Peering versus Transit

OK, I'll take one shot at this. This comes from reading and admiring SMD's
post, and then deciding that the huge majority of people who would benefit
from it likely couldn't understand it. (I'm on the edge of that myself,
for one or two things Sean said. :slight_smile:

Lon R. Stockton, Jr. writes:

I think my confusion revolves around looking at this picture more
from the end-user's (and the end-user's ISP chain) perspective. Maybe
I'm just still confused, but as I see it, customers of an NSP who
actually refuses packets addressed to them because they don't have
an agreement with the sender have all right to be livid with rage.

The reason that this is NOT a reason for customers to be "livid with rage"
is this:

If I am a customer of Joe Random Big ISP (JRBI), then I have a right to
expect that JRBI will provide *adequate and reasonable* facilities to get
packets to and from my net. The crux of the matter is this: "adequate and
reasonable" does not necessarily (or usually) include taking any traffic
tossed at JRBI by some random small ISP (RSI) at an interconnect like MAE

If JRBI peers with all the majors, that fits the definition. That's just
the way things are. Most people would agree that >99.999% of all hosts
being reachable (that's what peering with all the majors gets you) is
"reasonable and adequate".

As a customer of JRBI, you have no more right to expect traffic to you to
be routed a certain way than you have the right to expect your long-
distance carrier to route your voice calls via a specific path.

Here's another way of seeing it, which is also "true" but irrelevant to
your specific point:

Any large provider must recover the costs of building and running a net,
and must also make a profit. This means that dealing with traffic at an
interexchange point (IXP) is a legitimate potential profit center. In fact,
if you want to be in business, it had better be one. The costs of being
at a point are not the only costs of running a net- JRBI provides T3s
*between* the IXPs and to privately arranged peers. Thus JRBI's investment
is larger than RSP's and when they meet, RSP should pay JRBI. Of course,
two large ISPs have roughly equal traffic, so when JRBI peers with MCI,
they don't pay each other.

I hope this helps some people see things more clearly...


ps- in fact, when you're a customer of JRBI, you have *no* rights except what
is explicitly stated in your contract, and perhaps a few clearly imputed
rights (depending on what legal jurisdiction you're in). The definition I
provided is likely to be what winds up standing up in court, if anyone ever
gets silly enough to sue over this. No, I'm not a lawyer. Yes, I have common
sense. And yes, sometimes the Law and Common Sense do intersect.