Sprint v. Cogent, some clarity & facts

michael.dillon at bt.com michael.dillon at bt.com
Tue Nov 4 17:33:08 UTC 2008

> > The concept of "Transit Free" is a political failure, not a 
> technical 
> > one.
> We disagree.

Perhaps some examples are needed? If you drive in a screw with 
a big hammer, the end result is not pleasing. For one, a screw will
not have the holding power of a nail. For another, the screw and
the hammer are both likely to damage the objects being attached.

Nevertheless, you would be hardpressed to say that this is a technical
failure. A wise person could have imposed the policy of always using
screwdrivers to drive in a screw, and to only drive in nails when
using a hammer. Same technology, different results.

In the case of peering arrangements, the term "transit free" hides a 
multitude of sins. It is pure spin, dreamed up by marketing people back
in the 90's when the Big Five ISPs were trying to control the market
and make it hard for competitors to gain mythical Tier 1 status. In the
end, everyone drank the koolaid and the whole arena of network
has been poisoned by it.

Has anyone heard of a backup route? With a longer path so it is never
unless there is a real emergency? Why was there no backup route
to carry the Sprint <-> Cogent traffic? Because there was a political
in both Sprint and Cogent.

Back in 2000 it was acceptable for the big New York banks to have all
eggs in one basket in central Manhattan. In 2002, it was no longer
Do we really need a 911 magnitude of disaster on the Internet for people
wake up and smell the coffee? The Internet is no longer a kewl tool
and operated by the cognoscenti to meet their own interests. It is now
of every nation's and everbody's critical infrastructure. It needs to be
engineered and operated better so that it does not end up partitioning
dumb reasons.

--Michael Dillon

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