This is seriously good advice. A lot of people have compared this to the
UUNet peering flap but the two incidents couldn't be more different. In
UUNet's case you had John Sidgemore, an economist, attempting to throw his
weight around and push towards a paid peering scenario with a cartel at
the core, all of this based solely on an economics viewpoint.
But with BBN, there is a network engineering problem at the core of the
issue, that of assymmetric traffic patterns. And BBN realizes that this
sort of assymmetry will become more and more common in the future and that
the industry needs to find some sort of hybrid peering/settlement
mechanism that will work for both parties in an asymmetric arrangement.
They are looking at things like what kind of methodology can be used to
measure the traffic, what constitutes free balanced peering, how to charge
for regional transit on traffic that exceeds the limits of balanced
peering, and similar difficult issues.
I believe that the reason we are not hearing many details is that there
are NDAs in place about the specifics of the Exodus, AboveNet and CRL
peering contracts. But sooner or later those companies will come to some
sort of agreement and BBN will explain the rationale behind their
thinking. We may not totally agree with that rationale, but I think we can
all see that establishing peering between two specialty providers has to
be handled a bit differently than between two full-service providers.
And if BBN's ideas can be refined and accepted by the industry, then we
will be in a better position because there will be an established
methodology and pricing structure for an ISP to transition from full
transit to full peering. I know from my experience with Priori that a lot
of peering negotiations happen like an old-boys club cartel and if you
ain't a member of the club, you can't get in. We need to change this so
that there is an open process by which anyone can transition to being a
peer based on an open and accepted methodology and pricing structure.