BITAG To Look at Peering

Stakeholders in Group Include Comcast, Verizon and Netflix

The Technical Working Group Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (BITAG), the multistakeholder group focused on network management practices, will turn its attention to a hot-button issue in Washington: peering.

Members CenturyLink and the Center for Democracy & Technology suggested the topic, and a report is expected to be ready for publication by November 2014.

"Internet network interconnection, also often referred to as 'peering' or 'transit,' is an increasingly important topic as the Internet ecosystem faces a dynamic growth period characterized by rapidly increasing demand, changing technologies and product offerings, and significant shifts in data traffic patterns," said BITAG. "But there is little public information about Internet interconnection available to those not intimately involved with operating networks – including consumers, journalists and regulators."

Topics BITAG said are likely to be covered include the history of interconnection, how Internet traffic is managed between networks, the "evolving nature" of data traffic.

(1) the history of Internet network interconnection, along with a brief historical review of network interconnection in other industries and contexts; (2) how Internet traffic is managed between networks; and (3) the evolving nature of Internet data traffic patterns.

BITAG members include Comcast, Verizon, and Netflix, whose paid peering agreements are being vetted by the FCC as it, too, takes its own deep dive into the issue of paid peering.

Jason Weil, principal engineer at Time Warner Cable, and Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology, will be the lead editors on the report.