different thinking on exchanging traffic

Sean Donelan SEAN at SDG.DRA.COM
Tue May 26 17:58:28 UTC 1998

>Currently there are at least 60 ISPs serving the San Diego county
>area.  There are LOTS of packets from "home" to "office" that make a
>round-trip via MAE-West.  Some people have decided that this is
>silly.  Even if it is "cost-effective", it *squanders* bandwidth at
>MAE-West that could best be used for other traffic.

This is true in almost every major metro area.  I help found an
exchange point in St. Louis.  Not MAE-East levels of traffic, the
exchange peak at about 2.4 Mbps of traffic (more than a T1's worth).
http://www.stlouix.net/  But that's 2.4Mbps of traffic that didn't
travel 2,000 miles to get across town.

Of course, not every local ISP participates.  The state subsidized
education network doesn't connect, nor do some the dialup ISPs.  But
it gets a reasonable level of support from several of the larger
area providers.

But exchange points are one of those weird creatures.  If I'm paying
a big expensive backbone, why would I get anything from a local exchange
point?  And of course, the ever popular "What's the catch?"  Since
local exchange points are generally run on a non-profit basis, that
means there isn't a large marketing organization, or a huge gaggle of
salespeople trying to sell it.  If you like, we can call it a "managed
connection" and charge you $1,000/month.  But that seems steep for
essentially a port on a catalyst switch.

But we've found once an ISP connects, they generally keep it.
Sean Donelan, Data Research Associates, Inc, St. Louis, MO
  Affiliation given for identification not representation

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