North American Network Operators Group

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There's no substitute for value, was Re: BBN/GTEI

  • From: John R. Levine
  • Date: Tue Aug 25 14:04:05 1998
  • Newsgroups: local.nanog

> In the past we have considered the initiator of IP transactions to
> be irrelevant and had no-charge peering for networks that basically
> send a similar number of bytes to what they receive.

Historically, customers chose backbone networks based either on
geographic area or political convenience, but not the type of traffic
they generated.  As a result, traffic at peering points tended to even
out since everyone had a mix of customer types.

> So what do we do when that is no longer the case?

It's pretty clear to me that you figure out whose customers are most
eager to get to what resources, and you set the price accordingly.  In
the BBN/Exodus case, BBN has a bunch of dialup customers who want
access to Exodus' web site, and Exodus has a bunch of advertisers who
want access to BBN's dialup users.  At this point I'd guess that BBN's
dialup users would be more upset at losing Exodus' well-known web
sites than Exodus' advertisers would be at losing BBN's random dialup
users, but I could imagine that it could go either way.

Lest anyone think this "pay for value" approach is too complex to be
used in the real world, consider the relationship between your local
CATV provider and its programming sources.  The provider pays for HBO,
takes local broadcast for free, and gets paid for infomercial

John R. Levine, IECC, POB 727, Trumansburg NY 14886 +1 607 387 6869
[email protected], Village Trustee and Sewer Commissioner,, 
Member, Provisional board, Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail