Raindeer writes to share his article about peering and transit between networks, which begins: "In 2005, AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre famously told BusinessWeek, 'What they [Google, Vonage, and others] would like to do is to use my pipes free. But I ain't going to let them do that...Why should they be allowed to use my pipes?' The story of how the Internet is structured economically is not so much a story about net neutrality, but rather it's a story about how ISPs actually do use AT&T's pipes for free, and about why AT&T actually wants them to do so. These inter-ISP sharing arrangements are known as 'peering' or 'transit,' and they are the two mechanisms that underlie the interconnection of networks that form the Internet. In this article, I'll take a look at the economics of peering and transit in order to give you a better sense of how traffic flows from point A to point B on the Internet, and how it does so mostly without problems, despite the fact that the Internet is a patchwork quilt of networks run by companies, schools, and governments."
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