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PSINet and C&W peering

  • From: Mitchell Levinn
  • Date: Tue Jun 05 09:38:17 2001

C&W did indeed shutdown their peering connections to PSINet
this weekend.  While there are many potential explanations
for their actions, I have no visibility into their decision
process.  I am disappointed with their decision to disconnect.
PSINet continues to seek a resolution with C&W to restore normal
connectivity in order to avoid further negative impact to both
companies and the Internet.  Their decision is hard to understand
based on the following:

- C&W and PSINet upgraded circuits used for peering between
  the two networks earlier this year.  C&W's recent action
  seems inconsistent with the strategy that led to these
- PSINet's recent addition of direct private peering with several
  of C&W's transit customers relieved the peering connections
  between the networks of a couple hundred Mbps of traffic
  (improving connectivity overall and, undoubtedly, lowering costs
  for those transit customers).  This is significant only because
  C&W claims PSINet no longer has sufficient traffic to justify
  the connections according to their published standards.  In
  fact, PSINet's overall traffic continues to grow.
- Most of the PSINet traffic previously destined for sites
  behind C&W has alternative paths through other providers.
  While this sounds like a generally good thing, especially given
  the actions C&W has taken, it does make it difficult for those
  that require certain traffic levels to be maintained consistently
  for peering.  Specifically, C&W's customers (or C&W itself) could
  alter "natural" traffic flow to favor (or not) various connections
  to meet their published standards (or not).  PSINet demonstrated
  to C&W that if naturally less favorable announcements were
  preferred, PSINet could make an almost arbitrarily large (or
  small) amount of traffic flow between the peers.  Even so, in
  C&W's opinion, PSINet will not be able to comply with their
  peering policy's traffic standards.  It is gratifying to note
  that even without C&W peering, substantially all of the
  traffic previously flowing between PSINet and C&W continues to
  be delivered.
- At this time PSINet has not disabled the C&W peering interfaces
  nor decommissioned any facilities.  If C&W chooses to, they can
  re-enable interfaces on their side and bring back the connectivity
  lost between their non-transit customers and PSINet.  PSINet
  remains open to discuss with them a new bilateral peering
  agreement if they so choose.

PSINet remains committed to servicing its customers and the Internet
with the best possible infrastructure and policies.  PSINet still
maintains hundreds of peering connections with other ISPs throughout
the world.  While posting about matters between PSINet and its
peering partners is not typical, the circumstances and questions
arising from C&W's decision required some clarification.  Hopefully
this additional clarification helps everyone understand the current

-Mitch Levinn

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