said by gamepro100:
I really don't see how this is cogent's fault.
That's because you don't understand how the internet works: let's have a little lesson in peering.
There are two broad arrangements - peering
- (with plenty of variants), but they don't look anything like each other.Transit
is paying an ISP to deliver your traffic to some other place on the internet, and they take responsibility for getting it there. They carry over their own links, and eventually hand off to some other party if necessary. You pay for all traffic you give them, and they don't care who you're sending it to.Peering
is the non-settled ("free") exchanging of traffic to mutual customers only, and it normally is only negotiated between rough equals. Little guys will peer with anybody, but the big guys are very hard to peer with. You have to do a certain amount of traffic with them (hundreds of megabits per second), have certain in-vs-out ratios, and often require geographic diversity.
Everybody wants to peer, and it's been observed that peering requests often turn into sales calls offering to sell transit. If you've ever been a (paid) transit customer, you'll never be considered for (free) peering.
Peering arrangements exchange traffic only for mutual customers: two ISPs plug their routers into each other, advertise routes of their own customers, and send traffic to the other guy's customres. Peering traffic should not generally leave either of the two networks - it's strictly internal stuff.
But if I'm sneaky, I'll send other
traffic to Level(3) too, making them figure out how to deliver it to other networks of non-customers. This way I get not only the benfit of peering
with Level(3), by making them deliver to non-customers, I'm effectively stealing their transit
This is absolutely against peering agreements (aka "contracts"), and NANOG is full of rumors that Cogent was doing just that, and has done it before. It doesn't take that much netflow analysis to figure out that a peer is sending you traffic they shouldn't, and I'd imagine there are procedures for asking a peer to cut it out.
From what I understand, it all revolves around whether Cogent was doing this or not. They certainly seem to qualify for peering on the usual terms - geographic diversity, volume of traffic - so it's a matter of whether they were getting transit on the sly.
Transit at their kinds of volumes is very
expensive (even though the cost/mb drops), and it's no surprise that a bottom-of-the-barrel ISP like Cogent might want to engage in this kind of thing.
If Cogent was doing this - stealing transit - then L3 was absolutely right to cut them off. If they weren't doing this, then maybe Level(3) is trying to bully a peer into becoming a transit customer. I just don't know which is which, but we're all entitled to our suspicions.
Stephen J. Friedl Unix Wizard Microsoft Security MVP Tustin, California USA my web site