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Re: How to get a list of research and academic ISP ?

  • From: Marshall Eubanks
  • Date: Wed Nov 15 16:19:30 2006

On Nov 15, 2006, at 12:46 PM, Maciej Kurant wrote:

Dear all,

I am a PhD student at EPFL, Switzerland. My recent research interest is in large scale differences between the commercial and academic parts of the Internet.

Of course, in order to perform this kind of studies I need a way to distinguish between these two worlds. I’ve learnt that Abilene does not provide commercial connectivity. This means that BGP prefixes and AS paths announced by Abilene BGP routers should lead only to research and academic destinations. I have extracted (from the BGP tables at a list of all such destinations and obtained 1333 ASes (for data form July 2006). The number looks reasonable, but I would like to be sure that I am not making a mistake. Therefore I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions:

1) Is this approach to obtain a list of research and academic ISPs correct?
It's a way. The trouble is that

- most I2 As's also have "I1" connections and run BGP on that as well.
- Any corporate member of I2 has the right to announce their routes into I2

What I would do is to take the list and look at the names (on a list such as

From the name of the institution, you should be able to tell in most cases.

2) Do you maybe know of such lists compiled before?

3) If I keep not only the destination ASes, but also all ASes on the AS paths towards these destination I obtain a list of about 1400 ASes. How should I understand this? Does it mean that some research and academic destinations are reachable from Abilene only by traversing the commercial Internet?
There are certainly some academic aggregation SP's - NYSERNET and CANARIE and RENATER (google on those) come to mind.
4) Of course, research and academic ASes are often well connected to the commercial Internet. My guess is that in most cases their peering relationship is “customer-provider”, where commercial ASes are providers. Is it possible that an academic AS is a provider for some commercial ASes? If so, does it happen often?
It may happen, but probably not often.
Thank you in advance for your comments.

Maciej Kurant

Hope this helps.

Marshall Eubanks



Maciej Kurant

PhD Student

CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

web site: