Cogent revisited

Hi all,

We are getting ready to renew our fiber contract with our incumbent provider
(Lightower, ASN 46887). We are happy with them, but are looking for
alternatives. At the location in question we need about 200M.

Cogent recently contacted us, and I shied away a bit, based on this
conversation a few years ago:

Have opinions changed since then? Or is Cogent still the "budget alternative
to have in your mix, but better to stay away from if you need
high-performance, reliable, mostly standalone bandwidth" (which is how I
would summarize the consensus in 2012)?



Thank you to those who replied off-list, for the helpful replies!

The feedback basically ranged from neutral (maybe a little positive) to really negative. The main emphasis being on: use them only if you are redundant.

Seems like things haven’t changed much since 2012.


We use Cogent. No major drama. Then again, we have 7x of the top global
providers in the mix.

My take is if you want to be single-homed, buy from a network slightly
lower in the chain to the top providers. They'll have a good blend.

If you want to buy from Cogent, buy from a slightly smaller ISP as well,
or add one or two other global providers into your mix. I'd do this
anyway, whether it was Cogent or not.


Perhaps that depends on were are you in the world and your traffic types.

I have worked with two UK ISPs that have Cogent as one of their
transit providers, neither have had any problems in the 5+ years
they've both had the Cogent transit, it has always "just worked".


And for the most part, that will be the case. If you're multi-homed, it's really not a major issue. It's more when someone is:
1. single-homed to Cogent and they get into a peering/transit/pay-us spat with one of the DFZ carriers, and Cogent gets de-peered. Single-homed customers of $de-peering_carrier disappear from your view of the Internet.
2. single-homed to one of said DFZ carriers and a peering/transit/pay-us spat arises with Cogent, and Cogent gets de-peered. Single-homed customers
of Cogent's disappear from your view of the Internet.


There is also the problem with multi-homed customers where Cogent is in the mix. The dropped packets at Cogent's peering points to eyeball networks break certain protocols that are packet loss sensitive (VoIP, IPSEC, etc...).