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PSINet, Exodus Terminate Peering Agreement

Last week Exodus Communications Inc. notified its customers that PSINet Inc. would be disconnecting its DS3 lines in place between the two networks on March 31.

The confidential communication stated that at the time of the disconnection, all access to PSINet's networks would be lost. The memo further stated that the decision to disconnect was unilaterally made by PSINet (PSIX) and against the request of Exodus (EXDS).

Exodus informed its customers that it was working on alternative agreements to maintain connectivity and that it hoped to have a solution in place that would minimize service disruptions.

Ellen Hancock, Exodus chief executive officer, said that the purely private peering agreement with PSINet has successfully been rerouted through Sprint Corp. (FON).

"Thirty-minutes after the lines went down, Exodus traffic was transferred through Sprint," Hancock said.

Hancock added that Exodus was disappointed with PSINet's refusal to transfer traffic at public exchange points when Exodus ordered two additional DS3 lines from the global super carrier.

"We had two lines with PSINet and they refused to bring up two additional lines for us because they did not consider us a Tier One supplier," Hancock said.

"Peering was no longer free with PSINet and they refused to exchange traffic at public access points. It's very unusual for someone to refuse to exchange traffic a public points," Hancock added.

Doug Baj, PSINet spokesperson said it was unfortunate that its was forced to decommission the direct link between PSINet and Exodus. However, Baj said that Exodus decided to terminate the discussions, not PSINet.

"PSINet has negotiated for several months with Exodus on ways to continue providing service to our customers," Baj said. "However, Exodus has chosen to discontinue the negotiations. PSINet remains ready to reestablish connectivity if a mutually beneficial arrangement can be worked out between our companies. The issue is in Exodus' hands."

Hancock said that Exodus serves up Internet content for nearly 30 percent of the companies that comprise the World Wide Web.

"Exodus provides access to 25 to 30 percent of the content on the Internet," Hancock said. "Fifty of the top sites in the U.S. are housed at Exodus. By terminating peering with Exodus, PSINet shut down its customs quick access to Exodus' customer content."

PSINet's Baj said that PSINet would not decommission links to other content providers and that the issue is purely a business matter between PSINet and Exodus.

"In terms of what customers can expect, since alternative transit routing will take effect immediately, we expect this will alleviate inconveniences that some customers have reported. We don't expect this to have a negative impact on the customers successfully connecting to Exodus," Baj said.

Adam Wegner, Exodus senior vice president and general counsel, said PSINet did not have the capacity to provide Exodus with the additional lines.

Before PSINet cut access with Exodus, we were reaching maximum capacity," Wegner said. "Sprint is providing capacity to PSINet, but PSINet is not providing adequate capacity to Sprint in return."

The Internet is essentially a number of peering arrangements that link many different individual networks together. Network owners and access providers work out peering agreements describing the terms and conditions to which both parties are subject.

The issue between PSINet and Exodus is part of its private peering arran