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Level 3 and XO Enter into Settlement-Free Internet Traffic Peering Agreement

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January 14, 2013

Level 3 and XO Enter into Settlement-Free Internet Traffic Peering Agreement

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor


Two telecommunications providers Level 3 Communications (News - Alert) and XO Communications have forged a long-term settlement-free Internet traffic exchange agreement –also known as peering agreement—based on bit-mile balance approach.


The bit-mile peering approach measures the volume of traffic exchanged and the distance over which that traffic is carried by each network. Both networks also carry approximately the same bit-miles of data. The advantage of this model is that it promotes efficient, high-quality service for customers, while ensuring a balanced cost burden across each network.

The peering agreement is beneficial to customers as they can continue to exchange data with customers on the other service provider's network efficiently and cost-effectively.

The advantage of bit-mile arrangement is that it resolves the imbalances that can occur in traffic patterns and that would otherwise result in increased network costs to one provider or the other involved in a peering relationship. In addition, the bit-mile approach ensures that each customer involved in the peering enjoys the best Internet experience as it allows the providers to exchange the traffic in a scalable, resilient and reliable manner.  

Another aspect of this peering agreement is that it has provisions to add capacity and establish new interconnection locations between the two networks. This approach further increases the flexibility to each network while improving performance and reliability for customers.

"Level 3's primary focus is on providing quality service for Internet consumers," said Jack Waters, Level 3's chief technology officer, in a statement. "We look forward to working with our peering partners to drive broader adoption of this bit-mile model to ensure fair and equitable interconnection.”

Additionally the company is working with traffic-flow monitoring systems providers to make the measurement process straightforward and consistent across the industry.

 "XO Communications (News - Alert) supports equitable settlement-free peering to ensure fair and unconstrained interconnection," said Randy Nicklas, senior vice president and chief technology officer, at XO Communications. "This agreement will ensure a balanced backbone cost burden between our two networks as we continue to grow while providing high-quality service for our respective customers."

 Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.




Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli







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