[nycbug-talk] Cogent and Sprint - a signal of things getting Oldschool?

Max Gribov max at neuropunks.org
Fri Oct 31 14:50:07 EDT 2008

Im sure Alex has more interesting things to contribute to this, but i 
think this article illustrates the event pretty well:

note how nasa has single homed networks both on spring and cogent - much 
lolz that is

Isaac Levy wrote:
> Hi All,
> A scary ike-brain-dump lunchtime essay for halloween!
> Freddie Crugar is slicing internet routing tables today!
> ------------
> Many of you saw the news yesterday afternoon that Sprint cut off  
> peering with Cogent.
> Here's a nice summary:
>    http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Sprint-Cogent-in-Peering- 
> Feud-98792
> And Last Night:
>    "Sprint-Nextel Severs Its Internet Connection to Cogent  
> Communications"
>    http://www.ibtimes.com/prnews/20081030/dc-cogent-sprint-law.htm
> Many of us remember how various peering wars especially in the late  
> 90's made aspects of using the internet difficult and unreliable,  
> (latency and reliability issues).  Recent years, IMHO, have been much  
> better- (though people on this list from various ISP's may say  
> different :)
> I speak here as a user, from home, to business IT, to being a 'Colo  
> Consumer' at various scales.
> For those who forgot, or for whom it wasn't relevant back then, this  
> commonly affected both datacenter/colo services, as well as last-mile  
> connections- at least far more than recent years- from a 'user'  
> perspective.  Peering problems have happened since, and Cogent is no  
> stranger to peering disputes...
> Well, suddenly alarms are going off in my brain, yesterday's net  
> hiccups feel like bad old times.
> My DSL (Speakeasy) gets quite slow for small periods of time since  
> yesterday.  OpenBSD 4.4 release today is coming down *slowly*.  My  
> home-office telecommute work day is sucking rocks.
> My neighbor (Comcast Cable), reported less than 20k bandwidth for long  
> periods of time last night.
> Admittedly unscientifically, from my endpoint --> traceroute to known  
> points in NYC, now go through mzima where they used to always go  
> through some level3 pipes- so I *believe* I'm not crazy to say the  
> Sprint/Cogent de-peering affected my piddly DSL, (as it reportedly  
> seems to affect a lot more people).
> -----------------
> MY SMALL QUESTION (paging mr. Pilosoft...)
> Cogent.  What's their deal?  Are they really the McBandwidth that  
> people speak of?  Do they undercut the other carriers, as seems to be  
> the legal/financial problem today- or are they a logical business  
> manifestation in a market slow to change- (and in technology, I'm  
> implying change moves with Moore's law)?
>  From my view of available bandwidth in North America, all the big  
> carriers have not met my expectations- none of them have had incentive  
> to continue to invest in their infrastructure.  I know this is a huge  
> and arguable notion, but the way that amortized expenditures have  
> played out in the open market make an environment where carriers want  
> to squeeze as much use out of any infrastructure deployed.
> Can anyone on list who deals with pipes from the datacenter  
> perspective Clarify WTF is up with Cogent for a 'Colo consumer' like  
> myself?
> Is this de-peering related to the big economic meltdown in some  
> tangible way?
> -----------------------
> (why not- it is Haloween after all, muahahaha)
> I'm NOT saying this backbone/growth situation is an evil conspiracy,  
> (though the big carriers do have a trollish history of greed and  
> neglect); maintaining stability of the market as we know it can really  
> stifle growth, e.g.:
> "Union Protests Verizon's Neglect Of Copper"
> (in favor of FIOS expendatures, 6 months ago)
> http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/93261
> The workers seem to have had a valid point, (and are picketing more  
> recently on similar lack-of-sane-resources issues).  However, as an  
> end user, I need the coming fiber *like yesterday*.  And there is the  
> rift.  Upgrades.
> I would argue that to continue to compete and grow internationally,  
> American businesses desperately need increased bandwidth all around-  
> especially at the datacenter.  I argue that carriers need to be  
> supported in, as well as held accountable for, planning upgrade cycles.
> All the IT managers on list, at a myriad of tech and non-tech  
> companies big and small, can understand tech growth strategies.
> With servers and computers, the cost of upgrade is commonly  
> understood.  In healthy (lucky) environments, growth is even planned  
> for- that's part of an IT manager's job.  We all get it.
> With that working understanding, the slow/expensive/unreliable  
> offerings from internet carriers are truly frustrating.
> As a 'Colo consumer', I know full well how increased speed, latency,  
> and stability affect many businesses bottom line.  Typically,  
> bandwidth decides success or failure of various businesses I've worked  
> with.  Stable computing is always my job, but the carriers are one  
> element which is completely out of my hands.
> --
> Lately, the economist Paul Krugman has come to the forefront through  
> the market meltdown.
> I think the sentiment of this 6 year old article is absolutely  
> relevant today,
> NY Times, December 6, 2002
> "Digital Robber Barons?"
> http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0DE3D6123BF935A35751C1A9649C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=print
> -or-
> http://tinyurl.com/6z2t24
> Krugman writes:
> "For example, I personally have no choice at all: if I want broadband,  
> the Internet service provided by my local cable company is it. I'm  
> like a 19th-century farmer who had to ship his grain on the Union  
> Pacific, or not at all."
> --
> More destructive than the lack of competition among providers, I would  
> argue, is that the big telcos are "getting into farming" themselves-  
> so to speak.
> Those here who know me, know that for years I always argue for a sort  
> of "Separation of Content and Infrastructure", which I argue is  
> similar in it's aim to the US Constitutional "Separation of Church and  
> State".
> The myriad of other businesses the 'big backbone telcos' are running,  
> (the wireleess phone mafia, ringtones, media/content distribution  
> [think Viacom], CDN's, software/application/web development, etc...)
> This is as repressive as a world where Wall Mart was in charge of the  
> roads and streets- what if Wall Mart built roads in place of the US  
> Department of Transportation?
> In the world of roads and streets, this scenario is clearly  
> unacceptable.  In the world of backbone telcos, why do we all tolerate  
> this?
> Why do so many people embedded in the business of technology simply  
> lump disparate content and infrastructure digital businesses together  
> and accept it all as 'technology'?
> Is government legislation of the backbones, (like the construction and  
> maintenance of roads), an answer?  American government sure hasn't  
> been mature enough to rationally come close to this issue, (<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Series_of_tubes 
>  >), but perhaps now that Ted Stevens is in the tank, <http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=avU1ymwZg4R4&refer=home 
>  >, we may have some hope... (haha).
> --------------------------
> (I've had it up to here with this mania...)
> Seriously- I feel this may be a critical moment to be thinking the  
> notion of US Government regulation or involvement in internet  
> infrastructure.  Fundamental concepts and principles, not just  
> technical implementation details.
> "If Obama Appoints a Tech Czar . . ."
> By Garrett M. Graff
> http://www.washingtonian.com/blogarticles/people/capitalcomment/8378.html
> "Names kicking around Silicon Valley and the tech community as CTO  
> candidates include Google’s Vint Cerf, one of the founders of the  
> Internet, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, eBay founder  
> Pierre Omidyar, and Lotus pioneer Mitch Kapor."
> Yuck.  Since when did the most successful cutthroat Silicon Valley  
> business leaders have any any place as public servants, where greater  
> issues than their short-term tech market is at stake?  The internet,  
> and use of digital networks, is beginning to augment the fundamental  
> fabric of our post-industrial lives.
> While it's exciting to me that a committed government 'CIO' post would  
> be considered in the first place.  It seems far better than a  
> continuation of current network policy practices- a wild-west  
> mentality where the administration simply ignores the public issues,  
> and the most attention networks and technology get is from technology  
> people like Mike Connell, among others (a Bush White House IT  
> Consultant):
> http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Mike_Connell
> Additionally, we're watching the collapse of unregulated wild-west  
> economics.  Nobody is game to simply 'let the market decide' any more.
> But even the accomplished Vint Cerf bothers me in this role- as he  
> currently is "Chief Internet Evangelist for Google" (Google's  
> businesses have come to mangle Content and Infrastructure from an  
> opposite position to the Telcos, IMHO).
> http://www.google.com/corporate/execs.html#vint
> Who else could make a good candidate?
> What history of other critical infrastructure in North America is  
> worth studying?
>    - railroad
>    - interstate highways
>    - city roads
>    - electrical grid
>    - water rights
> What, with communications networks, could fundamentally change?
> <http://people.seas.harvard.edu/~jones/cscie129/papers/Early_History_of_Data_Networks/The_Early_History_of_Data_Networks.html
> -or-
> <http://tinyurl.com/5a3m2j>
> With the election coming up next Tuesday, I DO NOT want this post to  
> degenerate into a political thread- but I would like to point out the  
> stated policies of our incumbent candidates are a VERY interesting read:
> http://www.barackobama.com/issues/technology/
> http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/cbcd3a48-4b0e-4864-8be1-d04561c132ea.htm
> --
> I may sound negative here, but truly, I'm amazed and delighted the  
> internet works at all- every day- and love working in it.
> Sorry for the long essay style post- if you read this far, thanks!  If  
> you choose to constructively comment, on or off list, (even  
> constructively tell me I'm nuts), thanks even more!
> Who has internet backbone?
> .ike
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