Thursday, 1 October 2009
Rumour has it that those on Virgin's network were unaffected and that for some reason, Facebook had decided it would block anyone attempting to access the site from BT's network. Whilst this may have been an 'intern cock-up', or the problem actually may have been caused by a rather more fundamental server config issue, it does rather beg the question about (reverse) net neutrality and resilience.
There has been much discussion about ISPs blocking certain sites in favour of their revenue generating partners, and it is quite right that there should be very lengthy discussions about this type of action. However, in this instance, and who knows for what reason, it appears that a site 'decided' to block an ISP! Well, more an incumbent actually, but of course because the majority of telcos are just reselling BTW products, that is a fairly hefty lump of Britain who couldn't access FB.
Now, whilst many are anti-Facebook, there are an extraordinary number of companies who are using FB as an integral part of their online marketing strategy. Should a company take a unilateral decision to block an ISP, those companies who are relying on that site for income generation can wave goodbye to revenue until such time as the problem is resolved.
It does rather make you wonder about DOS attacks on specific servers that could leave a country such as the UK without access to lots of different websites if you just blocked the incumbent's access to those servers.......
All eggs in one basket seems a dangerous manoeuvre if it affects commerce, as well as citizens looking for their daily fix of social networking. In order to operate in the next gen world, we in this country are going to need a redundant and resilient network if we are to avoid such potential disasters.
In other news, much of Virgin Media's network was down in London and the south yesterday following a power hiccup.