Indonesia Hijacks the World

Yesterday, Indosat, one of Indonesia’s largest telecommunications providers, leaked large portions of the global routing table multiple times over a two-hour period. This means that, in effect, Indosat claimed that it “owned” many of the world’s networks. Once someone makes such an assertion, typically via an honest mistake in their routing policy, the only question […]

Turkish Internet Censorship Takes a New Turn

Internet censorship in Turkey took a new and ominous turn yesterday. In order to better seal off access to social media sites like YouTube and Twitter, the incumbent TurkTelecom began hijacking the IP address space of public DNS resolvers like those of Google. This allows TurkTelecom servers to masquerade as Google DNS servers, returning whatever […]

Serving the Global Consumer: Learning from WhatsApp

The $19B WhatsApp acquisition brings Facebook what they desperately need: 250M daily users in high-growth international mobile markets, many of them in the key under-20 demographic. But how do you design a service delivery infrastructure that can reliably reach the far corners of the earth to keep all these mobile eyeballs connected to each other? […]

A Baker’s Dozen, 2013 Edition

It has become an annual tradition at Renesys to provide a year-end review of how the Internet providers at the top of our Market Intelligence global rankings fared over the previous year. The rapid and continuous evolution of the Internet’s structure and performance remains a huge blind spot for most enterprises, even those critically dependent […]

A Baker’s Dozen, 2012 Edition

It is an annual tradition at Renesys to provide a year-end review of how the Internet providers at the top of our Market Intelligence global AS rankings fared over the previous year. The Internet remains a huge blind spot for many organizations that are buying Internet access. Market Intelligence provides the insight into who the leaders in the Internet transit marketplace are today and how they have changed over time. Back in 2008, we chose to look at the 13 providers that spent at least some time in the Top Ten that year,hence the name “Baker’s Dozen“. We looked at the top players again in 20092010 and 2011. A lot has changed over the years and for 2012, we welcome two new members to this exclusive club,PCCW and XO. As predicted last year, we also say good-bye to a declining AT&T and Savvis. While AT&T’s departure from the top of the global stage may be surprising to some, Savvis really hasn’t left as it is now part of CenturyLink, which also owns Qwest. And while Qwest did leave our top global rankings in 2011, they have now returned as part of a reinvigorated CenturyLink.

As you read this blog, keep in mind that all of the rankings we discuss are relative to IPv4, the Internet protocol carrying over 99% of all Internet traffic. (For example, compare total traffic to IPv6 traffic at the very busy Amsterdam Internet Exchange.) While we did also review IPv6 rankings last year, so little has changed that we’ll just refer you to that blog or, for more current information, our Market Intelligence product offering which covers both IPv4 and IPv6 in detail. So let’s dive in and highlight a few of the trends and changes we observed in 2012.

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A Baker’s Dozen, 2011 Edition

It’s become an annual tradition at Renesys to provide a year-end review of how the Internet providers at the top of our Market Intelligence global AS rankings fared over the previous year. Back in 2008, we chose to look at the 13 providers that spent time in the Top Ten in our IPv4 rankings, hence the name “Baker’s Dozen“. We looked at the same group in 2009 and 2010. This year, we welcome a new member to the group, Telecom Italia Sparkle, or simply Sparkle, and say good-bye to Qwest. We report on a resurgent Cogent and a declining AT&T and Savvis. These latter carriers will probably disappear entirely from next year’s edition to be replaced with the likes of PCCW or perhaps Hurricane Electric. Finally, in this edition, we’ll take our first glimpse at global IPv6 rankings. Complete ranking information about the IPv6 Internet is now part of our Market Intelligence product offering. So let’s dive into the data and highlight some trends and changes we observed in 2011.

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Satellite Service Sets in Lebanon

Early last month, my blog “Pinning Down Latency” included this prediction:

In the coming weeks we expect to see a dramatic shift in transit as Lebanese providers move away from expensive and high-latency satellite service to IMEWE-based service.

Well, it didn’t take long for this to play out.

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Asia on My Mind and on the Move

Undersea cables are expensive to install. But if you’re an Asian Internet hub trying to connect to other Asian Internet hubs across un-cabled waters, what else can you do?

Well, one alternative we see is Internet Providers heading to California, as many Asian providers opt forHairpin.jpg Internet paths out of Asia to the west coast of the US, and then back to Asia. These tortuous routes, aptly called hair-pinning (observe their supple shapes), may be cost-effective initially, but generate latency, which can be a problem for some businesses (and their end users).

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Qwavvis: The Battle for Second


About two weeks ago, Level 3 announced plans to acquire Global Crossing and we blogged on the enormous size and scope of the new entity, which we called Level Crossing. This week, CenturyLink, a regional US phone company, agreed to acquire Savvis. Since CenturyLink also owns Qwest, we are seeing another merger of two Tier-1 Internet providers, a pairing which we’ll label Qwavvis. In what follows, we examine the possible business considerations behind the move, as well as the impact on Internet transit customers and Renesys Market Intelligence rankings.

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Level Crossing


On Monday, 11 April 2011, Level 3 announced they had entered a definitive agreement to acquire Global Crossing. According to the Renesys Market Intelligence rankings, this merger would bring together the world’s #1 and #2 global providers, with over half the Internet market on earth dependent on the combined entity. If the deal gained regulatory approval in the US and elsewhere today, how would the Internet provider landscape change? We’ll answer that question in this blog, giving the proposed union a fictional name of Level Crossing for the purposes of our discussion.

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