Sprint v. Cogent, some clarity & facts

Patrick W. Gilmore patrick at ianai.net
Mon Nov 3 15:40:46 UTC 2008

On Nov 3, 2008, at 10:03 AM, David Schwartz wrote:
> Patrick W. Gilmore wrote:
>> 4. There is a reason behind ratios which has nothing to do with telco
>> "sender-pays"
> There is an alleged reason.

Peering rations were first 'big news' when BBN wanted to de-peer  
Above.Net, Global Center, and Exodus in 1998.  I spent a long time  
chatting with BBN's CTO about why BBN wanted to do this.  I am  
convinced the facts are correct.

Perhaps more importantly, anyone who understands how BGP, fiber,  
routers, etc. work can figure this out for themselves without even  
talking to another network.  Put another way, this is not a fantasy,  
supposition, bluster, etc.

What do you have to convince people otherwise?

>> Hot potato routing + very poor ratios puts much more of the cost on
>> the receiving network.  This is a valid, logical, and costly concern
>> for receiving networks.
> So what? So the argument is:
> 1) Your customers want to receive from my customers.
> 2) Receiving is more expensive.
> 3) Therefore you should pay me?

I don't remember saying that at all.  Perhaps you should re-read my  

> I want to send, and sending is cheap. Your customers want to do the
> expensive receiving, not mine. My customers want to do the cheap  
> sending.
> The ratio argument is nonsense. If your customers want to receive  
> mostly,
> and receiving is expensive, they should pay you more to cover your  
> higher
> costs in receiving traffic. If my customers mostly want to send, and  
> sending
> is cheap, then I should pay less, since I want to do the cheap thing  
> and you
> want to do the expensive thing.

The ratio argument is not nonsense.  And fortunately, what you spout  
on NANOG has no effect on reality.

> Your customers pay you to carry their traffic across your network  
> between
> them and the next network in the line. There is no reason anyone  
> else should
> compensate you for doing this.

<eyeball-network advocate>
Your customers pay you to deliver their traffic to my eyeballs.  There  
is no reason I should compensate you for doing so.

The FACT is that a point-source sending traffic to distributed  
receivers combined with hot-potato routing puts more of the cost on  
the receiver.  That fact is not in dispute, apparently even you agree.

 From that fact, you can argue whether that is grounds for de-peering,  
settlements, etc.  But the fact stands.

Also, please note no one is forcing you to pay anyone.  Cogent decided  
not to pay.  There is no law forcing them, Sprint is not holding a gun  
to Dave's head.  But just like no one is forcing the sender to pay, no  
one is forcing the receiver to pay either.

Personally I think business problems have a business solution.  For  
the ratio problems in 1998, Above.Net (and others, probably), agreed  
to carry the traffic and deliver it closer to BBN's eyeballs, thereby  
shifting the majority of the cost to AN.  Dave (Rand this time, not  
Schaeffer) actually preferred it that way, saying he trusted his  
network more than BBN's and AN's customers pay him for quality.  Hrmm,  
sounds like just the opposite of how you treat your customer's  


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