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Thread: Comcast Carrier

  1. #1
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    Comcast Carrier

    We're having a meeting today with Comcast about letting them move fiber into our facility. Please do not post experiences with Comcast CABLE. I want to know your experience as other datacenters and hosts with Comcast Fiber. What do you know about their fiber and what is your experience with them in both standalone and BGP? Reliability, latency, peering quality, etc. We are in the Houston area, where so far I have heard they are pretty good with most I have talked to, and a few negatives. At what level would you use their connection?

  2. #2
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    They seem to be on a move to sell ip transit now.

    They seem to be going after ip transit customers that they are paying to get their traffic and in turn going direct to those customers and offering them ip transit.

    So in other words instead of paying 2/M for your traffic they want you to pay them 4-8/M to send them their own traffic

  3. #3
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    We've had a comcast port for about 6 months now. No huge complaints. However, they have had about 3 unexplained BGP flaps from their side in this time, which is very strange. Their turn up process was very strange too. I was interacting with one of their NOC guys, scheduling a time for turn up, and come to find out, the only thing this guy was responsible was for lighting up their side of the port; he couldn't even address the port with their IP or turn up the BGP connection. Supposedly their SOP is to ping test a port continuously for several days after "turn up" before lighting up BGP.
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    Yeah, they aren't great... BGP flaps, some odd routing here and there, etc. though Steve Lacoff on the sales side has been great to work with and has helped us through a lot of those problems. Considering they were COmcast, I wasn't expecting much, and I have to say they've exceeded expectations, though still aren't on par with the tier 1's or high level Tier 2's.
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    What per-meg price range do they play in, and at what commit?

  6. #6
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    They allow as low as 10 I think, but we're looking at a 50 meg commit right now to go into the bgp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Webdude View Post
    They allow as low as 10 I think, but we're looking at a 50 meg commit right now to go into the bgp.
    What's their price per megabit at those levels?

    Last year I spoke with Brighthouse (Road Runner) who also sells IP transit, and they wanted $50/mbit on a 10 meg commit.

    That might not sound all that ridiculous, until you understand that in the local market they rely heavily on Cogent for both transport and transit. I asked they guy why I would pay BHN $50 per meg for mainly Cogent transit, when I could get it for $10 on the same commit directly from Cogent. Sales Fluff ensued, but to his credit he did admit it didn't make a lot of sense.
    Last edited by Sekweta; 09-24-2009 at 05:56 PM.

  8. #8
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    The lower the commit, the more the price per meg. I "think" a 10M was like $1300, where a 50M is around $2800 before the negotiating. To give credit where due anyway, we will have NO build cost for them to run the fiber to our facility, which is a decent stretch. Cogent wanted a gig commit before they would do the same. Comcast was willing to run the fiber for a mere $1000 even if all we did was a 10 meg. Thats why Comcast is growing so much while Cogent is standing still. Comcast will take a large loss to get your long term business, Cogent wont.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Webdude View Post
    The lower the commit, the more the price per meg. I "think" a 10M was like $1300, where a 50M is around $2800 before the negotiating.
    $130 and $56 per megabit, respectively. For Comcast. Wow.

    Unless low latency to Comcast subscribers is of supreme importance, I don't see the appeal at all. I'd fail to see the appeal at $20/megabit.

  10. #10
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    Like I said, you dont have to cover the $10,000+ buildout fee up front. It's not cheap to run fiber underground. So theres a trade off. If I wanted to cover the full cost up front, it would be a lot cheaper per mb.

  11. #11
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    Ok, so the cost of buildout has been buried into the monthly charge.

    Then I'm curious what they charge per megabit in a facility that's already on-net for them.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekweta View Post
    Ok, so the cost of buildout has been buried into the monthly charge.

    Then I'm curious what they charge per megabit in a facility that's already on-net for them.
    They gotta make money, right? Also, per meg prevents abuses. Such as someone paying $20/month and running a youtube type site.

  13. #13
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    I think you misread the question. I didn't say "why they charge per megabit", I said "what they charge per megabit". Your per-meg price was ridiculously high, but that's apparently because they're burying in the cost of fiber buildout.

    As for abuse, when you pay for bandwidth, you have every right to use every megabit. If I commit to Carrier X for a 100 mbps circuit, and pay the per-megabit price x100, then it's my right to use every one of those 100 megabits to push whatever content I choose-- whether it's pictures of kittens in ribbons, or youtube-style streaming. Commercial bandwidth is not the same as consumer bandwidth where you pay $50/mo for a 20/5 cable connection then run bittorrent wide open 24x7.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudstr View Post
    We were recently quoted sub 5/M on 2g commit from comcast.
    I suppose that's not horrible if you want a short path Comcast subscribers, although I can't imagine sending that much (2 gbps) of traffic to them to justify that commit level. To use them as general transit to non-Comcast destinations-- uhhh, my gut tells me there are better options.

    The colo we're in has Brighthouse/Road Runner in their 4-carrier mix. During normal operation it's pretty much limited to delivering traffic to Road Runner only, and does so quite effectively with extremely low latency to RR customers throughout central and west Florida. IMO, it was a smart move on the colo's part. In addition, the colo gets full routes from RR and can use them for transit if the need arises (if another circuit goes down for maintenance or an outage) so it's the best of both worlds.

  16. #16
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    I did also say that it was $2800 for a 50 meg prior to negotiations. Obviously certain things are confidential and I cant put on a public forum what our final costs are. That was the starting offer though, and Comcast is fairly easy to negotiate with. It's still higher than I would prefer, but quite lower than their starting offer. I'm not too concerned though, as any data center, once the carrier is in is when the data center has the real negotiating power because the carrier wants to stay there.

  17. #17
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    FDCServers here in Chicago has 60GBps to Comcast. Pretty much anything on the Level3 network goes out via the FDC Comcast connection. It is not only used to reach Comcast customers.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekweta View Post
    I suppose that's not horrible if you want a short path Comcast subscribers, although I can't imagine sending that much (2 gbps) of traffic to them to justify that commit level. To use them as general transit to non-Comcast destinations-- uhhh, my gut tells me there are better options.

    The colo we're in has Brighthouse/Road Runner in their 4-carrier mix. During normal operation it's pretty much limited to delivering traffic to Road Runner only, and does so quite effectively with extremely low latency to RR customers throughout central and west Florida. IMO, it was a smart move on the colo's part. In addition, the colo gets full routes from RR and can use them for transit if the need arises (if another circuit goes down for maintenance or an outage) so it's the best of both worlds.
    Were not buying a port from them but that was their offer. they called us because we send them around half of that aparently. So they are either A. paying for it through someone else or getting it from a peer. (which is highly doubtful) And so they flip the tables and want you to pay them to send them their own traffic. Its a wonderful world we live in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scooby2 View Post
    FDCServers here in Chicago has 60GBps to Comcast. Pretty much anything on the Level3 network goes out via the FDC Comcast connection. It is not only used to reach Comcast customers.
    I've played with their looking glass before, and nearly everything exiting their network rode Comcast or TATA. At 60 Gbps capacity to Comcast, my working assumption has been a real sweetheart price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudstr View Post
    Wthey called us because we send them around half of that aparently. (..snip..) And so they flip the tables and want you to pay them to send them their own traffic. Its a wonderful world we live in.
    I chuckled out loud when I read that. They must have torn a page right out of AT&T's playbook.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekweta View Post
    I chuckled out loud when I read that. They must have torn a page right out of AT&T's playbook.

    Dtag did the same thing that comcast did last week too. Seems to be more of a common thing these days.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekweta View Post
    I chuckled out loud when I read that. They must have torn a page right out of AT&T's playbook.
    Glad you brought that up, ATT is becoming harder and harder to work with, to the point of frustration. I'm surprised you dont need to renew your contract just to talk to someone there these days, its getting there.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webdude View Post
    Glad you brought that up, ATT is becoming harder and harder to work with, to the point of frustration. I'm surprised you dont need to renew your contract just to talk to someone there these days, its getting there.
    Without exception, every experience I've had with AT&T has been sour. I've never met a more arrogant bunch of folks, regardless of department. Dating back to the mid 1980's, I've dealt with long distance, wireline phone, cellular, DSL, IP transit.

    Even their managed security department was insufferable. We had a customer spending over $2,000/mo. for an AT&T-managed VPN between their dedicated servers and their in-house inventory management/fulfillment system out of state. It was a trainwreck, and getting AT&T to fix it was difficult beyond words. Customer eventually terminated the VPN because of it.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekweta View Post
    Without exception, every experience I've had with AT&T has been sour. I've never met a more arrogant bunch of folks, regardless of department. Dating back to the mid 1980's, I've dealt with long distance, wireline phone, cellular, DSL, IP transit.

    Even their managed security department was insufferable. We had a customer spending over $2,000/mo. for an AT&T-managed VPN between their dedicated servers and their in-house inventory management/fulfillment system out of state. It was a trainwreck, and getting AT&T to fix it was difficult beyond words. Customer eventually terminated the VPN because of it.
    Wow... so familiar, and I thought maybe it was just us. However, seems everyone I talk to has the same story as us. I cant believe AT&T actually believes they are good at what they do... I'd hate to be one of their first line support guys where you have to take the complaints and the heat, but unable to actually help other than send it up higher via ticket. I think working at the IRS support desk would be an easier job

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    Customer service is the most important part of the IP transit experience in my opinion. Thus far this has us limited to Peer1, Telia, and the desire to add BandCon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Webdude View Post
    Wow... so familiar, and I thought maybe it was just us. However, seems everyone I talk to has the same story as us. I cant believe AT&T actually believes they are good at what they do.
    True story: Back in the 90s when I cancelled a particular service and said I'd never do business with them again, the rep immediately responded, "You'll be back. Everyone eventually comes back to AT&T."

    I'm not making this up.

    AT&T's culture is THAT arrogant.
    Last edited by Sekweta; 09-25-2009 at 05:49 PM.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekweta View Post
    I chuckled out loud when I read that. They must have torn a page right out of AT&T's playbook.
    You remember that they did hire AT&T's global peering coordinator (Ren Provo) in February '08 to create their new Comcast-as-a-carrier strategy? I corresponded with him briefly (when Comcast depeered ), and he's a straight-up guy.

  28. #28
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    As i think i told you before, i have been very happy with comcast in houston. Houston is a legacy time warner market, and there are certian advantages to that. They have there own NOC and support in the city, whereas in a city like nashville, everything is taken care of remotely. I went through a hell of a time trying to get a circuit turned up in nashville, and blew through 3 turn up dates before finally getting it going. Whereas in houston once we got passed a few construction delays, everything went very quickly and smooth there.

  29. #29
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    Looking from the outside here, but seems like Comcast has two IP offerings on the large scale:

    1. Paid peering - You pay them to send them traffic they'd normally pay for. Probably a bit cheaper, but they're saving money hand over fist here if you're pushing a lot of traffic to them anyway.

    2. Transit/peering with benefits - FDCServers passes a TON of traffic over Comcast, to Comcast customers (like me) but also gets to leverage what apear to be peering agreements on Comcast's part. The ibone isn't the most direct route to most places, but at this point Comcast has plenty of peering (including peering with National LambdaRail in Chicago) so, depending on where you enter and exit the network, you're doing pretty well.

    To reiterate, Comcast can be used as an actual transit provider, and their peering is getting better every day (better than Cogent at this point as far as non-coastal regions go) though there are plenty of better options out there.
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