Michael Dillon michael at
Fri Aug 21 20:48:14 UTC 1998

On Fri, 21 Aug 1998, Wayne Bouchard wrote:

> So takeing into account
> what just happened with Exodus, does this mean that BBN would try to
> force MCI to buy transit from BBN?

No. It means that BBN would bill MCI for the transit component of the
traffic exchange that would be measured and priced by an industry agreed
measurement methodology and pricing scheme. All peering agreements would
be the same in this scenario. Once you get accepted as a peer then you
would pay only for the transit that you use that is outside the accepted
rule of thumb for balanced peering which could be somthing like a 1.5:1 or
2:1 traffic ratio at the exchange point. Presumably, a pair of peers like
MCI and BBN would agree to settle these bills on an aggregate basis so
that MCI could pay a $2000 peering charges bill from BBN by offseting it
against a $1500 bill sent to BBN along with $500 cash.

> If BBN's customers have trouble getting to certain popular
> sites, they're going to complain to BBN. If the hosting company's
> customers can't be accessed from certain sites, they're going to
> complain to the hosting company. This means that both companies tech
> support and operations centers get additional calls, additional work,
> and additional headaches in trying to deal with traffic levels of some
> third party. In many ways, its the third party that ultimately suffers
> as they try to deal with both companies to resolve the issues.

However, if both companies have a scalable peering agreement with each
other, this problem becomes merely a problem of engineering for the
traffic levels. The payment aspects are settled automatically by applying
the settlement rules.

If such scalable peering already existed, I'm convinced that the current
situation between Exodus and BBN would not have developped. So while those
two companies figure out how to handle their relationship, maybe we could
all learn from this and figure out a way to make peering work in a more
scalable manner.

Michael Dillon                 -               Internet & ISP Consulting
Memra Communications Inc.      -               E-mail: michael at
Check the website for my Internet World articles -        

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