Friday, February 01, 2008

Rival Collaboration

Imagine this. The two cables that provide Egypt with internet have been severed. But for some odd reason, anyone in Egypt can access websites hosted on servers located in Egypt. Now, most of us know this isn't true based on these days' turmoil. When the FLAG cable was damaged, which is only one of the cables, many people had a hard time accessing servers on Egyptian soil. There is a reason for that. It's called "routing tables".

Routing tables are simply tables on routers (some networking hardware) that provides a packet of data with the fastest route to reach its destination. And of course, since fastest routes are not always the fastest (if one internet provider should be down for any odd reason), routing tables are dynamic. The whole time they check for fastest routes, and alter their routing tables. They do that with the aid of a routing protocol, that everyone agrees on.

If all ISPs (internet service providers) in Egypt have agreed on a routing protocol, and then with today's cable problem, all traffic would have been rerouted automatically through the other cable, and no one would have that total blackout.

Another situation to imagine. You know that corner in your house in Ain So7'na where your Vodafone phone does not work? And you find your Mobinil friend as happy as a bird? If Vodafone and Mobinil agree that subscribers from either network can roam on the other network, with a price of course, then the Egyptian consumer would not have to worry about coverage anymore; he would only have to worry about service.

Rival collaboration in any form benefits the end consumer, and since the consumer is not important, then why bother.


Anonymous said...

We always not doing our jobs as book. we faced when the cables broken. due to bad configuration.
there is protocols called OSPF if the ISP responsibles have different routes and they are configured that protocols. noone will feel that there is a problem and there was no down time at all.
Also there is LCR protocol in comunication if you have more than voice route they have to use that protocol also.
So it is matter of doing our jobs as books........

Mamlouk said...

But do they care? I mean applying routing protocols across ISPs would only benefit the consumer. Yes, if we were to do things by the book, we would have seen routing protocols up and running, and close to no down time.