99 Problems and the Net ain’t one

Wednesday, October 22 2014


Don’t let the name deceive you. The North American Network Operators Group (NANOG) meetings have long since been the place to be for all things Internet, global Internet that is. In a world where an ever increasing amount of content is distributed from global ‘Mega’ content networks, many of which happen to be US companies, these events are very much the place to be and be seen. Most people though attend NANOG simply for the opportunity to share some of the big ideas of today and tomorrow.

The best thing about NANOG is you get the opportunity to network with technical thought/knowledge leaders from many of the leading network operators in one place and understand what they think and what they are looking for to meet their needs as Art Kazmierczak, Head of Business Development NA at TSIC explains.

This year therefore, we were very pleased (yet again) to sponsor the ‘Beer and Gear’ event at NANOG 62 in Baltimore. This popular part of the event is an opportunity for valuable face time and over the years it has become synonymous with bizarre giveaways, including such delights as ‘the screaming slingshot monkey’ and even breathalysers.


Gimmicks aside though, there are a multitude of challenges facing Internet companies today and the serious business of providing multi-billion dollar content services and operating the infrastructure to support them should never be taken lightly. Especially as backbone networks become not so much ‘business critical’ but rather ‘everyday life critical’.

At NANOG 62, the topics of discussion ranged from global Infrastructure trends and the promise of cutting edge optical technology to current regulatory issues such as broadband penetration and the omnipresent net neutrality debate.

Tim Stronge of Telegeography picked up on the reasons (good and bad) for new submarine cables build-outs and the impact they have on the global IP Transit pricing market and asked whether we will ever attain singularity in global market pricing. This is a thought provoking question indeed and the answer is: Probably

Citing some of what he refers to as the ‘dumb reasons’ why people build new cable systems, he suggests that ‘3rd-party developers look at a cable map and see empty space without any lines’. This was obviously meant as a joke but I can genuinely recall from personal experience, a member of the general public asking me ‘so when will you fill that bit in?’ while pointing to the Arctic and half of Siberia during a presentation of our network map at a recent event.

As for our own giveaway, we chose a simple, but important message and printed it on a T-Shirt.