Cogent makes the big leagues

June 27th, 2008 by · 6 Comments

The IP world now has another Tier-1 network.  Renesys reports that Cogent (CCOI) and AOL have finally kissed and made up, 6 years after they fought a peering war that Cogent lost - perhaps the last one they did lose outright.  Since then, Cogent had been buying transit from NTT/Verio to get to AOL.  But not anymore, the hatchet has been buried and the peace pipe has been smoked.

There are few titles more widely abused than that of a Tier-1 IP network.  The reason is that the term is not an official one, and because of that it can be redefined and stretched by whomever wants to use it - generally marketing departments.  There are only 10 tier-1 IP networks:  AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Level 3 (LVLT),  AOL, Savvis (SVVS), NTT/Verio, Qwest, Global Crossing, and now Cogent.  In fact, the tier-1 ranks have been expanding lately, NTT/Verio, Global Crossing, and Qwest were not on the list until just this past year.  So much peering going on.

But it is generally wrong to use this as a measure of a network's influence, it includes a historical bias and tends to lag reality.  Right now, Savvis and AOL really aren't the powers they once were, one could expect them to drop out of the club sometime - except that they (naturally) don't want to.  Cogent has been a major player for some time now in IP transit, although the competition has been getting fiercer lately, it was natural for Tier-1 status to happen sooner or later.  I wonder if now that they have achieved this goal the peering wars Cogent keeps getting into will abate.  Somehow I doubt it though.

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Categories: Internet Backbones

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