Why do some providers require IPv6 /64 PA space to have public whois?

Siegel, David Dave.Siegel at level3.com
Sun Dec 9 22:17:55 UTC 2012

That's a really good point, Patrick.

We've received an interesting analysis from our customers recently where they reviewed the accounting on all the services they need in order to peer off approximately 1/3rd of their total traffic.

They took their national wavelength cost, local access, colocation at carrier-neutral facilities at it came to roughly $.95/mbps.

Although this is considerably less than what they spend on transit, their analysis failed to consider depreciation on their capital (routers and other hardware), associated warranty costs and the incremental operational overhead to operate a large national network.  When all is said and done, they are probably spending as much on "free peering" as they are on transit.  In the case of this customer they would have a lower total cost by simply staying regional and purchasing transit.

In other cases, peering will only lower your marginal cost if there are strategic reasons for building and maintaining that backbone.


-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick W. Gilmore [mailto:patrick at ianai.net] 
Sent: Saturday, December 08, 2012 8:23 PM
To: NANOG list
Subject: Re: Why do some providers require IPv6 /64 PA space to have public whois?

> So no, it's not true. Costs come from needing to buy bigger routers, 
> bigger waves or fiber to the exchanges, bigger ports on the exchanges, 
> etc.
> "Peering is a scam."

The vast majority of AS-AS boundaries on the Internet are settlement free peering.  I guess that makes the Internet a scam.

As for the costs involved, "free" is a relative term.  Most people think of peering as "free" because there is zero marginal cost.  Kinda.  Obviously if you think of your 10G IX port as a sunk cost, pushing 11 Gbps over it is not 'free' as you have to upgrade.  But again, most people understand what is meant.

Bigger waves & bigger routers are not due to peering, they are due to customer traffic - you know, the thing ISPs sell.  Put another way, this is a Good Thing (tm).  Or at least it should be.  Unless, of course, you are trying to convince us all that selling too many units of your primary product is somehow bad.

Peering allows you, in most cases, to lower the Cost Of Goods Sold on that product.  Again, usually a Good Thing (tm).  Unless you are again trying to convince us all that selling at a higher margin (we'll ignore the lower latency & better overall experience) is somehow bad.


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