Cogent started operations in 1999. Since then, it has dynamically expanded to become a top five global service provider in over 204 major markets and 44 countries.
Cogent began construction of a network optimized for data traffic and launched service in four initial markets in 2000. That same year, major telcos announced for the first time ever that global networks carried more data traffic than voice traffic. Cogent was perfectly positioned to step into this growing market. Today we are one of the largest carriers of data traffic in the world.
Although debuting at the height of the telecom industry, Cogent soon found vast market wealth eradicated and many other ISPs thrown into a state of turmoil. In a survival of the fittest competition, Cogent became the consolidator in a consolidating market. Over three brief years, Cogent completed 13 acquisitions of other flailing providers. Whether it was an entire company or just select assets, Cogent was able to acquire valuable network assets, customers, peering relationships and building access agreements for pennies on the dollar.
Among Cogent's 13 acquisitions to date include three of the original generation Internet Service Providers who were pioneers in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These companies—PSINet (originally Performance Systems International), NetRail and Aleron (originally AGIS/Net99)—were the earliest providers of commercial Internet service. While these first generation ISPs made great contributions to the rapid growth and success of the Internet, their business models and networks could not keep pace with technology and market demands.
Other strategic acquisitions include assets from: Allied Riser, OnSite Access, Fiber City, Fiber Network Solutions, Applied Theory, LambdaNet France and Spain, Carrier1, Unlimited Fiber Optics, Global Access, Aleron, NTT/Verio.
Geographic Expansion History
Cogent aims to serve top tier markets where connectivity demands are highest.
At the end of 2000, we launched service in just four U.S. cities. In 2001, we completed our network rollout to 20 major U.S. cities. The next year, we expanded our network into Toronto, Canada, and also began offering Off-Net (T1/T3) services in more than 30 new markets.
In 2004, we crossed the Atlantic into Europe and expanded gradually across the continent. We added the Nordics in 2005, Italy in 2006, stretched as far north as Glasgow and as far east as Romania by 2008, and to Estonia and Ukraine by 2009. We currently serve over 140 European markets with products that include Dedicated Internet Access, IP transit, Colocation services and Ethernet VPN connectivity.
In 2009, Cogent also moved into Mexico and today connects multiple cities across the country.
In 2011, Cogent expanded our network to Tokyo, Japan. We have continued our expansion in Asia to Hong Kong and Singapore.
In 2018, Cogent extended our geographic reach to the southern hemisphere by launching service in Sydney, Australia and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Our successful geographic expansion at such a rapid pace has been, in part, due to our ability to surgically acquire the network assets we need most from financially troubled companies. Today, we carry an impressive share of the world’s Internet traffic, serving over 200 markets in 43 countries across six continents.