Sprint v. Cogent, some clarity & facts

Patrick W. Gilmore patrick at ianai.net
Mon Nov 3 13:17:31 UTC 2008

On Nov 3, 2008, at 4:26 AM, Florian Weimer wrote:

> * Patrick W. Gilmore:
>> 1. Neither Sprint nor Cogent have transit
>> Both Sprint & Cogent are transit-free networks.  (Notice how I
>> carefully avoided saying "tier one"?)  Whether one or both _should_
>> have transit is not a fact, and therefore outside the scope of this  
>> e-
>> mail, but that neither have transit today is a fact.  (And please
>> don't tell me how Network X has 100 Mbps of transit in Sri Lanka
>> because they are too lazy to lease undersea cable.  If you don't
>> understand what I am saying here, stop reading now.)
>> 2. The Internet cannot "route around" de-peering
>> I know everyone believes "the Internet routes around failures".   
>> While
>> occasionally true, it does not hold in this case.  To "route around"
>> the "failure" would require transit.  See item #1.
> Out of curiosity, what would happen if one of the parties got transit
> from a business POV?  Not just in this particular case, but in
> general.

 From a business perspective, one of the two parties would then be  
paying a third party to reach the other.  In fact, a year ago this is  
exactly what was happening - Cogent bought partial transit from Verio  
to reach Sprint and AOL.

Neither believes this is in their best interest.  I cannot tell you if  
that is true.

> Doesn't this work because they are so large that any such arrangement
> would immediately threaten traffic ratios at the (transit-free)
> transit provider?

Obviously not since it was happening in the past.  But you make a good  
point.  Traffic from either of these networks is probably large enough  
to push at least one of the other transit-free networks over their  
peering ratios with someone else.

But probably not all.  It is probable some transit free networks gets  
more traffic from Sprint than they send, so selling transit to Cogent  
would not hurt them.  Not so sure any transit-free network pushes more  
to Cogent than they receive, but I cannot prove it.

And even if selling to Cogent would put them over their ratio  
requirements, perhaps they could negotiate a better settlement deal,  
so they get more from Cogent than they pay to Sprint.

Despite the fact I believe Cogent is heavy outbound to all other  
transit free networks, there are solutions that would allow a network  
to sell Sprint transit to Cogent.

Etc., etc.

It is a business problem, it has multiple business solutions.

>> 3. Standard transit contracts do not guarantee full connectivity
> If this were true, why would end users (or, more generally, not
> significantly multi-homed networks) buy transit from such networks?

"If this were true"?  "Why would end users [...] buy transit from such  

Please show me a transit contract - just one - that guarantees  
connectivity beyond the transit AS boundary.

Put another way, since _every_ network does this, if you do not want  
to buy from 'such networks', you cannot buy transit.


More information about the NANOG mailing list