Cogent & HE

Brian Dickson brian.peter.dickson at
Thu Jun 9 23:06:29 UTC 2011

RAS wrote:
>On Thu, Jun 09, 2011 at 12:55:44AM -0700, Owen DeLong wrote:
>> Respectfully, RAS, I disagree. I think there's a big difference
>> between being utterly unwilling to resolve the situation by peering
>> and merely refusing to purchase transit to a network that appears to
> offer little or no value to the purchaser or their customers.

>Owen, can you please name me one single instance in the history of the
>Internet where a peering dispute which lead to network partitioning did
>NOT involve one side saying "hey, we're willing to peer" and the other
>side saying "no thanks"? Being the one who wants to peer means
>absolutely NOTHING here, the real question is which side is causing the
>partitioning, and in this case the answer is very clearly HE.

I don't know if Owen can, but I know I can.

Back in the day, when there were many fewer Tier-1's but the number was growing,
there were enough disputes over peering requests that there was a
danger of things
actually getting regulated (e.g. by the dreaded FCC).

As part of one of the many mergers, the biggest player at that time
(AS 701), made their
peering requirements public, *and* honored those requirements.

So, long history short, there were in fact peering disputes that had
one side saying,
"hey, we want to peer" and the other side saying "you don't have
enough traffic",
or "your ratio is too imbalanced", or "you're my customer - tough!".
And some of those got resolved by the ratios changing, or the traffic levels
reaching sufficiently high. (I can historically mention AS 6453.)

Some of the other early players didn't play fair, and to my knowledge
still don't. You have
to know someone, or be named "Ren" to get peering with them. (Sorry, Ren. :-))

IMHO, what Cogent are effectively trying to do, is to extort "paid
peering", masquerading as transit.

Personally, I think the global traffic patterns, loss/latency/jitter,
and general karma of the Internet
would be improved, if those who currently peer with Cogent were to do
evaluate the impact of
de-peering them:

- How many networks are *single*-homed behind Cogent?
- Is anyone who *needs* Internet connectivity that unwise (to be
single homed anywhere, let alone behind Cogent)?
- If they *are* single-homed-to-Cogent, they aren't *your* customers. :-)
- (This could be applied to both IPv6 *and* IPv4 - the logic is the same)

Brinksmanship, like virtue or stupidity, is its own reward.


P.S. In the ancient game "go", there's a special rule on the two
players playing alternate single-piece steals, that limits it to N
times for very small N.
The game becomes futile and pointless, beyond a certain number of
repeated moves.
Ditto for not peering.

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