Cogent, Verizon sign long-term interconnection pact

Cogent and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) have signed an interconnection agreement that could potentially improve the way video content like Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) gets delivered to end users over their FiOS and DSL network connections.

The two companies jointly said that the interconnection agreement "ensures customers on the two networks can continue to exchange data in an effective and efficient manner."

In order to keep pace with growing traffic demands, the two companies can add capacity and establish new interconnection locations between the two networks. In addition, the agreement includes new connections for Verizon Digital Media Services' content delivery network (CDN) to connect to Cogent's network globally, which will improve the quality for Verizon's CDN customers and Cogent's customers.

Verizon told Ars Technica that it would not comment beyond what was said in a joint statement it made with Cogent.

Dave Schaeffer, CEO and founder of Cogent, or told Ars Technica that this is not a paid agreement. "We have never paid for peering, and we continue to never pay for peering," Schaeffer said.

Although this agreement is a good first step, Schaeffer added that there's still work to be done in order to ensure that new problems don't arise in the future. "The degradation exists right now, the ports are massively oversubscribed and our initial fix is going to dramatically increase the connectivity," Schaeffer said. "The parties agreed to make sure this doesn't become a problem going forward."

Cogent is just one of two service providers that have recently signed agreements with Verizon.

Level 3 also entered into a similar long-term bilateral interconnection agreement with Verizon. Similar to the Cogent/Verizon pact, Level 3's agreement includes new connections for Verizon Digital Media Services' CDN to connect to Level 3's global network.

These agreements come as Cogent and Level 3 Communications, two Internet transit providers, recently threatened to file complaints to the FCC's Enforcement Bureau if certain congested ports were not updated as outlined in the regulator's new net neutrality rules when they go into law on June 12.

"We expect that the new FCC rules influenced the timing of the agreement, which will also enhance connectivity for VZ's CDN ahead of its mobile over-the-top video launch this summer," wrote Jennifer M. Fritzsche, senior analyst for Wells Fargo, in a research report.

While Cogent has established a new agreement with Verizon it says that AT&T (NYSE: T), CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) still don't have enough capacity on their networks. If these companies don't comply, Cogent could potentially file a complaint with the FCC after the new rules take effect. 

For more:
- see Cogent's release
- Ars Technica has this article

Related articles:
Verizon, Level 3 make nice with interconnection agreement
Cogent, Level 3 could be first to file net neutrality complaints with FCC
Level 3 calls for FCC to extend net neutrality to interconnect points
Comcast-TWC 'will be blocked,' analyst says

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