non-censorous spam control (was Re: Spam is Information?)

Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM dlv at
Mon Aug 4 16:35:56 PDT 1997

"William H. Geiger III" <whgiii at> writes:
> Well the ISP may have 200 customer for the T1 line but they woun't have
> 200 dial up lines per T1 (at least not one that wishes to stay in business
> long). Now how many dial-up lines per T1 a ISP will have will depend on
> the traffic analysis for his customer base. There is nothing wrong with
> oversubscribing his bandwith because he knows that all his cutomers will
> not be on-line all the time using 100% of their 28.8 dial-up bandwith.
> What an ISP does have to provide for is enough bandwith to be able to
> handle the amount of dial-ups he has available. If an ISP has 200 dial-up
> lines then he best provide enough T1's to be able to support them.
> The same is true for Access providers. If an access provider is servicing
> 20 T1's then he best have the bandwith to the backbone to provide the
> bandwith that he has sold. He is collecting the $$$ to provide the service
> he is obligated to provide it.

Unfortunately a lot of ISPs - both local and national - have done exactly
that - oversubscribed to the point of defrauding their customers.

A friend of mine subscribed to his local ISP - the usual deal, $19.95/month
for unlimited use.  One day he gets a phone call from the ISP's owner asking
(in a rather irate manner) if he's running 'bots or "keepalive" or why he's
spending so much time tying up the modem.  The friend replied that he's doing 
neither of those things, but he does spend 5 or 6 hours every day browsing
the Web and reading newsgroups.  The ISP owner wasn't happy. Soon the friend
began to experience loss of carrier whenever he was connected via PPP during
the evening. He called up the ISP and asked if he's just dropping his carrier.
The ISP would neither confirm nor deny, but repeated that the friend stays
online "too much". At this point the friend told him to close the account
and moved to a different ISP.

We used to have a shell account at a local ISP who had non-stop problems with
their disks, their news server, their modem pool (ringno-answer, can't busy
out the brokenmodems....) We left them last year; I understand that now their
system has completely broken down and they're blaming it on some mythical
"spammers" rather than their incompetence.

> Now if an access provider does detailed analysis of his traffic and
> determins that he needs only 4 T3's to provide service for 20 T1's and
> therefore reduces his costs that's fine. But if one of his T1 customers
> traffic increases he is obligated to add more bandwith on his end to
> handle it.
> This is what the whole bandwith issue comes down to. ISP & Access
> providers atempting to maximise profits for given resources. This doesn't
> nullify their obligations to their customers. If they sell T1 bandwith
> 24/7 to their customers then they are required to provide that service if
> their customers demand it. The current movement to blaim users for using
> the resources that they have been sold is wrong. It is no different that
> if a car dealer sells you a 100,000 mile warrenty on a car then renigs on
> the contract because he really didn't expect you to drive 100,000 miles
> with it.

Ah but they have a great excuse - the mythical "spammers".  We really meant 
to service a 300-modem pool through this T1, but the spammers stopped us from
doing that.  Reminds me how the Soviets in 1930s blamed all possible problems
(and there were lots of real problems) on "saboteurs", and how the Nazis in
the same time frame blamed all of their (real) problems on Jews.


Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM
Brighton Beach Boardwalk BBS, Forest Hills, N.Y.: +1-718-261-2013, 14.4Kbps

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