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I was browsing through the web about WAN technologies, and came across Google Peering, It seems they have rolled out their backbone across the globe, and have multiple peering locations globally. I have a couple questions to ask:

  1. What is an Edge Points of Presence (POP)?

  2. Is Google now considered a Tier1 network? Do they no longer have to buy IP transit from tier 1 networks and can peer directly with them?

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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The answer to your first question is on the page you mentioned:

Google has 70+ Edge POPs in 32 countries, interconnected via Google's backbone network. This is where we interconnect via peering with other network operators who then deliver Google traffic to users.

So Edge POPs are locations where Google interconnects with other networks.

I'm not sure, but I don't think Google is Tier1 (yet?). It's not mentioned on the list of Tier1's on Wikipedia at least, but I can't tell for sure based on the routing tables I checked.

The third question is impossible to answer, it's too broad. It all depends on the length and location of those fibers, if you want to buy existing ones or place them yourself, etc. But you can be sure it isn't cheap.

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Do they no longer have to buy IP transit from tier 1 networks and can peer directly with them?

I can't imagine any Tier 1 provider, in their right mind, would peer with Google for no monetary value. Ever.

Google (i.e. Youtube) is a source of a large percentage of global internet traffic, 11% back in 2011. The premise behind a peering agreement is that 2 providers transmit an equal amount of each others traffic for a few reasons. But most notably, redundancy and performance.

When you have one peer in this agreement making up an unbalanced source of internet traffic, you begin to get ugly disputes, like the one between Cogent (Netflix's ISP) and Verizon.

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