I started looking at the pool.ntp.org project. I manage several data centers with various kinds of connections and some of the machines disagree with each other about the time. The effort behind pool.ntp.org seems to be a really good idea. It made me wonder, why is information about the Internet not shared in the same way?
Remember hearing about Internet blockages in Syria? A private company in the US reported it. Who is that? Who are their customers? Why are we hearing about the state of the Internet from a private company? There could be a distributed group of people sharing information to do the same thing. Sounds sort of like something you would do on the Internet, yes?
I worry about what drives connectivity, because often it seems to not do so. We wanted to serve customers in Jakarta. The Jakarta-based provider have really bad service to Jakarta. It turns out that if you go to Tokyo, the connection to Jakarta is wicked fast. Well, all the infrastructure in Indonesia points out. There is less infrastructure for services within Indonesia.
And then I hear that if you look at connections between the US and Europe on the Internet, the distributed-to-survive-a-nuclear-war-or-massive-disaster-Internet, a massive proportion of them go through Manhattan, an island. Because who would ever attack Manhattan? Really.
What's my point? I am not sure. But if you want a robust Internet, is letting the companies run it put all of the eggs in a very small number of baskets a good idea? Maybe not. Maybe I should find out about the state of connectivity around the things I care about. I bet I know where I can but a $10,000 whitepaper that tells me what I want to know.