UUNET Press Release on Peering

UUNET issued a press release today on their peering strategy. It is located


The gist of the press release is that UUNET will peer with anyone who has
"a national network with a dedicated, diversely routed DS-3 (or faster)
backbone, and which will connect to UUNET at DS-3 or greater speeds in at
least four geographically diverse locations." UUNET is being taken
advantage of by "small regional ISP's and companies which provide ``web
server farm'' services rather than Internet networking." and must protect
itself from abuse of its backbone.

Sounds like they are backing off, since this line of reasoning (modulo
bandwidth and number of interconnects) has been standard procedure for all
the national backbones since the end of the NSFNET. However, if you read
the fine print about "a dedicated diversely routed DS-3 or faster backbone"
that lets out all the "no money down instant backbones" that many smaller
national ISPs and web farmers have built of late.

Are they still insisting on NDAs before talking?


It is obvious that their customers don't want access to those web sites.

I suggest that the parallels are striking here.

Worldcom/MFS run dial services as a CAP in several markets.

They charge the customer for the DS-1s and dial lines.
Then they get a settlement from the RBOCs in the form of an interconnect
charge for every call the ISPs customers make to the lines.

Following the UUNET principle that "nobody should get the traffic for free",
ISPs should immediately cancel their MFS circuits (for which UUNET is
getting a free ride in the form of being able to collect twice without
justification) and find another CAP which feels that interconnection is
*ALWAYS* to the equal benefit of both parties.

We are initiating cancellations of all our DS-1 dial circuits from MFS
within the next 180 days.

Good bye UUNET. I anticipate that this will cost you several hundred
thousand dollars in those settlement monies annually, and I urge all other
ISPs to do likewise.

[snipped from uunet article]
"or ISP's of similar size, route each others' traffic to destinations on
their respective networks. Because the flow of data and use of
infrastructure are anticipated to be approximately equal in both
directions, no money changes hands in peering relationships. "

I'm guessing that so far, Canadian ISP's and NSP's have managed to avoid
paying GST (goods and services tax) on peering arrangements or individual
packets pushed around. Given how the uunet article explains peering, has
the Canadian govt made any noises to start taxing the internet 'service'?


Strikes me that the terms "diversely routed" and "geographically diverse"
can be interpretted wildly.

For most networks, I don't see a real problem dropping a couple extra
pairs of DS3s (assuming they were only at two NAPs to begin with).

If UUNet requires a DS3 interconnect at LINX, MaeWest, MaeEast and say
(for giggles) Australia -- AND a diversely routed DS3 backbone in the
U.S. that takes on an entirely different meaning than the above.

Also note that a DS3 interconnect between UUNet and a potential peer's
network does NOT imply multiple DS3 connections [feeding either the UUNet
or peer's side].

This does seem remarkably less stringent than the first foray of press

Any other opinions?


Possible scenario: UUNET recants position for things to cool down, then
pulls completely from every public meet-point. Their release does not even
hint at public meet-points, and, going on what I read at lunch in Network
World (May 5, 1997, Vol 14, #18) from the "ISP peering boosts reliability"
article, "Private peering started in late 1995 but is taking off
today. MCI is leading the way with more than 30 peering agreements."

Most interesting quote: Alan Taffel, VP of Marketing for UUNET, "We pulled
out of the MAEs to help the Internet."


(may I suggest we move this to com-priv? The announcement was great on
this list, but others might appreciate the discussion to be elsewhere)

I wouldn't. I don't want to subscribe to another list; besides, I find
the subject matter extremely relevant as it raises some interesting issues
of some importance to nanog.