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Networking The Internet

The Other Side of the Sprint Vs. Cogent Depeering 174

Posted by kdawson
from the working-it-out dept.
Swoolley writes "A month back this community discussed the Sprint vs. Cogent depeering. Now a story I wrote for Forbes.com tells the inside story of the fight, based on the lawsuits the two companies filed against each other in Virginia state court. For once, thanks to those suits, the public gets to see the details of a confidential peering agreement between two of the Internet's largest autonomous systems, as well as the circumstances leading up to the depeering. (Which company is in the right? Read the facts and decide for yourself.) While some people have argued that the depeering is reason for more government regulation, the Forbes story makes the case that details of the recent Cogent vs. Sprint fight argue for exactly the opposite: keeping the Internet backbones free of government meddling."
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The Other Side of the Sprint Vs. Cogent Depeering

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  • Well, DUH! (Score:2, Funny)

    by overshoot (39700)

    While some people have argued that the depeering is reason for more government regulation [CC], the Forbes story makes the case that details of the recent Cogent vs. Sprint fight argue for exactly the opposite: keeping the Internet backbones free of government meddling."

    This is Forbes, after all. According to Forbes, the Great Depression was proof of the need for less government regulation.

    • Actually, it was (Score:2, Informative)

      by MikeRT (947531)
      Had the federal government responded initially by cutting taxes and spending, lowering trade barriers and streamlining regulation, it probably would have been just a very bad recession. You can't spend your way out of a bad economic cycle; that's like drinking more beer as a solution to a hangover. What you need to do is calm things down, encourage trade and not experiment with the economy and organizing society. I'm not going to say that the federal government caused the Great Depression, but it certainly
      • Mod parent up (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bob-taro (996889)

        You can't spend your way out of a bad economic cycle; that's like drinking more beer as a solution to a hangover.

        That's a great analogy! You might be able to drink away a hangover, but it's just going to result in a worse hangover later.

      • by rho (6063) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @06:07PM (#25966917) Homepage Journal

        Had the federal government responded initially by cutting taxes and spending, lowering trade barriers and streamlining regulation, it probably would have been just a very bad recession.

        Or they could have done nothing at all. One of the most helpful things for the business environment is stability. Knowing exactly what the government is going to do, because that's what it has always done, relieves a business from expending capital on adjusting to changing conditions.

        Of course, no government would ever have done nothing, as the citizens wouldn't have stood for it. But, so long as we're spinning moonbeams...

      • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @06:11PM (#25966995) Journal

        You can't spend your way out of a bad economic cycle; that's like drinking more beer as a solution to a hangover.

        While we're on analogies: Government stimulus packages don't - because the money they hand out has to come from somewhere. That somewhere is either additional money they tax away (typically from the most productive - the ones they were trying to "stimulate") or by "printing" (or equivalent) new money which gets its value by pulling value out of the money already out there. And the government handling of this money has costs. The stimulus is always less than the stifling.

        So government "economic stimulus" is like trying to lengthen a blanked by cutting a strip off one end and sewing it onto the other. The blanket not only ends up no longer, but even a bit shorter.

        (If not for that loss it would be like daylight savings time. B-) )

        For more on this see the broken window falacy [wikipedia.org].

        • Infrastructure? (Score:5, Informative)

          by copponex (13876) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @11:28PM (#25970733) Homepage

          If you just put a pile of money out in the street, sure, nothing will change, but your analogies are just that. History and reality are better barometers of effective policy.

          If the government employs people to improve infrastructure, it lowers the cost of doing business and benefits the whole economy, while evening out the down cycle when other businesses are cutting back. The biggest reasons western countries do well as economies are their workers and their infrastructure and their reliance on government technology and protectionism. While America unfortunately does not see the benefit of having a well educated populace, it does see the benefit of having a reliable power grid, sewage system, telecommunications network, etc. Some societies see single payer health care as part of infrastructure, which is the main reason it's cheaper to build a car in Canada than it is in Detroit.

          (Here's an article [bloomberg.com] that discusses two facts unknown to most Americans: our car companies employ more people in Ontario than Michigan, and they do it because of their more efficient health care system and the canadian dollar.)

          In fact, the computer you're typing on and the internet it travels over are all due to government research. Do you imagine we would be less prosperous if China had been the ones who were licensing technology for us to manufacture instead of the other way around? Government is capable of doing good things, but not in the hands of those who attend to the needs of corporations instead of people.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dubl-u (51156) *

          So government "economic stimulus" is like trying to lengthen a blanked by cutting a strip off one end and sewing it onto the other. The blanket not only ends up no longer, but even a bit shorter.

          Incorrect. Because the government can borrow during busts and pay it back during booms, a government stimulus during a recession is like borrowing one of your blankets from summer to keep you warmer in winter.

          For more on this see the broken window fallacy.

          The broken window fallacy only applies when you are spending on something with no value. That would indeed be retarded. But if the government is spending on useful infrastructure or something else that provides value or creates more room for economic growth, then the broken window fallacy would be irre

          • You're assuming that the government actually pays back what it borrows. If you took a gander at the ever increasing national debt, you would see that's not the case. Government has been doing nothing but printing money to pay for deficit spending.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by jmyers (208878)

        I am mostly libertarian but I would say the depression brought about some good legislation.

        formation of the SEC, regulating stock offerings (33 act) and the secondary market (34 act) and investment companies (40 act) basically just codified best business practices. Before that is was a free for all. Companies could say anything and get away with anything.

        Stuff you take for granted now had to be codified in laws years ago so you can take it for granted now.

      • by overshoot (39700)

        Had the federal government responded initially by cutting taxes and spending, lowering trade barriers and streamlining regulation, it probably would have been just a very bad recession.

        You do realize, I hope, that you are citing the conclusion of your hypothesis as proof of it?

        As long as we're on speculative economics in an alternate history, would you care to address the events of 1937-1938?

        • by homer_s (799572)
          He was giving his opinion, not trying to prove something. So, he could not have been 'begging the question'.

          And what is it that you want addressed reg. 1937? Net investment was down in the 30s and the capital stock of the nation was lower in 1940 than it had been in 1932. So, what's your point reg. 1937?
      • History has shown a country can and has spent their way out of recession(s). It was called the WPA. Learn a little history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Works_Progress_Administration [wikipedia.org]

        • by lgw (121541)

          It's just as likely that the WPA prolonged the Great Depression indefinitely, making it impossible for the economy to recover until we had an actual war, resulting in more-than-full employment.

          Individual spending brings a country out of a recession. Government spending is a poor substitute, and may do more harm than good. If you take $100 I would have spent, and give $80 to some other guy to spend, and $20 in corrupt kickbacks to your buddy, that *reduces* overall individual spending (as well as reducing

          • by afidel (530433)
            How can the individual spend if they have a negative savings rate, a 1 in 7 chance of being unemployed, and no institution will make loans because they can't.
            • by lgw (121541)

              Oh, most people are *capable* if financial responsibility when backed into a corner! Take away the "free money" and the boats get sold, the old cars get lived with, and so on.

              To some extent that's the source of the current recession - people reducing their spending to sane levels. For corporate stock prices this is a total disaster, as everything is priced on growth (and therefore on spending growth), but the underlying businesses are still healthy - with the exception of the largely parasitic financial i

              • by afidel (530433)
                The problem is last time we tried deflation and negative growth it lasted a decade and had huge swaths of the population unemployed and many starving. I personally don't have any love for the boom bust cycle model we've been in, but the alternative is SO much worse that it just doesn't seem like something we should do to people. If I thought the people responsible for the cycle were going to suffer I might be willing to let it happen, but there is no way that will occur so I see no reason to punish large ch
      • The main thing that caused the Great Depression and the same thing that is causing our current financial crisis is wild asset speculation funded by easy credit. Borrowing money to outbid each other on existing assets only adds to the interest burden of society without increasing our gross production capacity.

        Encouraging people to borrow more and spend more in an attempt to stimulate the economy is grossly negligent. Yet this is exactly the strategy economist have used to get out of the last three recession

        • by TheSync (5291)

          The main thing that caused the Great Depression and the same thing that is causing our current financial crisis is wild asset speculation funded by easy credit.

          What made the Depression "Great" was that the Fed engaged in monetary contraction to pierce the "overspeculation bubble" starting in 1928 and did not stop until 1933 (in 1933, the dollar was devalued and a recovery began, though slowed by the NRA and other New Deal legislation).

          You are probably correct regarding the existence of a debt-based stock s

      • by sjames (1099)

        Actually, drinking a small amount of beer the morning after CAN help with a hangover by alleviating some of the symptoms and allowing a more gentle re-regulation :-)

        Probably does not constitute proof. Showing a similar historic economic downturn that was just a very bad recession rather than a depression due to encouraging trade and calming things down would be much stronger evidence but would still leave lots of room to argue.

      • I agree with your analysis of the causes and possible solutions during the Great Depression. Unfortunately, I think drinking well known as the best solution for a hangover.
      • by Targon (17348)

        While this is true, the differences between the global economy back then and now are so large, the issue has grown in complexity.

        For example, the USA has been losing the manufacturing industry over the past few decades. A healthy economy is one where everything can be handled within the country. When you need to import certain critical goods, you open up the chance for a collapse further down the road.

        When the price of oil went through the roof, the entire economy slowed down because it was more expensiv

    • by Anonymous Coward

      > This is Forbes, after all. According to Forbes, the Great Depression was proof of the need for less government regulation.

      Too many Libertarians here will actually agree with that. Let's put that another way that Slashdotters might understand:

      This is Forbes. They had Daniel Lyons writing about how SCO would win against those Communist Linux hippies.

    • Network neutrality (Score:4, Insightful)

      by thule (9041) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @07:00PM (#25967739) Homepage

      This is Forbes, after all. According to Forbes, the Great Depression was proof of the need for less government regulation.

      How would government regulation help in this case? Peering has to make economic sense for both parties or they wouldn't do it. All that happens after peering is broken is that the routers are reconfigured to send traffic over their transit links instead of the peer links. Ultimately, customers are not hurt (except for downtime because of an unplanned link outage).

      The government has no business inserting itself into this agreement. The government is not in the business of understanding the economic conditions that provoke peering agreements.

      I recall reading an article a few years ago about how Yahoo gets approximately half of it's total bandwidth for free. It makes economic sense for content providers to peer with content consumers. This is where the net neutrality thing breaks down. Large content providers make sure they create links that make sure their content gets to eye balls quickly. The smaller content providers don't get this privilege unless they use content caching services or they find a co-lo that has a network with plenty of peering agreements already in place. Is it unfair? Yeah, so? That's how the chips fall.

      If Verizon finds out that enough of their customer traffic is destined to Cogent, it only makes sense for them to peer. Both Cogent and Verizon have a huge number of peering agreements and I wouldn't be surprised if not having this agreement in place really makes that much of a difference to either one of them.

      • by oasisbob (460665)

        All that happens after peering is broken is that the routers are reconfigured to send traffic over their transit links instead of the peer links. Ultimately, customers are not hurt (except for downtime because of an unplanned link outage).

        I'm not sure I understand your comment. If you read any of the articles on Sprint/Cogent's peering spat, you'll see that customers were indeed hurt: Cogent and Sprint had no available transit providers between the two of them.

        • by thule (9041)

          I should have stated that customers were not hurt for long instead of using the word 'ultimately.' I was improperly using the word when I was trying to say that customers could not be hurt long term. I was basically trying to say that the outage had to be resolved otherwise they would lose customers. The companies could no longer sell Internet services if customers could not get to all of "the Internet." So, although there was downtime, ultimately it was resolved. Even if things were never properly res

          • by mihalis (28146)

            I find it hard to believe that another route could not be found. It might take some doing, but both Verizon and Cogent peer with quite a few networks. I recall seeing a peering chart that showed that Cogent (was PSI) was near the center of peering on the Internet. Are you saying that all of the networks that Verizon and Cogent peer with do not have transit links? Are you saying thet none of those networks would pass Verizon or Cogent traffic for a price? That was the way it worked before Cogent and Verizon

            • by thule (9041)

              The only thing I've read about this so far is about peering. What happened before the peering agreement?

              • Cogent has to pay for transit to get to Sprint. Cogent's goal of competing against the big boys (Level3's league) require them to be able to say they don't buy transit from anyone, hence the need to make sure they peer settlement-free with every network.

          • I find it hard to believe that another route could not be found. It might take some doing, but both Verizon and Cogent peer with quite a few networks.

            Of course another route COULD be found; every "tier 1" network on the planet would be willing to help Cogent reach the Sprint network again. But there are three reasons why that didn't happen.

            First, settlement-free peering is generally non-transit. That means that you can only reach things on the peer's network. Hence, Cogent's peers weren't willing to

            • by thule (9041)

              And while they fight it out, customers choose other providers. Long term the only people truly hurt in this are the companies, not the customers. There are enough players that customers have a choice.

              My question about transit is why was it suddenly a requirement for them to peer with Sprint? Did Cogent's strategy change around that time? Cogent has been a big peering player for a long, long time. They have always had plenty of peering agreements and no one questioned their status as one of the original

      • all that happens after peering is broken is that the routers are reconfigured to send traffic over their transit links instead of the peer links.
        In most cases you would be right but the sprint/cogent depeering was between a tier 1 and a wanabee tier 1 both of which refuse to buy transit from anyone.

        So if they depeer thier customers lose connectivity to each other. It then becomes a case of who blinks first and makes concessions to get a new peering agreement.

  • by liraz (77590) * <liraz@turnkeylinux.org> on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @05:28PM (#25966209) Homepage

    Is anyone else here tired of knee-jerk partisanship framing discussion in terms of false dichotomies? Government involvement can do a whole lot of good or a whole lot of bad. The devil is always in the details.

    Good: regulate to prevent monopolization of last-mile utilities and reduce barriers to competition.

    Bad: let lobbyists who supported your campaign write bills that hand out huge billion dollar tax breaks to carriers to build out the next generation "information superhighway" and sit idle while all of that money goes straight into the pockets of shareholders instead while countries like South Korea [nytimes.com] and Japani [iht.com] take the lead in broadband while America slowly turns into a broadband backwater [blogspot.com].

    Hopefully things will work out a little differently in the new administration.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You started off that post great, but it all went downhill in the "Bad:" section.

      Using tiny, *tiny*, whole countries as an example is flawed. Over 90% of Japanese live in less than 20% of the total area Japan occupies. To illustrate further, the US could easily bring New York City into the 'fiber to your door' reality for about the same cost of the entire country of Japan. Unfortunately for your argument, 90% of Americans don't live in New York City, or rather, in 2% of the area of the entire USA.

      If that wer

    • by Angst Badger (8636) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @06:01PM (#25966817)

      Pretty much.

      ...the Forbes story makes the case that details of the recent Cogent vs. Sprint fight argue for exactly the opposite: keeping the Internet backbones free of government meddling.

      It is, in fact, inconceivable that Forbes would make any other case. Ideology predetermines their arguments, and in this case, the ideology at work is a sort of economic anarchism that, quite frankly, has been completely discredited by the current state of affairs in the US economy. Not all regulation is "government meddling"; some of it is necessary to protect consumers -- and often even vendors -- from dishonesty and short-sighted greed that is often harmful in the long run to the miscreants themselves.

      It is at least mildly ironic that the proponents of economic anarchism are often simultaneously proponents of a hardline law-and-order position in other areas of law.

      • Ideology predetermines their arguments, and in this case, the ideology at work is a sort of economic anarchism that, quite frankly, has been completely discredited by the current state of affairs in the US economy.

        It's only been discredited if you're one of the people who believes that the US has had a free market for the last several decades. The people at Forbes (as well as those who actually study economics) have been living under no such misbelief.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MozeeToby (1163751)

      The real question on regulation is if it does more good than harm. The easiest way for me to think about it is as a controls system.

      It can be underdamped (no regulation), meaning that the industry will go to extreme highs and lows as companies go for short term profits and take advantage of monopolistic opportunities only to be bitten in the ass by those same policies later. Any slight impact on the industry will send companies fortunes flying high or crashing low. There is also little need to innovate s

    • by Spazmania (174582)

      Government involvement can do a whole lot of good or a whole lot of bad.

      AND. Government involvement does a whole lot of good AND a whole lot of bad. Any time there's government involvement you can pretty much count on getting both.

    • But nearly all of the government players from the dot-com demise era will be back in power as of 1/20/2009. Sometimes "change" isn't necessarily a good thing.

  • Some Regulation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @05:29PM (#25966237) Journal
    I don't know what others have been suggesting for regulation, but I would strongly support two simple regulations on depeering. 1) Provider A must give provider B at least X days notice of intent to depeer (say 180 days) 2) If some agreement isn't reached between provider A and provider B, both providers must notify all thier customers of the planned depeering giving thier customers at least X days notice (say 90) Nothing too invasive, just some basic comsumer protections.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      But what if NO peering agreement existed to begin with? Sprint gave Cogent a YEAR - how much more notice do they need???

      • OK, forget the "peering" wording then. If any major backbone provider plans to disconnect ANY type of connection (peering or paid) they should have to give the warning.

        At least Sprint did give Cogent the written notice in this case (about 90 days if I recall correctly). However, neither company notified any of thier customers.

      • by sjames (1099)

        But what if NO peering agreement existed to begin with? Sprint gave Cogent a YEAR - how much more notice do they need???

        Then both Cogent and Sprint would have been required to give their customers 90 days to jump ship to a provider who can maintain stable peering agreements OR try harder to come to an agreement before they screw everyone over with their squabble.

    • by maz2331 (1104901)

      The regulation that makes sense to me is that the companies should choose whether to be a "retail" provider that connects to end-users (ie: traffic sources and sinks), or "wholesale" companies that only provide transit. But no company should be both.

      Perhaps one regulation is that any "retail" provider should be required to provide no-charge peering links to any other "retail" provider?

      Or split the market such that they expicitly can't peer, and must all use "wholesale" (transit) networks for all inter-prov

    • Why bother? If you're seriously concerned about depeerings affecting you or your business, then get two internet connections from different providers. Or, if you insist on buying from a single carrier, try to buy from a network that isn't one of the big boys (i.e. not AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Level3, etc...) and isn't desperately aspiring to be one of the big boys (i.e. not Cogent).

    • 1) Provider A must give provider B at least X days notice of intent to depeer (say 180 days)

      If that's law, then provider B gets free unlimited bandwidth for 6 months every time they decide not to renew a contract. If the law says you have to take my traffic, then you'll be handling roughly 100% of it until the legal period is over.

      For extra credit, try wording the law to include an objective definition of "abuse of the intent of the agreement" that would allow provider A to depeer more quickly, but only under those abusive conditions.

      For double-extra credit, write the rationale which provider A w

  • They are bandits (Score:5, Informative)

    by ()ff-t()pic (604252) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @05:36PM (#25966355)

    This is not the first time Cogent act like bandits.
    http://gigaom.com/2008/03/18/cogent-ceo-peering-breakdown-is-telias-fault/ [gigaom.com]

    • So Cogent is acting like a bandit by pushing down the cost of bandwidth? It stands to reason that if you sell bandwidth for $4/Mb, you're going to have other networks who sell it for much higher making your life hell. If you don't want to peer with Cogent, don't. But don't be pissed when you're customers move to them because they're cheaper.

    • If you're a Sprint customer and received a $14,000 bill for one month [digitaljournal.com] (for a supposed unlimited plan), you'd probably be saying the same thing about Sprint too. Personally, I just think both Cogent and Sprint deserve each other.
  • Strange story (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mapsjanhere (1130359) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @05:37PM (#25966371)
    When this story broke two months ago, the Sprint claim was that Cogent was having an unbalanced share of the traffic, and that was given as reason for depeering; mostly due to Cogent signing up large numbers at 10% of the price of Sprint and the other tier 1 ISPs. Makes you wonder if Forbes has an axe to grind there now.
  • by thermian (1267986) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @05:41PM (#25966443)

    Looking at the tags for this story (and many others), it seems tags are being used more for comments on the story than as a useful means to group stories by tag. For instance here we have the tags 'corporatewhining' and 'fuckemboth', both of which are most definitely a comment on the story, not a useful tag as such, well, not very useful as comment either, truth be told.

    For that matter, the more useless a tag, the more likely it is to be of a derogatory nature.

    That's pretty broken really, not even slightly useful as a feature.
    Perhaps there should be a list from which people select, such as there is when submitting stories

    • by Kagura (843695)
      It's been a while since tags went from "most popular tags" to "the submitted tags that a few admins pick from to use for a story". There was a week or two period where it became apparent that the tagging system had undergone a fundamental change.
    • by rho (6063)

      I'm surprised anybody looks at the tags.

      They're not good for anything, even if they were utterly correct.

      I take that back--I'm sure they're good for something, but they're not at all useful. Meaningless featureitis for Slashcode.

    • The best thing is, theres an option in your user settings to not show tags, but it doesn't work....
      • by Lost Race (681080)

        Add this to your userContent.css file:

        /* Hide the idiotic user tags on Slashdot */
        div.tag-display-stub { visibility: hidden; }
        div.tag-widget-stub { visibility: hidden; }

        No more tags!

    • Isn't that the point, so we can skip the flamebait stories without having to even read the summary, or know that the summary isn't very good? They're no good for finding stories about something (that's what full-text search is for), but they're fairly decent for filtering stories.
      • by NaCh0 (6124)

        If you're not interested in flamebait stories, then you're on the wrong website.

    • by Fëanáro (130986)

      The only point current slashdot tags have are as a off-hand on-liner, a sort of impromptu poll. The mumbled voice of the masses, if you will.
      There is a perceived need for this sort of "quick comment", and the tags serve this need, albeit poorly.

      The original purpose of the tags, to allow easier searches, the finding of related stories, etc, would be much better served by a proper search function on slashdot.

      Why the hell do we need a "story" tag for example?
      Frankly, the idea to search for all stories about m

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sootman (158191)

      I agree that tags aren't especially useful, but they're occasionally handy for things like 'badsummary' or 'flamebait.' Hasn't that been one of the requests around here forever--"Can we moderate stories 'flamebait'?"

      They're also a great source of funny one-liners: a story the other day about a guy in the military who asked "what can I do about this crappy laptop?" had "chargeback" and "airstrike" as the first two tags.

  • When *I* kill a peering, the traffic is rerouted through the Internet. Please don't tell me Cogent and Sprint don't use BGP! So why did traffic stop flowing?

    • Traffic stopped flowing because neither Sprint nor Cogent paid for any alternate paths through the Net. This depeering reveals the fragility of the Tier 1 "people pay us, but we don't pay anyone" philosophy.

      • This depeering reveals the fragility of the Tier 1 "people pay us, but we don't pay anyone" philosophy.

        Tier 1 is about long-haul vs. last-mile. The last-mile providers have the customers who pay the bills. The Tier 1 carriers have the big long-haul lines which chew up money and don't pay any bills. Money has to flow from the customers to pay for all the pieces of the path.

        It's not so cut and dried, of course. Tier 1 companies typically are also last-mile providers as well - just big ones whose internal

    • So why did traffic stop flowing?

      Because there were no alternate routes — nobody was being paid to provide paid transit between Cogent and Sprint. Pleas see this Slashdot comment [slashdot.org].

    • by Spazmania (174582) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @06:49PM (#25967567) Homepage

      why did traffic stop flowing?

      Because both Sprint and Cogent are what's known as "transit-free" providers.

      There are three types of connections:

      Transit connections - where you pay someone to connect you to "the Internet"
      Peering connections - where you swap traffic between your particular corner of the Internet and the other guy's corner of the Internet
      Customer connections - where you are paid by someone to connect to "the Internet"

      A transit-free provider has only the latter two connection types. They are (in theory) sufficiently well connected with peering links that they don't have to pay anyone for transit. In addition to Cogent, several of the big name providers including Verizon, AT&T and Qwest are also transit-free.

    • Yes, they definitely use BGP, however at that level, you don't necessarily have a "transit" (internet) provider, like normal ISPs do. You just peer with all the tier1s.

      So, when Sprint (AS1239) depeers with Cogent (AS174), unless Cogent has a TRANSIT link with ATT / Savvis / Qwest / Level3 / GX, etc, the traffic will not flow.

      Yes, you'd think they would have a transit link worked out just in case an entire AS blinked out of existence, especially when you expect it could happen, but they apparently didn't

    • by Renraku (518261)

      Why should they use BGP?

      After all, if something happens to them, they don't particularly care about the Internet, and don't care about people who aren't paying them. Most of the time, they don't care about people that ARE paying them.

    • by GoRK (10018)

      Well OK so others have cleared this up for you -- transit free etc.

      So we have these big networks all feeling high and mighty because they are so freaking insistent on remaining transit free; it's ridiculous.

      Here's the question that customers should be asking their providers instead of just complaining when things go wrong: If I am paying you for Internet access, how will you handle this type of contingency? If Sprint & Cogent were receiving money from customers for Internet connectivity, Sprint & Co

  • by cornercuttin (1199799) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @05:59PM (#25966755) Homepage
    i am actually for some regulation. not really of any content, but to force the larger companies to be more open. fact is, the Internet/phone backbone was built using taxpayer money. if that is the case, then the taxpayers have a vested interest in competition and choosing their providers. minimally, all public institutions should be on a government owned/operated network.

    large companies like Sprint have paid off enough local FCC chairs that they are now deregulated, and are gladly unplugging all other ISPs that don't belong to the top 6 or 7. fees just to open the plug-in process are over $10,000 a month, and the bigger ISPs aren't even required to do anything. many local companies here have spent $10,000 for several months, having an open account with AT&T, and AT&T is allowed to sit on their hands because they can. you can pay $10,000 to AT&T and request that they hook you up at the local CO, and they will gladly take the money and say "Thanks for making a formal request", and that is it. end of story.

    and here in Oklahoma, AT&T is even double billing the local schools and libraries, but the FCC won't do anything about it. AT&T has a contract in Oklahoma to provide schools/libraries with connections for a certain base price, but because the schools/libraries get and pay their own bills, AT&T sends them bills with higher rates, knowing that the local mayoral staff won't have any clue on what they are supposed to pay.

    truth is, we should have an easy way to link into a system that was built with taxpayer money. and we need to actually be able to VOTE on what these big ISPs do, and not rely on the incredibly corrupt state FCC.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      i am actually for some regulation. not really of any content, but to force the larger companies to be more open. fact is, the Internet/phone backbone was built using taxpayer money.

      Fact is, Sprint was not a Baby Bell born from the AT&T breakup. Sprint was formed out from a private Railroad communications network. None of your taxes was used to create the Sprint network. So your all for regulating other peoples property?

      http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Sprint-Corporation-Company-History [fundinguniverse.com]

      • by neomunk (913773)

        So you're telling me that Sprint didn't get any of that $200B we gave the telcos to upgrade our communication infrastructure? If you're telling me that, you're lying through your keys.

    • by TheSync (5291)

      the Internet/phone backbone was built using taxpayer money.

      This is just untrue.

      TCP/IP protocol was developed with taxpayer dollars, and some early research networks that are now a small part of the Internet were built with taxpayer money, but most of the infrastructure of the modern Internet was privately paid for.

  • by Raindeer (104129) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @07:34PM (#25968233) Homepage Journal
    Shameless self promotion: This article at Ars Technica explains how peering and transit works [arstechnica.com]. For some more info see my blog: Internet Thought [blogspot.com].
  • They complain that Congent doesn't pay for peering so the other company has to pay anything. But seriously they probably have to pay more to route that trafic through another company.

    The costs usually are neglectable. A port at an exchange point only costs a few hundred to thousands dollars a month.

    Companies should stop caring about all that business stuff when it comes to peering and just peer!

  • Neither Sprint nor Cogent is completely in the right here. Sprint just outright cut off the connection endangering both government, corporate, and university's business. As cogent and sprint are mostly used for data centers and large organizations.

    But Cogent was also at fault because it was just getting bills from sprint and just brushing them off. They were in the wrong because they just assumed that sprint wouldn't doing anything.

    Its Cogent's fault for just expecting nothing to happen and it is Sprint's f

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