AT&T and GTT, an internet transit provider, Tuesday announced that they signed a long-term, bilateral interconnection agreement for their IP networks.
The interconnection deal is the latest in a string of deals the telecom giant has cut and comes as regulators close in on wrapping review of the company’s $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV and as the Federal Communications Commission’s open Internet rules become the law of the land. AT&T earlier this month a signed long-term, bilateral interconnection agreement with Cogent and the month before with Level 3.
The GTT agreement has added interest because the company has been at the heart of a controversy over how data culled from an Internet Health Test and promoted by Free Press and the BattlefortheNet coalition should be interpreted. The data purported to show that some ISPs, particularly AT&T, were throttling transit services, notably GTT, at key interconnection points.
A lot of sources, including KotH were skeptical of the data’s conclusions. On Tuesday, Dan Rayburn, the proprietor of StreamingMedia.com, offered new evidence that he believes debunks that presumption. In a blog post, he wrote that GTT “the main provider having the problem with the ISPs… confirmed they were given extra capacity by some ISPs, dating back more than six months ago, and that GTT simply hasn’t turned up that extra capacity yet.”
To make it simple to understand, GTT is simply consolidating networks and shifting how they connect to ISPs through different connections, while terminating others. So the capacity issues that Free Press data shows is a result of GTT essentially shutting down those connections and not because of any wrong doing on the ISPs part.
GTT is making changes to their network, working closely with ISPs, already has the relationships in place and is working to solve any performance problems. While some like to say that these networks can just “flip the switch” to fix issues, it does not work that way, especially when you are consolidating networks, like GTT is.
In their blog post, Free Press claims that “a number of paid cable-industry operatives have tried to tear down these findings, suggesting without actually looking at the data that they are faulty and somehow corrupted…” but does not specifically address the points raised by Rayburn.
AT&T and DirecTV extended the merger termination date of their agreement for a second time to “facilitate obtaining final regulatory approval required to close the merger.”