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ISP Dispute Causing Connectivity Issues for Customers

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the make-up-you-two-or-i'm-turning-this-interweb-around dept.

The Internet 192

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "A peering dispute between Telia and Cogent is causing routing and connectivity problems for many internet users. Cogent shut down their connections to Telia over what they described as a 'contract dispute' over the size and location of their peering points. Telia attempted to route around the problem, but Cogent blocked that, too. This has caused a lot of trouble for sites which are not multi-homed. Groklaw, for example, is on a Cogent network (MCNC.demarc.cogentco.com), so any Europeans connecting via Telia can't get through."

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192 comments

That's what happens... (4, Informative)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801024)

This just goes to show you what happens when the money obsessed CEOs of corporations argue: The customers lose!

First post btw :)

Re:That's what happens... (4, Funny)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801062)

The thought of them arguing is much less frightening to me than the thought of them holding hands and skipping through a field of daisies together. ...for a couple reasons.

Re:That's what happens... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801766)

The thought of them arguing is much less frightening to me than the thought of them holding hands and skipping through a field of daisies together. ...for a couple reasons.


If you're one of the people affected by this, I doubt the difference is all that compelling.

Big deal (1)

MacDork (560499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802046)

Spam filtering blocks my email constantly. I'm sure this is only a temporary outage.

Re:That's what happens... (1)

Neanderthal Ninny (1153369) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802386)

Their f*@!&ing session on those daisy fields. Just like in those fantasy porn movies.
It is pity that companies need to resort this childish methods of negotiating and we are always the victim of these tactics.

YEAH! (-1, Offtopic)

buanzo (542591) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801032)

FIRST COMMENT!

Re:YEAH! (1, Informative)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801060)

Look at the comment below this...

Sorry, I was the First Poster :)

HA HA HA lol

How much for only half an Internet? (4, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801050)

If I'm paying $50/month for Internet access, do I get half of that back if I can only get to half the Internet?

This isn't a silly question:
If YOU are the ISP, and YOUR actions are causing ME to not be able to get to SOMEONE ELSE, then my lawyers will try to hold YOU responsible.

Stupidity like this will cause both companies problems with their customers in court and in the marketplace.

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (4, Informative)

bagboy (630125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801096)

Do you people even read your TOS? You are not guaranteed anything without an SLA.

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22801896)

Do you people even read your TOS? You are not guaranteed anything without an SLA.

IDGAS, WTF is an SLA, and WSIC?

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (2, Interesting)

Minupla (62455) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801930)

Yes, but since the customers of these companies tend towards the type of customers who do pay for SLAs (ISPs, companies rather then home users) I think the point is valid. Personally I've never used either of them as a provider, so I don't know how their SLAs are written, and they probably don't provide any assurances beyond their boundary, but I think an argument could be made that since the problem is demonstrably an issue within their control (a contract dispute) that the SLA should hold.

Min

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (1)

ChiRaven (800537) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803536)

OK Min, you've got my vote for "this month's best SIG" with that one about "Microsoft.com" resolving. That's one I wish I'd thought of first.

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (4, Insightful)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801932)

The TOS won't always get them off the hook. Claims made in ads can be considered part of the contract, even if they are disavowed in the TOS.

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22801106)

YOU sound like a COMPLETE and TOTAL DICK. I bet you WHINE a lot when YOU don't get YOUR way.

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (5, Insightful)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801142)

After the Cogent/Level 3 spat a few years ago, smarter network engineers realized it wasn't safe to use either Cogent or Level 3 as their sole Internet provider. Second provider? Sure. But not sole.

After this Cogent/Telia spat, no one with a brain will pick Cogent as their sole Internet provider.

This won't hurt Cogent too deeply. They charge so little for bandwidth that it's hard to resist picking them as your #2.

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22801380)

I would say it's not safe to even use Cogent or Level 3 period after more than 5 years of dealing with them both extensively. Too many peering issues coming out of nowhere.

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (3, Funny)

cgenman (325138) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801708)

They charge so little for bandwidth that it's hard to resist picking them as your #2.

Coincidentally, they've also chosen you for their #2.

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22802474)

I think it's time you showed those turds who's the boss.

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (4, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801200)

All ISPs take you to the same internet, so why pay more than you have to! :)

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22801988)

Its about the journey, not the destination.

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (5, Funny)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801284)

If YOU are the ISP, and YOUR actions are causing ME to not be able to get to SOMEONE ELSE, then my lawyers will try to hold YOU responsible.

Are you a coder? It's just that your post resembles an SQL statement.

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22802080)

SELECT * from SLASHDOTTERS where SQL_KNOWLEDGE 1.

No records returned.

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (1)

Sydney Weidman (187981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802102)

If YOU are the ISP, and YOUR actions are causing ME to not be able to get to SOMEONE ELSE, then my lawyers will try to hold YOU responsible.

Are you a coder? It's just that your post resembles an SQL statement.
Naw, It was a loose connection on his caps lock key.

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (1)

azakem (924479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803354)

You have an ISP, and I have an ISP, and I have a series of tubes, and my series of tubes goes acrooosss the country, and I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE! I DRINK IT UP!

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (5, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801320)

Stupidity like this will cause both companies problems with their customers in court and in the marketplace.
I don't think a few disgruntled Swedish users are going to have much of a legal or economic impact on Cogent. Telia certainly will suffer, but they're not the ones that pulled the plug. According to Cogent, this is all Telia's fault for not being a good peering partner. But there really ought to be a better way to settle this than disrupting Internet access for millions of people.

What really has me concerned is that Cogent is choosing to punish Telia beyond simply shutting down the peering points. They've blocked all traffic that originates from Telia's network even if it comes through a third network. Doesn't that violate their peering agreements with the third networks? And isn't it dangerously like censorship? Perhaps someone should ask the FCC.

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (1)

mother_reincarnated (1099781) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801456)

snip Swedish users snip Cogent snip Telia snip What really has me concerned snip isn't it dangerously like censorship? Perhaps someone should ask the FCC.
My brain is bleeding...

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (1)

Azh Nazg (826118) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802500)

Cogent is US-based. The FCC may actually be able to have a say. ;)

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803310)

It's Cogent's network. They can decide who to accept traffic from and who to deny traffic from. They're not violating safe harbor provisions since their decisions don't involve the actual content flowing on the network, just the source/destinations.

Re:How much for only half an Internet? (2, Funny)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801424)

Well at least with European Grade Broadband you can get nowhere really fast!

Again? (4, Informative)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801054)

Didn't this happen a few years back? Level3 and Cogent, IIRC

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22801180)

France Telecom and Cogent too. Spot a pattern?

Re:Again? (1)

jamie (78724) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801206)

Good memory! I've added as Related Stories the stories that Slashdot ran at the time. Thanks.

Re:Again? (0, Flamebait)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801268)

HEY EVERYBODY LOOK! It's Jamie McCarthy! He has SLASHDOT POWERS. Ok, Slashbots, you know the drill. Everyone line up for a turn to suck on his enormous electronic cock.

Re:Again? (5, Funny)

Cervantes (612861) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801684)

Didn't this happen a few years back? Level3 and Cogent, IIRC
Wow. It's almost like you read the article or something...

Regressing.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22801116)

This reminds me of that time I let Billy borrow my baseball bat. Only, he wouldn't give it back so I called him a doo-doo head, and kicked him in the shins. He then told his parents, and they decided to tell my parents what a poor sport I was being. My dad put a stop to that quick and demanded the bat back and told them to stop being a bunch of cheap bastards and buy Billy a baseball bat. Once they finally ponied up and bought one, we started hanging out again and were best friends forever!!!

The End.

/sigh...

Yep (5, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801162)

Quite a house of cards our fragile infrastructure has become. Somebody says "bomb" in San Francisco, and your flight from Mobile to Nashville will be grounded. A disagreement over the price causes droughts and blackouts in California. And our super robust internet can cut off whole countries with the snip of a cable or a flip of a switch. That's no way to run a circus, I say.

This message was brought to you by... BIGCO...where the nose meets the grindstone.

Re:Yep (2, Insightful)

morbiuswilters (604447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801234)

"Super robust Internet"? Good God, you must be one of those people who think the Internet was originally designed by the military to survive a nuclear attack. The Internet has always been fragile and highly dependent on centralized routing. It's a shame these two companies can't work together, but there are plenty of providers who have more respect for their customers. This isn't a conspiracy to undermine your rights, it's the inability of two for-profit businesses to act in the best interests of the customers who pay their bills. It sucks but it happens and we move on.

Re:Yep (3, Interesting)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801480)

Never said anything here about conspiracies or rights. This is merely the result of the proverbial "too many eggs in one basket". or conversely, "too many chefs..." It's why we need good, efficient government services to prevent these companies from taking down the whole thing. We could have that if we simply demanded it. And these piddly arguments would pass unnoticed outside of the belligerents' offices. If the service is critical enough, then the government should step in and tell them to turn the switch back on. Just like when it orders strikers against an airline back to work, but never orders the company to pay the workers what they demand, or when it bails out the bank to prevent economic disaster, but never zeros out a person's mortgage. Funny thing that, the merchants' interests always take precedence over all else, and we're stuck with the lousy service and high prices.

It seems that according to the summary and the article, that there aren't plenty of providers to take up the slack. We're guessing it's because Cogent eventually slammed the door shut on these alternate paths to their network from Telia, since none of Cogent's customers accessed Telia via alternate routes during this time. We shouldn't permit this to happen.

Re:Yep (-1, Offtopic)

morbiuswilters (604447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801588)

Yes, because efficient government services have done such a great job at eliminating drugs, crime and poverty in the United States. And the way they provided food in China and toilet paper in the Soviet Union!! Tell me more about these wonderful government services that always do everything absolutely perfectly! ...but never orders the company to pay the workers what they demand, or when it bails out the bank to prevent economic disaster, but never zeros out a person's mortgage. Silly me, I thought most countries had the concept of bankruptcy which individuals could declare if they found themselves in a situation where they were unable to pay their bills!

Re:Yep (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802028)

Troll!

Drugs, crime and poverty are social issues (and IMHO not problems - they're balancing factors). Running a network is not so much a social issue as it is a technical issue. Plug in, pay sysadmin, download pr0n. It's simple enough that even a half-brained equal-opportunity-abusing office drone can follow the pre-written procedures and make it work most of the time.

Perhaps the most important part is that if one drone gets delusions of grandeur, like Cogent's PHB here, we can get them fired. We can't get Cogent's idiot PHB fired, because we don't own Cogent. We do own the Government.

Re:Yep (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802084)

Yes, because efficient government services have done such a great job at eliminating drugs...

Guess you didn't see the conditional I put in there. That's ok. I suppose if you hate the government so much, you could possibly vote it out of existence, if all of you were so inclined. In the meantime, I would hope you might try a little harder to see the contrast between effective social programs(of which there are many) and fascist authoritarianism(of which there is much).

Re:Yep (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802432)

Yes. We should have government step in and regulate, because government has done such a good job of regulating technology in the past.</sarcasm>

Re:Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22801706)

yeah, you sure didn't read it and missed the obvious sarcasm.

Re:Yep (3, Interesting)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801328)

You'll notice that none of these are the faults of the technology, but the faults of the Humans (or lawyer/accountant equivalents).

Re:Yep (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801558)

That's kind of what I'm saying. I know technology exists to get around this without a lot of fuss. It is our failure to use the technology effectively. And we shouldn't allow the privateers so much control over it. We are letting our governments protect their monopolies. This is the modern day piracy that we are living with.

Re:Yep (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22802160)

Furthermore, you'll notice that these faults are not caused by the computer scientists or engineers, but rather by the businessmen and management.

This doesn't seem too crazy to me... (4, Interesting)

morbiuswilters (604447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801184)

The Internet is built on cooperation. If two companies can't agree on how they will connect, then it seems they have that right. Just like their customers have the right to move to a different provider. Personally, if I was seriously affected by this I would never do business with either of the involved parties again. Hopefully people will leave and that will push them to negotiate, but I don't think they should be forced to work together if they don't want to.

Re:This doesn't seem too crazy to me... (3, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801356)

You know, thats not true. In my area, I can choose Qwest DSL, charter cable, Clear-wire, small ISP's, etc. Every single one of them uses Qwest's fibers out of town. If Qwest gets into a spat with somebody, I can't access the internet, regardless of which ISP I am using locally. Keep in mind, I sit in a town that is on a main fiber route for williams, level 3, and a few others along the west coast, but none of them will sell any access locally. (were apparently too small of fish, which is a shame, williams cable has a set of buildings holding equipment about 100yards from where I am now sitting)

Re:This doesn't seem too crazy to me... (1)

morbiuswilters (604447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801406)

How long do you think Qwest could retain customers -- especially business customers -- while cutting off access to half the Internet? I am not disputing that the Internet is highly centralized and that some jackasses can mess that up for their customers, but do you really think it would be in their best interests to do so? It sucks, but none of this is perfect. Intel could decide tomorrow that they will no longer allow Microsoft's OSes to run on their new chips, but it would be suicide. My point is that there are powerful incentives to cooperate and if someone chooses not to, they should be free to do so, but they will have to accept the consequences. I'm all for people finding out about this and complaining to Cogent and Telia. I hope it motivates them to correct the issue and ensure it never happens again.

Internet is vital now... (5, Interesting)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801212)

There was a time when the Internet was more like a novelty or hobby project. Those of us using it were on the fringe, and nothing that we did on the 'net was vital.

That is no longer the case. The Internet has grown to become a vital infrastructure. Just about every business relies on the Internet to get their work done. It is an indispensable tool for students and academics. It has risen nearly to the status of roads or electrical power in terms of being depended upon by billions of people.

What's my point? My point is that with respect to most utilities (roads, water, electricity, phone) we wouldn't tolerate much interruption in service... and we certainly wouldn't accept companies squabbling as a decent excuse for degrading the infrastructure. Can you imagine driving to work one day and finding roads blocked because of a contract dispute?

I'm not sure what the answer is. Turning the Internet into a government utility has its own problems. Similarly, laws which require certain norms for the utility may be over-reaching or impotent. But, ultimately, we need to push for this critical infrastructure to no longer be treated as a best-effort hobby/entertainment service. We need companies (and possibly legislators?) to acknowledge that the Internet is critical, and that this means that uptime/bandwidth/QoS must be maintained at a high-level.

Re:Internet is vital now... (2, Insightful)

morbiuswilters (604447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801270)

Um, the Internet is surely important, but I wouldn't suggest it is more critical to survival than roads or food, both of which seem to be handled quite fine by private enterprise. And I take it you have never been involved in a traffic jam, because this kind of crap happens all the time in the real world. Yeah, it bites, but there are plenty of businesses who may hundreds of thousands a month of connectivity that will not be amused by this. I expect repercussions for the involved ISPs. The "answer" to me is to realize that sometimes people or organizations get into stupid disputes and it inconveniences people, but that people will find a way to work around it. This cannot turn out well for Cogent or Telia.

Re:Internet is vital now... (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801502)

Um, the Internet is surely important, but I wouldn't suggest it is more critical to survival than roads or food

I would, because the organizations which provide us with food and other necessities are dependent upon the Internet. I doubt the average interstate trucking company would have any idea how to operate without the Internet and GPS. The entire supply chain is utterly dependent upon modern communications, from production to delivery. The tech just makes everything so damned efficient that we've largely forgotten how to get along without it. I think we're starting to see how dangerous that can be, given the caliber of the folks running said communications.

In any event, the way to handle the likes of AT&T/SBC, Comcast and the rest is very simple: it's called standards. That worked very well for the phone system for a hundred years: AT&T (the old AT&T) built out the most reliable communications system on the planet, but that's because they were a heavily-regulated monopoly which had enforced quality-of-service standards. Comcast and the rest can provide almost no service at all for what we pay them and they get away with it.

Unfortunately, the government itself is so corrupt that it's unlikely Congress would ever be able to implement any kind of ISP regulation that has teeth to it, much less enforce it. Hell, they fucking gave away some hundreds of billions of dollars to these assholes, and never bothered to ask for an accounting of where the hell it went.

Re:Internet is vital now... (2, Insightful)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802632)

I would, because the organizations which provide us with food and other necessities are dependent upon the Internet. I doubt the average interstate trucking company would have any idea how to operate without the Internet and GPS.

You say that like those companies didn't exist prior to the Internet and GPS capability. They have existed for decades and did just fine. They are only more efficient now, as you said, with the technology available. If it went away they would just have to adjust by going back to the way they did business in the past. They wouldn't like it but they would survive because every other company would have to do the same so it wouldn't be like one company would go back to being less efficient than another. They would still be on equal footing as far as costs are concerned. If anything, the smaller companies who may not be able to afford some of the technology that the bigger companies can afford would have a better chance of survival.

Re:Internet is vital now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22802814)

*cough*retard*cough*

I guess all the people who starve while the trucking companies that ship food to the grocery stores in the cities adjust back to paper are just a little business hiccup.

Re:Internet is vital now... (2, Insightful)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803210)

*cough*retard*cough* I guess all the people who starve while the trucking companies that ship food to the grocery stores in the cities adjust back to paper are just a little business hiccup.

People did not die just because old fashioned paper/pencil was used. Companies were not incompetent just because they had to do things without computers. They are incompetent for other reasons. If you are going to sling names you should so with your real username too; it might just make your high school name calling a little more credible.

Re:Internet is vital now... (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802956)

All Americans suck because all guys that go by the name ScrewMaster (602015) think so.

Re:Internet is vital now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22803286)

"I would, because the organizations which provide us with food and other necessities are dependent upon the Internet. I doubt the average interstate trucking company would have any idea how to operate without the Internet and GPS"

No. They're dependent on COMMUNICATIONS! Which isn't the same thing as "the internet". There's still VSAT.

"The entire supply chain is utterly dependent upon modern communications, from production to delivery. The tech just makes everything so damned efficient that we've largely forgotten how to get along without it. I think we're starting to see how dangerous that can be, given the caliber of the folks running said communications. "

Why do I feel the sudden urge to bust out the markers and draw you a picture? B2B works just fine over VSAT.

"In any event, the way to handle the likes of AT&T/SBC, Comcast and the rest is very simple: it's called standards. That worked very well for the phone system for a hundred years: AT&T (the old AT&T) built out the most reliable communications system on the planet, but that's because they were a heavily-regulated monopoly which had enforced quality-of-service standards."

They were also building a circuit switching network too.

"Unfortunately, the government itself is so corrupt that it's unlikely Congress would ever be able to implement any kind of ISP regulation that has teeth to it, much less enforce it."

Funny how a forum that dislikes the government soo much, goes screaming for a govermnet solution every time.

Re:Internet is vital now... (1)

Secrity (742221) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801280)

Well, Comcast claims that the FCC can't control them.

Re:Internet is vital now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22801388)

There was a time when ... Those of us using it were on the fringe
Your nostalgic story would be more believable with a few less digits in your uid.

Re:Internet is vital now... (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801466)

Can you imagine driving to work one day and finding roads blocked because of a contract dispute?

Guess you don't live in Ontario. If you're not careful, the courts might get you to sign an agreement saying that you'll stop blocking traffic.

Re:Internet is vital now... (4, Interesting)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801694)

Can you imagine driving to work one day and finding roads blocked because of a contract dispute?

Why, yes I can — the government-owned New York subway was gripped by just such a problem [wikipedia.org] recently (in 2005). Millions of people were affected — getting to work was a nightmare...

In more Socialist countries (such as France) subway and other vital infrastructure is routinely shut down due to strikes (which are contract disputes between workers and employer). I was actually hit by such a strike myself — on that one week I was in Paris — and had to walk through the streets smelling of rotting garbage, because garbage collectors were on strike too — no kidding...

If people don't want to do their job for some reason, there is no way to force them. It was already illegal for New York transit to strike, but they did it anyway. For another example, when the policemen feel, they aren't treated nicely, they strike too. Although it is illegal for them to strike (obviously), you can not stop them from calling in sick (the special term is "Blue Flu [wikipedia.org] "). For yet another example, flight controllers can't strike either, yet they had to make Reagan famous by striking — and disabling an even more important part of the country's (world's!) infrastructure...

These things will happen...

Re:Internet is vital now... (3, Interesting)

nogginthenog (582552) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802296)

Happens all the time in France.

Here in the UK we even have a special car park for when the French port workers strike:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Stack [wikipedia.org]

Operation Stack is the codename used by Kent Police and the Port of Dover in England to refer to the method of using sections of the M20 motorway in Kent to park lorries when the English Channel or Dover ports are blocked by bad weather or industrial action. It has been implemented over 75 times since its inception 20 years ago.

Re:Internet is vital now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22803474)

"If people don't want to do their job for some reason, there is no way to force them."

And yet people believe the gravy train will continue. [piratebay.com] Wonder what psychology text they pulled that from?

Re:Internet is vital now... (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801840)

Can you imagine driving to work one day and finding roads blocked because of a contract dispute?
Can you imagine trying to ride the subway to work one day and finding they weren't running because of a contract [wikipedia.org] dispute [usatoday.com] ?

Re:Internet is vital now... (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801878)

Can you imagine driving to work one day and finding roads blocked because of a contract dispute? You, apparently, have never driven in Pennsylvania :-p

Potholes, Packet Loss, pretty much the same thing (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803074)

It's been a while since I've lived back East. I don't remember highways in PA getting actually blocked, but there was always either construction going on which slowed you down, or roads that badly needed repair, so the potholes slowed you down. This is like having a barrier across the entire road and forcing you to drive down to Philly or up to Port Jervis.

Re:Internet is vital now... (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802200)

Alternatives? I'm thinking a Co-Op would be a neat idea, though hard to implement. But, I think in general its a good idea *because* we all have a vested interest in keeping the Internet running.

I don't know if a government utility is a solution. Its not so much a "performance". With all governments and the way their funding and policy works, it becomes a question of boundaries and responsibilities. Do you setup a national super-utility or do you let each State or each major city figure it out for themselves?

Something will always get left out or overlooked until there's a problem. If Internet works in Texas but not in California, is it Utah's problem or Washington's problem to fix it? Is it practical to blame both and let them sort it out? Could a national super-utility tell a regional utility what to do? What if it goes down in Canada and the US? Blame the Canadians, naturally! I'm oversimplifying and overgeneralizing here. But it does become a major concern for governments, I would think, if trade agreements are signed. If most future commerce happens on Internet and not Fax, Telephone or flying somewhere to meet - this could be a nightmare. What if a State government (say lack of funding ... which isn't unusual) isn't keeping their "side" of the Internet running? If this effects trade, then do you suggest its a trade embargo or just a technical problem? Sometimes easy to answer .... but some countries aren't always on civil political terms.

Having major backbone providers is good in the sense it is their cables and equipment. If they don't fix it, they loose money. With the government, its a question of policy and responsibility. It generally doesn't work the same in a corporation. That's why I think either the for-profit operations we currently have or some Co-Op structure would be best.

The Internet *is* a Co-Op; they're not cooperating (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803392)

The Internet *is* a co-op, as well as an idea for how everything should be connected together. There isn't any central backbone, and hasn't been for years; there are a bunch of large providers who connect together, a bunch of interconnection points, and a bunch of smaller providers and service providers who connect to either the big ISPs or the IXs or both. The big ISPs can make money (at least sometimes :-) because they're able to provide the value of connecting everybody together.


The question is whether they're willing to connect to each other for free, or whether they're going to charge each other money. In general, big carriers will interconnect for free (splitting the cost of the interconnection) if they're similar enough in size to hand each other relatively balanced traffic loads, or if they're playing in niche markets that complement each other. For instance, eyeball carriers like DSL and cable modem companies and big content providers like big hosting companies have an incentive to peer with each other, because the alternative is for both of them to pay a transit provider to interconnect them. But if they can't agree on terms, or can't make their connections work together, then they're not going to peer, and the fallback is that some of them may have to buy transit, either with the small ISP buying from the big one, or buying from some third ISP that connects to both of them.

Each ISP knows about the IP addresses of its own customers, and connects to other ISPs to exchange routing information. If two ISPs are peering, they're going to share address and route information for their own customers with the other ISP, so ISP A can reach ISP B's customers and vice versa. On the other hand, if ISP A is selling transit to ISP B, then A is going to tell B about all the addresses it knows how to reach, and how good the routes are, and B is going to send A packets for those addresses (and money.) In the general case, A knows how to reach every address on the Internet, either because the address is directly connected, or because A peers with that address's ISP, or because A pays for transit from some other ISP that knows how to reach it. (There are also exceptions and special cases, like national-monopoly ISPs.) And not everything's a pure case; one ISP might pay another to carry traffic for some routes but not others, or handle some traffic for free and pay for the rest.


I don't know quite what happened with Telia and Cogent here. Cogent mostly sells to content providers in the US and Europe; Telia's a more general ISP but I get the impression their customers tend to be end users and eyeball handlers. Cogent's side of the story seems to be that Telia's not maintaining their peering links correctly, so they de-peered with them and stopped exchanging traffic directly. If Telia's buying transit from some other ISP, that should let Telia's customers reach Cogent's customers. If Cogent's blocked that traffic now, that's weird; carriers don't usually do that on purpose.


This is sort of the opposite of the Cogent-Level3 fight of a few years ago. During that even, Level 3 decided that Cogent was no longer sufficiently useful to peer with, and dropped peering, which would force Cogent to either pay money to L3 to get the service, or else pay some third ISP for transit. This time it's Cogent dropping the other carrier.

Re:Internet is vital now... (1)

wytcld (179112) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802260)

Cogent is being idiots. Cogent provides fat fiber pipes for a number of crucial players in the New York City-based financial industry - players who are engaged in daily data exchange over the Net. Yes, there's most often a backup connection from another provider. But the automation around this stuff generally is based on logic like "if Cogent line down, switch outgoing traffic to Brand X line and advertise IPs on Brand X on DNS in place of Cogent IPs." Since the Cogent line is up and generally working in this instance, the failover won't be triggered. There will be a lot of support people woken up in the small hours to troubleshoot why some Scandinavian bank or brokerage has failed to pick up or deliver their daily data feed. Most will have no good clue that Cogent itself have purposely broken things, and may spend hours troubleshooting systems on both ends that have nothing wrong with them. Congent's gonna have some pissed off major clients when they figure out who screwed them on this.

It affects me (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801252)

I hope they settle this dispute soon, because it has affected me several times in the past week.

I live in Europe, and am the co-administrator of Phantasy Star Cave. One day I couldn't access it for hours, so I traced the domain, and telia was the node it stopped at. So when I saw this story I was like "That's it! That was the problem!".

Re:It affects me (1)

kabniel (609212) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801314)

And i just figured out why one of my mail accounts havent been responding for the last few days after about 6-7 years of pretty much no downtime (www.hotpop.com , i have Telia as ISP)

Re:It affects me (1)

mother_reincarnated (1099781) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801538)

I live in Europe, and am the co-administrator of Phantasy Star Cave. One day I couldn't access it for hours, so I traced the domain, and telia was the node it stopped at. So when I saw this story I was like "That's it! That was the problem!".

You mean other then the living in Europe and being co-admin of Phantasy Star Cave...

I kid, I kid. I would apply pressure to Telia. I would have all Telia customers do the same. I would also make sure that all the affected hosts/content providers complain to their ISPs.
If enough people complain then Cogent will get forced into backing down either by lawyers or other ISPs having 'peering problems' with Cogent.

Also affects WoW players... (4, Interesting)

WinterSilence (171450) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801336)

Also no one playing World of Warcraft using Cogent as ISP can connect to any WoW servers, since Blizzard use Telia's backbone...
This is listed in-game in WoW currently at the login screen.

Re:Also affects WoW players... (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802538)

View it as s a chance to become addicted in reverse.

Spend some time with a family, read a book, post on slashdot, go out on a date or something. Treat this blackout as a chance to live a little.

Monthly fee?!? Re:Also affects WoW players (1)

Ang31us (1132361) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803142)

I'm glad I'm not paying Blizzard a monthly fee to play World of Warcrack.

Tell it like it is: whoever's wrong, get over it (4, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801366)

It's like an old telecom SS7 spat. Tell them to get over it. In three more days, we pull all our servers from and move on. Can't get to what we need? As ISPs, they have precious little time to figure it out, then we split. Go ahead, try and enforce that five-9's contract. Providers are everywhere, drooling for business. Bye-bye, blackout. Hello loneliness.

Re:Tell it like it is: whoever's wrong, get over i (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801884)

You said "whoever's wrong, get over it." The problem is that each side thinks the other side is wrong.

Re:Tell it like it is: whoever's wrong, get over i (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802014)

And the point is: we don't care. Cogent? Yank them. Telia? Ex-PTT that smells as bad as Deutsche Telekom (in this case, anyway).. Yank them. Misbehaving child-like ISPs? Goodbye. This 2008, not 1998.

Re:Tell it like it is: whoever's wrong, get over i (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803342)

As a Cogent customer who buys several tens of gigabits/second of transit from them all across the world, I could care less of the spat. It's going to happen. Level3 didn't like Cogent selling bandwidth 90-100 dollars less per megabit.

At the end of the day, some things will be unreachable, but the Internet isn't indestructible anymore. Things will break, and we move on.

Re:Tell it like it is: whoever's wrong, get over i (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803360)

A good attitude if Telia's fixed & dchp'd clients don't mean anything to you. I get the feeling Telia's the one that's facing the most trouble. It's only a guess.

Re:Tell it like it is: whoever's wrong, get over i (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803412)

In the grand scheme of things, Telia's fixed and dhcp clients are a small minority of the entire Net. Shouldn't Telia customers complain to Telia that they should upgrade their peering links with Cogent (as that is what this disagreement is about)?

Re:Tell it like it is: whoever's wrong, get over i (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803432)

In Scandia, they're big medicine. Let's see who drives off the cliff. Personally, I'd rather just route around them. Perhaps an evil subnet concoction would do it.

Third Parties (2, Interesting)

EverlastingPhelps (568113) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801400)

Sounds like Verizon and Blizzard need to fire up the old legal teams and start filing tortious interference [wikipedia.org] suits on Cogent.

Route around? (0, Redundant)

d_jedi (773213) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801496)

Isn't the Internet designed to route around blockages/outages (which, really, are more or less the same thing from the network pov..)?

Am I missing something?

Re:Route around? (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801540)

Telia tried to route through other carriers. Cogent blocked this after half a day.

Disgusting if you ask me.

Re:Route around? (4, Informative)

dave562 (969951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801910)

You're missing the fact that at the upper tiers of the internet, there are only so many routes available. There are simply somethings that can't be routed around because the ONLY route to where you want to go involves passing packets across the network you are trying to route around. Consider a smaller example. You want to route traffic to a Verizon DSL customer. Verizon has decided it doesn't want to pass your packets to the DSL customer. No matter how you try to route it, since Verizon sold the DSL service and controls the last few hops in the route, you simply can't route to the customer any other way.

The current issue involves "peering arrangements/agreements." Do a Google search if you want an in depth explination of what exactly a peering arrangement is all about. The short version is that ISPs agree to pass each others traffic across their networks. That's the way the internet works. Every ISP can't have a router in every place that a router needs to be placed. So they "share" each routes with each other.

Re:Route around? (1, Informative)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803518)

I think the bigger problem is that some of Telia's links didn't have any other path except Cogent. That should mean that those Telia sites are totally dead in the water. If they're routing properly, and have multiple paths to other providers, it shouldn't matter if Cogent shuts down a link (except things just get slower).

Telia should be able to send traffic via their other link(s) which should also have peering at some point to Cogent. The other problem that I suspect the problem is that Cogent is dropping Telia traffic coming in from Cogent's other peers. Cogent shouldn't do this, it breaks the internet. If Cogent is announcing prefixes to other peers, they need to receive all non-abusive traffic from those other peers, not null-route it.

In short, even if I won't talk to you directly, if we have a mutual friend, we can route messages through that friend. However, it sounds like Cogent is just ignoring messages from Telia to spite them. They're actually doing both Telia and Cogent's customer's a disservice.

I'm not just guessing at this, I do BGP work regularly for 2 smaller ILECs and customers that are multi-homed with 2-4 peers each.

Death throws? (3, Informative)

davolfman (1245316) | more than 6 years ago | (#22801802)

In my limited experience de-peering like this usually precedes an ISP death. Other people have probably figured this out so it wouldn't surprise me if this is having a negative effect on stock prices. It makes you wonder why anyone would ever consider it a valid option if they aren't just a rat jumping ship. It just looks bad.

Re:Death throws? (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803420)

(Throes, said the grammar police....)


It doesn't look as bad as the Cogent - Level3 de-peering incident a few years ago, but both sides have recovered from that one. Cogent's always been an interesting player, though some years they've looked kind of marginal. I first ran into them around 2001, when they were selling 100 Mbps Ethernet connections for about the same price other carriers charged for 1-2 T1s. They could afford to do this in part because they were selling to large multi-tenant buildings, so they could drop a fiber into the basement and connect to multiple customers with simple riser circuits, as opposed to having to run fiber individually to everybody. (Kind of like the Korean-apartment model, but for businesses.) Most of their customers that I talked to didn't think they could afford consistently deliver a full 100 Mbps for long periods, but they didn't care, since they could probably deliver at least 3 Mbps pretty much all the time, so anything above that was gravy. They're still in business, and seem to mostly sell to content providers.

Their customers are reacting (1)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802140)

I know that at least one company that's been affected (Cornered Rat Software, who run the MMOFPS World War II Online) are seriously considering getting an AS of their own after this, so that if nothing else, they will be able to say "Telia's traffic can get to us via this route" and bypass Cogent's pettiness. I'd cite, but it was a post by one of their guys on a subscriber-only forum.

Re:Their customers are reacting (1)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803568)

They'd need more than just their own AS, they'd need provider-independant space and/or netblocks not from Telia. Otherwise, I suspect Cogent would still drop the traffic.

Also affects email traffic in the US & Europe (4, Interesting)

vinsci (537958) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802170)

Since Cogent actively drops any traffic that's been even just in transit anywhere on the pretty big TeliaSonera International Carrier network [teliasoneraic.com] (it's a tier 1 net that covers all of the US and Europe), your email messages will just be held at some random backup email server for a couple of days until you'll get a return notice saying your message hasn't been delivered yet. If you're lucky that is.

For any important/urgent emails, you now need to make a follow-up phone call, just to see if the message was delivered. (Yes, you could request a receipt when the message is opened, but it's optional for the receiver to send the receipt and many don't).

I hope that ibiblio & the internet archive (archive.org) are moved away from their current hosting on Cogent's network, urgently.

Great timing to send urgent business email, normally delivered within seconds, only to find out that it has never been received. I do wonder if this active sabotage of 3rd party Internet traffic might be class-actionable. Of course e-mail is just a tiny part of the overall losses that 3rd parties suffer from this.

Re:Also affects email traffic in the US & Euro (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803364)

I doubt anyone will move. Temporary network segregation is a price to pay for getting super-cheap transit. I'd rather have these little spats then get raped by "Tier 1 providers" such as Level3 who try to justify extremely high prices per megabit.

Ted Stevens (1)

ruinevil (852677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802594)

Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got... an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.

[...] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes.
Did this happen during Level3/Cogent delinking feud?

blocking traffic? (1)

Yaur (1069446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802834)

I understand about shutting down the peering points but aren't there some rules about actively blocking traffic?

The need for BAPPs (Big-Ass Peering Pipes) (4, Interesting)

1sockchuck (826398) | more than 6 years ago | (#22802970)

According to Wired, Cogent felt Telia didn't provide "fat enough pipes." The capacity of peering connections [datacenterknowledge.com] is becoming a point of tension in a growing number of peering relationships. Video traffic is driving strong demand for 10 gigabit Ethernet connections for peering, but some major ISPs are apparently reluctant to upgrade, asserting that the financial benefits of big-pipe peering don't offset the short-term expense of network upgrades needed to support 10gigE. The economics of peering is a tricky business sometimes, and video traffic is complicating the equation.

Re:The need for BAPPs (Big-Ass Peering Pipes) (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803396)

Cogent's right. Telia's peering point connection is, shall we say, lacking in several locations. This is causing Cogent to have to waste long-haul capacity to push the traffic to other points.

traceroute looks interesting (1)

Ang31us (1132361) | more than 6 years ago | (#22803202)

I traced to oxford.edu (went through Telia) and stanford.edu (went through Cogent); interesting latency spikes and a few dropped packets when I ping both. Just started a ping to my ISP for a control.
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