North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Peering Table Question

  • From: Martin Cooper
  • Date: Mon Apr 24 11:26:04 2000

Randy Bush <[email protected]> wrote:

> teir-1s don't pay for routing to anywhere.  tier-2s pay for
> routes from tier-1s and may also pay for transit.
> tier-1s seem to have the majority of the customers.
> this may be good or bad.  but it's the terminology we've been
> using for about seven years now.  of course tier-Ns, where N
> is greater than 1, seem to have an interest in distorting it.
> big surprise.

In my view the tier system is based on perceived importance,
which is built on peering, and ultimately marketing. It's not
that tier-1s don't have to pay for routing to anywhere, it's
that they're big enough not to have to give a damn about being
unable to reach a /32 on the end of a piece of string in outer
Mongolia -- the piece of string will come to them if it wants
reachability to their customers.

Peering is a poker game. The more of it you can get, the more
people will want to use your services, and the more networks
will want to peer with you to reach those customers. As you go
along you add bigger peers and drop the smaller ones. Lather,
rinse, repeat, until your network IS the Internet because you've
got everyone else's customers and they all want to peer with you
to get them back.

The bigger you are in terms of customers, the *less* peering
you want to do. I believe UU figured that one out some time
ago, evidenced by its dropping the majority of its peers to
force them to buy transit to gain reachability to them.

Ultimately it's all about marketing, so why should it be
such a surprise that the smaller players should try to
redefine the terms in a bid to gain the advantage?