[LINK] Australian ISPs offer US advice, smugness, on net neutrality

Glen Turner gdt at gdt.id.au
Wed Oct 1 10:33:24 EST 2008

Adrian Chadd wrote:

> Australian ISPs could peer too. Nothing stopped them doing that. And some
> did (and do, hi internode, telstra, even OGN! :). They however would have to
> drag circuits over to the US to do the peering; and the US peers weren't
> interested in paying half. (Or weren't where I was involved.) Settlement
> based peering didn't help either; the traffic generally flowed one way.

Once you've paid the costs of the undersea capacity the peering versus
transit costs are trivial. The US peering exchanges are not free -- we
don't see much difference in US-side costs for transit and for peering.

What you do get with peering is control.  If some ISP goes stupid then
you just blackhole them. With transit you are giving away the responsibility
for the quality of your Internet offering to someone else.  That's nice
if you are a small ISP but a nightmare if you are a large ISP.

As a research network AARNet also gets the ability to run advanced
network services (QoS, IPv6, multicast) with equally-capable peers,
greatly enhancing our user's experience of those services.

 From the US peers side this is a bargain -- Australian ISPs are offering
to pay 100% of the most expensive part of reaching that 10% of the
Internet.  Which is why AARNet is one of the top 20 peered networks in
the world.  Other Australian ISPs (such as Telstra and Optus) tend to
be less well peered because of flow-on from their limited national peering

> Note that in Australia, ISPs are making deals with content producers for
> their content to sit in the ISP "free zone". I'm sure the ISP gets a kickback
> from this (they'd be stupid not to!) which justifies having it "open".
> This is precisely what the content/SP companies in the US want, and almost
> exactly what the whole "net neutrality" concept wants to avoid.

Again, it's control. Let's say you connect to Content A via transit.
What happens on a very high news day? That transit carrier congests
and there's stuff all you can do about it. Whereas running a direct
link gives the ability to put in a link with a 10% average usage that
will handle a peak news day.

For the record, AARNet promotes "sender keeps all" peering where each
side eats their own costs. We're happy enough for content providers to
peer with us and don't look for funds or contra. Equally, we're eager
to promote differential treatment of AARNet's customers which reflect
those lower costs (eg, less ads, better services which exploit our
network such as IPv6, live multicast streaming, full definition content
rather than a tiny box on the screen).

  Glen Turner   <http://www.gdt.id.au/~gdt/>

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