This article originally appeared in the January 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY
In February 2005 the VoIPeering column was born. It was not long before that when the first dedicated, commercial VoIP peering service was launched in the world. For six years, I have covered this segment of the industry, essentially since its inception. It has been an exciting time of innovation, creation and growth. Seeing a real, meaningful service created in a void and having so many established network operators move to use it in such a short period of time was amazing on many levels. The fact that the function of peering IP networks had been in existence for many years prior, but none had specified VoIP as a specific IP application to be peered, or a specific VoIP peering service created was very interesting. The point is that there is always room for improvement.
In the spirit of improvement and continuing the education process of the evolving networking landscape I have chosen to update the title of my column for 2011 and beyond. VoIPeering is now Infrastructure Peering.
There are many reasons I have chosen this as the new title.
1. There is quite a bit of network infrastructure that goes in to supporting VoIP and VoIP peering. I do not believe that everyone fully understands and appreciates this. One example is the relationship between Ethernet (both wired and wireless) and VoIP. There are real costs in the lower layer elements that tie in to cost, QoS and other factors of VoIP and VoIP peering.
2. VoIP is not the only application for IP that gets peered. As INTERNET TELEPHONY parent company TMC (News - Alert) itself opens up to covering more layers including dark fiber, wireless backhaul, cloud computing, etc., it makes logical sense to address many IP applications – video, HPC, financial trading, media, etc., and not just VoIP.
3. I have been involved in VoIP since its commercial inception at ITXC and VoIP peering since the creation of the Voice Peering Fabric and have tracked the growth, creation of new businesses, models, etc. There is still a lot going on in the world in this regard, but I do not want to limit editorial coverage to just that. VoIP is becoming more inherent in things like video and gaming, and as I have written many times, it is becoming much more difficult to justify voice as a standalone business. Not that the application needs to be a standalone business to get coverage, but technical and business implications of all applications should and will be considered.
4. The amount of capital being invested in physical network infrastructure on a global basis is staggering. There is a massive shift in the world to upgrade all networks, similar to new highways being built in response to and anticipation of growth demand for all things networked. Just the number of new submarine systems being built around
5. I like the name Infrastructure Peering for two reasons. First, you can't really peer infrastructure, so it will make people wonder. After they read they'll get it and appreciate it and hopefully stop taking it for granted. Second, it still highlights peering, which at its root implies cooperation and specifically cooperation between various networks, applications and ultimately the people and machines behind them. This universal standardization is critical if we as a planet are to evolve.
All of this ties in quite well to ITEXPO (News - Alert), as the event really has evolved to become a United Nations of applications, services, devices, etc., and their respective representatives. Underpinning it all is network infrastructure. No matter where you go, you need layer one for things to function properly, or at all. So, welcome to Infrastructure Peering.
As always your comments, input and story ideas are welcome.
Hunter Newby, CEO Allied Fiber (News - Alert) writes the VoIPeering column for TMCnet To read more of Hunter's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi