Peering Traffic Volume

Richard A Steenbergen ras at
Fri Mar 25 13:39:17 CDT 2011

On Thu, Mar 24, 2011 at 07:27:08PM -0400, Ravi Ramaswamy wrote:
> Hi All - I am new to this mailer.  Hopefully my question is posed to the
> correct list.
> I am using 2.5 Tbps as the peak volume of peering traffic over all 
> peering points for a Tier 1 ISP, for some modeling purposes.  Is that 
> a reasonable estimate?

The largest Tier 1's, like say Level 3, and god help me for saying it 
but... Cogent, are certainly in or beyond that kind of ballpark. But 
most of the smaller ones, like say AT&T, Qwest, ATDN (if you even still 
want to count them), etc, not a chance in hell. And then there are 
plenty of non tier 1 networks (and some that aren't even actual single 
networks in the classic sense) that do far more traffic than that, for 
example some of the large CDNs like Akamai and LimeLight.

On the modern Internet "most" of the traffic bypasses Tier 1 networks 
completely, going directly from content networks to eyeball networks, 
so the Tier 1's are effectively left as the higher priced and lower 
capacity "last resorts" for the remaining traffic.

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

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