And then there were two

From: Sean Donelan <>
Subject: And then there were two
Date: 5 Jun 2001 17:16:13 -0700

If you accept the premise that "peer == equal" does that mean
in the end there will be only two ISPs each with exactly 50%
of the world's Internet because no one else will be an equal?

Why can't you have more than two 'equals'? Couldn't you have three 'equals' or four 'equals'? It would be just as difficult to maintain three or four _exact_ divisions as it would be to maintain two.

I've never understood how the word "peer" mutated from its
technical definition arising from its use in the BGP protocol
to its use by marketing people.

The keyword is 'marketing' people. Aren't they the ones who always twist and exploit technical terms?

As far as I can tell, EGP (Exterior Gateway Protocol) originally
used the term "neighbor." Berkeley used the berkelism "peer" in
their software and RFC 911 documenting their experience, and the
term stuck through EGP2, BGP1-4.

If we still used the word "neighbor" would the phrase "Are you
a neighbor?" have a different ring than "Are you a peer?" You
can have lots of neighbors, even if you think you are superior
to all of them.

You're thinking about this too much. The backhoes must be behaving today! :wink: