the Union makes us Strong

From: Vadim Antonov <>
Now, let's imagine that wolves learned to eat grass and started to enjoy it.
What they do then is simply catch and eat all rabbits -- to eliminate
competition for grass. Of course, some rabbits may be real quick-pawed
(hint, hint).

Several have noted in the past that Vadim has a religious predeliction
toward "robber baron" oligopolies. We've had plenty of historic
experience with them here in the US.

The wolves have learned to eat grass (IP) in addition to their old fare
(overpriced direct links, X.25, and OSI).

Gentlefolk, if we are to avoid the doom that Vadim predicts, the
large number of rabbits need to band together to fend off the wolves.

And develop BIG TEETH. (Holy Grail :slight_smile:

There was a great deal of talk among small providers in the halls and
restaurants around NANOG last week. Several different models of
cooperation were discussed.

Much of the effort so far has been all volunteer. There seems to be a
general fear of actual financial cooperation and management.

As I raised as an issue with the large providers during their
presentation, the very nature of IP statistical multiplexing improves
throughput when several providers join together and use the same pipe.
This could also help ameliorate the cost and peering issues raised here
by our international brethren.

  (As an aside, the objection was that the US Government would object.
  This is silly! The automotive industry isn't required to have
  different size screws made by different suppliers for every car, or use
  different railroads and trucking firms to get parts to the plants.
  Instead, the screws are standardized and all can buy from the same
  pool of parts and transit suppliers.)

Yet, if we are to survive, we will need to build a shared cooperative
infrastructure tailored to our own needs. The writing is on the wall.

I propose that ISPs join together, build, and fund regional and
metropolitan exchanges, and each of these exchanges make a group
purchase of transit to other exchanges, instead of each ISP purchasing
their own transit. Eventually, the independent exchanges together
will constitute a super provider which meets the draconian peering
requirements promulgated by the big providers to limit competition.

I believe that we need an umbrella organization to make this happen.
There is apprehension that the CIX might involve conflict of interest
among its membership. The new ISPC might be a good choice.
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