The Get Traffic tactic involves acquiring a massive amount of customer traffic that an ISP can then turn around and offer to peers via free peering arrangements (Figure 11-28). Since the alternative way to access this traffic is through expensive transit relationship(s), the target ISP is more motivated to peer with those with lots of traffic and routes. Entering a peering ecosystem with only a little local traffic to peer does not provide a compelling case for peering.
To obtain massive amounts of customer traffic, the ISP offers something substantially different to the market, such as ultra-low-cost transit (Cogent used this tactic globally, and Level 3 started with this tactic as well). In some cases ISPs offer a strategic cooperative relationship to sell VPNs, Intranets, high-bandwidth video, or traditional carrier services over existing Internet infrastructure. The goal here is to grow into something worth peering with, not necessarily to make money.
This tactic is applicable only to Tier 2 ISPs. It is also a way for the Tier 2 ISP to ultimately meet the traffic volume prerequisites for peering with the larger players in other ecosystems. Care must be taken with this tactic in order to balance peering traffic ratios at the same time as picking up massive amounts of traffic.
Figure 11-28. Build a healthy traffic profile prior to requesting peering.