestigating how a BGP approach to pro-
from people, we expect to undertake re-                                                                                  vision lightpaths across autonomous sys-
visions of the specification in order to                                    COOK Report: Would you explain in            tems is of great interest. This work pro-
have the document accepted as a work-                                       one or two sentences why this will cause     poses extensions to BGP to this end.
ing group document.                                                         demand? (Please forgive my minimal
                                                                            knowledge.)                                  1. Introduction
COOK Report: Over what period of
time? 3 to 6 months?                                                        Blanchet: If today there is no buyer for     Much of the current work in IP optical
                                                                            a product, then there is still chance that   focuses on using interior gateway proto-
Blanchet: I have no idea. As I did ex-                                      vendors will do the product and see what     cols such as ISIS and OSPF with TE ex-
plain, it often happens that the draft goes                                 happens. (The internet has this kind of      tensions for routing and GMPLS for sig-
live for a “long” period of time before                                     history: the web itself, napster,) But if    naling [ISIS-TE], [OSPF-TE], [CRLDP],
freezing as an RFC. It is right now too                                     today there are important buyers for a       [RSVP-TE].
soon to know how much time we will                                          product, then there is more chance that
                                                                                              36
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
This draft considers optical lightpath pro-   lengths.                                      extended community.
visioning at the inter-AS scope. Other
protocols may be use inside the au-           The document covers inter-AS provi-           4. Encoding Optical Lightpath informa-
tonomous system to control the actual         sioning using BGP. Inside an au-              tion in BGP
optical cross-connect (OXC).                  tonomous system, other protocols can be
                                              used, such as OSPF or ISIS with TE ex-        The BGP Multi-protocol extensions
BGP [BGP] is currently deployed across        tensions for routing and GMPLS for sig-       [BGP-MP] allow BGP to carry routes
the different autonomous systems on the       naling.                                       from multiple “address families”.
Internet, so investigating how a BGPap-
proach to provision lightpaths across au-     3. Protocol operation                         This document proposes to use MP-BGP
tonomous systems is of great interest.                                                      extensions to encode the NLRI such that
                                              It is assumed that a BGP peering is al-       the necessary optical and routing infor-
The goal of this work is to propose a         ready established between participating       mation can be propagated in BGP. Figure
BGP approach to lightpath provisioning.       sites, either using a non-optical path or a   1 presents the MP_REACH_NLRI at-
                                              pre-configured optical path between           tribute format.
2. Scope                                      sites. This BGP peering will be used in
                                              the following description.                    Editor's Note: for remainder of draft
The traditional networks are carrier                                                        see:        http://www.ietf.org/internet-
based and the carrier manages the cus-        The (egress) OXC are BGP speakers.            drafts/draft-parent-obgp-01.txt
tomer transit connectivity. Customers are     The OXC and the BGProuter are closely
now acquiring fibre, optical switch ports     tied together in the sense that information
and wavelengths and this changes the tra-
ditional model of network peering.
                                              received from BGPwill be used to estab-
                                              lish optical cross-connects inside the
                                                                                            Letter to the Editor
                                              OXC.
Customers in sites can now own their
own wavelengths, and eventually optical       The sites are eBGPpeers. This document
                                                                                            DANTE Objects to
switch ports. Providers can deploy an op-     doesn’t specify any intra-AS routing and      Description of
tical infrastructure and sell wavelengths     signaling protocols for lightpath provi-      Them by Kees
and optical switch ports to their cus-        sioning, although interaction between the
tomers. Customers now have multiple           inter-AS and intra-AS protocols will
                                                                                            Neggers
wavelengths and optical ports from one        need to be defined.
                                                                                            On March 1 we received the following:
or many providers.
                                                                                            From: Dai Davies
                                              The protocol proposes two phases.
                                                                                            <Dai.Davies@dante.org.uk>
This ownership of wavelengths and opti-
cal ports now brings new operational re-      The first phase is the lightpath reachabil-
                                                                                            Dear Mr Cook
quirements where customers at the edge        ity phase. During this phase, sites adver-
need to control a subset of lightpaths        tise through BGP the availability of the
                                                                                            You recently published a report in rela-
within another network’s wavelength           optical lightpath to their site. These an-
                                                                                            tion to the Dutch Research Network,
cloud (provider) so that they can manage      nouncements will contain information on
                                                                                            SURFnet, where you printed an inter-
their own lightpath routing within that       the OXC and the available lightpath
                                                                                            view with Mr Kees Neggers, their Man-
cloud.                                        through that OXC. The information will
                                                                                            aging Director. In this Mr Neggers
                                              be encoded using multi-protocol BGP
                                                                                            makes a number of statements in respect
This new model allows distributed Inter-      extensions and extended community.
                                                                                            of the GEANT project, which are incor-
net Exchange facilities using the ex-
                                                                                            rect.
change and trading of lightpaths between      This first phase will allow sites to build
networks to minimize the need for hier-       up a “lightpath RIB” that will be used to
                                                                                            In particular:-
archical network architectures to inter-      determine if a lightpath is feasible across
connect peering networks. As an exam-         a number of OXC in different sites.
                                                                                            1. Mr Neggers states that the entire Con-
ple, CA*net4 optical network in Canada
                                                                                            sortium of 26 National Networking enti-
could provide lightpath transit to Re-        The second phase is the lightpath estab-
                                                                                            ties in Europe has to agree on everything
nater/France and Wide/Japan networks.         lishment. This phase uses the informa-
                                                                                            in the context of GEANT. This is not the
                                              tion received from the lightpath reacha-
                                                                                            case. A simple majority is required for
The scenario that is considered in this       bility phase and then uses a BGP update
                                                                                            most decisions and major commercial
document is where autonomous sites            message to communicate the lightpath
                                                                                            decisions require a two thirds majority.
own their wavelengths and optical switch      establishment to the OXC sites on the
                                                                                            The number of votes that each of the
ports. End customer have “virtual” con-       path. The information will be encoded
                                                                                            partners has relates directly to their ca-
trol over its optical switches/ports/wave-    using multi-protocol BGPextensions and
                                                                                            pacity commitment to the network.

                                                                 37
                                                 The COOK Report on Internet May 2001
Therefore, countries with high speed ac-         opportunity to reply?                         Point of Presence in Chicago, which will
cesses have significantly more say in the                                                      be built within the GigaPort project. The
overall direction of the project.                Davies: He is welcome to try and reply to     PoP in Chicago will replace the current
                                                 these points, if he has anything to say.      SURFnet PoP in New York City, and like
2. Mr Neggers doubts that GEANT is                                                             the current PoPit will be connected to the
state of the art. The whole GEANT ini-           COOK Report: On March 1, Kees                 STAR TAP at a speed of 622 Mbit/s.
tiative is, indeed, aimed at being at the        replied: “I see no need to respond at all.”   Through STAR TAP GigaPort has con-
state of the art. It has, as part of the proj-                                                 nections to several high-speed networks
ect, an important development pro-               Watching what SURFnet did was a pret-         in North America and Asia.”
gramme which covers, initially, the im-          ty good response to Davies. It established
plementation of services such as IPv6,           the fastest external connectivity of any      Finally on March 9, Bill St Arnaud post-
differentiated Quality of Service etc. and       research network in the world. On March       ed to the Canarie list:
commitment to this ongoing develop-              6 SURFnet Press Releases were posted at
ment activity is an important element of         http://www.gigaport.nl/en/en_main_act.        “SURFnet - the Netherlands research and
the overall GEANT network.                       html                                          education network recently announced
                                                                                               their new SURFnet5 network. We con-
3. With respect to Dutch connectivity, it        Teleglobe Preferred Supplier                  gratulate our colleagues at SURFnet for
is not apparent that SURFnet will simply         for Global Internet                           their vision and world leadership in this
be able to connect to GEANT. As they                                                           area. We especially congratulate the
                                                 Connectivity GigaPort and
are not a member of the consortium they                                                        Dutch government for the strong finan-
are taking no part in the commercial and         Lambda-connection StarLight                   cial support they have provided to the Gi-
technical risk associated with the activity                                                    gaPort and SURFnet5 project which has
and will require to reach agreement with         “Utrecht, 5 March 2001 - In a public ten-     now allowed Netherlands to become a
the consortium before any service can be         der GigaPort has awarded Teleglobe            world leader in next generation optical
provided in the Netherlands.                     ‘preferred supplier’ status for supplying a   Internet research and education net-
                                                 number of services for the global Internet    works.”
The Netherlands is a small, homoge-              connectivity of the GigaPort network.
neous, country and it is relatively unchal-      With Teleglobe GigaPort is now drafting       “SURFnet5 will have 32 lambdas at 10
lenging to make technical progress in            a contract for the period of July 2001until   Gbit/s to start with. In addition
such an environment. It is much more in-         the end of 2002.”                             SURFnet5 has selected Teleglobe as its
teresting to implement state of the art                                                        preferred supplier for dedicated wave-
technology in a federated environment            “In a public tender in compliance with        lengths across the Atlantic from the
with thirty networks and a pan-European          European regulations GigaPort received        Netherlands to the new StarLight optical
interconnection. This is a much truer re-        thirteen offers with proposals for the re-    Internet exchange in Chicago. This will
flection of the challenges of implement-         alization of Global Connectivity. Tele-       be another world’s first and will signifi-
ing and developing advanced Internet             globe was made preferred supplier for         cantly position the Netherlands to be a
services.                                        part of this tender. The aim of the coop-     global hub for next generation bandwidth
                                                 eration between GigaPort and Teleglobe        intensive applications.”
Best wishes, Dai Davies, General Man-            is the realization of global connectivity
ager, DANTE                                      from the SURFnet5 backbone location at        “The core of SURFnet5 consists of two
                                                 Hempoint in Amsterdam with a speed of         backbone locations in Amsterdam. Each
On March 1, 2001 COOK Report                     1 gigabit per second. GigaPort will also      backbone location consists of two Cisco
replied: Would you like us to publish            realize a 2.5 Gbit/s lambda connection        12416 routers. 15 concentrator locations
this as a Letter to the Editor in about 2        with Teleglobe between SARA(the other         will be connected to this core. Each con-
weeks?                                           SURFnet5 backbone location) and the           centrator location will have one 10G con-
                                                 StarLight (successor of STAR TAP) in          nection to each of the backbone loca-
Davies: Yes this would at least set some         Chicago, to be able to experiment with        tions. Each lambda at 10G will be an un -
of the record straight. It would also be         new types of technology for a complete-       protected lambda inside the DWDM net -
nice to have the opportunity to give your        ly optical Internet. This connection can      work of Telfort, the carrier supplying the
readers a rather more accurate and posi-         be upgraded to a 10 Gbit/s capacity in the    transmission facilities for SURFnet5. Re-
tive view of the GEANT project, than             course of 2002.”                              silience will be introduced on the IP-
that which they might derive from your                                                         layer.”
interview with Kees Neggers.                     “Finally, GigaPort and Teleglobe will re-
                                                 alize a Virtual Private Network connec-       For  more      details  please    see
COOK Report: giving Kees Neggers an              tion from Hempoint to the SURFnet             www.surfnet.nl or www.gigaport.nl




                                                                 38
                         COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA

Executive                                         also helps them provision services faster and
                                                  use bandwidth efficiently."
                                                                                                    at rates that are below its cost. He questions
                                                                                                    how long they can stay in business.

Summary:                                          LayerOne is open in five locations and plans      He gives a great deal of useful pricing infor-
                                                                                                    mation and talks about scaling issues in-
                                                  15 or more by years' end. In the Bryant Street    volved in the cost of providing the largest cir-
LayerOne, pp. 1 -14                               Dallas colo it is currently interconnecting 30    cuits (OC 192s). Provisioning OC48s is now
                                                  carriers. These range from Qwest and              more cost effective. As he puts it: "If you can
We interview Alexander Muse, President and        Level3, to SBC and Verizon, to Yipes and          do 32 OC48s and get another fiber pair, do 32
CEO of LayerOne which is offering optical                                                           more OC48s, it can be cheaper (especially if
                                                  Telseon, to MFN and lesser knowns like
interconnects for carriers at physical layer of                                                     you're trying to make your capital last) to just
                                                  Global. Metro.                                    do this." He also explains that his customers
the OSI reference model. LayerOne, located
inside carrier hotels, uses the Ciena Core Di-                                                      have told him that they also want plain OC
                                                  Finally we conclude with a three page com-        circuits without IP on them because what the
rector switch as a service to enable many dif-
                                                  mentary on LayerOne by New York City con-         carriers used to provide in seven to 30 days
ferent carriers to connect their fiber strands
                                                  sultant Frank Colluccio who notes that "the       five years ago now takes six months or
and provision circuits for each other.                                                              longer.
                                                  capabilities that Layer One demonstrated
                                                  were possible, were not capabilities that their
LayerOne takes between 2,000 and 15,000                                                             The article concludes with an exchange be-
                                                  vendor, Ciena, would have initially guaran-
square feet of floor space insides a carrier                                                        tween Telseon Vice President Bob Klessig
                                                  teed, much less expect LayerOne to attempt
hotel. They then bring in between four and 30                                                       and Avi Freedman. A high light --Klessig: “It
                                                  to accomplish."
thousand strands of fiber into what they call a                                                     is safe to assume that the traffic between the
Nexus Bandwidth Exchange. The fiber is                                                              routers is highly concentrated and that the
connected to a complex array of cabinets. To      Net Access, pp. 15 - 25                           routers will be in place for a long time. As Mr.
enable this they have a framework of ADC                                                            Freedman says, this is a great scenario for a
                                                  We interview Avi Freedman who relates his         dedicated link such as dark fiber if it is avail-
FEC boxes and the ADC FL2000 SC Connec-
                                                  experience during the past year as he has         able. But Telseon is offering a switched serv-
tors ELF bay. For electrical connections at the                                                     ice. It provides for new data connections in
                                                  sought to upgrade Net Access metro infra-
DS1 and DS3 level they use a customized           structure from carrier provided to self provi-    minutes to hours between any two points on a
ADC Entraprise Frame. Optical to optical          sioned using dark fiber. The network that he      Telseon metropolitan network. Bandwidth
connections at levels ranging from dark fiber     founded in Philadelphia in 1992 is now a 10       choices are highly granular and quickly
to OC-192 they make via ADC's Next Gener-         million dollar a year business supplying cus-     changed.”
ation Fiber Frame. Ethernet connections are       tomer circuits from Boston to New York City,
handled from a router/switch.                     to Philadelphia to Baltimore to Washington        Freedman: “There are no applications or
                                                  DC.                                               software demanding highly granular and
From this equipment fiber is tied into the                                                          changeable bandwidth today that I know of
                                                  Freedman's problem was to determine               from Net Access or Akamai. The base cost of
Core Director. Instead of having customers
                                                  whether it made sense for him to buy Gigabit      Telseon       and      Yipes!       1mb-over-
bring in bays full of expensive Sonet equip-                                                        100mb/1000mb services are as much as cus-
                                                  Ethernet from Telseon or Yipes!. Freedman
ment LayerOne asks for the delivery of fiber      says: “Gigabit Ethernet is something that         tomers will shortly be able to pay Net Access,
strands in 96 or 192 strand cables. Initially     we've actually found that people don't want       and probably Enron and others for a 100mb
they will connect two of them to the Ciena        primarily because it is difficult to be certain   provably dedicated pipe. Analyses and prom-
Core Director - each of which can handle up       one is not getting shortchanged.” "The fact is    ises are no substitute for proof of infrastruc-
to 256 OC48s and each of which uses               if I give you an OC12, you know you are get-      ture where the possibility for aggregation fol-
transponders and tunable lasers to do its         ting an OC12 and there's nothing I can do to      lows.”
work. Within the Core Director those would        short change you on the matter of how many
be then lit to a level of OC 48 or OC-192, de-    bits you can pump through it. You know that
                                                  you have your full circuit even if it is being    ICANN - Verisign, pp. 26-35
pending on how their customers would want
                                                  time sliced and sent over my WDM infra-
to interface. From there LayerOne grooms fat                                                        Those who established ICANN got much of
                                                  structure. But if I give you a Gig E, you have
customer pipes to electrical STS -1s. It then     no clue whether that's a VLAN on a big trunk      their early support from pledging to reign in
maps those to the other providers to whom         or whether it is a real Gig E dedicated all to    what they painted as a very nasty Network
they want to connect. LayerOne charges them       me, because the technology allows you to sell     Solutions monopoly in the dot com and other
a flat monthly fee for connecting to it Core      10 people a GigE, put a 10 meg Ethernet in        gTLDs. Now operating under the guise that
Director. The size of the fee depends on the      the middle and then sell you all Gig Es at the    the Internet industry can be trusted to regulate
                                                  other end."                                       itself, ICANN and Networks Solutions suc-
bandwidth of the connection which can range
                                                                                                    cessor, Verisign started in secret last summer
from DS-1 to OC192.                                                                                 negotiations which on March 1, 2001 effec-
                                                  Freedman has found that it is most cost effec-
                                                  tive for him to lease dark fiber from MFN         tively reimposed the monopoly. While we
But what is this grooming all about? As light                                                       offer our own analysis we also recommend
                                                  than to buy Gigabit Ethernet service from
reading                             explains,                                                       that of Brock Meeks: Dot Com Hocus Pocus
                                                  Telseon or Yipes! because they won't let him
<http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp         put his own measurement tools on the cir-         -The Remaking of a Monopoly
?doc_id=4118> the Core Director is capable        cuits. Under such circumstances the cost of       http://www.msnbc.com/news/540693.asp.
of grooming. That means it can set up any         their bandwidth is close to what it would cost
size of pipe across a network by combining                                                          The Australian Board meeting ended with the
                                                  him to lease dark fiber to supply an equiva-
                                                                                                    Board gramting ICANN staff a blank check to
any number of small STS1 (51.8Mbit/s) con-        lent amount. To be competitive he figures the
                                                                                                    make decisions for which they the Board
nections, ranging in size from 1 to 192."         cost should be about one half of what he
                                                                                                    should take responsibility. As Michael
Grooming "slashes the number of boxes that        could provide it for himself. He also looks at
                                                                                                    Froomkin wrote: Well, it's even worse than it
service providers need to buy and maintain; it    Cogent which he believes to be selling to ISPs
                                                                                                    seemed: we're stupid, and we've been snook-

                                                                       39
                                                   The COOK Report on Internet May 2001
ered again. With no warning to anyone, the           that, if the ICANN Board does *not* ap-
ICANN staff pulled a bunch of resolutions            prove the proposed agreements, Cerf                                                  Light IP and Gigabit
out of their pockets at the last minute. There       will go to the Board to get the May 2001                                             Ehthernet - $375
was no public notice. No advance publica-            divestiture deadline extended.                                                       Now available. http://cookre-
tion. As a result, the entire public comment
period the day before the Board meeting was          We also include a review of the com-                                                 port.com/lightipgige.shtml
little more than a pointless farce, since no one     pletely revised ICANN Watch website
except the staff (and maybe the Board?)              <http://www.icannwatch.org> This is                                                  Subscription Rates
knew what was on the agenda, and almost no           now by far the best site on the web for
one had time to wade through the pile of doc-        tracking what this renegade Internet reg-                                            Choice of either ascii or Adobe Acrobat (PDF)
uments.                                              ulator is doing.                                                                     format 1. Individual; College or University
Meanwhile Vint Cerf as Board chair                                                                                                        Department; or Library; or Small Corporation -
                                                     OBGP Internet Draft, pp. 36-                                                         $295 2. Corporate - (revenues $10 to 200 mil-
acted to involve himself as Versign's in-            37
terests. Verisign CEO Sclavos wrote to                                                                                                    lion a year) - $375 3. Large Corporate-
Cerf on Feb. 28: "We also appreciate                                                                                                      Revenues of $200 million to $2 billion per
                                                     OBGP is now an Internet draft                                                        year - $475 4. Very Large Corporate- Revenues
your commitment to seek formal Board                 <h t t p : / / w w w. i e t f . o rg / i n t e r n e t - d r a f t s / d r a f t -
approval for an appropriate extension of                                                                                                  of more than $2 billion per year - $575
                                                     parent-obgp-01.txt> for consideration at the
the time under the existing agreement                spring IETF in Minneapolis. We briefly in-
should compliance with Section 23 be                                                                                                       Site License: The right to distribute ascii and
                                                     terview one of the draft authors Marc
necessary. But we are hopeful that by                                                                                                     PDF via email to all employees of corporation.
                                                     Blanchet about what to expect in coming
working with you, and the Internet com-              months.                                                                              5. Small corporate: $450 6. Corporate: $700
munity, including members of the                                                                                                          7. Large Corporate: $950 8. Very Large
ICANN Board, we will all see these new               DANTE Geant Letter to                                                                Corporate: $1200 . Site License Distribution
agreements approved and successfully                 Editor, pp. 37-38                                                                    via intranet web site $400 a year additional.
implemented."                                                                                                                             See www.cookreport.com for more detail
A BWG attorney commented: Section                    Dai Davies General Manager of Dante sug-
23 is the one that says that the                     gests SURFnet criticism was unfounded.                                               Gordon Cook, President
com/net/org registry agreement expires               Kees neggers informed us he saw no need to                                           COOK Network Consultants
in November 2003 unless Verisign di-                 respond. On March 6 SURFnet established                                              431 Greenway Ave
vests the registrar by May 2001. Read                the fastest external connectivity of any re-
                                                     search network in the world. SURFnet Press
                                                                                                                                          Ewing, NJ 08618, USA
the third sentence of the above para-                                                                                                     Telephone & fax (609) 882-2572
graph. Sclavos is saying that Cerf has               Releases were posted at http://www.giga-
                                                     port.nl/en/en_main_act.html
                                                                                                                                          Internet: cook@cookreport.com
made a personal commitment to him

The COOK Report on Internet
COOK Network Consultants
431 Greenway Ave
Ewing. NJ 08618, USA




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