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Re: Cogent/Level 3 depeering

  • From: Stephen J. Wilcox
  • Date: Fri Oct 07 05:10:32 2005

On Thu, 6 Oct 2005, JC Dill wrote:

> Alex Rubenstein wrote:
> > Further, the internet has always been a best-effort medium.
> Can someone please explain how Level 3 is making a "best effort" to connect
> their customers to Cogent's customers?

thats not what alex means as you know. and Level(3)/Cogent are playing a pain 
game here, its 'no effort' not 'best effort'

> Various people have stated that uneven data flows (e.g. from mostly-content
> networks to mostly-eyeball networks) is a good reason to not peer.  I'd love
> to know how it improves Level 3's network to have data from Cogent arrive over
> some *other* connection rather than directly from a peering connection.  Do

perhaps the other connection is already carrying significant outbound so this 
extra inbound is a small net cost, that would support L3's argument

> So why break off peering???

this is about politics not engineering, dont try to confuse them. peering often 

> AFAICT there's only one reason to break off peering, and it's to force 
> Cogent to pay (anyone) to transit the data.  Why does L3 care if Cogent 
> sends the data for free via peering, or pays someone ELSE to transit the 
> data?

the economics are different for cogent, cogent loses some marketing advantage.. 
i can think of other reasons

> I think this is about a big bully trying to force a smaller player off 
> of the big guys' playing field (tier 1 peering).  From where I sit it 

cogent isnt a small player, they are a real threat to L(3).. dont feel sorry for 
them, they're not being bullied!

> looks like an anti-competitive move that is not a "best effort" to serve 
> their customers but a specific effort to put another (smaller) 
> competitor out of business (of being a transit-free or mostly 
> transit-free backbone) by forcing them to pay (someone), forcing their 

really? you mean one company wants to take business from the other company? 
thats amazing.. and i thought ISPs existed together in harmony never looking at 
each others customer bases

> IMHO all L3 customers have a valid argument that Level 3 is in default of any
> service contract that calls for "best effort" or similar on L3's part.

can you cite the relevant clause in your Level3 contract that brings you to this 
conclusion.. hint: you might be looking a long time because it doesnt exist and 
they're not in breach

> I also believe that Cogent has a valid argument that Level 3's behavior is
> anti-competitive in a market where the tier 1 networks *collectively* have a
> 100% complete monopoly on the business of offering transit-free backbone
> internet services.  As such, L3's behavior might fall into anti-trust
> territory - because if Cogent caves in over this and buys transit for the
> traffic destined for L3 then what's to stop the rest of the tier 1 guys from
> following suit and forcing Cogent to buy transit to get to *all* tier 1
> networks?  Then who will they (TINT) force out next?

these are big companies, they can fight their own battles. there is no tier-1 
monopoly. in many cases its cheaper to send data via transit than peering so why 
do you care about transit-free anyway?
> What's to stop a big government (like the US) from stepping in and attempting
> to regulate peering agreements, using the argument that internet access is too
> important to allow individual networks to bully other networks out of the
> market - at the expense of customers - and ultimately resulting in less
> competition and higher rates?  Is this type of regulation good for the
> internet?  OTOH is market consolidation good for the internet?

they're not acting illegally or as a monopoly, and theres no anti-trust so 
theres no reason to expect any government interventions.