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North American Network Operators Group

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Re: NAP History (was RE: The large ISPs and Peering)

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Thu Jul 26 16:28:07 2001

On Thu, 26 July 2001, steve wolff wrote:
> With the impending closure of the NSFNET Backbone, and the distfribution of 
> those funds to (academic) regional networks for the purpose of buying 
> backbone service from ISPs on the open market, NSF feared that universal 
> connectivity within the US higher education community might be lost - if all 
> ISPs concerned did not peer with one another.

The NSF never required ISPs peer with one another.  The requirement
was to "connect" to the three primary NAPs, not exchange traffic. Universal
connectivity was an issue we are still dealing with.

> Accordingly, NSF established the NAPs as open exchange points, and the funds 
> distributed to regional networks to buy backbone service had a string 
> attached:  the regionals could only buy from ISPs who agreed to come to one 
> or more NAPs and exchange higher ed traffic.  Thus the universal connectivity 
> of the community NSF was charged to serve was aassured.

The CIX router had a mandatory peering policy, assuring universal
connectivity among its members. For several years, the CIX router
served as the "router of last resort." But some providers didn't
like that policy.

Neither MAE-East, or the NAPs had "AUPs" covering traffic exchange.

> NSF never intended the NAPs to be the ONLY peering/exchange points, and never 
> contemplated a 'stamp of approval' (or disapproval, for that matter) for 
> anybody else's exchange point; the NAPs were inclusive, not exclusive.

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