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

Isaac Levy ike at lesmuug.org
Fri Oct 31 16:08:16 EDT 2008

Hi Alex,

On Oct 31, 2008, at 3:15 PM, Alex Pilosov wrote:

> On Fri, 31 Oct 2008, Isaac Levy wrote:
>> 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 :)
> Not really, seems to happen about as often, you just stopped paying
> attention.

I assumed so.

>> 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.
> Correlation does not imply causation.

Er, it does imply, but your sentiment is correct if I modify-  
correlation does not confirm causation.

>> 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).
> Yes, gamerz coming out from woodwork  and "OMG IM PINGIN 10"


>> 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)?
> Yes and no.  They *were* the destructive-pricing leader, but nowadays,
> they are roughly par for the course. Cogent however is very much  
> willing
> to play the blinking game - since both Cogent's and Sprint's  
> customers are
> inconvenienced, both will be upset and demanding credits/etc - cogent
> however is much better at telling their customers to suck it. :)

That was exactly what I was interested in- thx man.

>> 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.
> Sorry, can you make a more vague statement?

Er, good point- sry- how about this:

After years of (happily) paying ISP's, I see little change or  
explanation from ISP's for why speeds/quality/reliability remains the  

I see old networking gear, and a massive multi-billion dollar business  
maintaining a status quo which I'm not happy about.

ISP's getting into the CDN business: AT&T, XO, Internap, etc...
Network Providers focused on ringtones: Telewest, Sprint, AT&T
Network Providers marry Media (Content) Businesses: AT&T, Quest, Verizon

None of this free market has opened up the market for various content  
businesses to use the internet, however my point here is that none of  
it has made our providers re-invest significantly in their own  
networks either.

>> Can anyone on list who deals with pipes from the datacenter  
>> perspective
>> Clarify WTF is up with Cogent for a 'Colo consumer' like myself?
> What's the question really? What is the fuck with cogent fails to  
> parse.

You answered it above just fine.

>> Is this de-peering related to the big economic meltdown in some  
>> tangible
>> way?
> Don't see how.

K- totally understood if there is no connection.

I was thinking Sprint may have been going around rattling cages to cut  
costs and make their next quarters numbers...  Not a conspiracy, but  
as the market is down...

>> 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
> F unions. Seriously. Every single one of them needs to be disbanded,  
> and
> leaders put in jail. But that's separate point.

Indeed it is :)

>> 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.
> No, they just want moar money, more work, and monopoly in their  
> work. They
> can't care less about the customers.  They are upset VZ is letting  
> go of
> coppre techs, and too dumb to learn fiber. (Etiher that or VZ  
> figured out
> how to avoid hiring union people to deal with fiber).

Gotcha- but look, I wanna stay out of the Union debate- it's not my  

My point here, is that upgrading the networks seems to be happening in  
big waves- instead of a more cumulative or calculated manner- and  
therefore has pains.


When I worked on the web-hosting ISP, we had a life-span for each  
server accounted for in advance, and rough estimates on what the tech  
(and service offerings) would be a couple of years down the road.  It  
worked out peachy- servers, storage, etc... all could cumulatively  
grow and change as technology advanced.

>> 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.
> We all held them accountable, with our wallets. It's called 'free  
> market'.

I'm no economist, but didn't the raw free market, and Freedman-style  
economics, just wholly collapse?

>> 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.
> It's complicated. Lack of clue is a general problem in this industry,

Which is why I appreciate your words here on list, seriously.

> but
> this applies equally for carriers and customers, and dare to say, more
> customers than carriers. Fortunately, in my experience, having clue on
> *one* side of the relationship is generally sufficient to overcome  
> lack of
> clue on the other side.

Taken one way, to overcome the lack of network stability/speed  
options, yes- we all overcome the carriers bs.
I mean, heck- Pilosoft has been around forever, and you've dealt with  
the carriers for years Alex- to keep the business running.

But if a company has a network application which drives their  
business, and the network sucks/fails, it's out of their hands,  
right?  It becomes a surprise cost, and everyone down the chain is  
affected by the big carriers decision making?

It's not about whose smarter here- it's about making systems meet the  
demands of the market/whatever.

> Hint hint.

If I take that hint the other way, I'm stealing your mouse next time  
I'm in the office just to be spiteful. ;P

>> 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".
> It's not about content. it is about separation of 'last mile' (which  
> is a
> natural monopoly and should stay that way) and everything else.  
> Telecom
> Act of 96 promised competition, but telcos managed to get around it  
> while
> winning rights to long-distance operations.

I agree- the Telcom act was hacked to bits.

I would argue that the US Govt. was far too immature with where  
networks were going to even legislate, back then- and perhaps now?

>> 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?
> Er, I dunno. I think the roads would be better maintained, honestly.  
> This
> is somewhat a different subject. (As you might now, many toll roads  
> are
> now built and operated by commercial enterprises).

Er, argueable, and I wholly (respectfully) disagree.

For examples, I-75 and I-95 in Florida, both toll roads, blow chunks.

Private (toll) highways in southern California don't solve traffic  
congestion problems, they simply create land use monopolies.

And even the (proposed and actual) tolls for NYC-Metro roads are run  
by Port Authority, a quasi-government agency subject to *heavy* city/ 
state regulation.

>> 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.
> I hope not.

Well, at least the Obama campaign seems serious about getting  
government more involved...

So like it or not, (and from my post, I'm terribly uneasy about either  
Obama or McCain taking this on), it will be on the table in some way  
soon enough.

>> "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."
> Wankers. Except for Kapor.

Perhaps- but I don't even think Kapor is really in a position to serve  
as a public servant in this way.

> <snip>

What, no comment on "Separation of Content and Infrastructure"?

>> Who has internet backbone?
> I dunno. But I can has cheezburger.

Oh- I guess that means you think content and infrastructure are the  

> -alex

Thanks for the replies Alex- sry to shout you onto list here and put  
you on the spot...


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