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Author Topic: Are BT throttling connections?  (Read 29018 times)

kitz

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Re: Are BT throttling connections?
« Reply #60 on: December 14, 2014, 11:54:06 AM »

Quote from: pedro492
If it wasn't the DNS servers after all, what is causing this massive outage??
Why won't BT tell us?  What's to hide?

I dunno what it is, but without doubt BT have had constant DNS issues this year.  Co-incidentally so have Virgin Media who is the other one of the three UK ISPs that use barefruit...  and one of the same three that dabbled with phorm.

Theres something going on, Theres another massive thread about DNS issues and a few smaller isolated threads where its obvious that users are resorting to VPN.  Theres also a few scattered posts around with people having problems such as this

Its definitely not the BT network nor the core, or other ISPs would be having issues.  Same with DLM. 

Im not convinced its a routing issue either (a) adsl users dont seem to be impacted like fttc (b) business lines dont seem to be affected (c) VPN isnt affected.

BT broadband uses the BTw network, so lets look at what BT retail can do.

- DNS
- QoS & Traffic shaping
- Account profiles (Caps & Speed restrictions)
- Blacklist sites
- Control of ports
- Add on Services (Parental controls, firewalls, email etc)
- Puchase insufficient MSIL's (This would cause obvious congestion)[/url]
- Insufficient peer & transit points - This would also cause obvious congestion.


From the above list some can be excluded immediately.  DNS, QoS & Blacklisting of sites stand out the most to me. Combine them together and you could get some interesting results.  The Ellacoyas are very clever and can do some sophisticated tricks but they are a minefield to configure. It took Plusnet years to get their settings right and BT were much later entering the game with Ellacoyas.

Why are BT being so tight lipped about these issues, its obvious this year that they are being exceedingly secretive about all their DNS problems.  The Ellacoyas are another area which they dont much talk about and although they dont seem to be doing as much traffic shaping these days, but they could be used to do other things such as content filtering or intercepting port 53.

The interception of port 53 I still find interesting and how it can be hidden and disguised.   I dont have time to do any digging atm, but I believe that when done at the network layer it can be very difficult to spot and it can be wrapped up so that no one knows that its not really say 8.8.8.8 that is responding yet it looks like it is,  even packet sniffing doesnt detect it.  Didnt one of the overseas ISPs (turkey?) do something like this to block certain webpages.    Lots of reading and research for someone to do if theyve nothing better to spend time on.  ???
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kitz

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Re: Are BT throttling connections?
« Reply #61 on: December 14, 2014, 12:05:00 PM »

It often feels like your talking to the wall in there, your not alone. I have suspicions that there are undercover BT staff deploying 'smoke and mirrors' when discussions point out wrong doings by BT.

hmmm  I see what you mean, Ive just seen some of your other posts, the replies arent exactly helpful are they.   :no:
I really dont see why customers shouldnt expect a decent response  "Why does it matter what the problem was or what the fix was. Why would you expect any company to tell you what it was?"

Basically yes I would.   Ive been known to hound my ISP for info many times, and most times it is forthcoming.   Ive expected it from all my ISPs and I certainly expect it from my web hosts.
When they dont it just appears like they have something to hide.

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TBH I could have a comeback for those that p00p00ed my comments but I really cba to argue the toss with them over there, its not going to get anyone anywhere and (believe it or not  :D ) I have much better things that I should be doing with my time .
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 12:08:06 PM by kitz »
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pedro492

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Re: Are BT throttling connections?
« Reply #62 on: December 14, 2014, 03:07:22 PM »

No where does it say anything has been replaced.  Just that faulty hardware was taken out of service.

Sure, I took it for granted that faulty hardware would be replaced,  rather than just de-commissioned and dumped.

BT also said emphatically... "the issue has been fixed"  which it hadn't, and hasn't.

There's been no acknowledgement since of the major ongoing problems.
So who do we believe? Problems happen but BT is handling this unbelievably badly.

It's the arrogance of ignoring all the complaints with not even a service update since claiming it was fixed.
Okay, we have some BT "sages" (insiders?) claiming there's nothing wrong; nothing here to see, so to speak.
But that's no substitute for an official statement.

Yet the complaints of loss-of-service continue to flood in on BT's forums and twitter feed. Again, all ignored.

And worst of all, we're none the wiser as to the real cause of it all.  "Faulty hardware" is no explanation at all.
This is why BT is compared to some Soviet-era government department. It has that same arrogant,
bureaucratic mindset that treats the public (the cash-cow) with contempt.

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EDIT:  it seems the problems are back just as bad this afternoon (Sunday 14th). See below. Did they ever really resolve it? Even after BT's reassurance yesterday of it all being fixed, people were still reporting problems at 2.30am;  at that time of the morning surely this can't be server- or network-loading problems:



And do these ongoing complaints 'feel' like DNS problems? Were they even related to BT's unacceptable and unwanted policy of sniffing, redirecting and rewriting udp/53 traffic?   

If the "faulty hardware" was related to "barefruit" (for illicitly sniffing our DNS queries) but that bad kit has now been removed, why are people still reporting problems like this?:



Wider network routing problems could still be causing this.  The first point of failure in trying to establish an http connection will be name resolution.  But that doesn't mean the nameserver itself is to blame.    So maybe BT is bluffing to disguise the true cause.

As you can tell, I just don't trust BT any more.  And with many more months of our BT Infinity contract to run, this is very poor.

What with all the problems above, the out-of-action "My BT" service, and the continuous issues with the HH5a - inexplicably re-booting itself, this one is not a happy bunny.

Drawing parallels isn't that useful, but Plusnet (while below par in other ways; inexplicable network outages and hidden charging) and TalkTalk (telephone support non-existent, yet forum support was surprisingly good), neither of them ever created all of these maladies.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 05:27:11 PM by pedro492 »
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Black Sheep

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Re: Are BT throttling connections?
« Reply #63 on: December 14, 2014, 05:07:46 PM »

I have no idea about the DNS issues, the scale of it, the true depth of the problem etc etc ....... but just as you (Pedro) suggest there are shills at work on the BT Help-pages, I humbly suggest that there are also a damn site more trolls who love to sock-it to the large conglomerates whenever they have a chance.

It's obvious something's being worked on regarding DNS, but lets not compare it to cold-war Russia ??.  ::)
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pedro492

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Re: Are BT throttling connections?
« Reply #64 on: December 14, 2014, 06:05:24 PM »

Yup, you're right BlackSheep; smile and the world smiles with you!

Maybe not in northern France though. Where, according to this site, BT's blundering tentacles have even reached (zut alors!)

Though on a positive note, the Highlands & Islands are thankfully free of BT outages.  A hidden advantage of being a fibre-free zone - no issues with outages!

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kitz

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Re: Are BT throttling connections?
« Reply #65 on: December 14, 2014, 07:43:00 PM »

@pedro

Just a note on that graph, I was looking at that last night and laughing, because as soon as you zoom, it becomes vastly inaccurate.

It should actually show main areas London, also covering Leeds, Manchester & Cardiff, with a slight scattering in the Midlands, Glasgow. It did strike me that these are  practically all of the major nodes, so Im unsure how that relates to the current problem.  :-\

To show you what I mean I attach a copy of the original graph[1], and one where I zoomed out[2].  If I zoom out one step further, then it covers the whole world  :lol:

PS.

Even more interestingly I zoomed right in to see where that major splodge in London was coming from and its centered on Edgeware [3].   I'm thinking what the heck is at Edgeware.  Then I realised isnt that near as damn it to Colindale?     Those of us on a BTw connection coming from up north, will quite often see Colindale as one of the points where we come the main 21CN core to connect to our ISPs.  :hmm:
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kitz

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Re: Are BT throttling connections?
« Reply #66 on: December 14, 2014, 08:09:21 PM »

Christ almighty.  I just read their forum.   

God god, there they go again with all the useless tracerts and panicing like crazy because one of the core hops is slow to respond to ICMP pings.  Totally oblivious that the final hop is still completed in 12ms, which means that there is jack all wrong with the routing.

Im at a total loss for words,  how the hell are BT ever going to get any serious trouble-shooting done when there's numpties filling up the thread with tracerts thinking something is wrong, when the reality is everything is fine.

What a bleeding mess...   thank god Im with the ISP I am with, because someone would soon set them straight without being blasted as introducing FUD.   That is one thing at least even a PN rep would have stepped in long before this point.... and told them straight.

 :shoot: :wall: :shoot: :wall: :doh: :wall: :scare:
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kitz

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Re: Are BT throttling connections?
« Reply #67 on: December 14, 2014, 08:46:28 PM »

Quote
Yet the complaints of loss-of-service continue to flood in on BT's forums and twitter feed. Again, all ignored.

The forum is like one huge car crash :(

Quote
This is why BT is compared to some Soviet-era government department. It has that same arrogant,
bureaucratic mindset that treats the public (the cash-cow) with contempt.

To be fair some other ISPs are just as bad and some even worse.  Just glad Im not with them thats all I can say or I'd be teating my hair out.

Quote
at that time of the morning surely this can't be server- or network-loading problems:

No idea, Im sat here thinking what a god-damn mess.   

One over riding thing strikes me...  If it looks like a duck, smells like a duck and quacks like a duck, whilst it may not be a DNS_duck, it sure as hell will be related in some way to the DNS_duck.

My money is still on something DNS related, exactly what Im not sure, because they appear to be messing with the filtering of DNS traffic, which appears to be passing additional load on to their DNS servers. 
Theyve recently blacklisted a pile of new domains and if they are using DNS filtering to block traffic/parental controls, then something has gone wrong and putting additional strain on the DNS servers.   BT has at least 20 DNS servers and not all may be affected.
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simoncraddock

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Re: Are BT throttling connections?
« Reply #68 on: December 14, 2014, 08:59:22 PM »

I'm in a hotel in York for the night and happily  streaming video from my Plex server back home.  So that discounts the core network and I suspect it's some form of filtering gone wrong on the down stream only.
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NewtronStar

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Re: Are BT throttling connections?
« Reply #69 on: December 14, 2014, 10:30:31 PM »

I really don't see what all the fuss is and i'm using BT as SP and see no issues with slow web pages and can't find any issues apart from not living closer to the FTTC cabinet.

 
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pedro492

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Re: Are BT throttling connections?
« Reply #70 on: December 14, 2014, 11:04:53 PM »

The forum is like one huge car crash :(

Yeah, dreadful forum.  It's like no one owns it, it's rudderless as if there's no one in charge at home.  Just one user after another reporting faults.  And then there are the regulars saying that their connections are fine (so not to worry).  Infuriating.

That said, a user called sjonez has just injected some good analytical skills to diagnose the issues.   I see what you're saying kitz about the slow loading of a web page and missing 'page requisites' (images, etc) for ebay listings. And how that may be caused by delays in responding to DNS queries for the IP addresses of several different 'image' servers.

https://community.bt.com/t5/BT-Infinity-Speed-Connection/BT-Infinity-issues-for-the-last-few-days/m-p/1423452/highlight/true#M159531

Though gazza02, one of the users reporting those long web-page load times, and timeouts on web pages, has just followed sjonez's advice; by doing a Performance Analysis on the Network page of the Firefox diagnostic tools (F12)....



Unless I'm reading the diagram wrongly, it shows some huge delays (over 80 seconds) just to load a few (smallish) images to fulfil the prerequisites for a single tumblr.com web page.

Yet other images referenced in the same web-page, and retrieved from the very same servers (e.g. 38.media.tumblr.com) are loading in reasonable time (a few hundred ms).   Could that really be a DNS issue?   Wouldn't the DNS lookups for those servers be cached (requiring only one look-up).  If only for that one HTTP session?

Pretty weird problems these and weird that they seem to evade remedy.  I do find it bizarre, and worrying that BT, of all ISPs - with in theory one of the largest and best-skilled IT teams in the UK - still hasn't got the better of it.    Maybe it's just pre-Xmas blues - too many yuletide parties perhaps - everyone's rat-arsed at Beattie?!
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 11:21:34 PM by pedro492 »
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kitz

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Re: Are BT throttling connections?
« Reply #71 on: December 15, 2014, 12:11:34 AM »

Quote
a user called sjonez has just injected some good analytical skills to diagnose the issues.

Yes I noticed that just after I typed my last reply, and thought at last someone talking sense.  He put paid to the ICMP garbage and also came up with the DNS subdomain issues that can occur on some very large sites such as ebay and tumblr  :thumbs:

Quote
Unless I'm reading the diagram wrongly, it shows some huge delays (over 80 seconds) just to load a few (tiny) images to fulfil the request for a single tumblr.com web page.

Im reading it the same way.  1.5 mins to load a single 418 KB file :(

Quote
Wouldn't the DNS responses for those servers be cached at least during an HTTP session?

Yes youre correct, they should be.  They should be stored on the local machine, how long they last depends on the TTL by the server.  Ive just checked my DNS cache and it can be anything from a minute to hours.   I dont use tumblr, but I went there and checked my DNS cache again.   

Code: [Select]
tumblrprobes.cedexis.com
 ----------------------------------------
 Record Name . . . . . : tumblrprobes.cedexis.com
 Record Type . . . . . : 5
 Time To Live  . . . . : 1470
 Data Length . . . . . : 8
 Section . . . . . . . : Answer
 CNAME Record  . . . . : 2-01-2a40-0024.cdx.cedexis.net

1470 = 24.5 mins that it should remain in my local DNS cache.   Im guessing that in reality it may be 30 mins by the time I'd pulled up and scrolled through everything...  and strictly speaking to do a proper test I should have flushed my cache first so I didnt have a pile of rubbish in there.

Those long loading times on say 38.media.tumblr.com have got me scratching my head.  Like you say once an image has been loaded, then the IP should be retained in the local machine cache.  It doesnt make sense.  :shrug2:
 
That connection is running slow, whether that is a http issue or not I dont know - 200 GET is http. Even the 'faster' ones such as 284ms for 11.42KB.  In comparison, Ive pulled a 1174 KB file from tumlr in 14ms (which is about the same as my latency to london) so not sure how that works! - [Just realised it was a 304 GET which is why it was so fast.]  My average is about 17ms but I also had a file also from 38.media which took 206 ms which was only 40KB.

 :hmm:

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Quote
I also have this problem and have been on the phone to BT and used the messaging system and used @BTCare.
/snip/
After running Speedtests via BT, it things my line is fine (which it is) but realises that my wireless is running at 3MBS.
/snip/
It works great with a wire, but that defeats the point of a wireless router.

No wonder any decent chance of troubleshooting goes to pot :/
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HPsauce

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Re: Are BT throttling connections?
« Reply #72 on: December 16, 2014, 12:33:14 PM »

Interesting. I have noticed some of the behaviour described here on my PlusNet ADSL connection in recent days.
The worst site (though not the only one) for me has been the BBC as I use it quite a lot.
As of a few minutes ago I have switched to Google DNS to see how that behaves.

I'm not sure if PN would be affected by the same problem though, but given various comments I've seen re authentication etc. I suspect a lot more is common with BT than most ISPs.
I really don't know if my issues are relevant or not.
After switching to Google my symptoms changed and the slow/non-existent page loads largely stopped, but I still had problems with "some" parts (complex page content) of the BBC and others.

As of now everything is 100% OK, though I'm pretty sure it was still a bit iffy earlier this morning.  ???
Router has been up for 6 days, PC for 5 hours and Google DNS since my quoted post. Weird.

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pedro492

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Re: Are BT throttling connections?
« Reply #73 on: December 17, 2014, 03:57:47 PM »

I still had problems with "some" parts (complex page content) of the BBC and others.

The issues are definitely ongoing.  That one thread of complaints on the BT forum is now up to 53 pages.

http://community.bt.com/t5/BT-Infinity-Speed-Connection/BT-Infinity-issues-for-the-last-few-days/td-p/1420828/page/53

For example, I was reading ronski's thread on avforums.com last night, where he's documenting his impressive build of a cinema room; the thread is heavy with photographs. The page had to be reloaded many times just to get all or most of the photos downloaded.  This is what it looks like otherwise.  Missing images all over the show.  The whole thread isn't shown, but pretty much every other image in Ronski's thread was missing.



Not the end of the world but it makes some sites unusable. e.g. any site that has HTML buttons using images to explain what they are (most buttons use images);  when those images don't load, you have to try and guess or remember which buttons do what  :-\
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NewtronStar

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Re: Are BT throttling connections?
« Reply #74 on: December 17, 2014, 11:03:01 PM »

Again all tests were done and this BT ISP line seems to be unaffected from what you have described, yet I don't doubt the claims that other users are having this issue it's not the whole of the UK using BT as ISP that see this, so it could be a local problem IE BT area network  :-\

If I see these issues on my line I won't be behind the door and BT won't know what hit them, yet it's best for each user to find there own tolerance of a given ISP before they wage WAR  ;)
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