Sprint v. Cogent, some clarity & facts

From: Patrick W. Gilmore (no email)
Date: Mon Nov 03 2008 - 01:26:14 EST

  • Next message: Colin Alston: "Re: routing around Sprint's depeering damage"

    Having skimmed the Sprint / Cogent threads, I saw multiple errors and
    lots of really bad guesses. Instead of replying individually, I
    thought I would sum up a few facts so everyone was on the same page.
    This way when we run off into another 100 post thread, we can at least
    -start- from reality (although I would bet serious cash on long odds
    we will diverge from it soon enough).

    1. Neither Sprint nor Cogent have transit
    Both Sprint & Cogent are transit-free networks. (Notice how I
    carefully avoided saying "tier one"?) Whether one or both _should_
    have transit is not a fact, and therefore outside the scope of this e-
    mail, but that neither have transit today is a fact. (And please
    don't tell me how Network X has 100 Mbps of transit in Sri Lanka
    because they are too lazy to lease undersea cable. If you don't
    understand what I am saying here, stop reading now.)

    2. The Internet cannot "route around" de-peering
    I know everyone believes "the Internet routes around failures". While
    occasionally true, it does not hold in this case. To "route around"
    the "failure" would require transit. See item #1.

    3. Standard transit contracts do not guarantee full connectivity
    If you are a Cogent customer, it is very unlikely your contract will
    allow you SLA or other credits for not being able to reach Sprint
    unless you negotiated something special. I doubt Sprint's standard
    contract is much different. Transit contract SLAs end at AS
    boundaries. This is because Network A has no control over Network B
    and therefore will not give credit if Network B fails. Of course, you
    can still sue, threaten to terminate, etc., but the letter of the
    contract almost certainly says nothing about packets going beyond your
    transit provider's ASN.

    4. There is a reason behind ratios which has nothing to do with telco
    Hot potato routing + very poor ratios puts much more of the cost on
    the receiving network. This is a valid, logical, and costly concern
    for receiving networks. The concern can be alleviated by cold-potato
    routing through accepting MEDs, anycast, CDN, and other technologies;
    to which the receiving network may say they cannot send proper MEDs,
    etc. Whether the problem can or should be worked through is not a
    fact, though. That this issue has nothing to do with telco "sender-
    pays" mentality is. (Of course, the telcos might still have that
    mentality, but that doesn't change the facts.)

    5. Cogent has been disconnected several times
    Cogent has been de-peered (e.g. Teleglobe, L3, Sprint) and/or
    performed de-peering themselves (e.g. Telia) multiple times. Cogent
    has been disconnected from another network more times & for longer (in
    each instance?) than every other transit free network combined for the
    last decade. (In fact, if memory serves, for the history of the
    Internet - but I'm not quite sure enough to guarantee it as fact.)
    Cogent has also de-peered many non-transit-free networks, at least
    sometimes without even notifying the peer prior to disconnection.
    Whether that makes Cogent the bully-er or the bully-ee is not fact, so
    I will not comment on that here.

    There are probably other errors I missed while skimming the longer
    posts. But this should get us started on a good, clean, factual
    footing for future flights of fancy.


  • Next message: Colin Alston: "Re: routing around Sprint's depeering damage"

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