The Technical Working Group Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (BITAG), the multistakeholder group focused on network management practices, has released its review of a hot-button issue in Washington: interconnection and peering.
They study provides a "detailed review on how networks connect, the development and changes in connection models, motivations for connection, how networks manage traffic between each other and some of the challenges that arise as networks evolve."
"In most cases, two parties seeking to interconnect are able to come to terms," says the report. "In some cases after an agreement is reached, however, traffic volumes or other factors may change, which in rare cases may lead to 'de-‐peering' events if the changes are significant enough. More commonly, such changes lead to a renegotiation of the manner or type of interconnection agreement between the two parties. Although peering disputes over traffic imbalances, and other reasons, are not new, peering disputes in the U.S. have been increasingly publicized in recent years."
Members CenturyLink and the Center for Democracy & Technology suggested the topic. 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 and its relationship to network neutrality.
True to its charter, the report stays out of the political debate, instead providing a history of the growth of the Internet and its web of interconnections, some paid, some not.
Jason Weil, principal engineer at Time Warner Cable, and Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology, were the lead editors on the report.