The ‘quality’ of Internet connections is all about latency and stability. You want your traffic to be delivered with the lowest possible latency and use the same routes for as long as possible. If routes change, IP packets arrive in the wrong sequence, and Internet applications like Voice over IP, live video and remote desktop suffer from poor user experience.
To address latency, our routers are configured to prefer the shortest available route: they look at the ‘AS-path’ (shows how many networks are involved in delivery of traffic to its destination) and choose the route with the shortest path.
To address stability, 99% of networks whose routes we use are Tier-1 providers. With each provider we have a contract, pay for the amount of traffic that we send using its routes, and each of them is willing to compete for our choice to use its routes, offers 24/7 technical support and an SLA.
An opposite to our approach is use of routes that a network learns at an Internet Exchange with a non-selective (open) peering policy. Such routes can be withdrawn at any moment and there is usually no technical contact or agreement with the network that was announcing that route.
Routing security is also a part of Internet quality in our case. We filter all routes – even those received from a Tier-1 – by looking at the originating AS, as well as the prefix length. Routes originating from the wrong AS or with the wrong length are usually hijacks – where a network is (intentionally or by accident) announcing another network’s IP space.Using the Routing Protocol Key Infrastructure we drop all routes that are invalid. The result is that our Internet service consists only of validated routes and the risk of sending traffic to a hijacked network is dramatically reduced.