I regularly need to communicate from my Comcast Business site to a server that is colocated in a facility on Cogent's backbone network.
Any transfer of data from this Cogent-backboned server to my Comcast Business site starts out at a normal transfer speed then rapidly drops off after a minute or two. For instance, right now it's estimating 3 hours to complete a 2 GB transfer.
We've spoken to Cogent about this and they told us that Comcast and Cogent are waging an ideological battle over Netflix (which also hosts on Cogent) and the tremendous amount of traffic Netflix generates. Thus, they allege, Cogent-to-Comcast traffic is shaped or otherwise limited after an initial burst.
This is a SERIOUS problem for me -- I want to be able to access this server at the full speed I'm paying for.
I don't mind if you throttle Netflix (well, I do, but not as much) -- but is there some way we can whitelist a specific non-Netflix IP address to be full speed? Is there ANY way I can work around this? it is a huge inconvenience.
(Before you ask, yes, I have ruled out the possibility of a problem at the server side. Data going from the Cogent site to another colocation facility on Level 3 is blazingly fast. Additionally data transfers from non-Cogent sites to Comcast Business are fast. _Only_ transfers inbound from Cogent to my Comcast Business site are slow -- very, very slow.)
Thanks for your time,
Welcome stevenf. We can verify that the appropriate level of service is applied to the account as well as interconnection between Comcast and Cogent. We have referred this to our Network Operations Team to investigate.
I'm seeing the same problem downloading files from my old ISP. Durning the day I get full speed (50Mb/s) but at night get 100KB/s. When doing I traceroute it is pretty obvious the problem is on this hop:
188.8.131.52 -- comcast
184.108.40.206 -- cogent
My ping go from 17ms to 70ms between those two hops. It only occurs after 5pm. During the day both hops ping at about 20ms. What was very interesting is that one night when I was testing things out Netflix had an outage. The moment they went down so did my pings and my download speeds went to maximum. Then Netflix came back online 30 minutes later and the pings went back up and downloads dropped. Comcast support is claiming it is a Cogent issue which is bogus because it is the pipe between the two hops that is overloaded. This pipe is shared so the problem is shared.
I've had some other Comcast users test things out and are seeing the same problem, so it isn't my equipment. My guess is the Netflix recently moved to Cogent and Comcast hasn't decided to bump up their pipes to deal with the new traffic routing.
I understand Comcast's issue with Netflix moving things around, but that is the new nature of the internet and most Comcast's customers are demanding access to Netflix's data.
IMO, Comcast should install a Open Netflix CDN and stop worrying about where the data is coming from. However, Comcast is worried about placing Netflix a "trojan horse" inside Comcast's network. I don't understand that concern.
But, in the end we the users pulling data across the same routes that Netflix data is passing are getting hosed. Seems like a simple fix, but so far Comcast seems unresponsive. So much for Business Class priority.
There's more to this than meets the eye. Cogent is one of the worst networks out there. I remember a few years ago when I had a BGP circuit going to them. I was stunned to discover I could advertise ANY netblock into their BGP network and it would be propagated to the rest of the world. Even blocks belonging to other people.
The fact is that all major networks peer. A peer agreement is very complex but boiled down it would be something along the lines that Comcast and Cogent both agree to send roughly equal amounts of traffic into each other's networks. As long as that is going on then neither side pays each other. But if one side sends a huge amount of traffic into the other side's network and the other side doesen't send much traffic back, then the side sending the huge amount of traffic is effectively getting free carriage.
That's the situation now. Cogent needs to pay Comcast since Cogent is sending far more traffic into Comcast's network than Comcast is sending into Cogent's network. In effect Comcast is charging all of us subscribers fees that are essentially supporting Netflix - in other words, the fees you pay Comcast aren't funding increased bandwidth that you can enjoy, it's funding increased bandwidth that your Netflix-watching neighbors MANY OF WHOM ARE ON OTHER ISPs are using.
Netflix is aware of all of this and has tried to step in and negotiate directly with subscriber networks like Comcast and Verizon. But so far their negotiations consist of "you will give us free colocation space, power, and connectivity for us to put in a server bank for our streaming, otherwise we will hose your network down" It's perfectly understandable that Comcast is telling them to go suck eggs.
Some more reading on this:
My personal opinion is this, I can go to the library and check out, for free, hundreds of times more BlueRay titles than Netflix offers and so the more Comcast subscribers who are heavy Netflix users who disconnect from the Comcast network and go bother some other network, the better. netflix charges it's subscribers money and it's perfectly understandable that Comcast would want some of that money, due to the volume of data Netflix generates.