Tag Archives: ISP

Still lying through their teeth…

In an incident yesterday in Reading, a downed router on BT’s network took out 9,000 homes. If you believe the press release.

If you actually check however, you’ll find that BT has once again lied. Plus.net’s user graph (remember that Plus.net is a BT subsiduary?) alone shows a drop of nearly 25,000 users.

How does a nationwide broadband and telephony provider in this day and age allowed to get away with such a crap non-resilient network design and still be handed the sole country-wide monopoly?

BT lying again (update)

So it seems I was right, given that this morning once again the entire of Northern Ireland, Scotland and parts of England all lost their broadband connections again. Except this time BT is blaming an unnamed hardware vendor for the issue, again at the Edinburgh datacentre.

Imagine the broadband access for the entire of California, of even just a large city like New York going out for hours on end. There would be a senate hearing on the cause, loss of manhours for businesses and public outrage. In the UK… our government just gives the incumbent telco some more money and a tells them to try and not do it again.

BT lying again

There was an overnight outage where BT’s Edinburgh datacentre lost power. Now bearing in mind that the BRAS’s in this datacentre service pretty much the entire of Northern Ireland and Scotland, and parts of the North of England, why would they claim that only 20,000 homes were affected?

My workplace specializes in providing DSL to businesses in Northern Ireland, and I know for a fact that every single one of them was down aside from a small of handful of lines that we have in England. These are lines spread across the entire province, from Belfast to Derry. None of my neighbors had working broadband either, except for the two that were using Sky LLU. My Dad didn’t and he’s on Plusnet, many miles from where I live.

20,000 homes is about an 8th of the numbers of homes in Belfast alone, never mind across Northern Ireland, Scotland, or the North of England. Why won’t BT admit to the real number of homes affected? Because then people might realize how utterly incompetent they are to design such a widely used and relied upon system to be able to be take down nearly half the country because of a supposed power outage in a single location (which in a properly built datacentre, should be nearly impossible).

BT – Liars and idiots. Can someone remind me again why we gave these people the telecoms monopoly?

DoS Fail

Just how dumb are BT Wholesale?

They tried to requote us for their 21CN broadband platform, assuming we take it in London as they wanted to charge us 50p per meter all the way from Manchester to Belfast (totaling some £250k). After carefully examining our current installation they decided that we should replace our pair of 34Mb pipes with a single pipe containing:

  • 20 users on 24Mb ADSL sharing just 1Mb of bandwidth.
  • All other users sharing 30Mb of bandwidth on old 20CN 8Mb ADSL.
  • Added in enhanced care for all users at £8 a go.
  • Forgot monthly broadband line rental charges at £7.90 a go.
  • Will charge us for bandwidth across the 21CN network, plus charges for 3km of fibre across the London Docklands and we have to provide the BRAS – but yet they still have the balls to charge us £24k a year just for the privilege of doing business with the almighty BT Wholesale. Seriously, noone can explain what this charge is for given that they have separate charges for both bandwidth and fibre.

When I entered the correct figures into their shitty little price sheet, added in all the things they forgot, it came to a whopping £26 per user before any profit margin is added.

By comparison, Be/Fluidata is charging a non-recurring £3k to setup a simple crossconnect in any London Telehouse, and then all we pay are simple line charges depending on the product used, the average one of which is £16 per month.

It’s quite clear that BT Wholesale is not interested in providing any sort of service to other service providers. The ridiculous ordering/faults system, the outright denial of clear area-wide faults and now these ridiculous and quite arbitrary charges for access to their so-called 21st Century Network that still doesn’t properly support IPv6 are all very telling.

BT Fail :: Part 2

A new level of fail from our friends at BT Wholesale. They have actually willingly provided proof that they do not read fault reports the first time around:

Yes.. that is a grand total of 43 seconds from reporting the fault to BT Wholesale rejecting it. This was even reported via KBD, which lets you confirm that the user has already attempted to replace his router, cables, filters and even tried from the test socket. 43 seconds is not enough time for most people to type that long-winded reply about SFI appointments, let alone for BT to run the necessary diagnostics to determine if there is a fault or not.

At my place of work we have suspected that BT was doing this for a long time as all too often, and 9 times out of 10 blatently obvious faults are rejected with the message “not due to a network fault”. Now I have a handful of faults, some where it was customer some, but some where there was genuine faults such as the DSLAM being faulty where BT has denied anything being wrong and cleared the fault in less than a minute.

ISP fined $32 million for helping sell illegal fake goods

In this article, it’s reported that Louis Vuitton – a fashion designer – has sued and won $32 million US from an ISP, Akanoc Solutions Inc, which hosted a customer who was selling forged Louis Vuitton products.

This has caused uproar in the ISP community as at first glance it appears as though the ISP in question is being held responsable for the acts of it’s customers, but really they are simply being held responsable for refusing to act against a customer who was involved in an illegal practice.

The court documents detail how Louis Vuitton notified the ISP no less than 15 times – giving them ample opportunity and evidence to terminate the customer. Instead the ISP allowed that customer to juggles his sites around on different domain names and IP addresses and continue to sell the fake goods. The ISP was found guilty because they were complacent in allowing a customer to use their service to break the law. They tried to claim safe harbour under the DMCA act, however here we are exactly 2 years after the initial filing and the websites listed in the initial claim are still operating in Akanoc IP space.

It’s a tricky line for ISPs to cross. In my day to day work, I receive notices of copyright infringement from the MPAA/RIAA every week – but how are we supposed to act? We do not have the technology to actively monitor accused customers as the equipment required ranges into the tens of thousands to the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The MPAA/RIAA provide scant evidence – evidence which has been shown in the past to be very, very incorrect at times. We do what we can under UK law, notify the customer that we have received an infringement notice and notify the MPAA/RIAA that the customer has been warned.

The UK government wants to make deep packet inspection boxes mandatory for all ISPs, without regard to the cost  (which will cripple any medium-to-small service provider, if not put them out of business) and on top of that they appear to think that these boxes can log everything and anything regardless of software or encryption – there isn’t a DPI box yet which can monitor Second Life traffic… but that’s what the UK government is expecting ISPs to do.

However, this is missing a key point in this case in California: The ISP in question was provided with verifiable evidence that thier customer was selling fake, knockoff and illegal goods – and they declined to act on it (and in fact are still declining to act upon it to this day). Other ISPs spend a great deal of time and money ensuring that they are reacting to spam issues and hacked servers being used to host fake paypal logins. Akanoc Solutions Inc. took an active decision in deciding to not enforce their rights to terminate an obviously fraudulent customer and allowed them to continue in their business. They deserve everything they got.

Dealing with DMCA notices in the UK

As I work in a ISP, I (unfortunately) have to deal with the abuse mailbox. And unfortuantely, these means responding to DMCA notices from US companies. How do you deal with a copyright infringement happening on your network, but when the holder is in the US and trying to apply US law?

DISCLAIMER: I am not a solicitor.

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