Cogent admits to QoSing down streaming

Jared Mauch jared at
Thu Nov 6 16:23:51 UTC 2014

> On Nov 6, 2014, at 11:12 AM, Patrick W. Gilmore <patrick at> wrote:
> <>
> This is interesting. And it will be detrimental to network neutrality supporters. Cogent admits that while they were publicly complaining about other networks congesting links, they were using QoS to make the problem look worse.
> One of the problems in "tech" is most people do not realize tone is important, not just substance. There was - still is! - congestion in many places where consumers have one or at most two choice of providers. Even in places where there are two providers, both are frequently congested. Instead of discussing the fact there is no functioning market, no choice for the average end user, and how to fix it, we will now spend a ton of time arguing whether anything is wrong at all because Cogent did this.
> Wouldn't you rather be discussing whether 4 Mbps is really broadband? (Anyone else have flashbacks to "640K is enough for anyone!"?) Or how many people have more than one choice at 25 Mbps? Or whether a company with a terminating access monopoly can intentionally congest its edge to charge monopoly rents on the content providers their paying customers are trying to access? I know I would.
> Instead, we'll be talking about how things are not really bad, Cogent just made it look bad on purpose. The subtlety of "it _IS_ bad, Cogent just shifted some of the burden from VoIP to streaming" is not something that plays well in a 30 second sound bite, or at congressional hearings.
> It's enough to make one consider giving up the idea of having a functioning, useful Internet.

Network SLAs are usually on-net.  Deciding how to queue packets down a congested link is certainly something many places have done for years, including when people did Random Early Discard(RED), Weighted RED or even more advanced AQM when there may be one-way congestion (Eg: cable/dsl uplink) at the home.

Some people are trying to document/improve this with ideas, such as:

As a technical issue I always want to see congestion addressed promptly with either changes in the traffic pattern or network upgrades.  If you have customers on a fixed monthly plan regardless of usage and your capital model doesn’t address that, or you hide the network costs in other ‘bundles’ it may become harder to do the accounting necessary to fund those upgrades.  I do wish it were easier to get symmetric speeds on DOCSIS/xDSL technologies.

- Jared

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