CDNs, Rev Up Your Engines, Charter Offers Free Peering to Netflix and Others

Netflix has not only built its own powerful, highly scalable global Content Delivery Network, but they’ve also built an incredibly powerful political machine that is able to influence public opinion, the FCC, and the competition. Comcast, the $160B+ cable company tried to acquire Time Warner, while it was at war with Netflix, and lost. At the same time, AT&T, Verizon, and other carriers declared war on Netflix on the Net Neutrality front, and lost. With that kind of track record, who is going to mess with Netflix, certainly not Charter.

Charter Communications is in the process of acquiring Time Warner for $55B, and the last thing it wants to do is go to war with Reed Hastings & Company. Charter learned a history lesson over the last year, and the lesson is “don’t mess with Netflix or else”. So instead of taking on Netflix mano-a-mano, Charter has decided to throw in some incentives in the form of settlement-free-peering to Netflix, and other customers “who meet the traffic measurement criteria” for “at least 3 consecutive months”. Those incentives will add up to millions of dollars in free transit. So CDNs, start your engines, and let your Peering Coordinators do their thing, and go get some settlement-free peering. The 18 interconnection requirements are located here.

Few of the 18 Interconnection Requirements
  • Must interconnect at Charter PoPs:
    • Equinix: San Jose, LA, Seattle, Chicago, Ashburn, Dallas
    • Seattle IX, Cologix Minneapolis, Atlanta Telx
  • Use same ASN as each interconnection point
  • Maintain 3Gbps traffic exchange at each Charter PoP
  • Other requirements: 1) must not implement default route directed at AS20115 2) enforce strict filtering policies to prevent improper announcements 3) must provide IPv4 unicast routes up to /24 netmask or IPv6 unicast routes to 4) use BGP version 4 with BGP authentication keys
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