peering charges?

Jeff Young young at
Wed Jan 29 21:37:38 UTC 1997

I know that you were using mci as a case in point, i'm just 
frustrated that we seem to cycle through this same issue at
least once a quarter.

I wholeheartedly agree that there are things that don't make 
sense to do with peering, but that's what happens in a regulated 
environment.  whether it's regulation by the ixc's or by the fcc, 
is no matter.  regulations can't optimally fit every scenario.

what was wrong with the local exchange model for traffic between
large networks?  cost, for one.  because many large internet providers
are now long distance carriers as well, they already have shared
infrastructure.  why pay someone else (especially a lec) to exchange
traffic?  if 85% of the traffic i pull out of a nap is to sprint/uunet/
bbn why should i maintain 6 ds3's to that nap?

i (personally) like the idea of keeping local routes local at exchanges, 
but there are issues to work through.  it's going to take a non-trivial 
development effort to make it happen (tag local routes in bgp and only 
advertise them to the nap local providers).  say you're a national sp and 
i'm a mom&pop.  you want to send me only the routes that originate in my 
local area across the nap.  i however, want to send you all of my routes - 
they're all local.  how do you, as the nsp, keep the rest of your 
infrastructure (outside of the local customers) from knowing that my routes 
exist?  you might localpref them,  but then they serve as backup for all of 
your customers' traffic to me should i lose my transit provider.  you might 
filter them out of the announcements at all sights except for those that you 
advertised as local to me (yuck).  and if a customer get's poor performance 
through the nap to one of my customers?  do you remove the announcements of 
that network?  as i expand into other markets, won't my addressing be 
necessarily geography based lest i either break large aggregates or advertise 
routes that really aren't local to you? :-)  how do you keep me honest?

i like the idea of ixc's allowing zero length circuits within their premisis.
is it possible?  would ixc's allow it?

Jeff Young
young at

> Subject: Re: peering charges? 
> In-reply-to: Your message of "Mon, 27 Jan 1997 14:08:44 EST."
>              <199701271908.OAA11437 at> 
> Date: Mon, 27 Jan 1997 12:07:08 -0800
> From: Paul A Vixie <paul at>
> > the end of your post is interesting, however.  it may come to the point
> > where larger carriers are forced to tag local as's local and to peer on the
> > 'local' basis.  but what benefit for that added complexity?  local networks
> > would still need to buy transit from someone.
> Right now we're sucking down a fair amount of backhaul, symmetric to the
> backhaul of a local Mom & Pop's transit provider, carrying traffic which is
> both to and from the same local area.  If backhaul were free, or even cheap,
> or even available in the quantities we need, the engineering simplicity would
> win out -- it's easier to manage a network if there are fewer links and fewer
> powered boxes inside it.  On the other hand we're having a lot of trouble
> getting enough backhaul on some paths -- at any price.
> So OK, let's assume that transit providers all come to every local area to
> pick up local customers.  A Mom & Pop ISP buys transit from one of them, on
> the hopeful assumption that it will peer with the other locally present big
> providers, thus preventing traffic between endpoints 10 miles away from 
> taking a 500 (or 2000) mile loop through some more distant private peerage
> or exchange point.  This saves on the rarified wide area backhaul, and it is
> certainly better than what a lot of local markets have now.
> But if we're assuming the existence local links between big ISP's in each
> local market, what's wrong with the local exchange concept (since, as I said
> in an earlier message, sum(1 .. N-1) links are more expensive to build than 
> N links and a GIGAswitch, for reasonable values of N)?  And if you're doing
> a local exchange, why not let Mom & Pop's also connect there, so that their
> transit link can be a private 10Mb/s or FDDI wire between cages -- saving the
> end users money indirectly by cutting down the number of bypass carriages?
> And finally-- if each of the previous steps make sense and you get this far--
> why not have big and little ISPs peer directly, sharing only routes which do
> not result in assymetric wide area expense?  (Route segregation between local
> and wide area was already necessary for an earlier step.)  This saves router
> backplane expense, which while easier (in 1997) to buy than wide area backhaul
> is still in shorter supply than some people would like.  Some L2's are more
> reliable than some L3's -- and are almost always cheaper per bit carried.
> This changes "we'll only peer with you if you have a network topology similar
> to ours" into "we'll be happy to peer with you but be aware that we only send
> local routes when we peer at public exchanges, and if you want a full routing
> exchange it'll take 6 T3's worth of private peering -- can you afford it?"
> I think the network will work better and scale better when this kind of 
> "peering" becomes the norm.  If wide area telecom costs are the reason big
> guys don't like to peer with little guys, then by gum let's see peering and
> charging all take place exactly where the economics require it.

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