Thursday, 27 March 2008

Cogent, Telia tiff - And the winner is: No-one!

The ongoing de-peering row between Cogent and TeliaSonera looks set to continue for the time being.

It has all the hallmarks of a lover's tiff: both sides have said they would be only too happy to put aside their differences, but neither of them is big enough to admit they were in the wrong.

Who suffers in the meantime? That's right, the children, I mean, customers.

Since Cogent ended its peering agreement with TeliaSonera on March 13, customers of each Internet provider have been unable to access content on each other's networks, meaning the Internet has effectively been split in two.

"We have had contact with customers who have had problems and are dealing with them on a case by case basis," said Malin Frenning, president of TeliaSonera International Carrier.

That's great, but your customers didn't pay you to get into this mess.

It wasn't initially a problem, since traffic was being routed via TeliaSonera's connections with Verizon, but even they have now been closed off.

TeliaSonera explained Wednesday that its transiting agreement with Verizon has also come to an end, which wouldn't have been a problem if Cogent hadn't de-peered with them.

Just to clarify – with peering agreements neither party pays the other, and in transiting agreements, one solicits connectivity from the other.

Cogent CEO Dave Schaeffer suggested that TeliaSonera feels threatened by the U.S. Internet provider's recent expansion into Norway and Finland; but TeliaSonera's Frenning claims this has nothing to do with it.

What's more, it seems that the two parties are barely on speaking terms.

"We don't think it's constructive to communicate through the press, but we do not agree with Cogent's portrayal of the event," commented Frenning, to Total Telecom Wednesday.

So, while all this toing and froing goes on, with little constructive progress being made, please: spare a thought for the children.

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