[apops] [Fwd: [IP] More on: Ireland to regulate peering]

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  • Subject: [apops] [Fwd: [IP] More on: Ireland to regulate peering]
  • From: Suresh Ramasubramanian <suresh at hserus dot net>
  • Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2003 05:35:00 +0530
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    • -------- Original Message --------
      Subject: [IP] More on: Ireland to regulate peering
      Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2003 10:19:51 -0400
      From: Dave Farber <dave at farber dot net>
      Reply-To: dave at farber dot net
      To: ip <ip at v2 dot listbox dot com>
      ------ Forwarded Message
      From: Alex French <alex at evilal dot com>
      Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2003 15:12:30 +0100
      To: Dave Farber <dave at farber dot net>
      Cc: iiu at taint dot org
      Subject: More on: Ireland to regulate peering
      Dave et al
      [Dave, for IP if you like]
      Thanks to all for the comments on my previous post to IP. Based on the
      feedback I got from people who know more about this than I do, I'd like to
      expand & clarify the issues:
      There are two separate issues here: one is the potential designation of
      ISPs as having Significant Market Power (SMP); the other is the requirement
      for ISPs to peer on request. These are separate but linked.
      On the SMP issue, the EU has issued a directive (2003/311/EC) listing which
      markets the National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) should examine for SMP
      determination. One internet-related market is listed: wholesale DSL. An NRA
      can look at other markets (such as wholesale peering) only after EU
      approval (technically, after the EU does not object). A plausible scenario
      for this is that the Irish NRA receives a number of complaints that a large
      carrier is refusing to peer and requests approval from the EU to
      investigate this market. Given the EU's historic concern that large players
      will abuse their peering power [1], it's likely that the EU would not
      Therefore, due to the way a communications network is defined, the new
      regulations move ISPs into the category of networks that can be examined
      for SMP without any further legislation or regulations at the local or EU
      level, although such regulation is not automatic.
      Regarding the right to interconnect, I haven't been given any convincing
      explanations of why my original analysis is incorrect:
      - ISPs are within the definition of an Electronic Comminucations Network
      - ISPs are required to register with the NRA as an Authorized Person
      - Therefore, ISPs must negotiate "interconnect" with any other ECN on
      This is regardless of any SMP obligations. In addition, this obligation
      applies to every ISP operating within the market, even if they had no
      intention of offering peering to anyone in this country.
      Note that this analysis is also supported by at least one UK commentator:
      [2] states that "It has been argued that the Directive requires that ISP
      interconnection or peering will be regulated for the first time, and it is
      difficult not to agree with that view."
      The biggest threat from this issue is that the definition of an ECN is
      broad enough to apply to just about every tiny hosting operation with a
      single PC and a DSL line. There is real fear that large telcos will be
      reluctant to enter a small market such as Ireland to pursue a couple of
      large customers when they could potentially be required to peer with every
      guy with a PC.
      There are also two potential negative impacts on internet exchanges (IXs).
      First of all, an IX could no longer refuse to allow an ISP to join, even if
      they are not a traditional candidate for IX membership. Second, if network
      X wants to protect itself from regulated peering requests by small ISPs, it
      can decide not to join any IXs in the country. This will increase the cost
      to the small ISPs of peering with X (since the cost of the interconnection
      would probably have to be borne by the access seeker). If NRAs were to
      uphold the requirement to peer, this could lead to private peering between
      large ISPs rather than an IX-centric peering model.
      Finally, I should emphasize that no-one believes that ComReg (the Irish
      NRA) really wants to regulate the IP peering market. The fear is that once
      the rules are in place, any ISP could (ab)use the situation by forcing
      ComReg to enforce peering with another party.
      Comments continue to be welcome... the deadline for responding to the Irish
      NRA is next Friday (27 June 2003) so keep 'em coming.
      [1] See for example this treatment of the MCI/Worldcom merger case:
      [2] http://www.legal500.com/devs/uk/it/ukit_126.htm
      ------ End of Forwarded Message
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