The Media Grid's Mediated Bandwidth Agreement (MBA)
The Mediated Bandwidth Agreement (MBA) defines a reciprocal and transitive agreement for Tier 1 networks and others to build the InterStream Media Grid by sharing InterStream Transit Keys (ISTKs). ISTKs "unlock" bandwidth at network bottlenecks to ensure sufficient capacity for high-quality streaming. Non Tier 1 networks may participate in the media grid via business relationships such as a peering or IP transit agreement. Network operators use an embedded ISTK management systems within their network equipment and a common registry to create mediation policies which comply with the MBA.
The Media Grid is the aggregate of networks that are signatories to the MBA and therefore share ISTKs. By definition, any Tier 1 network who participates in the media grid will have access to "unlocked" bottlenecks from any other network who also participates in the media grid.
The MBA employs a general public license / open source approach to peering. Signatories to the MBA can leverage and enhance media grid source code and binaries in order to create differentiated services in exchange for becoming part of the media grid.
The MBA has been created to define a new type of business relationship between wholesale (transit) ISPs. Tier 1+ ISPs who initially participate in the media grid and transform themselves into an InterStream Tier 1+ network will gain an "early-mover" advantage by having the ability to share ISTKs and retain their existing Tier 1 status or fully become a Tier 1. Other parties may form their own business relationships with these ISPs to interconnect their networks, including the purchase of IP transit services from these InterStream providers. In addition, any network may use the MBA to establish premium services on their network. These other networks will use Cambix's management portal to assign access rights to outside parties for premium services on their network. The backbone "Tier 1" network for the media grid offers transitive service in that a Tier 1 ISP offering service will have access to premium service on all peered networks.
The MBA uses rack rate pricing to ensure adherence to common carriage principles. Broadband, or "last mile" networks, who are signatories under the MBA but not peered with a Tier 1+ network, must set a rack rate price for their premium bandwidth services. Since these parties are not peered with a Tier 1+, they would become isolated "islands" on the Internet unless they provide common carriage access via settlement free interconnect to their network.
The MBA specifies and establishes objective measures for the quality of service offered by ISPs and network operators. Broadband and Transit ISPs will be required to meet specific quality metrics in order to use the InterStreamSM service mark for their product and service designations. Transit suppliers must offer less than an Association specified packet loss for sustained and burstable bandwidth on their network. Broadband providers must offer ISTP service below an association specified stream blocking probability. The minimum requirements for service mark certification will be determined by the InterStream Oversight Board (IOB).