Chinese bgp metering story

Jonny Martin jonny at
Fri Dec 18 13:24:57 CST 2009

On Dec 19, 2009, at 1:47 AM, Fred Baker wrote:
> I can read tea leaves with the best of them, and the tea leaves I  
> see tell me the reporter (in the story the blog points to) doesn't  
> have a clue. What is the substance of the proposal?

The report seemed a reasonably accurate account of what went on in  

> But what is all this about "is the ITU interested in changing BGP"?  
> If the word "metering" makes any sense in context, BGP doesn't meter  
> anything.

The Chinese delegation presented a dozen pages of formulae involving  
20+ variables, infinite sums, and other mathematical goodies.  Wowing  
the audience I guess.  The whole way through "using BGP" was mentioned  
- in the sense of pulling data from, and adding data to BGP for the  
purposes of evaluating these formulae.  It was clear that BGP would be  
used - and modified if need be - to achieve this.  Mixing billing with  
the reachability information signalled through BGP just doesn't seem  
like a good idea.

Interesting to note was that nowhere was the intent of all this  
mentioned, which is presumably to calculate the "value" each and every  
party's traffic traversing a link generates, and to apportion "costs"  

Misguided, nonsensical, and unworkable ideas often gain traction.   
It's important that this one doesn't.


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