North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Cogent/Level 3 depeering

  • From: JC Dill
  • Date: Wed Oct 05 19:52:35 2005

James Spenceley wrote:

Then start your search for a replacement provider. If every Cogent and Level3 customer did this today, this problem would be solved by the end of the week, guaranteed.

I tend to think this is oversimplification.

The big picture risk, cogent will be judged now by their actions, lest they run the risk of being de-peered by others. A few low yield, short term customers crying about rebates, could in comparison be quite insignificant.
You say that as if the only move to be made is on Cogent's side. What about L3? If every L3 customer complained to L3, demanded service credits, claimed the contract was in default, and swore to never buy from L3 again, maybe L3 would budge instead.

My point is that if BOTH of them look to lose business over this it will push them back to the negotiating table to find a way to resolve it to their mutual satisfaction because if they do NOT resolve it they both ARE going to lose sales over it.

Depeering never makes sense to me. Customers of both companies are expecting their vendor to connect them to the customers of the other company. These customers are each paying their respective vendor for this service. Why should one vendor pay the other for this traffic that is mutually beneficial to them while the other pays nothing? Why does the amount of bandwidth or the direction it travels make any difference? The customers are PAYING for the bandwidth. If each vendor pays their own costs to a peering point then they should be passing that cost onto their respective customers as part of the *customer's* bandwidth bill.

RAS posted:

I believe folks have reported that Level 3 saw a loss of around 1200 prefixes from Cogent, and Cogent saw a loss of around 4300 prefixes from Level 3. Out of a customer base of 11k and 57k respectively, this is relatively small (11% of Cogent's customer base and 7.5% of Level 3's customer base), since only single homed customers are affected.
So Level3 is pissing off 7.5% of their own customers by failing to transmit their traffic to Cogent, and return traffic back to the customer. How does L3 justify this behavior to those customers? Somehow I don't think the customer is going to be too happy with an explanation that goes like this:

"Even though you pay us for internet access, we want this other network to pay us TOO so that we get paid double for transmitting your traffic to and from that other network rather than doing a mutual exchange like we do with other big networks."

Yeah, right, that's going to go over real well. If I were single-homed at L3 my answer would be "If my money isn't good enough to get you to provide the internet access I pay for, then I'll take my money elsewhere to another company who isn't intentionally breaking my internet access as they try to double-dip and get paid twice for the same the traffic."

If anyone had prefix lists from before and after this depeering, it would be a great sales opportunity for other networks to contact those poor stranded customers and offer them REAL internet access. (Just don't email them, that would be spam! Let your fingers do the dialin'.)