Sprint / Cogent dispute over?

Paul Wall pauldotwall at gmail.com
Mon Nov 3 01:02:53 UTC 2008

On Sun, Nov 2, 2008 at 6:05 PM, Brandon Galbraith
<brandon.galbraith at gmail.com> wrote:
> Seeing as Cogent is going to try tooth and nail to keep their new found Tier
> 1 status (and not pay anyone for transit), I would think this would bode
> worse for Sprint, since most of their transit customers could migrate to
> Cogent (saving $$$ and not having to face future depeerings). Just my $0.02.

Cogent has never been a Tier 1, they have only been "transit free". Being
transit free is not a difficult accomplishment, it just means that you don't
announce or receive routes via a relationship which is intended to be heard
by the entire Internet. You could easily go out and buy transit from each of
the existing transit free networks, tag your routes with communities to only
announce to customers, and become a "transit free" network with global
reachability overnight. Of course, this carries with it the risk of breaking
global Internet connectivity in the event of a depeering. It is well known
that Cogent pays for out-of-ratio traffic with Level3 and Telia, and clearly
Sprint says that they have no actual peering agreement. This doesn't have
the making of a real tier 1 network.

As far as fighting "tooth and nail", that much seems abundantly clear
considering that they are actually stealing service from Sprint (and have
been for over a year) in order to maintain their status. They used a "trial"
peering session to weasel their way into a direct connection with Sprint,
and once they got it they intentionally changed their announcements so
that if Sprint disconnected them it would cause unreachability.

It seems abundantly clear that this situation was created entirely by
Cogent, and that they are intentionally harming their customers and the
customers of Sprint in an effort to extort a settlement free relationship.
This is despicable behavior, if not outright criminal activity considering
the theft of service they are committing, and it is amazing that Sprint
cared enough about Internet connectivity to allow it to continue for so
long, and to restore connectivity temporarily.

If any of us stopped paying for our Internet service, and set up routing
so that as soon as our provider turned us off we would be reachable to
them and their customers complained, then demanded that they give
us free service in order to restore connectivity, we would be laughed
at. That is what Cogent has done here, and just because they've done
it on a large scale doesn't make it right. This specific issue will be
solved in a real court and not the court of public opinion, but we
should all do our parts to recognize the blatant lies Cogent has told,
and to make it clear that we will not accept that kind of behavior. The
last thing the Internet needs is more misguided regulation because
someone actually believed Cogent's lies.

More information about the NANOG mailing list