SEACOM's new peering policy cuts off ISPs

Jamie McKane

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SEACOM's new peering policy cuts off ISPs

SEACOM has implemented a new peering policy which prevents many South African Internet service providers (ISPs) from peering directly with the company.

SEACOM said it has reviewed its open peering policy and it has decided to change to selective peering with immediate effect.
 

cavedog

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2008 called.

Luckily it's 2019 and seacom is not the only boat in town anymore.
I wonder what are they trying to gain by this? At the end of the day this will basically just affect any peer to peer traffic. One guy is on seacom one on cool ideas for example they won't connect to each other or it will go via London first to a peering partner there.

Really don't know why they even though this was a good idea. They also saying that it won't have a significant impact so why change the peering policy then?
 

cavedog

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I wonder what the smaller ISPs will do that buy IP Transit from them have to say about it. A Decision made and they have to suffer the consequences.

Aeonova360
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Be Broadband
Accelerit.co.za

and others I don't know about

@PBCool @websquadza @portcullis @AcceleritZa
 

portcullis

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We don't purchase from them, but I can confirm that we've received our de peering letter.
 

cavedog

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We don't purchase from them, but I can confirm that we've received our de peering letter.
Yeah just tagged you and other verg cool reps that can maybe explain to us how this will affect everyone.

What happens if an ISP that buys ip transit from a selective peering transit provider.

What kind of traffic is affected because I think it's just p2p traffic right? Rest of the dtuff is just picked up at teraco or direct from the source over your network. So why the big deal about selective and open peering.
 

portcullis

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I've been running netflow on the peering link since we received the letter. There's almost no traffic to and from SEACOM. Obviously that's for us. This will vary between ISPs. For example someone could like in a SEACOM estate and work on a server hosted at what used to be Hetzner. If SEACOM de peer Hetzner, that end user's traffic's going to go halfway around the world. That's when people vote with their feet.

Paul B and I have two of the three largest peering networks in SA. We'll get what's needed from SEACOM via other peers.

It could be a problem for people who are cheating the system and tapping data off their Netflix caches. I suspect there are more than one or two people messing with DNS to point Netflix cache to SEACOM over NAPAfrica, JINX or CINX. I can't prove this, but with Netflix traffic accouting for something like 17% of the global internet traffic, people can get desperate. Desperate cats make desperate moves.

If I were SEACOM and my Netflix cache was being drained by all and sundry, yet I was having to pay to keep it topped up, I'd also de peer everyone.

These are my personal opinions - not the opinions of Cape Connect.

@cavedog Generally there's a policy of "commercial before peering" when it comes to IP Transit. That's why I started peering like a rampant prozzie when we still purchased IPT from Neotel back in the day. I'm sure SEACOM's wholesale clients will very quickly learn how BGP filtering works and ensure that important stuff doesn't go anywhere near their IPT.
 

websquadza

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Received our de-peering letter too. The 90s called and Seacom answered.

The thing is most medium to large ISPs who use Seacom for transit are peering at NAP themselves, so this won't hurt them if they know how to peer properly. It will hurt smaller ISPs who don't peer at all exchanges and rely on Seacom to do their heavy lifting (or ISPs who just couldn't care to peer), it will hurt internet in Africa in general (where Seacom is making a push), as some Africa traffic may land up going to London and back to SA instead of directly to Africa's largest exchange (NAP Africa). Seacom will probably retain peering with larger content providers at NAP - it suits their wallet.

Their own retail clients will likely also hurt a little (their home and Business Fibre users) -they will no longer have direct access to all the peers on NAP. Unlike ISPs who use Seacom and also have exchange peering in place, Seacom's own clients only have the Seacom network. For example, an employee of a company who uses ISP A at home and connects to their work VPN behind a Seacom IP to get work done, may soon find that that connection runs to London and back. Or vice versa, a Seacom home/business user connecting to another ISP's network (P2P, VPN, Backups, VoIP etc) will suffer equally.

The generic response is that this is a commercial decision. One, I think, they hope will force all ISPs to buy transit from them... Look how well that worked for the incumbent transit providers of yesterday (IS, SAIX etc).

@portcullis is right that they may be doing this to protect their network from abuse, but there are smarter ways of getting this done - in addition, a better business case than alienating every prospective client you may have.
 

cavedog

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I've been running netflow on the peering link since we received the letter. There's almost no traffic to and from SEACOM. Obviously that's for us. This will vary between ISPs. For example someone could like in a SEACOM estate and work on a server hosted at what used to be Hetzner. If SEACOM de peer Hetzner, that end user's traffic's going to go halfway around the world. That's when people vote with their feet.

Paul B and I have two of the three largest peering networks in SA. We'll get what's needed from SEACOM via other peers.

It could be a problem for people who are cheating the system and tapping data off their Netflix caches. I suspect there are more than one or two people messing with DNS to point Netflix cache to SEACOM over NAPAfrica, JINX or CINX. I can't prove this, but with Netflix traffic accouting for something like 17% of the global internet traffic, people can get desperate. Desperate cats make desperate moves.

If I were SEACOM and my Netflix cache was being drained by all and sundry, yet I was having to pay to keep it topped up, I'd also de peer everyone.

These are my personal opinions - not the opinions of Cape Connect.

@cavedog Generally there's a policy of "commercial before peering" when it comes to IP Transit. That's why I started peering like a rampant prozzie when we still purchased IPT from Neotel back in the day. I'm sure SEACOM's wholesale clients will very quickly learn how BGP filtering works and ensure that important stuff doesn't go anywhere near their IPT.
Interesting but can't you deal with those ISPs directly. I suppose blocking their ranges on caches meant for your clients only is not illegal is it?
 

portcullis

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Interesting but can't you deal with those ISPs directly. I suppose blocking their ranges on caches meant for your clients only is not illegal is it?
If I catch someone with his hand in the cookie jar, I chop that hand off. I don't go and burn his second cousin twice removed's house down... Again just my personal opinion, but I believe there are better ways to handle this.

You would be surprised how many ISPs have their own Netflix caches. It's a great big red server. You can't miss the things as you walk through the various hosting facilities. Many of those servers are visible outside the specific ISP networks.

If you're going to make your Netflix box available for the public, you must be prepared for the consequences. If you are offering up something like 750Mb of your IPT for 12 hours a day to keep your Netflix box up to date and you don't want anyone else to use it, just block traffic to and from it on your IX ports.
 

freematrix

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This will catch up with them. The market and their customers will be told that they are the problem and not other ISP’s.
 

Aharon

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I've noticed downloading on dstv now has been slow since yesterday. Could this be related?
 

Daruk

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Is this what's responsible for the tank in performance in the past few days?
I've got everything from page not found errors to DNS failure intermittently... then it just comes right on it's own...
Seems I'm going to have to investigate who uses SEACOM and avoid them like the plague. Anyone have a list of SEACOM resellers for us?
 

Düber

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I've got everything from page not found errors to DNS failure intermittently... then it just comes right on it's own...
So it's not just me then. I must apologise for all the bad thoughts and words directed at my pc!

I have been going nuts changing DNS server's etc.
 

TheRoDent

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SEACOM's new peering policy cuts off ISPs

SEACOM has implemented a new peering policy which prevents many South African Internet service providers (ISPs) from peering directly with the company.

SEACOM said it has reviewed its open peering policy and it has decided to change to selective peering with immediate effect.
Hellooo Telk[del][del][del][del]Seacom.

2010 wants you back.

[edit] I work for Cool Ideas, and yes they de-peered us too. Not that the 100mbps of traffic to their "global" network is a major concern.
 

TheRoDent

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If I catch someone with his hand in the cookie jar, I chop that hand off. I don't go and burn his second cousin twice removed's house down... Again just my personal opinion, but I believe there are better ways to handle this.

You would be surprised how many ISPs have their own Netflix caches. It's a great big red server. You can't miss the things as you walk through the various hosting facilities. Many of those servers are visible outside the specific ISP networks.

If you're going to make your Netflix box available for the public, you must be prepared for the consequences. If you are offering up something like 750Mb of your IPT for 12 hours a day to keep your Netflix box up to date and you don't want anyone else to use it, just block traffic to and from it on your IX ports.
Actually you can tell netflix who your customers are and it will only serve them.
 
Last edited:

TheRoDent

Cool Ideas Rep
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Messages
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I've been running netflow on the peering link since we received the letter. There's almost no traffic to and from SEACOM. Obviously that's for us. This will vary between ISPs. For example someone could like in a SEACOM estate and work on a server hosted at what used to be Hetzner. If SEACOM de peer Hetzner, that end user's traffic's going to go halfway around the world. That's when people vote with their feet.

Paul B and I have two of the three largest peering networks in SA. We'll get what's needed from SEACOM via other peers.

It could be a problem for people who are cheating the system and tapping data off their Netflix caches. I suspect there are more than one or two people messing with DNS to point Netflix cache to SEACOM over NAPAfrica, JINX or CINX. I can't prove this, but with Netflix traffic accouting for something like 17% of the global internet traffic, people can get desperate. Desperate cats make desperate moves.

If I were SEACOM and my Netflix cache was being drained by all and sundry, yet I was having to pay to keep it topped up, I'd also de peer everyone.

These are my personal opinions - not the opinions of Cape Connect.

@cavedog Generally there's a policy of "commercial before peering" when it comes to IP Transit. That's why I started peering like a rampant prozzie when we still purchased IPT from Neotel back in the day. I'm sure SEACOM's wholesale clients will very quickly learn how BGP filtering works and ensure that important stuff doesn't go anywhere near their IPT.
Good job... :) Buy you several beers when we meet...


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