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Positioning, presentation and model
- HOPUS, who are you?
- HOPUS is a French company, registered in Paris.
- Oh I see, a company and not an association. Why?
The corporate route has been preferred for two main reasons; the
first one is arguably the ability to shorten decision cycles, the
second one is some tendencies for large companies, partners of
ours, to do business with structures of the same kind more easily.
- So what do you do?
We operate an IP network and we offer IP connectivity to network
- Are you affiliated to an Internet Service Provider?
No. HOPUS is a private company and works with both Internet access
and content/service providers. We offer a unique value
proposition to both types of partners by combining their best
- Still, your business model includes a financial remuneration to access ISPs,
Yes. And more precisely, HOPUS promotes a business model in which
anyone receiving and routing on his network traffic coming from
HOPUS is getting paid. Anyone sending out traffic to HOPUS is
asked to pay a fair price to have his traffic delivered. Someone
sending and receiving symmetrically should have a fairly balanced
status. All HOPUS members share the same rules. Access ISPs tend to
receive more than they send.
- How to connect to HOPUS? any specific condition?
No, no specific condition. You have to have an AS number, a 24/7
NOC and be able to directly connect to any HOPUS active equipment.
- Why do you say that your offer is particularly open?
Members connecting to HOPUS share the same contract, no matter
their respective size, profile or type of traffic. All
active members share the same terms and conditions, including
pricing. That's the reason why HOPUS is said open and clear.
- Isn't it strange and quite disturbing that HOPUS claim to become a central
It's quite the opposite, really. HOPUS limits itself to a very
strict, simple and neutral technical intermediary. HOPUS tries to
limit its visibility and impact on everything, even on price. We
strive to remove our own interest from the general HOPUS equation;
for instance, HOPUS roughly makes similar money, traffic prices
going up or down. We just want to disappear from the equation.
- What is the difference between HOPUS and a IXP?
With HOPUS, you have one agreement to validate in order to be able to reach
out to all HOPUS members. An Internet eXchange Point offers a platform on which
you can (and have to) make multiple traffic agreements with other participants.
Besides, on a technical side, HOPUS offers the ability to provide more control
over end-to-end service quality, including potential upstream ports saturation,
even on long distance. It's likely that IXPs will struggle to offer such level
of control and quality.
- Is HOPUS a traffic marketplace? Is it all about the big come back of
No. The purpose of HOPUS is to make Internet operators investments
and revenue streams clear, transparent and predictable. Prices are
fixed by HOPUS with the help of all HOPUS members and are intended
to be be stable in the mid/long term.
- But I don't want price stability! I want to pay less for more bandwidth!
The principle HOPUS promotes tends to define the fair price. Be
assured that this will never be the lowest price. We strive to
help and define the best value for money, i.e. the best quality a
fair amount of money can buy. Our goal is this fair balance.
- How is your price list established?
It's a fairly easy and surprisingly simple and fast process. We've
simply asked operators who wanted to send traffic how much they
were ready to spend for quality. We then asked operators willing
to receive traffic how much they thought they should receive for
this traffic and this level of quality. As the Internet market is
pretty open and clean, the two matched quickly. This process will
be regularly repeated in order to keep HOPUS price list valid and
- What are your own revenue streams?
There is no mystery here. We have two main sources of revenue. The
first one are the fixed prices members pay to connect, mostly port
fees. The second source is the fair margin we make on the price on
the traffic exchanged on the HOPUS network.
- Any plan to expand the HOPUS network abroad and overseas?
Yes. HOPUS is a routed exchange, our network is routed.
- Do you plan to change anything on your business model to reflect the cost
of the additional transport?
No. The HOPUS price list includes transport across regions.
- What is the HOPUS value proposition to access ISPs?
HOPUS offers to access ISPs:
- new revenue stream: a financial contribution to help them to
develop their domestic and international networks, for
incoming traffic they receive from the HOPUS network
simplicity: a unique point of contact for any technical or
practical matter, with clear and well managed rules, by
people respectful of their specific constraints and concerns,
speaking in the name of countless actors of any size or type
optimization: an actor happy to control and manage upstream
any issue or any risk on quality, such as flood or incident
cooperation: we are happy to collect local traffic in
specific regions and zones in order to help relieve
congestion on their backbones and reduce ISPs transport costs
quality: help to improve service operations
- What is the HOPUS value proposition to content and service providers?
HOPUS offers to service and content providers:
- a unique point of contact to reach a large numbers of access ISPs
- an excellent quality of service
a fair price for the traffic they sent, transparently shared
by all HOPUS members
- no arbitrary constraints (no commit, no specific or reserved
traffic), just simple and relevant technical rules
open to everyone, from a few dozens of Mb/s to send up to
several dozens of Gb/s.
- Who is connected right now?
- Check at the list!
- What are the routes announced on HOPUS?
HOPUS announces all the legitimate routes announced by its members
(their routes, the routes of their direct clients and their
private peerings), no matter the point of connection.
- Is a member allowed to refuse traffic from another member? Am I supposed
to negotiate with all other members to get my traffic routed on HOPUS to
No. All members select and choose the routes they announce on HOPUS. Any member
can then freely decide how to send its traffic to any other operator, through
HOPUS or not. But once a route is announced, the announcing member is committed
to accept traffic from other on the HOPUS network.
- Is there a route-server available?
Yes. You have to establish a valid and direct BGP session with an HOPUS router
and the HOPUS AS. But HOPUS also proposes an optional (no extra fee) session
with a route-server (one route-server per POP). The HOPUS route-server does not
accept route announces from your AS but does announce all the routes from
members, removing the HOPUS AS from the as-path.
- What are the SLAs?
No packet loss, packet transit less than 20ms on our national metropolitan
network, 4h GRS, no congestion.
- And what if not?
- If not, penalties.
- How do you manage quality of service?
- Our first task and commitment is to carefully design our network
topology and connectivity agreements with members. And in order to
get a clear picture of potential issues, we deploy network probes
on our members' networks to measure and control quality of
- Where are your POP, how to connect?
You can reach us on one of our primary pop or via our WDM backhaul and IXPs partners.
- Do you publish your stats?
Detailed statistics are made available to HOPUS members.
- Does your business model jeopardize Net Neutrality?
No, quite the opposite. HOPUS founders promote net neutrality. Rules on HOPUS
are simply and merely based on technical requirements. Traffic on HOPUS is
strictly handled in a similar fashion, no matter the origin, type or size of
emitting or receiving entity or receiving device.
- Still, HOPUS transit is supposed to be more reliable, isn't it?
Thank you for noticing it :) We strive to provide the best quality
of service, and we do that in a similar sense of buying traffic or
setting up private peerings with operators. The only difference is
that we do that in a very open, clean and shared fashion.
Additionally, we make these agreements available for any other
operator, including small ones for whom getting these types of
agreement is sometimes very difficult.
- OMG, you're going to kill/destroy/ annihilate !
No, we won't. Operators, of any type and size, will always need a
vast variety of medium, platforms and actors to manage and share
traffic, including carriers, internet exchange points, peering
agreements etc. HOPUS, as a network and business model, is simply
one additional option in the toolbox operators have.
- But call termination fees don't make any sense on the Internet!
Sometimes they don't, but in other situations they may do. We
respect any opinion on this matter and agree that ideally all
operators could openly share their traffic. The reality is that
many Internet service providers are struggling to send their
content or serve their users correctly at a decent price and that
Internet service access providers also contend with enormous
amounts of traffic and 1080p vids streams, blocking their
backbones and increasing their own transport costs. So it's
perfectly fine to debate about what the world should be, but from
this perspective HOPUS aims at providing a pragmatic and efficient
solution to the world as it is. Our idea is to solve this problem,
for large and very demanded actors as well as for smaller and
sometimes ignored players. We think that our initiative combines
the best interests of all Internet actors and promotes a clear,
balanced and open model for everyone.