Peering problems: digging into the Comcast/Level 3 grudgematch
Is Comcast really trying to wreck the open Internet with a set of new tollbooths? Is Level 3 really trying to browbeat its way to a good deal?
Ever since the Comcast/Level 3 interconnection dispute broke wide open into public view last week, the accusations from both sides have been flying. Sorting out those accusations has been difficult, in part because it was just so hard to know, on a technical level, what exactly has been going on.
Peering and transit issues can be notoriously complex but also murky, the details hidden behind nondisclosure agreements. As the 2009 Annual Report (PDF) from the ATLAS Internet Observatory put it, such deals are “difficult to quantify due to NDA/commercial privacy.”