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

Charles Sprickman spork at bway.net
Fri Oct 31 19:34:50 EDT 2008

On Fri, 31 Oct 2008, Max Gribov wrote:

> Im sure Alex has more interesting things to contribute to this, but i
> think this article illustrates the event pretty well:
> http://www.renesys.com/blog/2008/10/wrestling-with-the-zombie-spri.shtml
> note how nasa has single homed networks both on spring and cogent - much
> lolz that is


I've not followed the ups and downs of ISP dramas in a long time, but my 
gut feeling, even before reading the Renesys blog, was "oh, sprint still 
sells internets?".  Personally, I think this hurts Sprint the most.  My 
gut feeling is that they are something of a has-been in this market.

One thing that really has me wondering, and again, this is probably an 
Alex question, is an odd situation I ran into a few years back...  I was 
toying around with two providers - L3 and HE.  I primarily wanted HE as 
backup, since L3 was not really soaking us and they generally have their 
shit together outside of the management/sales/install realms.  No matter 
how much I prepended our HE announcement, I just could not squash the 
inbound traffic.  Apparently HE buys transit from Cogent and there are a 
TON of people that shove all outbound traffic down a Cogent link if they 
have one.  This is not that much of a surprise (the volume of traffic was 
though), but the thing that puzzled me when I ran a bunch of stuff through 
flow-tools was that I was seeing traffic from 1239 (Sprint) coming in 
through HE via Cogent.  I'm still puzzled as to what that was about - from 
my view, it looked like Sprint jamming traffic down Cogent rather than L3 
(I'm certain Sprint and L3 peer).

I think I had a point...  I think it's that Cogent is cheap not just 
because they're cheap, but because their business model and their network 
is built for $1k/100Mb connections.  Compare and contrast with sprint - 
Cogent doesn't screw around with T1s, DSL, T3s for the most part, they are 
just dropping fiber into big buildings and not screwing around with any 
last mile stuff that costs them time/money.  Sprint on the other hand 
likely has a majority of their customers hanging off of ILEC loops...  It 
all just seems much more expensive and high-touch compared to Cogent.  And 
who can more easily tell their customers to piss off about this?  Sprint? 
Will they tell some shmuck paying $1K/month for a T1 that they can't have 
a refund?  Can cogent say the same to someone paying $1K/month for 100Mb/s 
of bandwidth?

Cogent wins...


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