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Topic # 64289 12-Jul-2010 21:37
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I'm curious as to how the internet works exactly, I've gained a fair understanding on the setup from my modem all the way to the ISPs server/routers but want to know how it works going internationally.

I'd like to know which companies our (smaller) ISPs purchase international capacity from. I know the Southern Cross cable is our link to the rest of the world and large ISPs like Telecom purchase directly from them; I believe there are also resellers of Southern Cross' bandwidth who sell to ISPs and large businesses. I have heard the name AsiaNet but know nothing about them and am not even sure who/what they are... I think Global Gateway are Telecom's reseller but I'm not really sure what they do either...

Is there a list of New Zealand bandwidth resellers and what does Southern Cross charge for, say, a 100Mbit/s international uplink per month?

I'm also curious as to how the international peering works. By supplying fibre optic cable from NZ to the USA (to global peering points?) how does Southern Cross allow us to communicate to other users across the globe? What kind of agreements allow us to communicate to Germany at the same speed as Japan for example? All of these countries must be in a similar situation to us and I'd imagine there must be a fair amount of politics involved no matter how valuable broadband is as a resource.

Many thanks to any who can shed some light or even point me to some further reading. I am not having much luck with Google on this topic.

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  Reply # 350478 13-Jul-2010 07:20
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It depends on where you're going to. The Southern Cross peers in California, and I did map it out a while ago, but I usually see Telia and Cognet. For Europe it generally gets passed onto Cognet for Trans USA travel, and then to Telia once it's across the pond.

They would all have high level service agreements (and probably in some sort of alliance of some form or another), either full peering (which is required from a tier 1 carrier such as Telia or Cognet) or some sort of payment arrangement.



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  Reply # 350982 13-Jul-2010 18:07
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So a cable owner like Southern Cross would peer in California and provide transit for all its customers (ISPs in New Zealand) as well as other traffic wanting to come into New Zealand? Would it have to pursue service agreements with counties across the globe or by peering in a large international peering point is that enough to guarantee IP transit to almost all places on the internet?

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  Reply # 351132 13-Jul-2010 22:16
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No sorry, I wasn't clear.

My understanding is that SCC rents out bandwidth to companies such as Telecom International (TNZI). TNZI peers @ San Jose I believe, where they pass off data to the tier 1 carriers, who transit it across to another carrier along the way (this may be a tier 1 carrier or the end carrier etc).

Under the obligation of the peering TNZI would have to accept incoming traffic, but this would only be to peers on their network, such as Telecom's network etc.

You can read more information about int. peering and the different 'tiers' here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tier_1_network

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  Reply # 351633 14-Jul-2010 22:22
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Actually there are companies that buy bandwidth around the world (including Southern Cross bandwidth) and sell internetworking bandwidth to ISPs, who will buy bandwidth on different routes to various parts of the world. Actually Southern Cross from NZ is four cables (and some cables have more cores than others); two redundant cables to San Jose and two to Sydney. From there the Southern Cross connects other countries. You can see some of the router hops below.

At the moment Slingshot gets to USA via the San Jose link:
6 159 ms 160 ms 160 ms po10-0.gw5.lax1.asianetcom.net [202.147.61.189]

7 159 ms 160 ms 159 ms xe-11-1-0.edge2.LosAngeles9.Level3.net [4.53.230.9]

and to SE Asia via the Sydney link:
7 52 ms 53 ms 53 ms po2-0.cr4.syd1.asianetcom.net [202.147.55.254]
8 160 ms 161 ms 161 ms po8-0.gw2.sin1.asianetcom.net [202.147.40.110]




Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^

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  Reply # 351669 15-Jul-2010 01:32
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I made this map a while ago (may be some changes needed) but its fairly accurate the last time I checked. Of course this is only for international connectivity, national peering is a whole other story.

ISP Map



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  Reply # 352225 16-Jul-2010 10:21
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Interesting map, looks to me like MCI is now a part of Verizon Business but otherwise very interesting indeed.

I am beginning to understand more about this now. There is some interesting economics at play with tier 1 providers ending up providing a very expensive service to others for free because the mutual benefits outweigh the benefit of charging for access.

So, if I were a residential ISP (national peering aside for now) I could make an agreement with one of these large 'transit' providers to provide me with internet connectivity and I'm automatically permitted transit over the SCC because the larger company I have an agreement with would be in a mutually beneficial agreement with SCC towards transit? Or, would I still need to purchase access over the SCC in order to arrive at one of the international POP centres?

I think this part confuses me the most. I don't know who is charging whom and as a result who to look at for setting high prices for international internet access in New Zealand.

I understand the common residential ISP (including Telecom) would not be deliberately charging buckets of cash for access to the internet though they are commonly blamed; so I look further up the chain. Is it SCC charging everyone for transit over their - monopolistic - cable or is it the actual internet (transit) providers?



On an entirely unrelated note, what would you think if I suggested that PacificFibre should plan to run their cable to Japan instead of the USA. I was thinking about this today. We already have a massively redundant cable link to the USA and its major POP. The next closest major internet hub appears to be Japan, looks to be a similar distance to the USA except there are a few islands in the way ;)

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  Reply # 352264 16-Jul-2010 11:20
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SCC is not a transit provider - it is a bandwidth supplier. Much different to a tier 1 transit provider.

Generally speaking, you would need to be a big player to get a peering contract with a tier 1 company. I'm talking owning bandwidth contracts in the millions of dollars a year.

If you peered with a transit provider, you would still need to get to the peer point, If we're talking SCC, in this case San Jose.

What would happen is you would provide transit across that link for the Tier 1 provider to your users and the Tier 1 provider would provide transit from across their network. This would require you to buy enough bandwidth across the SCC in order to enable that.




The issue with peering to Japan is that you're taking a dog-leg to the 'centre' of the Internet (the US). Given so much of the internet originates from the US, you largely speaking want a direct link to it before you make other linkages. Especially as Pacific Fibre is intending to break the SCC monopoly to the US.

That said, IIRC Pacific Fibre is looking @ partnering into Asia either as an extension of their network later on down the track, or with another fibre provider such as PIPE...

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  Reply # 352641 17-Jul-2010 13:03
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I'm curious as to how the internet works exactly, I've gained a fair understanding on the setup from my modem all the way to the ISPs server/routers but want to know how it works going internationally.

Hopefully I can shed some light - I have an ISP in India and having recently returned after several years to see the state of Broadband in this country, I want to build one here too - FTTH, quad-play (Broadband, phone, IPTV/VOD and Mobile) all-new network, the lot. 
I'd like to know which companies our (smaller) ISPs purchase international capacity from. I know the Southern Cross cable is our link to the rest of the world and large ISPs like Telecom purchase directly from them; I believe there are also resellers of Southern Cross' bandwidth who sell to ISPs and large businesses. I have heard the name AsiaNet but know nothing about them and am not even sure who/what they are... I think Global Gateway are Telecom's reseller but I'm not really sure what they do either...

All traffic at the moment comes from the SxC cable one way or the other and this bandwidth is resold to ISPs by the likes of Global Gateway and Netgate (as per the map above, although it seems to be missing Reach?)

That is, until new cables are built, apparently by 2013, but we wish it was faster. You might find the site robtex.com of some help. Start with your IP address, get the AS-number of your ISP and then you can view the flowcharts which go several layers back.

Is there a list of New Zealand bandwidth resellers and what does Southern Cross charge for, say, a 100Mbit/s international uplink per month?

The smallest you can buy directly is a redundant STM-16 (2x 2.5Gbit/s) which costs somewhere in the vicinity of US$16 million for a 5-year lease. From memory, this works out to an approximate price of NZ$0.50 per GB but I'd have to refer back to my spreadsheets.

The players who have purchased this sort of capacity can resell it in smaller chunks if they like, but it seems most sell by the Gigabyte rather than per Mbit/s, because of the way ADSL is provisioned in NZ.

I'm also curious as to how the international peering works. By supplying fibre optic cable from NZ to the USA (to global peering points?) how does Southern Cross allow us to communicate to other users across the globe? What kind of agreements allow us to communicate to Germany at the same speed as Japan for example? All of these countries must be in a similar situation to us and I'd imagine there must be a fair amount of politics involved no matter how valuable broadband is as a resource.

Unfortunately, we don't get anywhere near the same speeds to Germany as we do Japan. However, traffic flowing from NZ to Germany is likely to go NZ-AU-Singapore, meet at one of the peering exchanges such as STIX, then either via Tata's India-Singapore cable, Bharti's i2i cable (landing at Chennai, continuing overland to Mumbai and then out via Sea-Me-We 4, I-ME-WE or EIG) or even jumping directly on to SMW4 at Singapore, going around India, past Africa and the Middle East, through the Mediterranean, in to Marseilles, jumping off SMW4 and on to some of France Telecoms cables up to Lyon, over to Frankfurt where it would probably meet with any one of the German carriers and then to where ever in Germany it needs to go (possibly also continuing on SMW4 to London or perhaps to Maidenhead(?) and then via one of the many cables from London/England to Hamburg and to whereever in Germany from there. 
P.S. Sorry if I rambled. 

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