Some sites that have the same dedicated server specs as other companies seem to have much higher prices. When questioned about that, they indicate that they offer tier 1 bandwidth while the other companies may not.
What exactly is tier 1 bandwidth?
How do you tell if a host actually has tier 1 bandwidth, is there any way to verify?
Just to tack on, just because a carrier isn't tier1 does not mean it is not a powerful provider. Take a look at InterNAP for example, they are one of the best networks in north america (IMO) yet they are not tier 1.
Tier 1 means that you buy transit from no one, period. Examples of Tier1s are NTT (Verio), MCI, Sprint, AT&T, ATDN (AOL), Savvis, Level 3 and Qwest. All of the Tier 1 networks exchange traffic with each other free. Many of the Tier 1 providers also exchange traffic with some Tier 2's free.
There are many Tier 2 providers who claim to be Tier 1, like Cogent. As much as I love them, they still pay for transit. But in contrast, Cogent is also the #2 pusher of Internet transit in the US, peering with all the Tier1s except AOL and Sprint. So you can see how important or unimportant the Tier1 designation is, at least in the US.
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