BBN Peering issues

Amazing, a BBN supporter.

Thus spake Michael Dillon <> on Wed, Aug 12, 1998:
> > > What I would like more than anything right now is some official word from
> > > high-up's at BBN regarding what this policy entails exactly, and what
> > > their rationale is behind it.
> Here is a news story from yesterday with quotes from John Curran
> > You know what is behind it, you mentioned it two paragraphs below,
> > capitalism. BBN can make more money this way.
> That is yet to be seen. If this move reduces the quality of connectivity
> for their customers they could lose a lot of business too.

Hey! I'm an ISP too! When do I get my free BBN peering??!?! You mean I've been
paying for BBN all this time? Jeez, I feel dumb...

>From the article:
> "It appears that the result of this action will
> harm BBN and its customers substantially more
> than it will harm our customers," said Exodus
> President Ellen Hancock in an Aug. 5 letter to
> customers.

This statement is deluded to say the least. BBN peers with most other major
backbone providers, and they have one of the fastest, most reliable networks in
the world. Say Ms. Hancock ends up buying transit from Digex or UUnet. Under
most current hot-potato routing schemes, that carrier will drop the packet at
the closest BBN peering point, and the web page will continue on its merry way
through BBN to the BBN customer. Three or four more hops added at the max. It
probably wouldn't even be noticeable.

If she buys transit from a not-so-well-connected provider, crappy performance
will be universal and not confined to BBN, ass-uming there's no spiteful
routing policies inserted on her end for BBN customers. (Route all BBN-bound
packets through the BRI link to Somehow I doubt that will be the

You forgot one circumstance, the most likely in this situation... Exodus isn't
going to buy any transit. Nor are the other folks that BBN is trying to cut
off. Let's face the facts, BBN is only 1.85% of my traffic. By all accounts,
we estimate to be in the area of 10-30% of their traffic. Lots of luck. We
actually see a massively inverted benefit scale in this particular situation.

Exodus *does* face some hard business decisions. Unfortunately, blaming BBN
isn't going to do much to help Exodus. Capitalists trashing capitalism? Please.

There will be no "blame". BBN's customers, when they can't reach 30 of the top 100
web sites in the US will take care of that for us. Since your multihomed through
UUNET, you won't have the pleasure of disconnectivity and therefore, nothing
to complain about. And, in actuality, the business decision is quite easy--BBN
isn't nearly enough of a player to pull a stunt like this. Obviously their egos
are larger than their network, but egos don't route packets very well.


I'm not speaking for the company here. When I do that, I wear a different hat.

Are you seriously under the impression that 10-30% of BBN traffic is sent to

And that 10% of BBN's traffic equals 1.85% of Exodus's?



Dan Ritter
ISE New England Region 617.873.4514
          Epoch ends on Mon Jan 18 22:14:07 2038 EST.

I can't imagine why they might have thought they would be... UUnet
apparently isn't; and their backbone hauls a _lot_ more bytes than
BBN's does...

-- jra