Cogent, AT&T bury the hatchet with new interconnection agreement

AT&T (NYSE: T) and Cogent have become the latest service providers to establish a new interconnection agreement on the eve of the FCC net neutrality rules going into effect this week.

Similar to arrangements AT&T has made with Level 3, the two service providers said that the new agreement will not only improve traffic exchange efficiency, but also create additional capacity and new interconnection locations between the networks.

By gaining capacity and interconnection points, Cogent and AT&T say they will be able to deliver a better quality and reliable experience for their end-user customers.

Dave Schaeffer, CEO for Cogent, said in a release that the new agreement will provide benefits to both AT&T and Cogent's customers by "enabling an expanded, secure and resilient interconnection environment."

This latest agreement between AT&T and Cogent will avoid potential challenges Cogent could file with the FCC over net neutrality violations related to network interconnection that were laid out in the new net neutrality order.

According to a National Journal report, Cogent said it would "have no choice but to file a complaint with the FCC under the Open Internet Order" if its customers can't get "access to the entire Internet on an unfettered basis."

AT&T is just one service provider with which Cogent has established interconnection agreements. Cogent signed an interconnection agreement with Verizon in May. Like the pact Level 3 made with Verizon, the two companies can add capacity and establish new interconnection locations between the two networks.

Fellow Internet transit provider Level 3 has also been actively establishing interconnection pacts with AT&T, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and cable MSO Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA).

Interestingly, one service provider that has not signed new interconnection agreements is CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), which is now the third largest U.S.-based telco.

For more:
- see the release

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