[arin-ppml] Why are ISPs allowed?

Stephen Sprunk stephen at sprunk.org
Tue Jan 27 21:32:27 EST 2009

Kevin Kargel wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Ted Mittelstaedt [mailto:tedm at ipinc.net]
>> Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 12:52 PM
>> To: Kevin Kargel; ARIN-PPML at arin.net
>> Subject: RE: [arin-ppml] Why are ISPs allowed?
>> Q:  How do you eat an elephant?
>> A:  In small bites!
>> It's not impossible to upgrade 4K customers if you plan it and allocate
>> enough time.  However, realistically what your actually seeing here is
>> a political effort that should be supported.
> In no way did I mean to imply that this was impossible or even undoable.  It is eminently possible, the doable just depends on how much expense you are willing to expend.  
> In a best case world you would have a bunch of customers within a stones throw of an excellent technician that worked for minimum wage (Ha!  Like that's gonna happen)..  if he takes a half hour to get to and work each customer and you add in the cost of the truck and overhead and admin costs you are still spending $30-$50 per customer for the upgrade.  

Why would you need to roll a truck to do a software upgrade of 
ISP-provided CPE?  I don't know about your ISP, but mine rolls out 
firmware updates every 4-6 months.  And, as an employee of $VENDOR, I 
can tell you our products are specifically designed to make that as easy 
as possible since it's a top concern of our customers -- and we'd be out 
of business if we didn't offer at least some capability in that area.  
(In our case, the devices check a server for new software and 
configuration every time they boot up and/or at a configurable interval; 
rolling out an upgrade is just a matter of copying a new binary to the 
server and asking the NOC to notify you of problems -- not rolling trucks.)

Now, customer-provided CPE is an entirely different beast.  Many vendors 
don't put out software updates for older models to fix bugs, much less 
introduce new features, nor do they provide any sort of "phone home" 
feature to look for updates even if such existed.  However, the ISP 
isn't responsible for those devices either, and customers can cope with 
buying a new one if necessary -- or they could if there were actually 
any on the shelves that did IPv6...


Stephen Sprunk         "God does not play dice."  --Albert Einstein
CCIE #3723         "God is an inveterate gambler, and He throws the
K5SSS        dice at every possible opportunity." --Stephen Hawking

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