“I think a tiny, tiny fraction, significantly less than 1% have any sort of paid relationship, and that includes transit. Things that are formally requiring, asking for help in carrying traffic, that includes that,” Starzak said. Barbara van Schewick, law professor at Stanford Law School added to this explaining that there are two kinds of interconnection agreements that operate today.
“Either the ISP pays for its own connection to the internet, which means they pay so-called transit providers to send their data to and from the internet. There clearly the last mile ISP is not paid, it pays someone else to connect them to the internet. That makes sense. And then the other kind of agreement that we see with last-mile ISPs is that they interconnect with someone directly. Those were the agreements that Alissa talked about quite a bit. And they exchange the data without a fee,” she explained. The latter, she said, makes up the vast majority of interconnections.