The so-called Internet Peering Forum, described last week by Clear Communications as an informal group set up to look at simplifying national Internet routing, is so informal that one of its principal members is adamant it does not exist.
"We gather there have been references to something called the Internet Peering Forum being established," says a press release issued by Telecom media communications manager Clive Litt. "As far as we are concerned, like Mark Twain's death, the existence of this body has been greatly exagerrated.
Litt says Telecom has "simply joined a working party", along with Clear, Telstra and Auckland and Waikato Universities, to look at handling some inter-company traffic through an exchange in Auckland, rather than through NZIX in Waikato.
"It makes sense to look at this option, as all three companies now have international gateways in Auckland to handle their own traffic, both local and international. Getting out Auckland exchanges to talk to each other could well be a logical step.
Litt says possible traffic flows between Telecom/Netway, Clear and Telstra need to be assessed, and Telecom is looking at trialling a traffic exchange system.
Earlier peering proposals, involving a network of exchanges in the main centres, appear to have been scotched after a hostile response from some independent ISPs.
Doubts have been expressed about the competence of the parties involved in such complex routing jobs. One ISP manager has also pointed out that exchange architectures tend to favour their founding parties, who need to make a smaller investment in connectivity than those who join subsequently.
Another ISP spokesman, who declines to be named, says he is strongly opposed to "having the standard set of idiots at Auckland University organising my routing for me."