Surcharge for providing Internet routes?

Michael Dillon wavetossed at
Tue May 4 23:01:25 UTC 2010

> I don't think there is a universally agreed upon definition of what
> transit means other than it involves someone paying someone else.

Uhh, "transit" is an English word which comes from the Latin word
meaning "it goes across". Transit has nothing to do with payment
at all. The only thing that everybody agrees on is that transit is
carrying packets across your network to another network.

Clearly, you could give away free transit if it helps you sell
T-shirts, or data center racks or some such, so payment is
just not relevant at all.

The problem is that "full transit" is such a common thing, that many people
just assume that "transit" means "full transit" and there, the misunderstandings
begin, especially with people that haven't had experience with ISPs who
make up their own rules instead of just copying the one down the road.

> I have no idea what the sales people call each in different
> countries, but domestic transit is not a misnomer as the ISP
> selling you this will be providing reacheability to their
> country specific customer base AND reacheability to their
> country specific peers.

Typically, sales people don't care about terminology and will happily
call "free transit", "paid peering" if it helps them make a sale.

But fundamentally, peering is about carrying packets from your
neighbor's network to destinations on your own network in return
for the same thing the other way around. Again, payment is not
part of the definition of peering.

Peering always involves two networks who are neighbors.

Transit always involves three or more networks who are
not neighbors and who have a third party network in
between them. The packets all have to transit the third
party network.

Most everything else is either marketing, or the jostling and adjustment
that happens when you discover that your business model isn't actually
profitable because you didn't think through your pricing structures in
enough detail, and some companies more clever than you have locked
in contracts that you really should not have signed at that price point.

--Michael Dillon

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