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Verizon Gets More Specific On Cogent, Netflix Issues
ISP Points the Finger Right Back at Cogent...
by Karl Bode 08:55AM Thursday Jun 20 2013
Reports earlier this week emerged claiming that Verizon was intentionally letting their peering points with Cogent saturate, resulting in Netflix performance issues for many Verizon DSL and FiOS customers. Initially, Verizon issued some generic quotes responding to Cogent's claims, simply praising Verizon's overall network performance. Then speculation began to arise that Verizon was letting Netflix performance take a hit for the benefit of their own new streaming video service in conjunction with RedBox. That last bit appears to have prompted Verizon to get a little more specific.

In a blog post, Verizon offered up this explanation for their apparent feud with Cogent:
What the article doesn’t say, however, is that Cogent is not compliant with one of the basic and long-standing requirements for most settlement-free peering arrangements: that traffic between the providers be roughly in balance. When the traffic loads are not symmetric, the provider with the heavier load typically pays the other for transit (see our ex parte filing (PDF) from the 2010 Comcast/Level 3 spat for more info on peering and transit agreements). This isn’t a story about Netflix, or about Verizon “letting” anybody’s traffic deteriorate. This is a fairly boring story about a bandwidth provider that is unhappy that they are out of balance and will have to make alternative arrangements for capacity enhancements, just like any other interconnecting ISP.
Whose at fault can of course become very murky, given you'd need deep access to network data to discern fault. While we've seen peering disputes for years (with Cogent often a starring player), with ISPs having a greater and greater interest in ensuring their traffic and content sees priority, they've taken a decidedly greater focus on trying to get companies everywhere to pay more, often resulting in network neutrality scuff ups like Comcast's 2010 fight with Level3.

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Digital Plumber
Minneapolis, MN

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reply to elefante72

Re: Dough Re Me

said by elefante72:

This isn't about technology it's about Cogent getting paid by Netflix to provide SLA. The alternative is Verizon joins the Netflix CDN (problem solved), but those pesky VBS guys want to get paid on it.

That's not the only alternative -- Netflix could also deliver their content via Level(3), GTT/nLayer/Intelliquent, PCCW/BTN, CenturyLink, Sprint, ATT, NTT/Verio, Atrato, Telia, DTAG, etc.

There are a wide variety of options to reach VZ customers -- the other carriers work within their peering agreements to ensure capacity is maintained even if compensation is required due to asymmetrical ratios.

Cogent sells below market rate for transit to win business in the marketplace, and then when it comes time to actually deliver those bits they cry that the big bad carriers aren't playing fair because they won't take unlimited amounts of their traffic for free.

As David See Profile pointed out in another thread, they've engaged in this practice numerous times over the years: »Re: Is Level3 different than any other website?

To blame VZ for this problem is utterly ridiculous


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reply to spenster

Re: When the traffic loads are not symmetric?

Think of it as balance of trade. We trade a resource and when you use more of my resource than I use of yours the relationship cost me more than it cost you. In Level3's own words (before this position no longer helped them)

"For example, Cogent was sending far more traffic to the Level 3 network than Level 3 was sending to Cogent's network. It is important to keep in mind that traffic received by Level 3 in a peering relationship must be moved across Level 3's network at considerable expense. Simply put, this means that, without paying, Cogent was using far more of Level 3's network, far more of the time, than the reverse. Following our review, we decided that it was unfair for us to be subsidizing Cogent's business."

Greed is an easy word to throw around, but it is a two way street. Isn't it greedy to borrow all my tools and only have a screw driver yourself or for me to say, how about you investing in the sharing relationship neighbor?

"Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy