Sprint and Cogent Communications have been engaged in a network peering dispute in recent weeks that late last week resulted in Sprint disconnecting its network from Cogent's network. That action resulted in service disruptions for some Internet users. By Sunday night, however, Sprint said it had re-established the connection to Cogent's network on a temporary basis while other options are explored.
The peering dispute has been going on rather quietly since late this summer. The companies had a settlement-free peering agreement in place, but Sprint said that Cogent didn't meet the minimum traffic requirements to keep it going. Sprint reportedly told Cogent it would gradually cut off about 10 interconnections between the two networks during October. Sprint also filed a lawsuit against Cogent in September alleging a breach of contract.
However, it was Cogent which Friday brought more attention to the spat, issuing a press release saying that Sprint had terminated the peering agreement and broken a contract in advance of letting a court decide the fate of the interconnection agreement. There are a lot of rumors circulating about what actually happened and why.
Peering disagreements and disconnections are not all that uncommon, especially when they prove to be less than worthwhile for at least one of the parties involved. But, letting that dispute get to the point where end users are cut off without warning seems irresponsible on the part of both carriers.
- PC Magazine has this report
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