Tier 2 - Lease?

Michael.Dillon at btradianz.com Michael.Dillon at btradianz.com
Thu May 4 09:03:10 UTC 2006

> to underline a point made previously though:  Tier-1 is a routing
> architecture term that doesn't have any useful direct bearing in how
> best to select a service provider.  some of the best service providers
> in the world are not "tier-1" and some of the worst are ( i won't name
> members of either camp.).

The meaning of "tier 1" is not static. At one time it referred
to providers with more-or-less national coverage who more-or-less
owned their own facilities. Somewhere along the line, buyers 
decided that peering was an important factor in buying decisions
and "tier 1" came to mean "companies who do not have blackholes
because of lack of peering". Routing engineers interpreted this
to mean "companies with settlement-free interconnect" since at 
the time, transit was seen as an inferior way to get connectivity.

In today's world where latency and packet loss figures are more
important to buying decisions, I suspect that "tier 1" refers
to "companies who run good networks with no visible technical

In any case, "tier 1" is a marketing term that refers to the
ranking of companies in terms of prefeability. Those companies
whose services are highly preferred are in the TOP TIER of the
ranking. After that there is a SECOND TIER which is good if you
can't afford the top tier.

There have always been people who made their buying decisions 
based on the NET EFFECT OF SEVERAL PROVIDERS rather than simply
evaluating a provider standing alone. It is possible to buy
service from two or three second tier providers and get

Mindless rankings and classification systems are not much
help in making intelligent buying decisions. I really don't
understand why people on this list care so much about 
marleting terminology.

--Michael Dillon

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