Who are the Tier 1 ISPs?

Definition: A Tier 1 ISP is an ISP that has access to the entire Internet Region solely via its free and reciprocal peering agreements.

Definition: An ISP is entity that provides (usually sells) access to the global Internet.

Definition: An Internet Region is a portion of the Internet network typically bounded by a country's geographical boundaries.

Each Internet Region has its own set of "Tier 1 ISPs."

A Tier 1 ISP by definition doesn't pay transit fees to anyone to reach any destination in the Internet Region.While we can see adjacencie in the Internet routing tables, it is difficult to determine if money is changing hands.Having said that, it is clear that most people in the Internet engineering communities know who the Tier 1 ISPs are for their Internet Region.

The litmus test is, "Does this ISP pay anyone (or barter) to reach any destination in the Internet Region?" If the answer is "No" then it is a "Tier 1 ISP" and if the answer is "Yes" then it is a "Tier 2 ISP."

The Tier 1 ISP Report

Here is a partial list of Tier 1 ISPs across the world based on my conversations with Internet engineers. (I am sure that I am missing some.)

The U.S. Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

In the U.S. the Tier 1 ISPs (aka "The Tier 1 Club") include:

  1. AT&T
  2. Verizon
  3. Sprint (Softbank Broadband)
  4. Century Link (Qwest)
  5. Level 3 (with Global Crossing now)
  6. NTT/Verio
  7. Cogent (maybe?)

The Singapore Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

In Singapore the Tier 1 ISPs (aka "The Holy Trinity") are:

  1. SingTel
  2. StarHub
  3. Pacific Internet

The Japan Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

In Japan the Tier 1 ISPs are:

  1. NTT
  2. Japan Telecom (Softbank Broadband)
  3. KDDI
  4. IIJ
  5. Powered.com

The Hong Kong Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

In Hong Kong the Tier 1 ISPs are:

  1. PCCW
  2. PacNet (Asia Netcom)
  3. HKTelecom
  4. Reach **

The Australian Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

In Australia the Tier 1 ISPs (aka "The Gang of Four") are

  1. Telstra
  2. Optus (SingTel)
  3. OzeMail (Verizon)
  4. Connect.com (Telecom New Zealand)

The New Zealand Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

In New Zealand the Tier 1 ISPs are

  1. Telecom New Zealand
  2. Telstra Clear

The China Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

In China the Tier 1 ISPs are

  1. China Telecom
  2. China Unicom (China Netcom)

The Holland Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

In Holland the Tier 1 ISP is

  1. KPN
In the U.K. the Tier 1 ISP is

The U.K Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

  1. British Telecom

The Swedish Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

In Sweden the Tier 1 ISP is

  1. TeliaSonera

The Finnish Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

In Finland the Tier 1 ISP is

  1. TeliaSonera

The Turkish Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

In Turkey the Tier 1 ISPs are

  1. Turkish Telecom
  2. Super Online
  3. Smile ADSL

The Indian Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

In India the Tier 1 ISPs are

  1. Bharti
  2. Reliance
  3. Tata
  4. VSNL

The German Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

In Germany the Tier 1 ISP is

  1. Deutsche Telekom AG

The South African Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

In South Africa the Tier 1 ISPs are

  1. Telekom South Africa
  2. MTN
  3. Vodacom
  4. Neotel

The Ghana Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

In Ghana the Tier 1 ISP is

  1. Ghana Telecom

The Spain Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

In Spain the Tier 1 ISP is

  1. Telefonica

Across South America Telefonica has emerged as a dominant player although the Tier 1 status has not been confirmed.

The France Internet Region Tier 1 ISPs

In France the Tier 1 ISP is

  1. France Telecom

* - Not verified

** - Not sure what happened to Reach and its Tier 1 peering in HK

 

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