Today Sprint turned its peering connection with Cogent back on, as you can see here. So is the war over? It doesn’t look like it, it’s more of a unilateral ceasefire by Sprint, to let the women and children clear out. Sprint has explicitly stated that the reconnection is temporary. In their own words:
Until this issue is resolved, Sprint will continue to work tirelessly to the extent within our control to mitigate the effects on customers. As part of an interim solution, Sprint initiated a temporary reconnection to the Cogent network on Sunday, November 2nd so that customers would have temporary access while longer-term alternate and permanent access options are explored.
We emphasize that this reconnection is temporary only, as the core issues in this dispute have not changed. Cogent was notified in advance of the November 2nd reconnection; therefore, any access disruptions occurring during this temporary period are the sole result of a negative reaction instigated by Cogent against the customers of both parties.
You can find the full text, which includes background here, and Sprint really opened up about the conflict.
Sprint essentially claims that Cogent is guilty of squatting. That they took a trial peering arrangement, failed to satisfy the requirements, and refused to disconnect – daring Sprint to break the internet. On October 30, it was only the last two points of interconnection that were severed, Sprint had cut all the others over the 3-4 weeks prior. Sprint flat out denies any settlement free peering arrangement was ever agreed to:
FACT: At no time did Sprint and Cogent enter into a contract for settlement free peering. In 2006, Sprint and Cogent formed a commercial trial agreement that ended in September 2007. Cogent was unable to satisfy the agreed-upon traffic exchange criteria within the trial agreement, yet refused to pay Sprint or disconnect from Sprint’s network.
Yeesh what a mess. To sum up, Sprint isn’t backing off its position one bit, they have reconnected temporarily to allow people to make other arrangements, such as Cogent buying IP transit again.
What will Cogent do now? I’ll wager a PR countering Sprint’s points is in the works, but will they double-dare Sprint to disconnect again? History says yes. They likely won’t back down anytime soon and will hit back quickly. After all, even if they lose this battle, they need to make it not worth the trouble for others to do the same.
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