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RE: The large ISPs and Peering

  • From: Jeb R. Linton
  • Date: Wed Jul 25 11:06:51 2001

There's nothing sinister or secret about this.

I can't say who the winners are because the winners aren't official yet, and
I also have heard only rumors. The big players are simply doing a smart
thing - deciding together on points where they can all agree to meet and
peer at 2.4Gb and 10Gb cheaply. It's obviously the right thing to do.

What it means for smaller ISPs, content providers, etc., is that there will
now be a particular Equinix, Level(3), etc. facility, where we know all the
big players will be. Those facility providers won't keep us out - they'll
market the fact that the top Tier-1's are there in order to get everyone
else there too.

These facilities are huge. Each Tier-1 needs space for a few Juniper M160s,
Cisco 12400s, etc. The space left is more than enough for Tier-2s and
content providers galore. There's nothing preventing the big guys from
competing to provide transit to others in those facilities without huge
local loop costs. It's basically a one-stop shop for transit circuits from
anybody you want - they know this, so the competition will be pretty good.

"What happens to my favorite Co-lo?"... Well, if you're not in the facility
that gets chosen, it's still likely there will be cheap connections from
yours to theirs. These thing will sit on multiple metro fiber rings, so
again there will be decent competition. Any old facility that doesn't hook
up to the chosen ones knows they will be left out in the dark. So choose

- Jeb Linton

(My opinions only, not the opinions of EarthLink or anyone else as far as I

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf Of
> Peering Resistance
> Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2001 10:50 PM
> To:
> Subject: The large ISPs and Peering
> 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
> others.
> 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
> internet.
> - PR
> __________________________________________________
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