Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Slides available: BEREC expert workshop on IP-Interconnection (Peering and Transit) in cooperation with OECD

Update: BEREC website was redesigned and the slides fell off. They can still be found here in this open directory http://berec.mp.bi.lv/files/doc/berec/oecd/
On November 2nd, BEREC organized a workshop on IP-interconnection together with the OECD. All the slides are now available online.  And to save you from reading the whole post, here they are:

This was a direct result of the OECD High Level Meeting on the Internet Economy in June, where through conversations in the halls we noticed that there was a difference in the way regulators and Internet peering coordinators discussed interconnection. The workshop was a huge success, several people from the internet peering community flew in from Vienna for one day even though there was a RIPE-meeting going on too. 

A couple of points to take away from the meeting are:
  • Peering agreements are for 95%+ handshake agreements, without any involvement of lawyers. They take 3 minutes to set up technically. 
  • Both content providers and eyeball networks are working on getting content closer, faster and cheaper to the consumer. This benefits both parties. An interesting example were Google Global Caches which are now placed in networks around the world, but whose effect can most profoundly be seen in Africa where for instance the traffic over the Kenya Internet Exchange Point increased by several hundreds megabit/s peak after a cache was installed, saving the local internet community hundred thousands of dollars every month
  •  The market for peering and transit is highly competitive and highly dynamic, with switching barriers being extremely low. A change in routing from one transit provider to another can literally be done in minutes. The effect of a peering agreement is almost immediate. 
  • The people whose job it is to interconnect IP-networks speak of themselves as a community, even though some of them disagree quite considerably on how it should be done and who plays what role. 
  • Peering and transit is done between all kinds of networks, even the European Commission has an AS-number and could set up it's own peerings.
 I think everyone looks back at a very successful event, that was seated to capacity. 

BEREC expert workshop on IP-Interconnection in cooperation with OECD 
November 2nd, Bloom Hotel Brussels, 9:00-17:30  

The goal of the workshop is to bring experts from the IP- interconnection community in contact with experts on interconnection from national regulatory authorities and to discuss future interconnection in an all-IP world.

The Internet’s way of using peering and transit as the basis for commercial negotiations differs considerably from the telephony’s world of Calling Party’s Network Pays. As a result even when talking the two worlds seem to be speaking about different things even when using the same words.

BEREC has been looking into these different approaches to interconnection in a series of papers since 2007 (ERG Report on IP-Interconnection 2007, ERG Common Statement on Regulatory Principles of IP Interconnection 2008, BEREC Common Statement on NGN future charging mechanisms, 2010). The OECD has studied Internet traffic exchange in a series of reports in 1998, 2002, 2005 and in a forthcoming paper in 2011. Furthermore, it has studied Internet traffic exchange in relation to the development of local content in cooperation with UNESCO and it has also organized a workshop on the topic in 2001 in cooperation with the German government. IP-interconnection markets are global markets crossing national borders and even continents. Therefore the OECD is singular in its analysis of trends in Internet interconnection taking a global perspective. Following the same objective of safeguarding competition, BEREC and the OECD take this workshop as a starting point hopefully to be continued in the future.

The format of the 4 session is intended to allow for an extensive discussion with the audience.

9:00-9:30 Registration and Coffee

9:30 – 10:00 Opening words by Monica AriƱo, BEREC and Sam Paltridge, OECD

10:00-11:30 Session 1: The background of Internet interconnection
The goal of this session is to outline the basics of Internet interconnection.
Technical background: Peering (paid or free), transit, partial transit, variants (reciprocal transit
etc.), “Public” versus private, application needs for QoS.

11:30-12:00 Coffee break

12:00-13:00 Session 2: IP interconnection, traffic trends, and implications for
wholesale and retail prices

The interconnection of internet networks has been described in terms of two-sided networks.
The network provider stands in the middle and can receive money from either the content
provider or the consumer. Is this description of the market accurate? What can the theory of
two-sided markets teach us? What contribution can content providers give to the deployment
of networks or alternatively what is the role of network providers in content?
13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:30 Session 3: IP Interconnection and differentiated QoS
15:30-16:00 Coffee Break

16:00-17:10 Session 4: The Future of Interconnection
The Internet hasn’t done away with telephony as a very important means of communication. The growth of mobile telephony has even been more dramatic than the growth of Internet. There have been calls in academic journals and on regulators directly to both impose the Internet’s way of interconnection on telephony and vice versa the telephony’s way interconnection on the Internet.
  • Can we expect the market to evolve into one model or the other for all traffic?
  • Could a hybrid model evolve?
  • What role will new services on networks play? Will new demands be placed on
  • interconnection?
  • What characteristics of both models should survive?
Eric Ralph, Chief Economist of the Wireline Competition Bureau, FCC (Video message
and telco);
Andreas Sturm, De-Cix;
Mike Blanche, Falk v. Bornstaedt, Patrick Gilmore; Martin Levy

17:10-17:30 Wrap-up 
Cara Schwarz-Schilling, BEREC and Rudolf van der Berg, OECD