Peering transparency will have no meaningful effect, says Aussie Broadband

October 24th, 2018.

Internet service provider Aussie Broadband does not believe that more transparency around peering criteria of the larger ISPs in Australia will have any meaningful effect.

The ACCC said yesterday that it welcomed the recent publication by the larger ISPs of their peering criteria, and believes it will boost competition in the supply of internet connectivity, including hosted services to corporate and government customers.

Aussie Broadband Managing Director Phillip Britt said that whilst he appreciates that the ACCC has encouraged the larger ISPs to publicise their peering criteria, he doesn’t think it will have any impact in the medium term.

“I’ve read through the peering policies of these larger players and even as the only ISP outside the main four to connect to all 121 POIs across Australia so far, we still wouldn’t meet the traffic requirements of Optus and TPG at this stage and probably won’t for another three years.

“Telstra does not have as much detail in its policy but judging from comments such as “similar traffic volumes should be exchanged between peering partners”, we think it would be just as restrictive for smaller players.

“To us, this looks like it may have only been of benefit to the other large provider that wasn’t peering with the rest, which was Vocus.”

Phil said that whilst he agrees with the ACCC that more transparency is important, he believes it does not in this instance lead to opportunities for Tier 2 ISPs, let alone smaller ones.

“We’re unsure why it would be seen to boost competition in the supply of internet connectivity and hosted services for government and corporate customers, unless you consider that boost to be one extra player in the main peering group.

“None of the four (Telstra, Optus, TPG and Verizon) peer on the main public internet exchanges like IX Australia and Megaport, meaning the only way to directly access content on their networks without going via another provider is to have a (paid) transit relationship with them. The larger telcos have settlement free peering agreements with each other but the smaller ones will continue to pay for these relationships.

“The terms in these publicly available policies really continue the status quo.”



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