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The large ISPs and Peering

  • From: Peering Resistance
  • Date: Tue Jul 24 22:54:07 2001

This is an interesting tale, and one that everyone
involved with the ISP world should know about.

Aproximately 8 months ago, several of the very largest
ISPs, ones with names like WorldCom, Sprint, CW,
Genuity, and others, came together to discuss the
concept of peering. The all peered with each other,
most with very large peering circuits - OC-12 or
above. The problem was that the provisioning time and
effort required for these circuits was getting quite
out of control. Costs of interconnects were also high.

So, these large providers did the "unthinkable". They
decided to issue an RFP to 8 sites around the US,
which they would jointly inhabit for purposes of
peering. In order to avoid the appearence of
collusion, they all issued similar RFPs, each
originating from their own company, but otherwise
almost identical. And the sites were choosen using
essentially identical criteria. So, unsurprisingly,
the same 8 sites were choosen, in such cities as
Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, DC, and

There are several rumors floating about as to which
sites were choosen. This is unconfirmed and
conjecture, so I won't go into it for this email.

The key questions...

1) What are the selected sites?
2) How do the rest of us play?
3) Why wasn't this process more open?

I know that this is a true situation, as I have
confirmation from three different sources, and have
seen copies of several of the RFCs. I eagerly await
the comments of those providers involved with this
effort, and hope that this will lead to a more open

- PR

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