Posted by: Bob Quinn on December 10, 2010 at 2:09 pm
The blogosphere continues to churn over the Comcast-Level 3 kerfuffle. Level 3 even saw fit to respond to this humble blogger in a press release (a comment on a blog, a response blog or even a to-the-point tart tweet I get, but a press release?).
According to Level 3, I “missed the point completely,” in suggesting that there may be some inconsistencies between what Level 3 is saying now about Comcast and what it said five years ago about Cogent. Level 3 insists that this dispute, unlike its dispute with Cogent, is not “just a peering dispute.” Now look, I’m a Cubs fan so obviously I miss on a lot of things, but on this…let’s take a closer look.
The way I understand what happened here was that Level 3 went to Comcast and asked Comcast to provision capacity to meet Level 3’s expected (doubled) traffic volume. Comcast offered to provide some capacity but said that, if Level 3 needed more, it would have to pay for it. Level 3 believes that Comcast should simply provision the capacity to exchange traffic with Level 3 at no charge. Sounds an awful lot like a peering dispute to me. And, it sounds a lot like the press release rationale Level 3 used in its dispute with Cogent five years ago. And while Level 3 says now (and then to be fair) that traffic balance was one factor in a peering relationship, it was the ONLY factor they deemed fit to discuss in that release back in 2005.