Ihug’s parent company, Perth-based iiNet, says that with completion of its dedicated transmission circuits between Auckland and Sydney, it is now exchanging routes from across the Tasman at the Auckland Peering Exchange (APE). Similar peering at the Wellington exchange (WIX) is coming soon, iiNet says.
An unnamed iiNet engineering team member says the provider currently peers at both the APE and the WIX, and also several exchanges in Australia. The ISP exports all its New Zealand and Australian routes for traffic to the peering exchanges in both countries.
While not divulging the actual amount of traffic, the engineering team member says the volume exchanged at the peering points is around 5%-10% of the total. This, he says, is due to the majority of traffic being international transit.
Likewise, the engineering team member would not be drawn on the capacity of iiNet/Ihug’s backbone circuits between New Zealand and Australia, or the new dedicated transmission channel, saying only that there is “sufficient capability available on it”.
The Australian-owned provider peers with New Zealand’s two largest providers, Xtra and TelstraClear, already. The latter two don’t peer at public exchanges, preferring instead to enter into commercial agreements with other providers wishing to send data into their networks.
However, neither company pays in return for traffic going into the other direction, on the basis of their large customer numbers.
This refusal to peer with other New Zealand providers while charging them for sending data into their networks, even though the traffic was requested by Xtra and TelstraClear customers and paid for them as well, has been a contentious issue over the past years as the two dominant providers are refusing to reciprocate.
In some cases, data between providers that don’t peer leaves New Zealand shores and travels via the United States or Australia before returning to the country, simply because there are no national routes for it due to non-peering.