CDNs should pay eyeball networks, too.

William Herrin bill at
Tue May 1 21:46:21 UTC 2012

On Tue, May 1, 2012 at 3:06 PM, Patrick W. Gilmore <patrick at> wrote:
> On May 1, 2012, at 14:43 , William Herrin wrote:
>> On 5/1/12, Patrick W. Gilmore <patrick at> wrote:
>>> On May 1, 2012, at 13:26 , William Herrin wrote:
>>>> If I'm willing to go to your location, buy the card for your router
>>>> and pay you for the staff hours to set it up, there should be *no*
>>>> situation in which I'm willing to accept your traffic from an upstream
>>>> Internet link but am unwilling to engage in otherwise settlement-free
>>>> peering with you.
>>> I disagree with this.  In fact, I can think of several possible cases where
>>> this would not hold, both using pure business and pure technical
>>> justifications.
>> Hi Patrick,
>> Please educate me. I'd be happy to adopt a more nuanced view.
> First, define "upstream Internet link" - i.e. upstream to whom?

Hi Patrick,

By "upstream" I meant "via any other path." If we're mutually willing
to talk at all, we should be willing to talk directly.

> If I peer with your upstream, then peering with you could
> easily drop me below their requirements, causing me to
> lose a much bigger peer for what I may consider no real benefit.

Two wrongs. It's OK for me to behave unreasonably to you because I'm
just passing it on from someone else.

> Let's assume you meant upstream to me. Many people
> negotiate volume discounts, peering with you may drop me
> to a lower tier, which may cost me more than your peering saves me.

I'll have to think about this one.

> I may have
> operational issues such as space & power, that disallow
> me from adding another port pointed at you in the location
> you want the port.  I don't care if you buy the card, if there
> is no slot or power for the card, buying another rack - if
> possible in the first place! - may not be worth the benefit of
> peering with you.  And I haven't even covered the CapEx
> & OpEx of adding a chassis to deal with your port
> irrespective of the power & space.

Fair point; I was too specific. If I'm willing to cover the -direct
costs-  (such as an extra router card or man hours, extra rack space,
etc.) associated with peering with me at a location in which you have
already made the choice to peer with others I think it unreasonable of
you to refuse given that each of our respective customers has paid us
to deliver packets to the other.

Here's another one you didn't raise, but I'll throw it out there
anyway: Why should I be able to demand to peer with your entire
network at any location which happens to be convenient for me?

I shouldn't. I should be able to demand to peer with that fraction of
your network which is consistent with any other peering activity you
have at that location. If you peer at 5 geographically dispersed
locations and I only want to peer with you at one, I would think it
imminently reasonable for you to restrict the session to that portion
of your network which ordinarily transits to peers there. I wouldn't
even be offended by an offer for discount transit to the rest in
addition to the settlement free part.

> I think if you look closely at any transit contract, almost none
>of them (cough Akamai cough) guarantee delivery t the end
>user.  They typically only guarantee delivery to the edge of
>their own network, and make zero promises about _which_

I think that's disingenuous. Customers are buying "Internet" service,
not "the networks we feel like connecting you to" service. Both you
and your customer know it despite any weasel words in the contract.

Bill Herrin

William D. Herrin ................ herrin at  bill at
3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <>
Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

More information about the NANOG mailing list