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RE: C&W Peering Problem?

  • From: Mike Leber
  • Date: Sat Jun 02 02:55:02 2001

On 1 Jun 2001, Sean Donelan wrote:
> So, can anyone explain why C&W, UUNET or Genuity care about traffic
> balance, other than to limit competition by providers who are better
> at attracting particular types of customers than them?

You have the cart before the horse (effect before cause), there are really
two principles that come before the example policy effect above.  They are

For the purposes of the rules below the term monopolistic peering refers
to core networks that have policies that would limit their peers to 10 or
so networks IF they were uniformly applied to all their current peers
(which they are invariably not (even though a few might be snubbed for
general purposes of crassness, ergo C&W depeering a few arbitrarily)).

1) The first rule of monopolistic peering is that the policy MUST
overwhelmingly favor the writer of the policy.  This is a truism, no
company defines a policy that requires them to pay settlements, only vice

For example, this means that for all the lip service paid to settlement
based peering compensating the parties equitably you will not find any
that allow both parties to be paid.  The few settlement based peering
contracts I've heard of typically are written as transit fading to
settlement free peering when some goal is met (the "correct" ratio and the
"correct" quantity of traffic).  That is, only one side ever gets
compensated.  If UUnet offers you a settlement based peering contract you
can bet they will not extend you the exact same compensation if you manage
to turn the tables on them and attract customers that suck traffic instead
of push.  Otherwise people would rush out and implement that as a business

2) The second rule of monopolistic peering is that the policy MUST be
written in a way that allows you to severely limit who you peer with.  
This is a truism, in order to get the number of qualifying networks down
to 10 or so one must write sufficiently restrictive policies.

See, Sean, your error was assuming the rationalization accompanying the
rules you see in the more restrictive peering policies legitimately
represents the effect of the the policy.  heh.  ;)


By the way, many large networks are not monopolistic.  Some have hundreds
of peers and continue to evolve and grow their networks, taking into
account new market entrants that become sufficiently established.
Presumably these networks will provide lower latency and more direct
routes (asuming that is what you want) than once upon a time tier one
networks that have aggressively shrunk the number of strategic business
partners (um, peers, yeah them, who without your network becomes rather

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