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Don't Terminate People's Internet Connections

Job Snijders — 16 Mar 2020
Here is a plea to keep Internet services on in these times where we rely on online communications.

Please do NOT terminate anyone's Internet or hosting service for pre-corona reasons such as 'we want money'.

Right now we are facing a pandemic of proportions nobody alive has ever seen. Act responsibly and accordingly: do not shut anything down. Please!

To illustrate, in the Netherlands we are in lockdown, because of the COVID-19 hazard: you are expected to *only* leave your house if it is absolutely critical, such as to pick up food from the food distribution centers, to get meds, to go work in a hospital, etc.

At the same time we have no idea where everyone is and who is using what Interconnect to do what vital work. Maybe I'm fixing some important BGP thingy via my neighbour's wifi? Maybe she didn't pay her bills? Should she be cut off?  Maybe next to her someone was freeloading on that same wifi to look up medical data? Why risk collateral damage by cutting anyone off?

The *safest* thing to do right now is to not terminate anyone's access to information (be it connectivity, storage, compute, whatever).

We'll mop up society's collective bills at a later point in time, after we deal with the immediate urgency at hand. And during this crisis we have to keep this Internet thing running and available to anyone who may need it.

6 Comments

AS49697 says:
16 Mar, 2020 10:02 PM
+1 for that!
Rudeus says:
17 Mar, 2020 03:57 AM
I don't get it?

You were asking a company to not cut their services even when their customer aren't paying with an outbreak virus reason? It's not like corona is zombie apocalypse, you still could pay the internet services outside by wearing mask, or you could pay online.

Why would you include something like, someone probably using their neighbor wi-fi to access medical record, isn't that stealing? and why does the neighbor get cut if he/she pays the bill?
Job says:
17 Mar, 2020 09:13 AM
In the Netherlands so many people suddenly have been deprived of income because the Government told them to close their shops - I don't think it is fair to say "you are not allowed to work" and at the same time "you have to pay all your bills".
Manuel says:
17 Mar, 2020 09:27 AM
A reasonable way to deal with the cost is to add a new account or cost centre in your accounting for "corona-related expenses".
This is a general advise for all kinds of cost which may occur now - being it staff not able to come to work, expenses for sanitizer, additional online platforms, telecommunication or such cost as not cutting off the customer.
This also helps with "moping up the cost" later, gives you the ability to give exact figures in case your company is eligible to subsidies etc.
eMBee says:
17 Mar, 2020 08:59 PM
in germany several years ago a lawsuit clarified that the phone company may not terminate someones landline for non-payment because a pboneline is a vital service, just like water or electricity. if someone doesn't pay you have to sue them to get your money, but you have to keep the service up.

we have reached the point where internet is just as vital as a phoneline once was and the same treatment should apply

greetings, eMBee
Vesna Manojlovic says:
18 Mar, 2020 10:15 AM
From the RSNOG list (via Sloba Markovic) :

"All the major Spanish telcos have unveiled a joint statement to customers, asking for fair and reasonable use of the internet during over the foreseeable future:

https://telecoms.com/[…]/ "
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