North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Verio Decides what parts of the internet to drop

  • From: smd
  • Date: Sat Dec 04 16:19:02 1999

| Now I don't claim to be a policy wonk and I don't have the
| slightest idea of how to make this equitable and fair for all, but I do
| know that this would result in an outcome that would give us routing tables
| far smaller than our current 67k entries.

It doesn't need to be equitable and fair to all; the fact is that
I consider my routing table slots to be a scarce resource, and
I will conserve that resource.  Filtering is one approach; a step
towards your approach is relaxing filters for people willing to
pay me money to do so.

I am sure that if someone with a too-long prefix went to a
filtering provider and offered a (probably small) fee, a permanent
hole in the inbound filters would be made.

We arrive at your approach when we have the ability for someone
with a too-long prefix to find every provider who is filtering
out the prefix, and negotiate some sort of deal which ends up
with a modification to their local filter list.

This is a bit unwieldy, since in principle, every routing
domain in the Internet might put up filters, and while it is 
true that perhaps not all of them are someone a person with
a too-long prefix would want to talk to at any price greater
than $0, a large set will be worth more.

Several thousand negotiations (or even several hundred, or
even several dozen, and possibly just several) likely will
dissuade most people from trying to use a too-long prefix
the first place.

People with hardcore reasons for using a too-long prefix will
probably be willing to pay a fee to an agent able to broker
cheapest-possible access to the routing slots in the networks
that are smart enough to sell them.

As with any market negotiations, some users of a too-long prefix
will get a better deal than others.  Likewise, some networks
can demand higher prices than others.

Right now, there are only two known prices for access to
routing slots by holders of any prefix of any length: $0 and $infinity.

Unfortunately, people on NANOG are much more likely to jump
up and down and scream and play politics and whine that
THEIR long prefixes are so vitally important that nobody should
charge them money for permitting them to occupy routing slots
everywhere (because it is against the spirit of the Internet 
or something like that), than to negotiate an actual price less 
than $infinity simply by contacting the filtering provider(s)
and making an initial offer (or asking them to do so).

Your proposal likely will never fly while people in 
the industry remain hostilely unpragmatic and opposed to
free market forces.

However, should that change, there are fiddly little details
which would have to be worked out; the ugliest of which would
be a case where a provider which filters is willing to relax
the filter-list in exchange for a small fee, but _it's_ provider
is not (or demands a fee the originator is not willing to pay).

Another take on this is to consider a global transit network and
a national or regional transit network, each of which charges
a small price for relaxing a filter against too-long prefixes.
If the contract with the global transit network expires, and
that GTN is the only direction the national network sees the
too-long prefix, what then?

A practical technical solution to this would allow "intermediate"
backbones to enter into the game of selling routing slots in their
networks, no matter what the "top tier" backbones do.

| The correlation with route flap should be re-examined.  I suspect that this
| is no longer a driving force and is more than adequately compensated for by
| having flap damping parameters that scale geometrically with the prefix
| length.

I agree that it should be re-examined, and I have the same suspicion.

I believe the problem now is dealing with huge numbers of prefixes
(thanks to the trend towards ever smaller networks multihoming) and 
their dynamism over a longer term than flap-dampening code considers.