Definition: The Internet Peering Ecosystem is the collection of Internet services providers that interconnect their networks in various business relationships within an Internet Region.
One common characteristic of every Internet Peering Ecosystem is that each has these two methods for participant interconnection:
Another common characteristic is that every Internet Peering Ecosystem has at least three categories of Internet participants: Tier 1 ISPs, Tier 2 ISPs, and Content Providers.
[ Note: Since I am using the ecosystem metaphor here I will use the terms “species” and “category” interchangeably. I will use the term “player” occasionally to define categories of participants, and “player” to mean participant. ]
Let’s look at each species in the Internet Peering Ecosystem.