As expected, Comcast quickly fired back this morning in a blog post. Comcast said they offered to trial a "different architectural approach" but that Level 3 walked out when Comcast wouldn't agree to a "zero cost outcome" in advance. I have no doubt that Level 3 has an alternative view here, but I have an immediate question: What is this different architectural approach the two sides came up with?
They said it could be a "significant shift of Internet infrastructure", and that both parties were working on it. But they have yet to tell us what it is, and I think the sector would really like to know. We might even be able to help analyze it for them. The current system of peering, paid peering, and transit is antedated and clunky. Despite my worries that this dispute could have unanticipated consequences, the current system is far, far from perfect.
Innovation could be good. We all have a vested interest in a healthy ecosystem, and there are plenty of bright people outside of Level 3 and Comcast that might help debug whatever it is. Please, Comcast and Level 3, do tell! Maybe we can help...
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