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True Peers, Near Peers, Pseudo Peers, and Bandwidth Resellers
From: "Kent W. England" <kwe () geo net>
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 1997 19:26:49 -0700

At 09:02 PM 7/16/97 +0000, Danny wrote:

Anyone care to take a stab at what places a provider in 
a given "tier-group"?  Seems to me as though the large(st) 
providers are a bit harsher (naturally) than the smaller 

In my conference presentations on this subject, I divide Internet service
providers into three categories based on peering relationships:

1) The True Peer Backbones are those ISPs that carry the bulk of the
Internet access traffic, run default free, and expect everyone else to buy
transit from themselves or another True Peer.

2) The Near Peer Networks are ISPs that are trying to complete their
peering agreements but are getting default transit somewhere. The Pseudo
Peer Networks  are running those thin no-money-down ATM "backbones" and are
mostly web farmers pretending to be backbones or former bandwidth resellers
that are trying to move from paying for transit to free peering.

3) The Bandwidth Resellers, many of whom are former PC BBS sysops, system
integrators or computer retailers cum local ISPs, have a legitimate
business buying T1s and T3s and reselling frame relay and T1s and dial access.

A True Peer is any backbone that all the other True Peers consider a peer.
I know it's circular, but it works in Hollywood. The bandwidth resellers
don't have a beef with the True Peers since they and the True Peers are
playing by the same rules (few big default-free transit backbones and lots
of resellers).

It's the Near Peers, playing by the same rules as the True Peers and
Resellers, that are building infrastructure and backbones, trying to become
True Peers and these worry the True Peers as emerging competition and more
routing work.  

The Pseudo Peers try to appear as worthy Peers and get the True Peers in a
snit, because they view the Pseudo Peers as parasites, never meaning to
build backbones, sucking away their rightful web hosting clients and local
access customers with reseller prices.


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