> At some point, there started to be a business case for large
providers to interconnect with bilateral private links as well as at
exchanges. When did such links first get used for commercial
traffic? In the beginning, were they short-haul connections between
cages in exchanges, or WAN links between major provider hubs? I'm
referring here only to interprovider links, not to transit customers.
Mark Borchers added,
Well, if this is to be a comprehensive list, private interconnects
predated the commercial Internet. At OARnet in Ohio, we set up
peering with CICNet in a facility near the Ohio Supercomputer Center
in order to avoid long round trips.
Clearly, there's a need to broaden my scope!
I do want differentiate between good solid technical examples, such as yours for OARnet-CICNet, between examples where the suits had an economic motivation. The latter, I would assume, came later.
While I recognize I won't be able to publish the details of many NDA-covered commercial private peerings, it is my hope to identify when this practice began. A side motivation for this particular point is to identify when commercial NDA considerations might have restricted the potential ability of routing registries to give reasonably accurate representations of topology and policy.
Yeah, yeah...if everyone DID put all their policies in an RR. Yet Another Issue.
This is from my swiss cheese memory ...
The NAPs where in full swing by early 1995. We put together the MLPA
at AADS by May 1, 1995 ... The date is on the web page:
Sprint, MCA, and ANS where the backbone providers brought into the
NAPs ... originally viewed as the New York NAP, Chicago NAP and
San Francisco NAP with MAE East tacked on as a legacy. MAE-East
and MAE-West in part fed off the Federal exchanges, FIX-East
By the time of the MLPA the big boys where erecting fences in an attempt
to keep others out of the club.
I have a feeling that if peering was looked at purely based on economics
it would make no sense for a large provide not to peer with a smaller
provider if the later had a national backbone and could provide diverse
The development of the network providers around DC in Maryland and Northern
Virginia are tied into the shift from the University and Government Internet
into the private sector Internet and the growth of MAE-East. That chapter
alone would probably make for a good book.
The history of the Internet so far does not support the view that the
exclusionary policies of Sprint, MCI and ANS did anything to keep out
competition, improve the respective networks, or keep them at the top
of the heap.
Bill Manning was involved in a lot of the exchange point
development. I remember getting a crash course in exchange points
from him on a marker board at ISI in late '95.
Howard C. Berkowitz wrote: