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How does it come about that the ISPs Network Operations team didn't know they were saturating a link?

Last ISP I worked at would have email and SMS notifications going to On Call staff.

Because the NOCs may not be all that competent. I remember talking to the Cablevision IP NOC back in the mid 2000s about their internal backbone circuits they were running hot that went to a POP we peered with them. I had Cablevision at home and the congestion was breaking my VPN to work. The NOC said "an OC45 was down" (no such thing, it's an OC48) and that congestion is okay because TCP will work with it okay and there won't be a problem. I shutdown the peering session with them force traffic around a diff city (sent it to Chicago). I remember talking to the eng team at Cablevision about their NOC and they had a good chuckle and admitted they're only good for the simplest of operations (link down, go fix).

In some parts of the world running links at 95 percent is okay because look 5 percent left (totally ignorant of buffers or microbursts etc.).

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