Peering Agreements

I have a question on public peering agreements. I have seen some providers
using them while others are not. What is the general opinion on peering
agreements? Are most peering agreements used mainly for private peering?
Also, what are the pros and cons and what kind of protection should I
expect from such an agreement?

Thank you in advance,

Robert Tryce

Since, as far as I know, there is no direct legal precedent I would
suggest it would be wise to at least have a "no warranty expressed
or implied, use at your own risk, may be terminated at any time
without notice" contract. Some companies may want to get fancier.

Without any contract you're ripe pickings for a long court case only
to see a judge "make new law", IMHO.

Having been through protracted sessions of due dilligence, involving an ISP
with a large number of peers, and many peering contracts, the general rules
about them seem to be...

1) The vast majority of lawyers, especially those who specialize in peering
matters (and they are actually a few), regard bilateral peering contracts as
useless instruments for purposes of securing or maintaining peering, due to
the ever-present cancellation clauses.

2) Some folks, usually those largely unfamiliar with peering, place unusual
weight on the presense or absence of BLPAs. This can sometimes include
lawyers who are unfamiliar with peering, as they are almost always unaware
of the cancellation clauses.

3) Peering contracts are most useful in their addendums and attachments, as
a method of establishing agreement about parameters of peering, such as
locations, circuit sizes, who is paying for which circuits, etc. This can be
useful, as these agreements tend to survive past the employment of those who
negotiated them. Otherwise, there can be confusion about the details.

The key is, if you are just getting started peering, you will frequently be
presented with other folk's peering agreements. Attempting to negotiate
terms or wording of the pre-existing BLPAs is both pointless and a waste of

- Daniel Golding

might want to open this up for discussion in the model-peer group.