Peering versus Transit

Peering is becoming a real touchy issue. Most of the larger providers
don't really want to peer with anyone else because they can't really handle
the extra traffic, or they are afraid of peering with a company that
doesn't have the technical staff that is truly knowledgable about backbone
With the major peering points getting more accessable to smaller providers,
this becomes even more evident. And to be truthful, it can be understood.
Their have been quite a ISP's get temporarily shutdown at one of the MAE's
because of "errors" in routing procedures.

No names mentioned, but for example about changing peering requirements.
One of the larger providers said they required three meet points + 2-3
private interconnects at DS-3 or higher... when we said that we could do
that by the end of November, they said, "Really?.. that is going to cost
both companies a large sum in hardware and DS-3 local loop fees." They
changed their requirements to be just three meet points.

If you look at the monthly cost of buying a DS-3 from MCI, Sprint, UUNet,
AGIS, or PSI, it is much cheaper to get a connection to a MAE, and trying
to get peering.



It almost makes one think the evil telcos are plotting a new
service/product that would be damaged by legacy contracts, eh?

  internet engineer for the enquirer?

>These days peering agreements are business deals.

They have always been business deals. I'm just amazed as some of the
lengths some providers go to justify what should be a plain-old
business decision. If you don't intend to peer with another provider,
just say so. The only providers I tend to get really peeved at are
the ones that keep changing their stories.

AGIS told me in January '96 that their peering agreement was being
revised by their lawyers and they would send it as soon as it was
ready. Since I hadn't heard from AGIS in a while, I sent another
note to AGIS and was told they now require DS3 connections to four
exchange points. No idea what happened to that peering agreement
from January.

MCI told me in February '96 that their peering agreement as
on hold pending review by their lawyers and they would let me know
when it was ready. The last response I've received from MCI is the
person in charge of peering had changed. No word from the new guy.
And MCI took their peering policies off their web page. No idea
what happened to MCI's policies in the mean time.

Since March of 1995 (yes '95) I've gone through three product managers
for Sprintlink who have told me their peering agreement is on the way,
under legal review, on hold, or being revised. DRA met Sprint's peering
'requirements' a couple of times now. But by the time I hear back from
their product manager du jure, they've changed their requirements again.

I'm puzzled why these providers seem to have new peers show up at the
same time they are telling me new peerings are on 'hold.' Should I
start taking this personally? If you don't intend to peer with other
providers, why not say so? Why go through the trouble of making
peering questionaires and listing peering requirements, when you are
just going to come up with a new excuse if you don't want to peer
with the other provider.

>They happen to
>be business deals that have $0 attached to them for all sorts
>of reasons Sean D et al explained far more eloquently than I could,
>but they are still business agreements. Just like any other contract,
>be in breach at your peril.

Breach of contract is a civil matter, not criminal. If you have a
peering agreement that says thou shalt not next-hop third-party routes,
and they do, you get to terminate the agreement and/or sue the other
provider, not arrest them.

People seem to be very quick to call things they don't like illegal.
Not all misrouted packets are the result of illegal activities, most
of them are just misrouted packets. MCI didn't plan to send me packets
across mae-east, they just happened to believe some bad routing