Peering Policies and Route Servers

Michael Dillon michael at
Tue Apr 30 02:11:01 UTC 1996

On Mon, 29 Apr 1996, Nathan Stratton wrote:

> > (2) Could anyone share opinions/facts regarding why organizations may or
> > may not exchange routes via the Route Servers rather than direct peering
> > relationships at the NAPs?
> Well, because say that Sprint and MCI would peer, a provider would only
> just stay at one NAP. That provider could then sell large dedicated
> connections and in a way do it on Sprint's and MCI's network. I think they
> they are trying to keep a lot of startups like me from growing and being a
> large competitor.
> I think that if a provider only wants to peer at one point, that MCI and
> Sprint should not peer, but I think that if a provider lays out a network
> plan and works to say get a 2 more NAPs in say 6 months that they should
> peer.

I think that you will find it much easier to get Sprint, MCI et al. to
peer with you at multiple NAP's if you have a reputation and that
reputation is a good one. The people at the large NSP's are rightly
conservative at making new peering decisions because the network is now so
big and so important to customers that they cannot risk significant
network failure. 

If you want to peer, you will have to prove that your actions will not
endanger the network fabric especially the fabric of the NSP who you
are negotiating peering with. This is not an unsolvable problem.

The first step is to develop technical competence in your staff. This is
more than just reading manuals although it would help to have large
portions of Cisco's manuals committed to memory. It also requires you to
actually operate a complex network fabric of your own for a long enough
period of time for the learned theory to become understood reality. Part
of this effort should include familiarising yourself with much of the
leading edge research found in RFC's and other documents published by
various RFC authors and researchers. Some of this is at,, and so on.

In addition you have to develop a reputation of competence and this
demands that you physically attend several NANOG meetings and perhaps some
IETF's. There is nothing that can establish a reputation better than
personal contact. Of course, once you become a face and not just an email
address, even the "no" responses to a peering request are likely to lead
to some more explanation of "why?" so that you can remedy the situation.

The time required to go through these rites of passage will also allow you
to get your national network infrastructure built out so it is not a loss.
You *CAN* operate a national (or even international) network without
peering agreements. You *CAN* grow into being an NSP. You may even
discover that there are some benefits to multiple bilateral
peering/exchange points as opposed to becoming yet another NSP at an
octopus-like NAP. 

Of course, the above is only my HUMBLE opinion, your mileage may vary :-)

Michael Dillon                                    Voice: +1-604-546-8022
Memra Software Inc.                                 Fax: +1-604-546-3049                             E-mail: michael at

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