North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Internet Exchange Questions

  • From: William Allen Simpson
  • Date: Tue Mar 19 17:27:36 2002

"Streiner, Justin" wrote:
> > If there is a need for new IXs, where do you put them? Who decides
> > where to build a new IX and how do you get service providers to show up
> > there once it is built?
> These days, that can be a chicken-and-egg question.  There really isn't a
> formalized process for deciding where an IX should be placed.  In the case
> of some of the regional points, they came about because someone took the
> initiative to build them.
> I'd imagine if you're located in a city where:
> 1) The cost of a circuit to the nearest exchange point is too high
> 2) There are a decent number of local organizations who may be interested
>         in or capable of peering there
I'd like to add another:
 3) there is a "common" good that all the local ISPs need, that is 
    best shared.

I'm thinking of wireless.   Since the band is shared, it is best run by 
a common organization on behalf of the local ISPs.  Since they need to 
connect to the wireless anyway, they might as well peer with each other, 
reducing their upstream costs by the amount of local traffic.

> It may also help if you're not a service provider yourself.  Sometimes
> local providers get standoffish about peering at an IX run by a
> competitor.  Strange, but sometimes so is human/social psychology ;-)
Yes, I ran into that in both the local places I tried to interest others 
in setting up peering exchanges.  There were/are a lot of egos involved, 
who thought THEY would put their "rivals" out of business.

Funny thing, many of them are out of business, and we're still standing.
The Internet really does run better in a spirit of cooperation!

I was strongly interested in the Israeli posting about co-operative 
non-profits, since that was what I was advocating here as a solution to 
the ego problem.  But, Yanks were hard to convince on setting up co-ops, 
too.  That old social spirit was lacking during the recent go-go years.

Maybe it's time to try again?

And maybe if enough of us got together, we could buy PAIX as our flagship?

On the other hand, as a mercenary thought, we might get a better price 
on PAIX during MFN bankruptcy :-)
William Allen Simpson
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