RE: the Internet Backbone

From: John Curran[]

From: Avi Freedman <>
Everyone (of importance) agrees that in order to claim you're a


you have to (now, not a year ago) be connected to at least 2 public


and have at least one circuit that runs at DS3 or higher speed.

No, that is not correct.

A US Internet "backbone" is one which connects to ALL the NAP/MAEs in
the US. Not just two. All of them.


    I'm not sure that's a viable definition. First, the number of MAE's
    seems to be increasing withou bound, and secondly, there are points
    that you don't want to connect due to their performance. Finally, is
    "connecting" considered the same as "peering"?


There is no clear consensus concerning which of the facilities are "NAPs",
let alone which ones an ISP should participate in to be considered a
credible National/Backbone provider. For instance, while MAE-West was not
one of the original NAPs established by NSF, it clearly qualifies in all
other respects. On the other hand, I don't think it would be considered
necessary to be at LA, Phoenix, Tucson, Dallas, etc right now to be
considered a National/Backbone provider. The criteria I've heard most
frequently is "connected to three of the NAPs, peering with at least 2
national providers at each of those NAPs". I believe this is what MCI
requires in order to establish peering with a new entity...