Input Regarding Cogent and NTT

My organization is currently shopping for some additional Transit Capacity to augment our existing interconnects. We've got around 8 distinct AS's that we're receiving transit routes from, followed by a handful of Public IX's and Private PNI's to AS's that warrant them. That said, the networks that are on our radar are Cogent and NTT. I've done some due diligence poking around on their Looking Glass, but I'd love to hear any user experiences from the community, both from a Layer 3 Perspective, as well as an Operational Perspective (Working with the businesses themselves). Feel free to contact me off-list and thanks in advance for your time.


Jack Stonebraker | Sr. IP Network Engineer

NTT is awesome. Extremely responsive, sales guys aren't pushy, noc is
great, and lots of NTT guys are here on nanog.

Cogent is not. Their sales guys love to scrape whois records too, and
won't leave you the hell alone.

I've used both extensively, and now typically just avoid cogent.


As a current Cogent customer, my experience on the service side of things is similar.

Very responsive (I called on a Sunday and had someone with good enough clue + router access pick up instantly.)

NOC is competent, and my sales guys (I've had two so far) are not pushy at all. I don't have any real complaints.

I'd rate them higher than most of my other upstreams as far as NOC competency goes.

Yeah cogent is great, accept for that time they dropped a /15 for no reason and took 24 hours to get it back up. Aside from that it's been a great experience.

Nick Rose | CTO
Enzu Inc.

A lot of people knock Cogent, but the best way to get to Cogent's customer's is probably through Cogent. Given that they do have a very large network, they're worth picking up even if you only use them for customer routes.

By that logic, and giving you the benefit of the doubt that you follow your own advice, you have 15-20 upstreams?

I've never tried that on a standard network with BGP as the only tool. See any interesting operational stuff with that many upstreams?

Also, while many people knock Cogent, I would submit that many people have bad first-hand experiences with Cogent (including me).

Every network has its bad days. Even the best companies screw customers from time-to-time. But the preponderance of evidence is a useful guidepost. Cogent is large, but does not have even half the customers NTT has. Do "lots of people knock NTT"? Given NTT's much larger number of customers, shouldn't that mean they have more knocks?

If not, I submit the disparity is a useful datapoint when choosing a provider.

Working on it. :wink:

Being an eyeball network, most of my traffic just goes to NetFlix, Akamai, LimeLight, FaceBook, Google, etc. anyway. Peer what you can peer, Cogent for customer routes, then grab a couple nicer carriers and call it a day.

Don't be surprised if cogent contact you for even posting this.

They did it to me when I asked for hibernia.

They are persistent, but by no means the most persistent vendor I work with.

We've been on Cogent for 3 years now.

I have to say the experience has been nice. Good sales, great NOC. We even
had a dirty fiber issue with their uplink (due to the MMA owner) and Cogent
stayed on the phone with me for hours and got it handled before we hung up
the phone. So great NOC too.

Cogent has been very good in my experience. They have some issues they need to work out, but are pretty solid. We have had some issues where they have said they are doing maintenance on such and such night and it comes a day early. We have also seen some routing weirdness when it comes to route selection.

Ive had a connection, server, something on Cogent for about 12 years now. I started with a server in Chicago at the Board of Trade building. At that time Cogent was the home of cheap web-hosts, ware, and porn. I remember a year or so after I had that server the big folks like ATT and some others de-peered with Cogent. Many of the web-sites I was hosting were simply not reachable for a few days from a big majority of the Internet. I think the sheer amount of web-sites and content convinced the big folks to bring up the peering. I was working for a large dial-up ISP at the time and remember getting call after call about someone not being able to reach their favorite web-site.

Cogent tech support has always been top notch. They answer the phone and I have always been directed to an engineer that can help right away. As of 6 months ago their ticketing system still sucked, but I think everyone’s does. LOL.

This is my on-list stuff. I can go into more detail if anyone wants to know.

Justin Wilson
Managed Services – xISP Solutions – Data Centers
Podcast about xISP topics
Peering – Transit – Internet Exchange

We pick up Cogent as one of our upstreams, primarily for who they have
on-net that others do not (or can be accessed "shorter" through).

We haven't had any major issues. The sales folk were persistent, but the
turn-up was good as has been contact with the NOC (primarily to get BGP
prefixes updated regularly).

We use NTT too, and a bunch of others, and the experience has generally
been the same, i.e., nothing major to complain about.

Then again, close to 70% of our non-African traffic is peered away at
the 4x major exchange points in Europe, and the upstreams only cover the
rest. So there could be some co-relation there.