Some of the hottest web startups have been child-shuttling services such as Shuddle and HopSkipDrive. It's very inefficient for each parent to drive every single child to each activity. It usually doesn't take very long for new parents to start working with others on carpooling, especially when there are conflicting activities in different places all at the same time. A similar problem/solution exists in the online world as well. If an individual subscriber has an account for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, etc., it's very inefficient for each cloud service provider to go through their network to an Internet exchange point, through a point of presence, and sometimes across a national or even global backbone and back again, all to serve that single user. It makes much more sense for Internet content and cloud services providers to directly connect to one another for subscriber sharing. Yes, they're competitors, and yes, their subscriber information is proprietary and not for sharing, but when two servers are near each other in San Francisco, it makes no sense to have their packets travel the world to connect together. This direct connection between competing service providers for subscriber sharing is called "peering", and it's nothing new. Early train stations housed competing railroad companies so that passengers could be swapped over. Before the digitalization of voice calls ...
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