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In wide-area routing, this refers to a routing policy (usually in BGP) which moves packets onto the destination network (or maybe just somebody else's network) as soon as possible, even if the route so chosen is longer in terms of hops, latency, or bandwidth.

One motivation for such a policy is to reduce load on your network by shifting it to your competitors. Hot potato routing is in some ways good for reliability, since it shifts responsibility for the packet delivery to the correct network right away. But, it can lead to asymmetric routing and less-than-optimal use of the network's resources.

BGP has a mechanism for solving this, called multi-exit discrimination, which provide a way of advertising a description your network's topology to your BGP peers, so that their routers can make a better decision.

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