Internet forum abandons network plan

The Internet Peering Forum--a group of telcos and universities looking at simplifying Internet routing within New Zealand--has decided not to form an Internet exchange network.

The Internet Peering Forum--a group of telcos and universities looking at simplifying Internet routing within New Zealand--has decided not to form an Internet exchange network.

The group, which includes Clear Communications, Auckland and Waikato universities, Telecom subsidiary Netway and Telstra, arose out of a series of informal meetings with a key goal of creating better Internet traffic flow in New Zealand. For example, email sent from one New Zealand city to another is currently routed through NZIX at Waikato University, or even the US and back before reaching its destination.

The group doesn’t intend to create a formal structure, relying instead on co-operation through common memoranda of understanding, says Clear spokeswoman Janiene Bayliss.

“In order to become a member, a company must peer with all other forum members and have peering arrangements that meet the forum’s guidelines and policies. Input from the industry is also welcome.

“Simplified routing would allow for direct transmission within New Zealand, increasing efficiency, speed and possibly cost-effectiveness”, she says. “It would also help relieve some of the congestion at the NZIX.”

The group has decided not to form an Internet exchange based on a variety of issues including cost, ownership, management and control. This news should come as temporary relief to ISPs, which told Computerworld they were uncomfortable with the idea of Peering Forum members “owning” an Internet exchange infrastructure.

Bayliss says current forum activities include a trial interconnection between Telstra, Netway and Clear. The forum is also finalising its policies and agreements which members will use to establish IP peering relationships with one another.

“Efforts are also under way with ISOCNZ and others to promote setting up a network operators group [NZNOG] which would provide opportunities for ISPs to discuss networking engineering issues of common interest.”

So far one ISP, the Internet Company, has expressed interest in joining the forum.

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