Upstream BGP community support

Richard A Steenbergen ras at
Sun Nov 1 01:03:12 UTC 2009

On Sat, Oct 31, 2009 at 07:33:52PM -0500, Dorian Kim wrote:
> This is a strawman argument. I never said that any of the above was
> a bad thing, nor that transit providers shouldn't support them. They 
> should. 
> Only point I was addressing was your characterisation that networks
> who do support various communities but do not publish those supported
> communities were "stodgy" becuase they were doing so due to "silly NDA 
> concerns or the like".
> Fact is, regardless of whether you or I think it makes any sense or 
> not is that some peering agreements preclude disclosure of the locations 
> of peering, and in some extreme cases even the disclosure of the 
> existance of said peering.
> So if you were a party to such an agreement, you can not disclose things
> you are bound from doing without breeching the agreement. 

Ok I think we're commingling issues. As I said in my first message, I
apply the stodgy label to folks who won't export any communities at all
because they're considered "proprietary". In my second message I was
trying to expand on their considerations (i.e. NDA concerns), which
didn't come across well. Clearly there are a large variety of 
communities you can support which don't come with any such concerns.

Obviously any time NDAs are involved you have to give them some serious
consideration, but the question becomes at what point does an excessive
concern start degrading the quality of service you provider to your
customers for no reason.

My opinion is that an NDA preventing you from disclosing who you peer
with and in what locations means you shouldn't put up a website with the
address of every interconnection address and capacity, not that you
can't say "this route goes to the Chicago region". At a certain point
there is only so much information you can obscure. I'm going to be able
to figure out who your customers are when I see you readvertising them
to the Internet. I'm going to be able to figure out where you peer
because I can read the DNS in your traceroute and then walk around the
major colo facilities until I see your router with the label on front,
does this mean you can't use reverse DNS or label your routers? At some
point all you're doing by obscuring most of this information is making
it harder for me the customer, peer, or remote party who just happens to
be exchanging information with someone on your network, resulting in
poorer quality service for your customers.

And I'll conclude my argument with this:

whois -h | grep remarks:

If Level 3 can tag routes with pop codes, cities, and peer/customer
origin tags, then you (for some value of you by which I mean anyone who
might ever get the stodgy label :P) can too.

Richard A Steenbergen <ras at>
GPG Key ID: 0xF8B12CBC (7535 7F59 8204 ED1F CC1C 53AF 4C41 5ECA F8B1 2CBC)

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