The benefits of buying IP Transit from a Tier 2 network
Undeniably, the best user experience comes from networks heavily peering with each other. By virtue of peering, the tier 1 carriers’ immediate customers (tier 2 networks), connect to each other by direct fibre or using peering exchange such as LINX. If a tier 1 has to hand off traffic to another tier 1, that traffic is traversing multiple networks and those networks are big, meaning lots of opportunity for congestion, latency, jitter and all the bad things we dislike.
Tier 2 networks are far more inclined to peer with each other and indeed it is necessary to make the business model work. Whilst tier 1s may appear to be the inner ‘core’ of the donut, in terms of traffic there is far more on and between the mass of tier 2 networks. So buying your IP transit from a tier 2 network at the outside of the ‘donut’ where the majority of traffic exists, gives you a far higher chance of being connected directly to the traffic and increasing performance.
“Connectivity to multiple Tier 1s is important… this gives us options, but bypassing them wherever possible is even more important: skip the old, poorly suited “backbone” and take the content straight to the users!” (Mzima).
On the Simwood network over 90% of traffic flows to peers, often over direct fibre connections, and less than 10% falls back on traditional tier 1s. Thus as a network with your own peering relationships, Simwood represents a better home for the rest of your traffic than any tier 1. Furthermore, like other long-established tier 2s, we don’t just have a single tier 1 interconnect; we have many, across a number of tier 1s. So that means, even if your traffic cannot be completed directly to a peer, it is likely to go directly to the tier 1 which has the target customer (or customer’s customer), rather than going from tier 1 to tier 1 and so on.
The above applies in almost every case and we think any network buying transit from a single source that is a tier 1 would be better served doing so through a quality tier 2, and we’d naturally argue that in the UK, especially for voice and video traffic, we’re the best choice amongst them.