Engineer internet Net peering

Peering policies #peeringweek

trefor_250You’ve read so far in Peering Week about the many hundreds of thousands of connections that join together the 30,000 or so networks on the Internet. Some of these connections are negotiated in minutes by specialist engineers who work for these networks at one of the many peering events that happen throughout the year. The result is a “settlement free” connection between the networks, and traffic between the customers on each network starts to willingly flow.

However, some networks require potential peers to meet and continue to meet various specific technical or commercial criteria before agreeing to peer.

Most of the time such criteria, known in the trade as ‘Peering Policies’ make a huge amount of sense. For example, a peer will often state that they will not make a free peering with someone who is also buying IP Transit from them. Or will not peer with a network that is a “customer of a customer”, so as not to deny revenue from their own customers.

Although many peering policies are beneficial, sometimes peers have policies which have a detrimental effect on their business and the internet as a whole. I’ve picked some of my particularly favourite policies which have the worst unintended side-effects for us all to mock.