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A peering agreement is an agreement between two network administrators to share data routing responsibilities across multiple networks. Peering is a mainstay of the global Internet and large data mobility systems.
In exchange for reciprocity and as part of a peering agreement, a network administrator - often an Internet service provider (ISP) - will allow data to travel through his routers from another ISP's network. This is known as a bilateral peering agreement, which facilitates and enhances efficient data routing for both networks. A multi-lateral peering agreement is a peering agreement between more than two parties.
A peering agreement may include a variety of details, such as monetary incentives to even out the benefits of an agreement. Moreover, an agreement may describe each party's methods of achieving shared data routing and use the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) standard for correct data packet routing.