Sprint, Cogent Resume Peering, Keep Arguing

As we predicted Friday, the peering dispute between Sprint and Cogent didn’t last long. Sprint said tonight that it has ” initiated a temporary reconnection” to Cogent’s network while the two companies seek to work out their differences. In its statement, Sprint made it clear that the reconnection was “temporary only, as the core issues in this dispute have not changed.”

Not surprisingly, Sprint blames Cogent for the breakdown between the two companies and says Cogent’s press release Friday (which blamed Sprint for the dispute) contains “a number of distortions.” Here’s Sprint’s version of events: In mid-2007 Sprint and Cogent began a trial peering agreement to determine if the two companies could exchange traffic “settlement-free.” Peering is often free as long as the amount of traffic exchanged is not out of balance.

“Cogent did not meet the minimum traffic exchange criteria agreed to by both parties,” Sprint says “As a result, settlement-free peering was not established and Cogent was notified in writing of these results.”

After determining that Cogent didn’t qualify for settlement-free peering, Sprint continued to exchange traffic, expecting Cogent to pay for access to its network. That never happened, and after its collections efforts failed, Sprint filed suit againts Cogent on Sept. 2 and informed it of Sprint’s intent to disconnect their networks. 

Sprint said it has been gradually disconnecting Cogent’s 10 ports for weeks. “Between October 7th and October 30th, Sprint disconnected one or two ports each week with Cogent’s full awareness,” Sprint says in its release. “During this period, Cogent failed to take any action in support of its own customers’ ongoing Internet reachability even though such actions were fully under its control.”

The good news is that the two companies appear willing to try and work out their differences without using one another’s customers as bargaining chips. For now, anyway.

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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.

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  1. boater805

    I am a sprint customer and was unable to reach any site who's IP was within the cogent IP ciDr blocks. Sprint has a contractural obligation to me as one of its paid users and to all internet users as a contractual internet backbone provider to provide routing to all legitimate internet IP addresses REGARDLESS of the existence or lack of same for any peering agreements and load balancing issues. Sprint's failure to provide alternative routing outside the peering agreement was and is in its sole control and should have been undertaken prior to blackholing the cogent IP netblocks. Its failure to do so was a major violation of its contractural obligations to all its paid users and should be the basis of a major class action lawsuit on behalf of ALL sprint customers for their breach of fiduciary duty to protect their paid customers interests above their own desires when there is a conflict and it is within their power to do so. I will be glad to sign onto such a suit as a class member if anyone puts one together. My personal damages I estimate at about $1000 for the 4 day interruption in access to my congent IP block hosted domains.

  2. rob

    @boarer805: I highly doubt your contract guarantees that. They can't guarantee that since Cogent or any other ISP could null route Sprint traffic. Sprint can only guarantee reliability of it's own network. That's why carrier neutral facilities are so popular. Connect your servers to multiple networks and this isn't an issue.

  3. logman

    boater85, You obviously have no clue how the internet actually works. I suggest you file a lawsuit against Sprint and see how far that gets. Also, read your contracts, as I will gladly pay your "$1000 for the 4 day interruption" if you can show that Sprint guarantees 100% access to the entire internet. If you still don't understand, how about this...do you have customers that you contract with where you guarantee 100% access to your content? I'm willing to bet no, because you can't guarantee the performance and reachability of any network except for your own internal network. Perhaps your customers should actually sue YOU because for all they know, you provide them their content and it's none of their concern that you didn't do your homework and chose to use a hosting provider that FREQUENTLY has this happen to them.

  4. stick

    Sprint depeered from Cogent! This is a unilateral action. A class action is a good idea. If anyone hears of one let me know.

  5. WAVE IS

    And now Embarq wants our IP addresses back because they want to "retire them" when it's Sprint that wants them back. We are screaming, crying, pleading. Thousands of our customers have the IP address configured in their computers, what are we going to do is now the urgent question. Shame on Embarq, and shame on Sprint.