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Bibliography Details

W.~B. Norton, "The Evolution of the U.S. Internet Peering Ecosystem" 2004.

The Evolution of the U.S. Internet Peering Ecosystem
Authors: W. B. Norton
Published: Equinix White Papers, 2004
Entry Date: 2004-06-30
Abstract: A new Internet Peering Ecosystem is rising from the Ashes of the 1999/2000 U.S. Telecommunications Sector crash. Global Internet Transit Providers have gone bust and a critical broadband infrastructure provider has failed, leaving in their wake a large set of Internet players to fend for themselves to provide their customers with Internet services. A broad set of Service Providers that were once focused only on growing their market share (at any cost) now are bending down to shave pennies off of their cost structure. Those who can not prove the viability of their business model while satisfying their customer demands are out of business. In this paper we share research carried out over the last four years with hundreds of Peering Coordinators to document the recent chaotic evolution of the Peering Ecosystem. We do this by first defining the notion of an Internet Peering Ecosystem as a set of autonomous Internet Regions, each with three distinct categories set of participants. Each of these groups of participants has their own sets of characteristics, motivations and corresponding behaviors and interconnection dynamics. We describe four classes of Peering Inclinations as articulated in Peering Policies. The bulk of the paper however focuses on the Evolution of the U.S. Peering Ecosystem. Several key players, some abandoned by their service providers, have entered into the Peering Ecosystem and caused a significant disruption to the Ecosystem. Peer-to-Peer application traffic has grown to represent a significant portion of their expense. We describe five major events and three emerging evolutions in the Peering Ecosystem that have had and continue to have a significant disintermediation effect on the Tier 1 ISPs. In the appendix we share a simple mathematical Internet Peering Model that can be used to demonstrate this Peering Ecosystem evolution. While not complete or by any means precise, it does allow us to demonstrate the affect of these disruptions in the Peering Ecosystem.
Results: Five major events:
  • The 1999/2000 Economic Collapse of the Telecom Sector
  • The Growth of the Used Networking Equipment Market
  • The Upstream Proider for the Cable Companies (@Home) Went Bankrupt
  • Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Networks grow exponentially in popularity and Traffic between Access Network Providers
  • Transit Rates Drop and Transport Rates Drop
Three emerging evolutions:
  • The Cable Companies are Peering
  • Network Savvy Large Scale Content Companies are Peering
  • Cable Companies Peer Directly with Content Companies