North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Peering Table Question

  • From: Mikael Abrahamsson
  • Date: Fri Apr 21 11:57:43 2000

On Thu, 20 Apr 2000, I Am Not An Isp wrote:

> Simplistic example: Network A hosts big web sites.  Network B has a 
> gazillion dial-up users.  The two networks peer at MAE-East and 
> MAE-West.  The web sites are in San Jose, the dial-up users are in DC.
> Typical TCP flow looks like this: 1500 byte packet goes from web server to 
> MAE-West on Network A, then transfers to Network B (because of "hot potato" 
> routing) and comes across the country to DC destined for dialup user.  Then 
> a 64 byte ACK goes from DC to MAE-East on Network B, then transfers to 
> Network A where it rides to San Jose.
> In Other Words: Network B is carrying 1500 byte packets 3000 miles, and 
> Network A is carrying 64 byte packets 3000 miles.
> Sounds to me like an objective, technical reason to require one network to 
> pay another even if they are just "peering".  (Unless you are Randy, in 
> which case one is now a "customer" of the other.)

One can also look upon it that the customer of Network A (the web site)
should pay Network A for the costs involved and the customer of Network B
(the dialup user) should pay Network B for their costs. A transfer of data
is never initiated without two parties, one offering the data and the
other requesting it. You never put data online unless you want people to
look at it. Yes, I can see that if a network is very large it would not
want to pay money for a private interchange, but if you are already at a
shared medium you should at least offer restricted routing (for instance,
you offer routes for your Washington DC customers to people at MAE-EAST).

The problem is more accentuated outside of the US (in my belief). For
instance, I can understand that the global players don't want to offer
global routes to you if you want to peer with them at Stockholm DGIX, but
this situation also means that if you buy bandwidth from a Tier 1 you get
(often) lousy connectivity to local sites, sometimes routes go even
transatlantic even if both sites are local but at different providers.
Very inefficient. If Tier 1 providers would do more local peerings with
local routes this problem would be much leviated. For instance, if I peer
with UUNET in Stockholm I could get only UUNET Swedish customers from

This problem grows as Tier 1 providers (at least over here) aims more at
the end customer (which is what I am seeing).

Mikael Abrahamsson    email: [email protected]