The large ISPs and Peering

Roeland Meyer rmeyer at
Thu Jul 26 17:33:23 UTC 2001

There is the larger problem of anti-trust issues. Those large providers
collectively represent more than 60% of the market. I believe that this is
the real basis of the concern. Such an arrangement could be construed as
being anti-competitive. Were IBM to make such an arrangement with IBM and
AT&T then DOJ might become very active. The same holds true here.

Companies holding such large market-share control cannot quite do things the
way that they want because we (collectively) have made laws that have deemed
such activities as public-policy effecting activities and subject to some
regulation, by public bodies. I don't see where that has changed. Even in
the spirit of telcom co-opetition, such activity can still be construed as
collusion. I'm suprised that their lawyers let them do that. Also, the past
30-years of track-record clearly shows that such activity cannot be kept

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeff Aitken [mailto:jaitken at]
> Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2001 10:16 AM
> To: Curtis Maurand
> Cc: nanog at
> Subject: Re: The large ISPs and Peering
> On Thu, Jul 26, 2001 at 11:21:54AM -0400, Curtis Maurand wrote:
> > A rose by any other name...  The fact is, and history shows 
> us, that 
> > when cartels form, things get bad for the consumer.  [...]
> > However, The placement of the NAP's is disconcerting, because
> > the process for choosing them was closed.   
> This makes absolutely no sense.  Are you saying that uninvolved
> parties should be able to dictate where and how large "promising
> local ISPs" should interconnect?  Maybe we should have a vote on
>   "How does this choice of interconnection point make you feel?"
> > Does it make sense for all of
> > my traffic going to from (both in 
> Maine and in
> > the same communities) to exchange traffic at MAE east 650 
> miles away?
> There's nothing preventing your provider from establishing additional
> regional peering where appropriate; if they fail to provide the level
> of service that you require you should vote with your wallet 
> and select
> another provider.
> > There won't be if the Tier-1's all form a "consotium."  
> > They will collude on network build out and stop competing [...]
> > If the "consortium" is formmed it will wipe out all those 
> strides [...]
> > A consortium will wipe out the glut and raise prices.
> > The consortium will control supply at a lower level.  
> > Prices will increase.
> > Yes, but the equalization will happen at the higher price.  
> > There's nobody to compete with, so why keep the price down?  
> > If you think that's not true, think again.
> Proof by repeated assertion, eh?
> I'm really confused here.  How did we go from "certain large ISPs
> are working together to reduce the cost of interconnection amongst
> themselves" to "there will be no competition between these large
> providers?"
> --Jeff

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