Sprint v. Cogent, some clarity & facts

Barrett Lyon blyon at blyon.com
Mon Nov 3 16:49:07 UTC 2008

Incase this has not hit the list yet:


Sprint Reconnects Cogent, but Differences Are Unresolved
Mikael Ricknäs, IDG News Service

Monday, November 03, 2008 7:50 AM PST
On Sunday Sprint Nextel reconnected its network with Cogent  
Communications after severing it earlier last week. The reconnection  
is only temporary, as the core issues in this dispute have not  
changed, Sprint said in a statement to its customers.

As a result, it is again possible for Sprint customers and Cogent  
customers to directly communicate across the Internet. Data supplied  
by Keynote Systems confirms that the two networks are again  
communicating with each other.

Sprint's view of what led up to its disconnecting from Cogent  
Communications on Oct. 30 differs substantially from what Cogent has  

In shutting down the peering between the two, Sprint violated a  
contractual obligation to exchange Internet traffic with Cogent on a  
settlement-free peering basis, according to Cogent. But that's just  
fiction, according to Sprint, because at no time did the two enter  
into an actual contract.

In 2006, Sprint and Cogent formed a trial agreement that ended in  
September last year. A three-month commercial trial indicated that  
Cogent didn't meet the minimum traffic exchange criteria agreed to by  
both parties, according to Sprint. As a result, settlement-free  
peering was not established, Sprint said.

Instead, Sprint wants Cogent to pay for its ongoing connection to the  
Sprint network. But despite repeated collection attempts by Sprint,  
Cogent has not done that. Nonpayment on Cogent's part is the reason  
Sprint decided to disconnect from Cogent last week, a process that had  
started on Oct. 7, and shouldn't have come as a surprise for Cogent,  
Sprint said in its customer statement.

What happens next remains to be seen. The two operators are involved  
in litigation over the matter. Sprint filed a lawsuit against Cogent  
on Sept. 2 in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia for breach of  

On its part, Cogent said it wants settlement-free peering with Sprint.

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