Cogent admits to QoSing down streaming

Blake Hudson blake at
Thu Nov 6 18:12:43 UTC 2014

If I were a Cogent customer I would like to have seen more transparency 
(an announcement at least). However, I don't see anything wrong with 
their practice of giving some customers "Silver" service and others 
"Bronze" service while reserving "Gold" for themselves. Even if 
applications like VoIP do not function well with a Bronze service level.

Now, a customer that was under the impression they were receiving equal 
treatment with other customers may not be happy to know they were 
receiving a lower class of service than expected. This is not a net 
neutrality matter, it's a matter of expectations and possibly false or 
deceptive advertising.

I would much rather see an environment where the customer gets to choose 
Gold, Silver, and Bronze levels of service for his or her traffic as 
opposed to an environment where the provider chooses fast/slow lane 
applications at their own discretion.


Patrick W. Gilmore wrote on 11/6/2014 10:12 AM:
> <>
> 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.

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