Whenever there is an online incident, people speculate as to the cause of it. Look at the major breakdown of KPN’s internet services last week. Is it a hack, why is not everybody effected by it, why can people still watch TV, but not go online? There are numerous theories, but no one really knows. Even we don’t.
At our annual NLNOG-day last Friday, the incident was of course one of the topics, if not in an official presentation, then at least during the coffee breaks. NLNOG is the Netherlands Network Operators Group. This foundation is for network operators and Internet Service Providers, where we, amongst other things, exchange information and try to make the Internet better, by sharing tools and expertise. One of the NLNOG tools is the so called NLNOG Ring, where operators can troubleshoot problems in each other’s networks easily. And then there is the chat forum, where those that really build the Internet convene to make sure it all works nicely. All the major parties in the Netherlands are involved, except for one: KPN Netherlands.
When a major incident occurs and we are affected by it as well, we try to figure out what happened. We look at our own systems of course, but sometimes we can use a look from inside another ISP’s network to know what is happening. That is the benefit of the NLNOG Ring. Since KPN Netherlands is not participating, we could not see what was happening to them, could not know whether we could help in any way. Network operators of KPN International are members, but even they didn’t know exactly what was going on. All they could figure out, was that they saw a much smaller traffic flow from KPN Netherlands than normal.
You may ask yourself why KPN Netherlands isn’t a member of NLNOG? The truth is, you have to ask them. They are more than welcome. Perhaps we could have even helped them with the incident last week, who knows. What’s for sure, is that the NLNOG foundation and all its participants want to make our Internet and its infrastructure better. With them we could be even more successful. And we would not have to speculate on what is going on. We would help!