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Re: New peering criteria [ and Enron ]

  • From: James Thomason
  • Date: Wed Jun 06 17:30:33 2001

> I agree, but how do you decide who is hurt more?
> And therefore who should be the vendor and who is the customer?
> Is the "bigger" network always the vendor, or is the network with more
> content the vendor, or the network with more eyeballs the vendor?  That's
> what I don't understand about the "balance" requirement.  Ok, so you know
> the traffic is imbalanced, but whose fault/hurt is it when traffic is
> imbalanced?  And who is responsible for "fixing" the imbalance in traffic?

In the telecommunications industry the role of "vendor" is played mutually
depending on the initiation of the transaction.  The finite start and
stop point (or "call minute" as Geoff Huston referes to it) allows
exchanging parties to assign cost for a specific transaction and a
specific time.  

Since we have no such transaction basis in the Internet model, we are
forced to rely on intangible metrics that can not be easily
quantified.  The examples are as old as "peering" itself; traffic levels,
number of customers, operational impact, geographic reach, et
cetera.  The "peering" agreements derived from this criteria force certain
parties into a virtual hierarchy.  One who does not meet a specific set of
intangible qualifications is not eligble for a particular arrangement that
is deemed favorable, and is forced into a less favorable arrangement.  

Why did the majority of providers choose to adopt the settlement models of
the few?  Obviously they had to.  What is surprising is that some parties
who are obviously economically disadvantaged in such arrangements continue
to fight for the model as a primary means of settlement.  

I say economically disadvantaged because it is often the case that in an
equal trade, not all things are equal.  When I look at the models in place
around "peering" agreements today, I am forced to wonder who is the
beneficiary in this transaction?

Put in another light (and as the saying goes):  If you are playing poker
and can not identify the sucker, YOU are the sucker. 

One thing that is certain is that the current models make the benefits of
more mature markets difficult to obtain.  Hedging would be a primary

Perhaps continued outages attributed to inequitable settlement
arrangements will prompt greater focus on the "data transaction issue". 


> The simple answer is I'm the vendor and you are the customer, so you should
> pay me.
> The more difficult answer is one side turns off the connection (C&W) and
> the first side to blink is the customer (C&W).  If C&W didn't feel any
> pain, why would they turn the peering sessions back on?

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