North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Peering contract, needed or optional?

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Tue Feb 20 11:47:48 2001

On Tue, 20 February 2001, "Wolfgang Tremmel" wrote:
> I just had a discussion with our legal advisor whether it is necessary or
> not to sign a peering contract with every (little) peering partner.
> I know that a lot of the big ones require these contracts and I don't have
> a problem with that, my opinion just is that a contract with a peer who
> announces one /19 is not really necessary.

You have gone to the right place, your legal advisor.  Your lawyer is the
only one with a duty to provide accurate legal advice for your situation.

In the US, the subject of peering is not one which the Statute of Frauds
requires a written contract.  So it is possible to have a binding legal
agreement without one.  However, I expect most lawyers would advise their
clients it is best to have a written agreement, if only to prevent future
misunderstandings about what is and is not included.

Some people believe "peering" is an asset, and accounting rules require
written evidence of an agreement to perform.

> Another question is if there has ever been any lawsuit about peering...

I have never heard of a decision rendered by jury or court about peering.

There have been legal squabbles, but so far, they've all been settled
between the parties before a court entered a judgement.  Several, but not
all peering agreements include arbitration clauses.  In the US, arbitration
is considered private.