In the beginning, the Internet consisted of a single network (backbone) used by US government-funded researchers and organizations. Today, the Internet consists of more than a dozen backbones and hundreds interconnected computer networks. These networks exchange traffic with one another primarily at two public network access points in the US -- one on each coast (MAE East MAE West).
Then the Internet grew and telecommunications companies built additional backbones to support the additional traffic. But while additional backbones provided more bandwidth, the overburdened public network access points caused major slowdowns and serious bottlenecks. To ease this congestion, backbone providers created private connections or "peering points," between their networks. This allows data to move from one network to another with much less use of the public access points.
But as Internet traffic continues to increase, private peering points are becoming more congested and backbone providers lack the financial incentive to invest money to accommodate their competitorsí traffic. When peering points are congested, data packet loss occurs, slowing downloads and decreasing the reliability of data transmissions. This may not sound like a problem, but when you consider that even a one percent packet loss can double your customerís download time, you can see how points of congestion lead to major slowdowns in data transmission on the Internet.
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