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IP Transit Service for the Cloud Era

IP Transit is an essential connectivity method for serving content to internet users. IP Transit providers play a key role in maintaining route diversity across the Internet, keeping latencies low and ensuring resiliency of the internet. The benefits of using IP Transit include:  

  • Connectivity to the entire internet, not just specific networks in contrast to settlement-free peering connections.  
  • Simplified network management as the transit provider takes care of all Internet routing.  
  • Service Level Agreement (SLA)-backed performance to ensure optimal user experiences.  
  • Usually, burstable billing that accommodates peak utilization e.g. at prime time  

IP Transit is a distinct type of Internet access service that differs from consumer broadband or Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), which is a business-class service meant for businesses to provide high-speed access to Internet resources for their internal users, rather than to serve content to external Internet users. 

Digital businesses and business-class ISPs use IP transit services to ensure great experiences for their consumers and subscribers via low latency traffic delivery to the Internet networks where those users are connected. In this article, we'll cover:  

  • A Simple Overview of How Traffic Flows Across the Internet  
  • How to Buy IP Transit services  
  • Smart Buyer Criteria for IP Transit services  
  • Why You Should Consume IP Transit like the Cloud  
  • Getting Sustainable IP Transit Services  

A Simple Overview of How Traffic Flows Across the Internet

The Internet is a vast collection of interconnected IP networks. Simply put, there are three types of networks:  

  1. Networks that serve content.
    Examples include media, commerce, SaaS, cloud, content delivery networks (CDNs), content providers, and hosting companies. For them, user experience is paramount. This means that they have to have high-performance routes from their content servers to wherever their users are across the Internet 

  2. Networks where the users live and consume content (aka "eyeball networks").
    These includes retail ISPs, cable providers, and enterprise networks. The users on these networks are consuming SaaS, media, commerce, hosted data, etc. 

  3. Networks that connect the content networks and the eyeball networks, aka transit networks.
    Transit networks interconnect with many eyeball networks. The value is that by connecting to one network, you can get high performance IP transport routes to many end users. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that run transit networks are known as IP transit providers. 

How to Buy IP Transit Services

IP Transit Service delivers your content or application traffic to users with high-performance across an ISP's transit network.  

Buying Internet transit service includes two components:  

  • Procuring an Ethernet port on the Internet Transit Provider's switch in a colocation data center facility, otherwise known as the ISP’s Point of Presence (PoPs). Terms typically run 12, 24, or 36 months. Typically, IP transit ports come in 10G, 100g, or 400G options. Once you procure a port, you cross-connect with the provider via the data center' meet me room.  
  • Subscribe to transit bandwidth. Getting a port isn't enough. You also need to subscribe to a certain amount of bandwidth delivery via the transit network. Transit bandwidth usually comes in 1Gbps increments.  

Cost and Contracts: The cost of IP Transit services can vary based on factors like bandwidth requirements, geographical location, and the quality of service.  

"Even today, many IP Transit providers require customers to follow telco-style sales process with opaque pricing. However, the advent of cloud and SaaS has changed IT buyer expectations. Modern IP transit should be both consumable and flexible, not just regarding the sales process, but the technology as well."

Theo Voss

CEO and Co-Founder,

Smart Buyer Criteria for IP Transit Services

When buying IP Transit Services you should consider:  

ISP Tier

  • ISPs provide Internet connections and must have an Autonomous System Number (ASN). Organizations that want to send traffic across the Internet register their interconnected network to receive an ASN.  
  • ISPs use the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP routing) to actively link with the rest of the Internet.  
  • ISPs categorize into three tiers and higher versus lower tiers matter. You can only buy transit services from Tier 1 and Tier 2 providers.  

Tier 1 ISPs run global networks and don't need to purchase transit from any other ISPs. They only trade Internet traffic ("peer") with other Tier 1 networks to reach the full Internet. Tier 1 only applies to the largest and most global Internet providers.  

These larger ISPs with extensive network infrastructure can offer wider or even global reach and scalability, allowing businesses to expand their services globally without needing to establish multiple individual peering relationships. However, higher tier ISPs charge a premium for their services. Also, they tend to not peer as much as Tier 2 ISPs and make decisions based on commercial criteria over routing quality. Therefore, Tier 2 ISPs sometimes offer better and shorter routes to certain networks.  

Tier 2 ISPs use both paid transit from Tier 1 ISPs and peering (traffic trading) with other Tier 2s to reach the full Internet. Tier 2 ISPs commonly connect to peers via Internet Exchange Points operated by specialized IXP providers. As noted above, Tier 2 ISPs prioritize route quality (depth) more than just breadth of coverage, which means they can offer better routes to certain networks. For example, a Tier 2 provider can offer particularly strong routes in Europe or Asia. 

Tier 2 ISPs are typically more competitive price-wise than Tier 1s. A portfolio of Tier 2 ISPs provides reach of a single Tier 1 in a more cost-effective fashion. Tier 2 providers can also serve as backups to Tier 1 connectivity.  

Tier 3 ISPs aren't Transit Providers. They only use paid transit from upstream providers and provide access to the internet to downstream customers.  In other words, Tier 3 ISPs are transit customers themselves. 

Autonomous System Ranking

The AS Rank on shows the reach of the Transit Provider to get your traffic reliably and with high quality to your users. This ranking comes in handy when considering Tier 2 ISPs. You can see the AS Ranking at 

Note that the ASNs for credible regional providers rank well into the 100's. Examples include Turk Telekom (107), Softbank Japan (111), and Belgacom (141).'s main historical ASN 25291 holds a AS Rank of 105 on the Caida site.   

Why You Should Consume IP Transit Like the Cloud

Historically, buying IP Transit Service was a slow and involved process. Even today, many providers require customers to follow telco-style sales process with opaque pricing. However, the advent of cloud and SaaS has changed IT buyer expectations, and IP Transit Providers are following suite. Modern IP transit should be both consumable and flexible.  

In practice, this means you should be able to register for a self-service portal, see transparent pricing, and start provisioning immediately. In addition, like the cloud, once you’ve established your connectivity, you should be able to easily and flexibly upscale your transit bandwidth in minutes.  

Network-Integrated DDOS Protection

All Internet connections are inherently vulnerable to DDoS attacks that can easily hundreds of gigabits per second. For businesses that derive significant revenues from providing content or connectivity services over the Internet, protecting your network connectivity is particularly important to maintaining service uptime. 

Defending your Internet backbone network infrastructure against DDoS means minimizing the ability of attackers to shut down your service delivery from your ip addresses or prefixes, inclusive of IPv4 and IPv6. There are relatively crude ways to do this on your own by enabling routing policies. For example, when under attack, you can configure your routers to communicate blackhole BGP communities to upstream providers in order to stop attack traffic from reaching a particular prefix. However, this is self-defeating since you’re essentially turning off Internet communications for that address range. 

The constraints of self-engineered DDoS protection mean that most network teams turn to DDoS protection providers. While there are external DDoS protection providers, the most convenient and cost-effective way to get in-depth defense against DDoS attacks is to buy IP transit from a provider that has an integrated DDoS protection service within its own network. 

Getting Sustainable IP Transit Service

Corporations are increasingly concerned with IT sustainability. Procuring sustainable network services supports climate and carbon footprint objectives. Unfortunately, most providers are only offering sustainability targets set to 2035 or later.  

Certifications are key to ensuring that services you buy will support your ESG objectives. For example, is a certified B Corporation. also received the PAS 2060 Carbon Neutral Certification from TÜV SÜD.