Tag Archives: ISP

Supplying customers with what they want.

A few months ago, I asked an internet provider,Timico, with which I have a co-location server with if they would supply IPv6 on their network. They told me there were currently no plans to implement it. OK, fine, I’ll use another method, Tunnelling. This is fine, there was a way around the problem, and everything worked fine.

Today, however there was a BBC Article explaining that IPv4 was going to run out soon. well, this isn’t news to me, but reading further into the article, there was news. From the BBC Article: “Unless more ISPs and others start to adopt IPv6 those delays could start to hit general web browsing, fears Mr Davies.” Now. Mr. Davies is Trefor Davies, the Technical Director for Timico. Hold on a moment. Timico told me they had no plans for IPv6. so what’s he talking about?

I have done a small amount of digging, and on Trefor’s personal blog, on the 25th February (only a few weeks after I was told that there were no plans to implement) he said that IPv6 is almost running on the Timico core network. So, why is it not available to their customers, and why have they delayed it this much. I have been using IPv6 for some time now, long before my blog stream started. To start with it was Tunnelled and now I have Native at home, though I’m still Tunnelled at the office, mostly due to some firewall restrictions.

Anyway, My problem with this is that Trefor is quoted saying that people need to move to IPv6, well, they do, but why should he be saying this when the ISP that he is a director of, does not offer it to their customers. My Chosen ISP at home (AAISP) does offer IPv6, they also offer it tunnelled or native, and have done so for a very long time. I have emailed Trefor, and Hopefully he can let in some light about his comments and why he thinks he should be able to say what people should be using when he doesn’t offer what he says they should.

possible updates depending on Trefors response. :-)

Becomming a Communications Provider because of the DEB

I am no longer a “Subscriber” to the internet. I am instead a “Communications Provider” but, what does this mean?

Well, it means I provide some form of Communications to other people at no cost to them and with no contract. In my case I offer Open Public Wifi access for free. It has users using it, and all woks well. I have also made my ISP aware that I am a Communications Provider (infact, it was their idea). There are a number of reasons to do this, the biggest is just to prove how stupid laws can be. The New DEB pretty much makes you guilty of downloading before you’ve even thought about doing it but only as a “Subscriber” (which I now am not). Now, I haven’t downloaded music or video’s, etc for many years. and neither have I bought any. The thought of going to the shop to buy a disk with music on when I’ve not heard any of it and don’t know if I will like it is ludicrous. 5 years ago I downloaded music, if I liked it I went and bought it, if I didn’t like it I quietly discarded it, I don’t really see anything wrong with this. would you go and buy a car without test driving it? would you buy a house without viewing it? no, you wouldn’t. Anyway, I don’t agree with a “guilty until proven innocent” and I dislike being declared “Guilty” on an assumption. I have a network with 10 PC’s why do you think it’s me that’s downloading? could be any of the other people. It is for this reason that I have moved to be a Communications Provider.

I don’t intend on doing any downloading, and maybe I’m making myself automatically guilty by putting myself down as a Communications Provider, but they’re going to have to really prove that *I* was doing the downloading. Given I host public access wifi, good luck with that one. What I’m actually doing is sticking up my middle finger at Labour, and showing them why the law doesn’t work, and why they shouldn’t rush these things through just because there’s an election going on. There’s more important things to worry about.

I think what annoys me the most about this whole thing is the Music Industry, By which I mean the record labels, think they’re losing money, well the artists I saw complaining about people downloading had such shite music I wouldn’t even use it to wipe the dogs arse with. The artists that appears to agree that downloading music could be OK if you could some how monitor it, or limit it, and that it was “The way of the future” are the ones that have good music. The pattern, ah, that’s right, if you write good music people will pay you anyway, if you’re shit people wont. I’m betting everyone that downloaded the music of the complaining artist probably quickly discarded it straight after.

Anyway, back to the point, there are ways around the DEB, and I’m only mentioning one of them here. I’m not the only one doing this, and some ISP’s are advising people do. keep in-mind that an ISP isn’t going to want to send you letters telling you they’re going to disconnect your internet, this would be complete corporate suicide. I advise anyone that can to put themselves down as a Communications Provider, and show the government what’s wrong with their system. Note you can be a Communications Provider even if you just offer the internet to anyone in your own house that is not the “subscriber”, you don’t have to open a network up for public access.

A Gift from an ISP!

How many different ISP’s are there in the UK? – too many, really. However, There’s some very very bad ones, and there is also some very very good ones. I chose my ISP for many reasons, one of which was not cost. I am happy to pay extra for a better service, and a better service is what I have. There’s many things they do right, they enjoy doing it, and at least most of their customers are incredibly greatful for the quality of service they give.

Anyway, I got home from work today, and hanging in my letterbox was a package from my ISP (AAISP) I open it up, and they have sent me a gift, it is possibly common, or at least, was 10 years ago to send customers tea coasters in the form of a CD for their latest software (AOL). My gift is still a tea coaster, however it is actually a tea coaster, and not a CD. here’s what it looks like.

dscf1347

Well, I’m happy with my gift, partly because now I won’t get mug-rings on my desk anymore, and partly because of the comment written on it, which is very true, and why I don’t use NAT (if you don’t know how a network works, you probably have NAT!).

So this is to say Thanks to Adrian and the team at Andrews & Arnold.

(so you know, it is Laser engraved Welsh Slate)

UK Internet with BT 21CN

Well, I’ve not posted for a while. and there’s good reason too. I’m always a big fan of Technology, the way it’s moving and what it brings with it. The Internet is one of those things that has been moving relatively rapidly (though maybe not so much for the normal home-user). However with my ISP, I do get to test some nice connections (sometimes) and connect to test networks, with test routers and so on. I even run a router that I have written a bit of code for, so that I can run my IPv6, VPN links, Fail-over connections & some customised routes (including a tunnel system to have IPv6 on my laptop no matter where I am in the world).

Anyway, For those that don’t know, In the UK most of the lines are supplied by BT, This means if you want internet you can choose any supplier you want, but many of them will be using BT lines to your house, and BT equipment to hook it all up. This, however isn’t too bad, or rather, Wasn’t. BT have been rolling out their 21CN network, which I am connected to, this is supposed to be next generation ADSL, when it was first installed, it was OK, and around a month ago it became unusable. My ISP (AAISP) has been attacking BT regarding this problem, and I’m not alone with the problem, there seemed to be a number of people on my exchange that had the same problem. this is what I get on my line:

Jason Line Graph

The Green bars (going up) ar latency on the line, the higher that bar, the slower things are to respond.
The Red bars (going down) are loss on the line – the lower this bar the less things that get to you
The White is a line disconnect
and the green dots are download (from the internet), and reddish-brown is upload (to the internet)

As you can see, if I tried to download anything I got latency (went slow) packet loss (things just didn’t get to me) and line drops. not to mention my download speek was around 50K if I was lucky on a 4mb line. BT have access to these graphs, and persisted for a very long time that there was nothing wrong with the line. Anyway, a couple of nights ago, they admitted there was a problem, and nailed it down to a Cisco IOS bug in some of their routers, and they did some test work on my exchange / BRAS last night, this took them around 45 minutes and all of a sudden my line was alot better. and I could download at my full speed.

This problem with BT (along with a few others) that seem to show just how incompetent BT are at times has pushed my ISP to look into otherĀ  wholesale LLU providers, as an extra option on the BT infrustructure. Although I’m not exactly a fan of some LLU providers from what I’ve seen of BT, could they possibly be worse? probably not.

just to note: this isn’t the case that this problem existed, I can deal with that, technology has it’s problems. What I can’t deal with, is companies like BT that have sole control over fixing them, saying there isn’t a problem when they have been given the evidence to show that there is a problem.

I will be looking forward to the FTTC rollout, and will be testing it. Lets hope BT can do a better job with that than they have done with 21CN

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edit:
BT Have finally fixed my line (actually they did this last week) and everything has been working again, and of-course I’m getting my full download-speeds again. still – I’m waiting for FTTC and my ISP have signed up for Be* LLU wholesale – so I may switch to this to get away from BT for a short while. – This turned out to not be a bug in the code, but they had over filled the pipes from Basingstoke…. Thanks BT, Nice going…

There’s no place like ::1

With the move of house, comes a lot of other movements of technology. At the old place, I was on Virgin Media’s Broadband, Although I did not have any problems with them, I do know people that had more than their fair share. I think in the course of 2 years my line went down for a total of 2 minutes, and I think that’s fairly acceptable. However, it lacks on some features. Dynamic IPv4 address (and only 1) means I had to write some rather complex scripts, due to my server blocking SSH access from anywhere unless it’s a “Known Location”. These locations normally consist of my place of work, my place of home, and my parents houses for when I visit them.

Although IPv4 is being exhausted, many people are still using it, in fact, pretty much everyone on the Internet is using IPv4 in one way or another. For me, my new connection has a /28 mask of address’s, call me selfish, but this does give all my machines external IP’s, and then I’m NAT-ing Wifi connections, because they don’t need external address’s. It also has Native IPv6 on the new line. there is still very much a case of “No one’s using IPv6 so we don’t support it” and also “many things still don’t support it, so I don’t have IPv6″. In my 2 years working at Dyalog, I have moved our internal systems to IPv6, and so far 50% of our servers are on IPv6. The interpreter received it’s required changes to support IPv6 in version 12, and some of these will be improved in 12.1, and this improvement will most likely be on-going.

So, to IPv6, and who supports it? well, Google have had IPv6 work going on for a long time now, and you have been able to access http://ipv6.google.com to run your web searches. however they only resolve www.google.com as an IPv6 address if your ISP has registered with them. I can understand this to some extent, but on the other hand, it might hold things back, as there’s alot of people beating their ISP’s to IPv6 with Tunneling over IPv4. Google here have proved that a move to IPv6 can be done without too much effort, providing you can release resources into the change, and you have a good firewall, Remember NAT is not a firewall.

What about ISP’s, what are they doing about IPv6? well Andrews and Arnold seem to be among the few ISP’s offering native IPv6 in the UK, I believe there is currently no more than 3 ISP’s offering such service. Why? maybe they don’t see the point because not many sites are using it yet. Well, here’s some news, every site I run, has IPv6, that is my personal sites and company sites, Google also have IPv6. so what are we waiting for?

Consumer devices is where my attention is grabbed, Can you name a single off-the-shelf Consumer grade router / modem that supports IPv6? I can not. and I can’t see someone at home spending thousands on Cisco gear to have IPv6. My solution to this was to buy a consumer-grade Asus WL-500gp router, and flash it’s firmware with Linux. This now gives me IPv6, along with IP4 and IP6 firewalls that I am personally comfortable with configuring.

Maybe the big problem here with ISP’s supporting IPv6 is that the consumer devices do not yet support such a thing, this means it is completely pointless having the ISP’s support it. IPv6 is moving forwards, and in the last year or 2 there has been some very big movements. unfortunately, these movements are no going fast enough, and until consumer devices support IPv6 this movement will be on a slow trickle. we only need one or two big ISP’s to start supporting IPv6 in the UK for it to take off like a rocket over here, so maybe this is a cry to the manufacturers of the consumer devices to support IPv6 so the ISP’s can also support it.

Get on the IPv6 bandwagon, this is a vote for IPv6 move forward.