Disputes Over Peering Arrangments Could Splinter The Internet

from the gated-communities... dept

A recent battle between AOL and Cogent may indicate the direction that AOL is trying to move in. AOL abruptly decided that Cogent Communications no longer qualified as a "peer" and, thus, could no longer directly connect to their network without paying $75,000/month. When Cogent refused, AOL cut them off, making for very slow connections for anyone using Cogent's network to access AOL content or vice versa. The theory is that AOL was using this as a test-case to start turning their "peering arrangements" into a profit center. The article points out that there's potential for huge future problems if this continues. If the various companies that hold the internet together suddenly decide that they won't connect to each other any more, the internet could splinter.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    dorpus, Jan 24th, 2003 @ 11:42am

    The Wild West Analogy

    A hundred years ago, getting "wired" was a growth industry too.

    In the early stages, the Wild West was a vast open land. As it developed, the revolutionary invention of barbed wire turned it less open, and people came to value the notion of "private property" more than ever. Barbed wire stopped valuable assets from flowing out, and kept intruders from coming in.

    So it is with the internet. If we turn into a confederacy of proprietary networks, net security will become less of a problem. If we start charging people for sending email across networks, accepting only those with verified payments, that could do a lot to kill the spam industry.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2003 @ 1:34pm

    Re: The Wild West Analogy

    It was less the 20 years ago that Prodigy was able to force it's way on to the internet. The funny thing is this was the end of most of the internet being useful. I say let AOL start cutting off others, maybe they will drop off the internet and we'll get some use out of it..

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    lorenzo, Jan 25th, 2003 @ 10:35am

    wildwest analogy doesn t work

    think the end of world war one, every country thought they were owed money from the neighbour because of world reparation, it was the end of peering in the railway industry, carriages couldn t travel across borders and treated as equal by railways in different countries, government wanted to seize them as reparations, so they railways started unloading freight at their border for their counterparty opposite to the border to load them again on their own cars (analogy: additional costs on payload). Well, maybe that was not part of the general 20s depression, but I wouldn t be so sure.

    Might be useless:

    Telecom analogy: least cost routing. Cogent might be better off to find a AOL peer charging less then 75,000 and save money and hurt AOL bottom line. Least Cost Routing changed the organized telecom world, imagine it in the Internet.

    Forgot, American Telecoms always refused to treat non American telcos as peer. So other telcos had to pay traffic all the way to the Us and into US networks, that s why many foreign telcos started buying into US telco assets, and started building regional and national huns.

    Least cost routing !

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Brian, Oct 9th, 2005 @ 6:34am

    Re: The Wild West Analogy

    the only problem with charging people for e-mail is that the Spammers will gladly pay for it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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