It doesn't come easy
wrote to mention a ZDNet article discussing a recent outage between Level 3 Communications and Cogent Communication
. A business feud inadvertently highlighted the fragility of the Internet's skeleton. From the article: "In theory, this kind of blackout is precisely the kind of problem the Internet was designed to withstand. The complicated, interlocking nature of networks means that data traffic is supposed to be able to find an alternate route to its destination, even if a critical link is broken. In practice, obscure contract disputes between the big network companies can make all these redundancies moot. At issue is a type of network connection called 'peering.' Most of the biggest network companies, such as AT&T, Sprint and MCI, as well as companies including Cogent and Level 3, strike "peering agreements" in which they agree to establish direct connections between their networks. "