BBN Peering issues

Erik E. Fair fair at
Sat Aug 15 08:20:26 UTC 1998

There is a customer perception, dating from the earliest days of the
Internet that when you connect to the Internet, you will be able to reach
all sites that are up, everywhere. That this is still mostly true is a
tribute to the hard work of a lot people on this list, and elsewhere. So
far, the cases for which this is not true are small in both number and
relative importance.

If this perception breaks down, watch out. Theodore Vail was allowed to
create the regulated monopoly AT&T in the early part of this century on the
promise of Universal Service, which meant not only that everyone had a
telephone, but that *all* telephones could call *all* other telephones -
one big, happy, PSTN.

The Internet presents this kind of universality today without the
regulation, but don't doubt for a second that if the ISPs (of whatever
size) begin destructive pissing matches of the form "I'm bigger than you,
pay me or we disconnect" that the FCC will be pressured to regulate the
ISPs in such a way to guarantee the universal connectivity aspect of the

Your customers will demand it.

	Erik <fair at>

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