AOL & Cogent

Leo Bicknell bicknell at
Sat Dec 28 23:34:01 UTC 2002

In a message written on Sat, Dec 28, 2002 at 05:52:30PM -0500, Richard A Steenbergen wrote:
> > - Peering should cost significantly less than transit.  At least
> >   half, probably less.  If you have 1.5 Gig, getting $50 a meg
> >   transit is trivial today.  I can't imagine any company paying
> >   $50 a meg for peering, no matter what the circumstances.
> I'll make one issue about that blanket statement of the price of peering.
[issue deleted]

Your analysis is not completely wrong when considering only settlement
free peering, or only transit.  I was intending to address the
middle case, a settlement based peer.  I'm also assuming these
people are close to a settlement free peer.

That is, if you allow a 2:1 peer, and someone comes in at 1001:500
Mbps, charging them the same as the transit price for either the
full 1001 (which I contend is amazingly foolish), or just for the
1 (something I could live with, in some situations) doesn't make
sense. You're trying to even out a perceived inequity, and I will
argue strongly that the cost of moving an extra meg across an
existing peering circuit is _far_ less than moving a transit meg.

All in all, I find ratios an extremely poor way of validating a
peer.  I can think of many cases where it is in both parties interest
to peer, but where the traffic might be extremely unbalanced.  Yes,
the fact that it is unbalanced can shift costs from one provider
to another, and that's a very real problem to solve.  The correct
way to solve it is not to force a transit model though, but to use
careful circuit provisioning and various technical tools to move
the cost back to something more equal.  Heck, even a settlement,
much as I hate them, would be better than just turning the thing

What's even funnier is that most people apply them equally in both
directions.  They want to make the claim that being out of ratio
(such as in this case) shifts costs onto their network.  Well, many
people do the same thing in reverse.  If they saw a 1:3 they would
not peer with someone /even though they are shifting cost to the
other party/.  I've never understood how someone can argue that a
ratio is about protecting their company from bearing a disproportionate
amount of the cost, and then also prevent their company from shifting
that cost to someone else (assuming the other party would agree).

       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at
Read TMBG List - tmbg-list-request at,
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