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Peering, Cartelephony, and you

  • From: David Barak
  • Date: Thu Jul 26 13:07:46 2001

Quoth Curtis Maurand:

>A rose by any other name...  The fact is, and history
>shows us, that when
>cartels form, things get bad for the consumer.  Oil,
>Electricity,
>telecomm.  However, The placement of the NAP's is
>disconcerting, because
>the process for choosing them was closed.   Does it
>make sense for all of
>my traffic going to maine.rr.com from lamere.net
(both >in Maine and in the
>same communities) to exchange traffic at MAE east 650
>miles away?

Depends on what you mean by "Cartel," doesn't it? 
Would you describe a shopping mall as a cartel?

In fact, the locations of shopping malls are generally
very influenced by local population demographics and
geography.  So too any new exchange points.  Obviously
Nordstroms, Sears, Hechts, etc. have a much bigger
impact on the location of shopping malls than the
peace frogs store does.  Thus, the few "really big
ISPs" are going to be the ones who determine where
they want services to be provided, and by virtue of
their larger $$, will have much more weight than the
small ISPs.  This isn't surprising - any more than it
should surprise you that McDonalds has a bigger impact
on Cattle producers than your small regional chain
does.

Regarding where your traffic goes, if you're concerned
about your traffic to maine.rr.com, you should get a
circuit with them (either peer or customer).  If you
have done neither of these things, it certainly is not
the fault of larger ISPs.

>There won't be if the Tier-1's all form a
"consotium." > They will collude
>on network build out and stop competing with each
>other.  If you think
>that's not true, think again.

Well, I wouldn't theoretically rule out collusion, but
it IS illegal - so therefore, the big ISPs do have a
pretty strong incentive to avoid the appearence of
collusion, and most of the "really big ISPs" have
services which are diverse enough to mean that they
are still competing for many of the same customers...

All this having been said, while I don't have a
problem with the idea of there being a smaller number
of "mega-colos," I'd be surprised if the "really big
ISPs" are in the financial position right now to look
at spending a lot of money on (of all things) peering
[ie. something which does not generate revenue].

-David Barak
"Quis custodes ipsos custodiet?" - Juvenal

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