Cogent Blames Telia for Peering Spat

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Cogent CEO Dave Schaffer is blaming Telia for the peering dispute, which has left thousands of customers of the two companies unable to access sites on the other network. Schaffer spoke to Om Malik and says Telia is in breach of their peering agreement, and appears unconcerned that Cogent is once again taking heat in a peering dispute:

“The problem is simple, no one likes our low-price pricing policy except our customers, and most of the companies have been reluctant peers with us,” says Schaffer … The bone of contention (with Telia) is quite arcane. Cogent says that Telia was obligated to install certain peer connections with Cogent at specific locations, but hasn’t done so because it wants to degrade the experience for Cogent customers.

Schaffer says Telia resents Cogent’s expansion into its core markets. While geography is at issue in the dispute, equipment might be in the mix, too.


The reference to Telia seeking to “degrade the experience for Cogent customers” suggests that the capacity of peering connections might be an issue. Early last year we wrote about reports that some major ISPs are sticking with slower peering connections, even though the growing volume of video traffic could create periodic capacity challenges. Some providers are reluctant to pay for 10 gigabit Ethernet ports to exchange a higher volume of traffic. Here’s what we wrote at the time:

Several providers say video growth is driving strong demand for 10 gigabit Ethernet connections, high-capacity pipes that enable providers to move enormous volumes of traffic. But the volume of traffic generated by online video is altering the economics of these connections. In some cases, the financial benefits of big-pipe peering don’t offset the short-term expense of network upgrades needed to support 10 gigabit Ethernet equipment. While the parties can continue to peer over existing connections, the growing volume of video traffic could stress networks and affect performance.

See our earlier coverage of the peering dispute and impact on Cogent and Telia’s customers.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.