Why don't ISPs peer with everyone?

Nathan Eisenberg nathan at atlasnetworks.us
Mon Jun 6 22:38:39 UTC 2011

> I wouldn't consider myself a network engineer, nor do I have any formal
> training, but why don't ISPs peer with every other ISP? It would only save
> EVERYONE money if they did this, no? Only issue I see is with possibly
> hijacked / malicious AS owners, but that's not very common to do without
> being caught.

Some ISPs have very friendly peering policies, but some obstacles facing even the friendliest ISPs are:

*Poor operator reputation or significantly different networking mindsets may make some peers undesirable
*Potential peer is attempting to become a tier-1 and demands paid-peering
*Potential peers do not have similar POPs or budget for transport between POPs for peering
*Some ISPs do not have the ability to easily determine the destination of their traffic and which peers would be most advantageous in terms of transit reduction
*Potential peer is lazy or reluctant to make changes

I'm sure I'm missing a few, but I believe these are a couple significant obstacles to a more 'meshy' internet.


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