Stephen Sprunk ssprunk at
Mon Nov 25 14:07:14 UTC 2002

Thus spake <Michael.Dillon at>
> >None of these applications have any requirement for peering every 100km2.
> >I'd expect my refrigerator, oven, light switches, etc. to be behind my
> >house's firewall and only talk using link-local addresses anyways.
> Do you know how much traffic the high resolution MPEG4 video/audio stream
> from an oven uses!? Why on earth would a network operator want to haul
> that kind of traffic hundreds of kilometers when 99.5 % of it is going to
> a 3G mobile phone in the same city.

If there is an economic reason to peer locally, the carriers will do it;
however, there is no technical reason to do so: bandwidth is cheap and 20ms
RTT is irrelevant to any proposed application in this thread.

As pointed out previously, it is currently cheaper to carry that MPEG-4
video to a remote exchange and back than it is to equip and support 96,400
exchange points in the US plus another 99,820 in Canada -- that's one for
every 100km2.

> Oh, BTW, ask someone at Cisco to explain to you how firewalls work.
> Their purpose is security, not reduction in PPS or bps.

Please tell me that was a troll...

> People in general will communicate a lot more with other people who
> live nearby no matter what the communications medium. Therefore
> it is likely that as the Internet becomes a commonplace everyday tool
> for commonplace everyday communications, the vast majority of the
> traffic will be relatively local.

Agreed; I think that one exchange per LATA (roughly) is a reasonable goal.
But that's a far cry from one exchange per 3000 people in the US, or one
per 311 people in Canada.  Think about those numbers for a minute.

> And while there may be some technical gurus who believe
> in the purity of running a few mega peering points, over the long haul,
> the customers of networks will reject this kind of centralized system in
> the same way that they are rejecting every other form of centralized
> control.

Nobody is arguing purity; I think it's more "pure" to have a zillion
exchanges, perhaps one in every person's house!  However, there are issues,
both technical and economic, which limit the number of exchanges that are
feasible.  Today, that number is a few dozen, not a few hundred thousand.


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