Sprint, Cogent Resume Peering, Keep Arguing

Sprint has restroed its network connection with Cogent (CCOI), restoring customer connectivity while the two companies work out their peering dispute.

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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