Who really controls the Internet? I think Techos...
Gavin Longmuir, x6486
Tue, 24 Sep 1996 14:50:40 +1000
Below is a message which I received from a Friend (who works for a aid
agency in Vietnam), it's not signed. I'm sure that the people at Coombs
Computing (the ANU based gateway for NetNam) would agree with the
statements below, but then again they have their own problems after a
internal review that ensures the disappearance of it's Internet
--beginning of forwarded message--
Rain... floods.... and the position of the Moon, why not? Problem is,
we had bad rains and floods last year, or in March, but no problem like
these on NetNam.
People may think Iím paranoid, but Iím really out to believe that the
phone company (VNPT) is systematically obstructing NetNamís
communication. Here is why:
1. Over the last year, VNPT has tried 3 times to get the Prime
Ministerís Office and the IT2000 Steering Committee to decree its
monopoly over Internet services. In all cases (the latest 3 weeks ago),
they were defeated;
2. VNPT is just about to go public on its new U.S. Sprint-contracted
Internet service - at much higher prices than NetNam. Anything that can
go bad, now, with NetNam would be good for VNPTís new service;
3. Over the last 3 years, the IOIT (NetNam and Varenet) has been doing
data transfer with Australia. It NEVER had so much difficulty as in the
last 7 days - with no particular bad weather - to send and receive data
>from its Internet relay in Canberra. Or the phone system is worse now
than 3 years ago, or someone is making it worse...
All other explanations only account for part of the problems. Bobby and
others have raised questions about the new Pentium 133 Server. Fair
enough for the local calls, but the overseas transfers are made over a
good old UNIX machine, with no upgrade on its protocol for over a
year... And the line is as problematic - carrier detect, a few seconds,
and drops in a blue sky... That used to happened, but nothing like in
the last week.
Underground floods? Nothing worse than 10 times over the last 3 years.
What about faxes? Are problems as systematic with faxes than data
transmission, to NetNam or abroad? Faxes are more resilient (get more
garbage, but still get through), but now the gap seems very wide.
Modem and set-ups? No systematic changes from NetNam, nor from most
users that now have problems, humid or drier days alike.
As Malcolm wrote, the "switch board handler is the more obvious
candidate". The question is now if thatís voluntary or not from VNPT.
Technically, it is not so difficult for a phone company to recognise
data carriers and obstruct them. VNPT has been refused the legal tools
to do so, while the IOIT was clearly confirmed by the PM Office, the
Ministry of Planning and Investment, and the IT2000 Steering Committee
to develop country-wide and Internet networking. Now being isolated,
VNPT might well be tempted to use other obstructing methods.
I might be wrong, and maybe the underground cables are soaked to the
bones, and something else that escapes me. But circumstances are
against the phone company now, and I sure would love to hear them.
In any event, soaked cables or sabotage, NetNam is sick now because of
the phone company. Against all olds, the IOIT has been connecting
Vietnam from both ends and to the Internet, with Vietnamese expertise,
minimum funding and now self-sustainable operations - not foreign
key-in-hand contracts, millions of capital investments, and
monopolistic claims. If it was not for VNPT's stubbern refusal to grant
the IOIT with a wide-band connection (as requested by IOIT for more
than a year!), NetNam would now be a full Internet host, with Web
capabilities and e-mailing in minutes, if not seconds, around the globe.
IOIT's work I call development. VNPT's obstruction... go figure.
Symptomatic enough. If NetNam goes, I'm gone too.
--end of forwarded message--
Gavin Longmuir - Internet Applications and Platforms Manager
Information Management and Services Branch
Commonwealth Department of Primary Industries and Energy
Voice:+61 6 271 6486 FAX:+61 6 272 4997