Cogent & HE

Richard A Steenbergen ras at
Wed Jun 8 23:05:17 UTC 2011

On Wed, Jun 08, 2011 at 06:39:02PM -0400, Patrick W. Gilmore wrote:
> Yes, both refuse to buy transit, yes.  But HE is able, willing, and 
> even begging to peer; Cogent is not.  These are not "the same thing".

I'm ready, willing, and lets say for the purposes of this discussion 
begging to peer with every Tier 1, but some of them aren't willing to 
peer with me. Does that mean I should stop buying transit and blame them 
for my resulting lack of global reachability? If I could convince my 
customers to accept that line of bullshit it would certainly reduce my 
transit costs, but I have a sneaking suspicion they wouldn't. :)

Ultimately it is the responsibility of everyone who connects to the 
Internet to make sure they are, you know, actually connected to the 
Internet. Choosing not to do so and then throwing up your hands and 
saying "oh I can't help it, they won't peer with me" is not a valid 
excuse, at least not in my book or the book of anyone who pays me money 
to deliver their packets. And this isn't even a case of not being ABLE 
to buy sufficient capacity via a transit path (ala Comcast), this is 
just two networks who have mutually decided two remain partitioned from 
each other in the pursuit of long term strategic advantage. Ultimately 
both parties share responsibility for this issue, and you can't escape 
that just because you have a tube of icing and some spare time. :)

> These are not the only two networks on the v6 Internet who are 
> bifurcated.  There are some in Europe I know of (e.g. Telecom Italia 
> refuses to buy v6 transit and refuses to peer with some networks), and 
> probably others.  The v6 'Net is _not_ ready for prime time, and won't 
> be until there is a financial incentive to stop the stupidity & ego 
> stroking.
> The Internet is a business.  Vote with your wallet.  I prefer to buy 
> from people who do things that are in MY best interest.  Giving money 
> to Cogent will not put pressure on them peer with HE & Google & 
> everyone else - just the opposite.

Absolutely. This is just like any other IPv4 peering dispute, the only 
difference is IPv6 is so unimportant in the grand scheme of the Internet 
that there hasn't been enough external pressure from customers on either 
side to force a settlement. Shockingly, HE manages to buy plenty of IPv4 
transit to reach Cogent and many other networks, no doubt because they 
wouldn't have any (paying) customers if they didn't. :)

> On the flip side, HE is an open peer, even to their own customers, and 
> _gives away_ free v6 transit.  Taking their free transit & complaining 
> that they do not buy capacity to Cogent seems more than silly.  Plus, 
> they are doing that I think is in my best interest as a customer - 
> open peering.  Trying to make them the bad guy here seems counter 
> intuitive.

I know you're not naive enough to think that HE is giving away free IPv6 
transit purely out of the kindness of their heart. They're doing it to 
bulk up their IPv6 customer base, so they can compete with larger 
networks like Cogent, and make a play for Tier 1-dom in exactly the same 
way that Cogent has done with IPv4. And more power to them for it, it 
may well be a smart long term strategic move on their part, but with 
every wannabe Tier 1 network comes partitioning and peering disputes, as 
they try to trade short term customer pain for long term advantages.

Sorry to all the HE guys, but trying to simultaniously complain about 
your treatment at the hands of other networks and their peering disputes 
while emulating their actions is bullshit and you know it. :)

Richard A Steenbergen <ras at>
GPG Key ID: 0xF8B12CBC (7535 7F59 8204 ED1F CC1C 53AF 4C41 5ECA F8B1 2CBC)

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