BBN Peering issues (fwd)

It is in content-owners' interests to encourage the trend
also, as ultimately their brand is the one that is hurt
by unreliability. Yes, it might hurt carrier X's business
when carrier X cannot get to Popular Content Site, but some
fraction of carrier X's customers will go away thinking,
"performance to Popular Content Site sucks! Popular Company sucks!"

It is interesting to see how things are sorting out. Yes, content
owners are concerned about this, but the solution may not be good
for the diversified carriers. I suspect you are going to see more
deals like AOL's TeraPOP project. Networks with large content owners
are connecting directly with networks with large users bypassing the
usual backbones in the process. The diversified carriers are being
relegated to managing the banks of modem pools. One thing which will
really kill your stock price is if investors get the idea your portion
of the market is about to turn into a commidity.

The term 'disintermediation' is often used to describe how commerce
will develope on the Internet. Diversified backbone providers serve
a useful purpose while the market is fragmented. But the very
centralization which makes the 'synergy' referenced in many of the
mergers also sows the seeds of bypass. On one side you have the
large access concentrators such as AOL, Earthlink, Mindspring; on
the other side large content concentrators such as GlobalCenter,
Exodus. What purpose does the carrier in the middle serve?

Moreover, as the capacity market distortions are sorted
out in many places, it almost certainly will be cheaper
for content owners to spread the work of distribution around,
so that the traffic stays as local as possible.

Yes and no. There is a tension or balance between distribution
and centralization. I don't think it is possible to make a
blanket statement one style or another will be cheaper.