"Tier 1" vs. all. Was: Sprint v. Cogent, some clarity & facts

Marshall Eubanks tme at multicasttech.com
Mon Nov 3 15:08:44 UTC 2008

On Nov 3, 2008, at 10:02 AM, Eric Van Tol wrote:

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: michael.dillon at bt.com [mailto:michael.dillon at bt.com]
>> Sent: Monday, November 03, 2008 8:55 AM
>> Let's put it another 'nother way.
>> Would an end user get better connectivity by buying from a
>> reseller of transit? In other words, buying transit from
>> a network which also buys transit. Presumably up near the
>> top of the chain (Tier 1 vicinity), that transit reseller
>> has a lot of peering in place with other folks in the same
>> neighborhood (Tier 1 vicinity). But as long as a network
>> is a transit reseller (i.e. they buy transit), then they
>> are less likely to suffer from partition events caused
>> by fractious peering negotiations.
>> --Michael Dillon
> Can anyone explain to me why end users find it so important to label  
> carriers as "Tier 1" or "Tier 2"?

In my experience, end users generally don't know and almost never  
care. It's the sales people who talk about tiers.


>  The prevailing theory in the heads of prospective customers is that  
> a "Tier 1" is somehow inherently better than a "Tier 2" (or lower),  
> even though they don't quite understand the concepts behind why the  
> "Tier" designation even exist(s/ed).  These labels, at least to me,  
> are no longer very relevant in today's internet world.  In fact,  
> would anyone agree that being a "Tier 1", as Cogent believes  
> themselves to be, leaves that network in a very painful position  
> when things like their frequent peering disputes happen?
> For an NSP, it's obviously a "good thing" to be SFI-only, as in  
> theory, it _should_ lower your costs.  YMMV, as mentioned in a  
> previous thread.  However, what does it really matter to an end- 
> user, especially if they are biased towards using "Tier 1" networks  
> only?  Why does a network who purchases transit give the impression  
> to end users that that network's internet genitalia is somehow  
> smaller than, say, Verizon or AT&T?  I can see merit in touting the  
> size and coverage of the actual network, but it's always been my  
> understanding that this is not the true definition of the tiered  
> system.
> -evt

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