[Request] Static IP addresses for 10G customers

Internet access discussion, including Fusion, IP Broadband, and Gigabit Fiber!
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by dearscott » Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:13 am
I know construction is underway for 10G fiber provided by Sonic. Please consider offering one or more static IP's to go with it. Thanks.
by dane » Wed Jan 19, 2022 11:39 am
dearscott wrote:
I know construction is underway for 10G fiber provided by Sonic. Please consider offering one or more static IP's to go with it. Thanks.


It's something we've long had requests for, but we've not done to date it for a few reasons:

First, we found that static IP configurations created real challenges for us as we grow and optimize our IP network, at the edge and the transport network around the region. Large pools of dynamic IPs are easily changed, expanded, etc - whereas small numbers of individual static IPs created technical debt in the network configuration that was a challenge at times.

Second, the need for static IPs has declined in recent years. When we first launched our Fusion xDSL service, customers with video camera systems, early home automation, water alarms etc often needed static IPs in order to remotely access and manage these systems. Today that's generally not the case anymore. Smarthome systems with some limited exceptions are fine on dynamic IPs.

Third, corporate entities recognized that a static IP was not necessary for at-home workers, and the requirement for many remote staff to have a static IP at home has been largely done away with. Instead, systems are "zero trust", and require multifactor authentication and end-to-end encryption - and as a result, employees can be anywhere, on any IP.

Finally, and the most challenging: with the deployment of symmetric services, we continue to have concerns about the "data-center in the garage" problem. Our fiber-to-the-home service is deployed with reasonable assumptions about typical household uses, and folks doing large-scale hosting would break the model. Both economically, as well as from an upstream congestion perspective.

To provide an example of how this last item could create problems, consider gigabit PON, or GPON, which has roughly 1.25Gbps of upstream capacity, which is shared between roughly 20-30 households. While each household has full 1.0Gbps upstream capacity upon demand, if one home uses for example 750Mbps constantly, the others must share the remainder and will never see the full gigabit speed when they demand it for what would normally be a brief upload.

Put another way, your own ability to congest the inbound link is generally bound by the amount of consumption in the home, which is practically limited by the number of TVs (4K and such!), the number of systems, and the size of storage. So, unless you're just intentionally downloading and discarding content, it's headed somewhere: a screen, a hard drive, etc. That limits inbound usage to the devices in the home, a finite limit.

Compare this with hosting: a small server under your desk or in your garage can host content of interest to "everyone" in the world, who then beat a path to your door (via your static IP) for whatever amazing bit of content you've got online. And that outbound usage is not constrained by the uses in the home but rather can grow to whatever the capacity of the connection is, full gigabit or even ten gigabit. That's not typical household use, it is hosting, or even ommercial use. We disallow resale for the same reason, as well as sharing with your neighbor, etc. You can't for example become a wireless ISP by reselling a single home internet connection, at any scale. Even giving an ethernet connection to your neighbor deprives Sonic of the opportunity to connect them, increasing costs for all other customers as a result of that lost opportunity.

Basically, any of these behaviors fail to support the economics of the infrastructure.

The network and our costs just don't support that sort of high outbound usage. There's a reason that a 10 gigabit connection delivered to an enterprise site with 100 employees and a data-center costs $6,000 a month instead of the $39.99/mo a home user might pay for a similar connection. And that reason isn't just the infrastructure, it is because residential members have different usage patterns than a business.
Dane Jasper
Sonic
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