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Author Topic: BT network questions -- my routing  (Read 6178 times)

rireed3

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BT network questions -- my routing
« on: January 12, 2007, 09:59:50 PM »

The ADSL explanation here was really helpful, but the usuall BT - ISP fingerpointing has prompted me to try to better understand my tracert output.

I have a close to perfect connection on HomeMax to my exchange:  8128/448 and 12-14 db margin, steady 7150 profile.  At least I think so, since we lost the BT speedtester a month ago (I mean completely), but I monitor my connection for resyncs and leave the router off a lot.

In spite of this, my download speed since my connection in October has been about 75% of what I expect,  rarely above 6Mbps, 6.5 absolute max one time, usually 2.5 - 4.5 Mbps, sometimes below 2 at peak times, sometimes above 5 off peak.

After reading up here on the BT network, I'm pretty sure I am routed to the Ilford RAS.  I'm not sure whether my ISP, Namesco(NDO) uses BT Central Plus, but they might.  They have 3 155Mb pipes and 2 622 Mb pipes if I remember numbers I saw once.

Here is an example of my tracert:

Tracing route to samknows.com [80.77.246.42]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1   100 ms    99 ms    99 ms  dsldevice.lan [xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx]
  2    33 ms    22 ms    11 ms  namesco2-hg3.ilford.broadband.bt.net [217.41.200.74]
  3    13 ms    11 ms    14 ms  217.41.200.2
  4    12 ms    14 ms    13 ms  217.41.200.106
  5   146 ms   270 ms    36 ms  thn1-gi0-3-3.namesco.net [195.7.254.2]
  6    15 ms    15 ms    15 ms  lonap1.enta.net [193.203.5.134]
and some more to samknows

Questions:
1.
Am I right that hop 2 is the router entering one of Namesco's central pipes?  Recently, some gamers got switched to faster pipes and for them this hop changed to a different first name component.

2.
Does Namesco(NDO) have control over the router at hop 2, even though it's owned by BT?

3.
All the hop 2's I've seen on NDO forums have 'ilford' in the second part of the name.  Is it likely that all the NDO central pipes come from the Ilford RAS?

4.
I have tried the procedure for finding the RAS I'm routed to (http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/RAS.htm).  I can login to speedtest@speedtest_domain and I can load the speedtester front page, but tracert and ping to the either IP always fail.  Is there any other IP available to tracert when logged in to the speedtest domain?

5.
Our loss of the BT performance tester (the one which made the speedtest_domain unnecessary)  appears to be a routing problem at the Ilford RAS.  If I switched ISPs but still went to Ilford, might I be using different equipment and dodge the  speedtester routing problem?  If so I have some hope of getting better performance.

Any help greatly appreciated.  More detail gladly provided if necessary.

Thanks,
Richard
« Last Edit: January 13, 2007, 05:08:21 PM by rireed3 »
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roseway

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Re: BT network questions -- my routing
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2007, 08:16:46 AM »

Hi Richard, welcome to the forum.

Unfortunately the person who can probably help with your questions is unavoidably absent at present, and I've got no knowledge at all on this subject. Hopefully she'll be back soon.

Eric
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rireed3

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Re: BT network questions -- my routing
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2007, 12:31:09 PM »

Thanks Eric.

I just found an answer for me on question 4, finding my RAS when speedtest_domain tracert doesn't work.

The recent Speedtouch routers keep 'Event Logs' accessible from the router browser page under Speedtouch>Event Logs.

When the router logs onto the RAS I get this entry

PPP CHAP Receive challenge (rhost = ERX12.Ilford4).

I also saw a post for getting such a log for Netgear routers on ThinkBroadband, but some seem to be having trouble getting that to work.  Here's a link:

http://bbs.adslguide.org.uk/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=btsupplier&Number=2849102&page=0&view=expanded&sb=5&o=0&fpart=

Richard
« Last Edit: January 13, 2007, 05:05:29 PM by rireed3 »
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mr_chris

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Re: BT network questions -- my routing
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2007, 07:34:15 PM »

Cool - that just worked for me on 3.01.25 firmware :D

rcvd [CHAP Challenge id=0x1 <d333554446eb06622de2af1df7558c48>, name = "ESR3.Manchester5"]
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Chris

kitz

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Re: BT network questions -- my routing
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2007, 02:38:55 PM »

Hi and welcome :)


>>  my download speed since my connection in October has been about 75% of what I expect,  rarely above 6Mbps, 6.5 absolute max one time, usually 2.5 - 4.5 Mbps, sometimes below 2 at peak times, sometimes above 5 off peak.

Sounds typical of exchange contention.  Seen exactly the same thing myself despite being on a very short line with ideal stats.  The only times I can get over 6Mb is during off peak which has been confirmed by doing BTw speedtests.
What you are experiencing during peak periods is what BTw class as acceptable performance :/
http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/acceptablespeeds.htm

>> Am I right that hop 2 is the router entering one of Namesco's central pipes?

I could be wrong but looking at hop 2 shows BTw routing - Own ISP centrals normally totally mask all the BT routing from view.
A lookup on 217.41.200.74 shows it being owned by BT-MIDBAND, which is normally part of the BT backhaul services.

Hop 3 + 4 is also BT owned.

Hop 5 is entering your ISPs own network - which indicate to me that is TeleHouse North at London docklands, (where many ISPs who have their own centrals PoP would be).
Aside from ISPs having their own centrals or using Central Plus - iirc theres 2 flavours of Central Plus, one of which allows an ISP a bit more flexibilty in routing..  its possible that your ISP is using this?  Id need to do a bit more reading and checking but unfort I dont have the time to do so right now.

[edit and update] ISP is using non l2tp centrals - see post below[/edit]

>> Does Namesco(NDO) have control over the router at hop 2, even though it's owned by BT?

No

>> Is it likely that all the NDO central pipes come from the Ilford RAS?

They could come in from various points - depends what arrangements they have with BT and how many PoPs they have.  Most medium sized ISPs have more than 1 for resiliancy.
I would not expect all of their customers own connections to terminate on the Ilford RAS under any circumstances..  therefore its possible that some of the BT routing is still hidden for other users.. therefore once again leading me to guess at them using type 2 central plus?  However its unusual for ISPs to use central plus and own their own centrals.
The only people who would really know for sure which product they use is your ISP and BTw.

>> but tracert and ping to the either IP always fail.

Something Ive noticed myself recently on my own RAS..  BT now seem to be making some of them unpingable :(

>> Our loss of the BT performance tester

curious - are you able to get them using the IP addresses?
« Last Edit: February 04, 2007, 03:17:17 AM by kitz »
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rireed3

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Re: BT network questions -- my routing
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2007, 09:01:00 PM »

Hi Kitz,

Thanks for all that.  About the BT speedtester, I just started a migration partly because of that issue (the main reason was to see if switching to IDNet would get me a faster route or IDNet was less contended themselves).  I've been fighting with Namesco(NDO) tech support since 27 December after the tester went away more than two weeks previously.  Using the IP didn't help, and the tracert stopped before the namesco.net hop.

About 3 hours after I got my MAC code and gave it to IDNet today,  the '3rd line support' who had responded once on 4 January announced that all the Namesco pipes would be fixed for the BT speedtester within two hours.  And mine has been  :D , although it's too busy just now.

On the RAS question, I hope you saw my post two replies back.  I found that Speedtouch and Netgear routers log the CHAP login to the RAS.  Thanks for confirming that BT have silenced RAS's to ping and tracert.

I guess I'll begin to see what's what on Thursday or so when I'm on IDNet.  My exchange has been marked 'green' twice in a row now, and I've seen others on 'red's doing better.

Thanks again,
Richard
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kitz

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Re: BT network questions -- my routing
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2007, 04:43:36 AM »

Update on this Richard.

It would seem that as of 9am on 26th of Jan - I too am no longer able to access the old style BTw speedtester. 

The last time I was able to access it was in the early hours of Thurs 25th.

I can still log in to the speedtest domain .. but trying to access the speedtest on 217.32.105.42 just sits there and does nothing.

Ive noticed a couple of other people since say the same thing - so it may be that BT are withdrawing the speedtester on a RAS by RAS basis? :(


-----------

Oh and something else - regarding your routing which shows

  33 ms    22 ms    11 ms  namesco2-hg3.ilford.broadband.bt.net [217.41.200.74]
etc

Ive been doing a bit of asking around and it would would appear that your ISP is probably using old "BT Managed" Centrals.
Most IPStream ISPs since around 2003 seem to use L2TP centrals (either 155/622 Mb) which actually hide the BTw part of the routing.

However when I asked about yours... the info I was given was

155Mb Classic Central which is BT managed and the ISP only needs to provide the rack space for the NTE (hop3). Hop 2 is the BT FER (Front End Router) which is at the BT end of the STM-1 circuit. Hop 1 is one of 3 HGs that BT manage which terminate the L2TP sessions.

.. and if you are still using them and don't need to do anything clever you may as well stick with the managed option as it's the same install/rental cost and you don't need to buy any L2TP kit yourself


[Thanks phil]
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rireed3

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Re: BT network questions -- my routing
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2007, 10:53:17 PM »

Excellent information!   It helps to know people, I guess.

I finally decided to migrate and am now on IDNet, where I have a much better feeling about ISP support.

It hasn't helped my throughput a lot yet, although there is some hope, but this brings up a few things.

- Namesco(NDO) has grown very fast through agressive pricing.  I think this has put a strain on this arrangement with BT managing their pipes, and this is reflected in their support.
- Even so, Namesco are a pretty good ISP.
- Congestion on BT is my problem, proved without exchange speed testing by switching ISPs!  IDNet will help as much as they can, but if this doesn't get better generally, how will BTw sell ADSL2+ next year to any ISP with users on their equipment?  :thumbdown:

Thanks,
Richard
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havelock

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Re: BT network questions -- my routing
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2007, 12:10:07 AM »

From friends I have on IDNET, reports indicate they do have good CS, I believe they used to be buisness customers only.

With regards to exchnage contention rireed, BT will struggle to provide this service, at least untill the infrastructure for 21CN is in place properly. From speculation and experience it will be far cheaper for ISP's to buy exchange space with the big LLU providers such as Be who have aready invested in the exchange equipment. I strongly suspect BT will lose a fairly susbstantial share of their broadband buisness over the next few years, especially with cable trialling 100Mbit broadband and the already fairly low profit margin on broadband.

And the BTW speedtester is definately dead - Today it was redirecting from the IP to a partially completed replica of the performance tester tool. Makes it kinda hard to nail down when exchange contention is at fault or whether it's your ISP.
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kitz

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Re: BT network questions -- my routing
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2007, 12:41:19 PM »

Yeah Ive been trying to do a bit of digging/playing with the btw tester and see how far you can get with it.

>> IP to a partially completed replica of the performance tester tool.

By that I presume you mean like in attachment1 which I got the other day.

I also did a bit more "playing" and I found that I make the performance tester to say that I needed to log in to the isp bttesteruser domain to complete more tests. (tap2 i think they called it).

Only for some reason once I had logged in to the startup domain the test sat there and did nothing. and it seemed like the bttestuser domain wasnt even working for me.
(attach2)

I also managed to get the performance tester to say I needed to log into the speedtest domain (tap3)..  but when I did that I got an error message ... so its quite dead atm

[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: January 30, 2007, 12:42:56 PM by kitz »
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kitz

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Re: BT network questions -- my routing
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2007, 05:19:12 AM »

Hi Richard

Meant to update this thread the other day,
I was playing with the BTw performance tester the other morning trying to find a bit more about how it worked and trying to get to the speedtester via test 3 (tap3).  I didnt write up about what I found cause a lot of it was inconclusive aside from the fact it would appear that a java applet which runs in a top frame checks your phone no/connection against what must a central DB and is able to remember certain information (ie its not cookie based) so it cant easily be fooled.

But the news I meant to type in here is that on Friday morning I was able to sucessfully complete an old style speedtest using http://217.32.105.42

It was pure co-incidence that I noticed it was available again. Exactly when it came back up again I dont know - it wasnt working on thurs..  but by 9:04 am it was back up and running again.

Its available both via the speedtest domain and via ISP login.

screen cap below

[cross reference for readers]
Theres also some more BTw speedtest routing info here


[attachment deleted by admin]
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