In the old days, the company phone closet was where the interconnection to service providers took place. But now, if the data center is chosen carefully, you are able to connect to these providers in a much more effective fashion. By this I mean your choice is limited when you use your phone closet as an interconnection point. Generally you will have only a handful of carriers to choose from at your office. Of course, with reduced choice comes increased cost and reduced flexibility.
Sure, data centers are a viable option for companies as they increase the number of providers, but the ultimate choice may be a carrier hotel, where dozens or more service providers are looking for your business.
Using a carrier hotel allows you to get a circuit as a node on your network and in addition you can use that node as a point of aggregation and distribution. If more enterprises you work with do the same, you can actually cross connect to each other allowing you both to skip the service provider altogether. This means security goes way up as there is no third party with access to the data.
In addition, this approach allows better quality and you are able to do your own trouble-shooting if you like. This affords the ability to institute an immediate change if needed. There is no carrier wait - you can now control your own destiny.
You can even connect to the major search engines without a service provider in between. This certainly helps ensure network neutrality.
Telx has taken a huge lead in the voice peering space and this is exactly the reason the company bills itself as a telecom “meet-me” network interconnection facility. They obsess over things like ensuring companies who connect to their network have ample opportunity to meet (Telx Event, Telx CBX Event News) with one another and come up with agreements that enable all Telx customers to prosper. In some cases customers benefit by saving money on interconnection costs and in others customers are now able to generate revenue by providing their services to other Telx customers. In the search engine example above, Telx provides a service you just can't purchase unless you are at a carrier hotel or other location where a major search engine happens to have facilities.
So what is the future of peering? In my opinion Telx is onto something very big and I have been a not so silent fan of the potential of this market for some time. Now that carrier peering is established and a given, the next group of companies to take advantage of the power of peering will be government agencies, educational institutions and all sorts of companies.
Remember that Metcalfe's Law states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of users of the system. The law has often been illustrated using the example of fax machines: A single fax machine is useless, but the value of every fax machine increases with the total number of fax machines in the network, because the total number of people with whom you may send and receive documents increases.
Now is the time for medium to large enterprises to get on the voice peering bandwagon.
Will you be able to take advantage of voice peering as a carrier or enterprise? Certainly the best place to learn about this new trend in communications is at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo where there will be a massive amount of free education on the topic. In fact VoIP peering has been a major focus of the show for the past four events and this will be our most in-depth coverage ever.