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The Telia-Cogent Spat Could Ruin the Web For Many

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Updated: Swedish telecom operator Telia and U.S.-based connectivity provider Cogent Communications have gotten into an ugly spat and have stopped interconnecting, according to some of my sources in the telecom business. What this essentially means is that Telia’s DSL customers could have trouble seeing Cogent-connected web services. Telia, now part of TeliaSonera is one of the largest networks in Europe.

The bickering could be because one of the two parties feel they need to be paid for the traffic they are sending. I am looking into this and have emails out to all my sources in the bandwidth business, and will update accordingly. (If you have any information, drop me a line.)

Cogent had previously gotten into a slugfest with Level 3 Communications. Cogent’s stance towards Telia is hypocritical. Here is a press release they issued back in 2005 when complaining about Level3. As a reader points out, Cogent has been involved in such spats with other carriers as well. OpenTransit (France Telecom), Teleglobe, ATDN are some of those who have had Cogent issues.

This is a letter Telia sent to its customers:

Dear Customer,

We would like to give you the following information:

Cogent has decided not to exchange traffic directly with TeliaSonera’s AS 1299 or indirectly with AS 1299 through a third-party provider. As a result, Cogent has partitioned the Internet and disrupted the flow of traffic between Cogent and TeliaSonera customers.

While this has a negative impact on some users of the Internet, this effect is the result of Cogent’s decision and is unfortunately beyond TeliaSonera’s control. Until Cogent rectifies this situation, TeliaSonera customers experiencing any difficulty reaching Cogent’s network can continue to purchase IP Transit from TeliaSonera along with another Tier 1 provider. This will fix the immediate problem and ensure optimal connectivity going forward.

We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused…

If you have further concerns, please address your commercial contact at TeliaSonera

Updated with inputs from our readers. Thanks guys

139 Responses to “The Telia-Cogent Spat Could Ruin the Web For Many”

  1. @mattw
    first, nice to see that the Cogent Reps take care on this discussion
    second dont play with numers if you have no idea. As you should now, Cogent operates a big Network, but TeliaSonera too.

    TeliaSonera wholly-owned IP backbone features:
    Hardware supplied by Juniper and Cisco
    One single global AS number
    20-80G Gbit/s between core nodes
    180Gbit/s across the Atlantic

  2. @greg:

    “Cogent is not, why are you even comparing these companies, it’s like comparing a God with a small pig.” <<

    Where do you come up with that? Company size/revenue is not a measure of their network. Cogent is a very lean ship but their network is very significant. TeliaSonera connects across the Atlantic on dual OC192s, total capacity 20Gbps. Cogent has 20Gbps running out of their Marina Del Rey facility alone. They are also the 5th most peered AS as of a recent snapshot. Telia’s AS1299 was ranked #14.

  3. You just remember this, a kiss is still a kiss,
    A sigh is just a sigh, the fundamental things apply,
    As time goes by.
    And when two lovers woo, they still say ›I love you‹,
    On that you can rely, no matter what the future brings,
    As time goes by.
    Moonlight and love songs never out of date,
    Hearts full of passion, jealousy and hate.
    Woman needs man and man must have his mate,
    That no one can deny.
    It’s still the same old story, a fight for love and glory,
    A case of do or die, the world will always welcome lovers,
    As time goes by.«

    Time is the friend of Telia it looks better and better.
    Single homed Cogent customers will get multihomed, some Nordic DSL Customers will cancel and what happened after this, where is your weapon Mr. Cogent? It is gone by the wind :-)

  4. Hi

    I’m also a Sonera customer and i use a virtual server in Germanny to make a tunnel to access Cogent sites, have packages from 3,99€ month, maybe not the best solution/provider but it is working for me…
    Have had Sonera because it have been stable and have not been much problems with the line. But on other services like mail seems to have problems all the time.
    But now i also have plans to change to another provider, not cause of this issue but all those other crappy things they do against the customers nowadays.
    Kuluttajavirasto didn’t accept the electrical billing what i know of but they surely will try to do it anyway…
    And also all Sonera customers out there, check your bills, there seems to be much that is wrong in them, its not about much money but its the principle that i don’t like that the customer cant trust the company and that they aren’t honest against the customers…
    Most customers seems to trust them and are only paying the bills without checking, and they can easily bill a few extra €€ a month like they have tried to do on a few of my bills…
    And of course, always read the Sonera agreement CAREFULLY so you don’t bind to any 12, 18 or 24 months contract that is completely useless (aiming at the Sonera mobile broadband with monthly payment that states it includes unrestricted data transfer and when you read more about it you find out that it is within the principle of respectable use and in the really small text somewhere hidden in the agreement you see that it seems to be on Sonera only 3Gb/month on a broadband connection)…
    So in short, i don’t recommend Sonera to anyone anymore…

  5. RE: Greg

    “All I can conclude is hooray for Level 3 (as long as they don’t go bust) and NTT…. and if you are a serious host you should never rely on one provider and not suffer these problems.”

    All depends on where your traffic is going, Telia is the biggest player in europe, with a large fully owned us network. An extremly good an solid player.

    Cogent is not, why are you even comparing these companies, it’s like comparing a God with a small pig.

  6. we have a GigE from Cogent and we have trouble specially to reach Eastern Europe, we are thinking about to take an additional Telia upstream in the next hours so we can solve the problem for our customers, I am sure there are some special rates out from Telia ;-)

  7. OK, has anybody got any suggestions how I can quickly get connected with someone else other than Telia because I need my email and web access to update sites etc.

    This situation could go on for ages!


  8. You sure aren’t the only angry finn!

    I also live in Finland and have always had Sonera as my ISP, but it seems now that I have to switch to Elisa. I never cared too much how much the service costs as long as it works, but this makes me wanna consider the cheaper better working ISP’s.

    By the way, I have this racing game club that I haven’t been able to reach with TeliaSonera’s connection since saturday afternoon. Is there any workaround or am I just doomed…

  9. Hi,

    From swedish news site and from a friend in the business in NY, it seems as if the dispute is over who should pay for the upgrade of the peering. Cogent complaint that the capacity is too low, and Telia pretty much said they will upgrade if Cogent pay half, so Cogent de-peered.

  10. Well, switching to cable modem, that has good offerings and better bandwidth options for me and NO wait time nor starting cost. I have been too lazy to do this before, but this is seriously pissing me off.

    Other stuff that affected my decision, they just put price tag on customer service calls and 1€ per paper bill they send(oh save teh enviroment, yeah that was their excuse!).

    Sonera’s customer service is widely joked matter here in Finland… and now we would be supposed to pay for it? :)

    Bye Bye Telia-Sonera… was good 5 years. I shall welcome my new cable modem overlords!

    BTW, maybe we finns are bit net savvy, but this news DID make into finnish national news :)

    Oh and I am not alone in switching off from Sonera :)

  11. Ruprecht

    Maybe this will encourage the other Tier 1 providers to reconsider their peering relationships with Cogent. Level3… give it another shot! Whatever excuse Cogent is giving, I’m sure the same can be made when the tables are turned.

  12. Having used both Telia and Cogent in the past it is difficult to fault either. Both have stable networks and keen pricing.

    Clearly the current situation is disappointing for some customers of both companies. It seems it is causing more problems from gamers… annoying, but it’s hardly going to raise eyebrows on either side. The ideal answer for these guys is either to use your playstation or just simply get a life. As neither Telia or Cogent are now in our mix, maybe I take a calmer view. I doubt this is down to commercial reasons but moreso the lack of European peering points. It doesn’t appear that Cogent have responded, so to jump on the anti-Cogent, anti-Telia bandwagon at this stage is childish. Maybe we can expect some more impartial posts from Volker who is either a disgruntled ex-Cogent employee or a current Telia employee :-)

    All I can conclude is hooray for Level 3 (as long as they don’t go bust) and NTT…. and if you are a serious host you should never rely on one provider and not suffer these problems.

  13. “Switching from Cogent to another comparable provider could easily triple someone’s bill, if not more.”
    1) It is not so easy to find a comparable provider who runs such a shit network than Cogent.
    2) Time is over for Cogent low cost IP, you can get IP for 10$ a mbps from a couple of good ISP’s so no need to buy Cogent.

  14. @victim – simply switching ISPs is easier said than done. Switching from Cogent to another comparable provider could easily triple someone’s bill, if not more.

    Cogent support has a different story entirely that lays the blame on Telia. I’m going to be pressuring them to make a public statement with their version of the facts, if nothing else.

    Everyone that’s a customer of BOTH services should be pressuring them to resolve the issue. I’m definitely going to be turning up the heat on Cogent.

  15. Augusta, you should show solidarity to your ISP. I will keep my nextgentel line, I simply will stop visit stupid websites which rely only on Cogent. Hope that Telia will teach Cogent a lesson!

  16. Augusta

    Thanks for this info – the connections to some pages in the US haven’t been working since friday the 14th, and i’ve received no info from TeliaSonera. I’d switch provider immediatley, but they’re the only one in my area :(

  17. Actually it’s not only Telia that’s involved, it’s the whole TeliaSonera which messes things up for a major part of Finnish internet users as TeliaSonera is one of the main ISP’s in Finland.

  18. BBB/antiAdvant

    proxy server just give acces to home page so we can write on forums and so, it wont give acces to the games, so we can patch them and log in.

    who cares if i spell wrong, i aint good in english at all.
    So i know about BBB, i alredy have them, all there trafic goes with Telia. why are you guys on me all the damn time, i cant help any of you

  19. My ISP also connects to Telia through Cogent there for I dont have certain services since last Friday. I am from Portugal – understand how wide this problem is …

  20. Previous_Cogent_victim

    Its time to teach Cogent a lesson.
    Here are a few ground “rules” when dealing with Cogent:

    -Never believe the Cogent Press Release or official statements.
    -Fight fire with fire else Cogent will trample you like a steam roller.
    -Educate the Cogent customers – some of them simply choose to believe Cogent. Help Cogent customers sign up with another ISP – this is the best way to hurt Cogent.

    I learned this when we had our own “unscheduled” pissing match with Cogent.