* Posts by Carl Thomas

26 posts • joined 26 Oct 2007

EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday

Carl Thomas

Great to see such a resilient network in place that a single fibre break can have such widespread consequences.

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Ofcom to BT Openreach: From now on, you'd better kill 70% of gremlins within 2 days

Carl Thomas

FTTP - see Verizon, JT, etc

Who knows, maybe if Openreach had deployed FTTP on their own tab seriously rather than it looking more like a moderately sized trial they'd have less of that aged copper to maintain.

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Psst. We've got 400Gb/s Ethernet working - but don't tell anyone

Carl Thomas

Way ahead of the access layer

With half the country stuck on 76Mb or less for the foreseeable, and certainly no more than maybe 100Mb in prospect for years, it'll be interesting to see how backbone traffic increases.

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Ministry of Fun builds crack team to juice up bumpkin broadband

Carl Thomas

Re: Wot about townies?

Yes - zero and the cynic was completely wrong. No copper is being replaced with fibre by FTTC as the dial tone for voice services still comes from the exchange as POTS in all the products available so far.

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Brussels blesses British BDUK broadband boost blurt

Carl Thomas

Well

Certainly another nice boost for the BT pension fund.

The rollout was anti-competitive enough with the variety of concessions Ofcom gave without having public money added.

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Virgin Media blames Activision for Call of Duty lag problems

Carl Thomas
Thumb Up

Perfectly Accurate Virgin Are Worst For Gaming

Officially - the same Ofcom stats that Virgin trumpet as proof they have the fastest downloads also show they have the worst jitter among their peers.

That's the bit they don't like to talk about so much. :)

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Virgin Media introduces P2P throttling

Carl Thomas

Usenet Throttling

How would they shape Usenet over SSL?

From the point of view of identifying it it's really not hard.

'Oh look, someone has 10 SSL connections to news.giganews.com. I wonder what those could be?'

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Virgin Media set-top box modder gets 5 years

Carl Thomas

@Stuart Castle

DOCSIS 3 is nothing to do with the TV service. The keys used to encrypt the content are changed every few seconds. These are different from 'master' keys stored on the cards themselves. These are used to decrypt the keys needed to get at the content.

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Carl Thomas

Reasonable Doubt

Reasonable doubt, or lack of Mr Anonymous. Without that you'd never get anyone prosecuted unless they were caught in the act.

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Virgin Media to demo 200Mb/s broadband tomorrow

Carl Thomas

Not Fibre To Home

It's not fibre to the home, it's using DOCSIS 3 with no downstream bandwidth limit, 4 x 50Mbit channels bonded = 200Mbit.

Of course you need to be the only person in your area doing anything download related to get the full 200Mbit at the moment :)

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BT could jack up line charges to fill pensions hole

Carl Thomas

Seems Reasonable

Seems quite reasonable to me for BT to increase prices if their own costs of operating have increased. It's what most other companies would do in this situation if their prices were not regulated. Unbundling will still be pretty cheap.

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Broadband tax of £6 per year to fund rural fibre rollout

Carl Thomas

@W

The government take of GDP in the UK is around 39%. If Londoners are producing on average a GDP of 30,385GBP we are net contributors even with that higher public money allowance, producing government take of 11850.15 per capita.

Scotland with its' estimated 19,152 GDP gives a government take of 7469.28 per capita.

So you were right it's not just about GDP per capita, according to your figures each Londoner's economic output subsidises the public purse to the tune of 2,102GBP while each Scot is a net beneficiary to the tune of 2161 GBP.

Given Greater London's population and ignoring everything else such as commuters from outside Greater London who work here, etc, Londoners subsidise to the tune of a shade under 15.8 billion a year which offsets Scotland's 11.17 billion deficit with a bit of change.

If you guys fancy paying an extra 2000 quid for every man woman and child in tax per year to maintain expenditure as it is by offsetting this that's your prerogative.

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Carl Thomas

Few Things

@Andus this is an additional 50p/mth tax on all landlines.

@Various anonymous posters, it's not about the amount it's the principle. This is not following the Australian model and improving services for everyone, it's about at most 30% of the population who will benefit from 100% of the population paying to improve their services.

Also read the thread, it's not about increasing broadband availability or about providing at least 2Mbps to everywhere, it's about increasing that 2Mbps to 'next generation' speeds.

This will not benefit everyone, won't benefit any more than 30% of the population infact, and is a very direct subsidy.

Last people claiming that rural users subsidise urban ones, you don't. BT have lower costs in urban areas which is why urban areas get things earlier and BT are entitled to charge less due to these lower costs. You also do not subsidise LLU options in any way, where LLU is available in more remote areas it is subsidised by urban areas and backhauls chained from them.

Natural resources wise of course cities consume more than they might provide, in basically every other way they are the engine of the economy, that's a simple fact. The South East of England (specifically mentioned) could exist without relying on the rest of the country, paying market rates for water, electricity, etc, the rest of the country would seriously be harmed financially by losing the South East.

Name GDP percapita

Greater London £30,385

South East £22,624

East £20,524

Scotland £19,152

Also the South East and London area is the most densely populated and easiest to wire part of the country by some way on a regional basis - the South East is more densely populated than Japan at 419 people per sq km, compare this with Scotland's 65 people per sq km and it's not rocket science to understand why coverage is as it is.

A more shocking story to be honest is that London doesn't have fibre to the home to any scale given that it has a higher population density than most cities and at 4,758 people per sq km isn't that far off such places as Tokyo.

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Carl Thomas

Laughable

Can't say I'm overjoyed at the idea of my taxes being used to fund a broadband USO, however to have them used to delivery next generation services to the arse end of nowhere gets up my nose in no uncertain terms.

Presumably next will be a tax to get a metro/underground network to every town and city after all it can't be fair that I have one close to me here, I just chose to live in the city and give up all the things someone in the sticks takes for granted like space and clean air in return for these conveniences. Silly of me really could have it both ways once Labour tax my backside.

I guess removing the business rate on fibre optics in ducting to stimulate a fibre optic rollout isn't going to happen, Gordon enjoys raiding our collective pockets far too much to actually drop a tax to improve services.

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Virgin Media to battle modem hackers

Carl Thomas
Paris Hilton

@Anonymous Coward

So Virgin can either rewrite the IOS on their CMTS, or they can use an external device which rewrites the MPEG frames on the downstream, along with sending someone to a cabinet to selectively introduce noise..... or they could just diss each leg and see when the modem in question goes offline, which is what they do.

Introducing noise downstream will increment the T4 counter on the modem, so you'd need to be continuously polling the modem via SNMP - not doable if the hacker has removed your SNMP access as often happens with hacked firmware, there is no OSS channel on DOCSIS you have to read MIBs to get information from modems. You'd have to block and block then the CMTS would queue up a load of station maintenance requests and fire those at the modem, you'd have to mess with those as well - this would require messing with IOS or using an EQAM and data diddling both of which would introduce timing issues and make the whole lot no longer DOCSIS compliant risking effecting legitimate subscribers on the entire downstream or EQAM, far more effect than simply dissing a node.

Paris - as while it's of course in theory doable, as rightly said we control everything, it's seriously not practical, just like her!

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Carl Thomas
Flame

Re: Wondering

If BPI+ were actually implemented and working properly on the VM network these modems wouldn't be getting online in the first place. MAC address and key pair would only match properly on the original modem unless the device were a 'perfect clone' with the RSA key pair stolen as well, however that requires physical access to a modem.

Large swathes of the VM network do not have BPI+ implemented, and even where it is it does not appear to be mandatory so hackers just switch it off.

From my own:

AMBIT Euro DOCSIS 2.0 Cable Modem

DOCSIS operating mode = DOCSIS 1.0

BPI Baseline Privacy Enabled = False

BPI2 Privacy enabled = False

They still however have the cheek to switch off customers' SNMP access to their own modems for 'performance reasons'...

The fire icon, as that's hopefully what this article has set under VM's security people to get them to stop messing around with datacentre stuff and sort the cable network out.

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Carl Thomas
Flame

TDMA...

The modems have timeslots allocated to them based on when they request data, the CMTS notes which modems have requested data and provides them with a data grant at a certain time which the CMTS then carries out via a downstream broadcast, the MAP.

Introducing noise to a modem's timeslot will *not* knock the modem offline, it'll just retransmit, and as I said you cannot force a modem to request timeslots, nor can you arrange for when the modem will transmit without causing issues for other modems.

Modems carry out periodic maintenance, however even introducing noise to this won't be effective, the modem will retry and a counter will increment, but what use is noting a counter incrementing and what does this tell you about the modem, it remains just a MAC address?

TDR is pointless, cable modems have a timing offset anyway, however all this tells you best case is to within a small area how much fibre and coax there is between CMTS and modem.

Sadly there is only one way to reliably find the evil people, via which CMTS card they are on, and from there disconnecting the HFC network at hardware level a leg at a time and observing if the modem goes offline or not can trace down to which tap the evil person is on, from there going through the taps one at a time.

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Tiscali shares suspended on titsup fears

Carl Thomas
Thumb Up

Gutted

I am deeply moved by this. Who would have thought a crap ISP whose sole selling point is that they are really cheap would have run into trouble considering how tight the average UK broadband punter is with their cash?

Another pile crap high, sell crap cheap ISP, the biggest of the lot could be going, fantastic.

Sorry to all those people who might find themselves having to pay more for broadband internet and telephone than 4 pints in a London local now.

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BT wins pricing control over faster broadband

Carl Thomas
Flame

Well I Got A Question Through

Q. Do Ofcom have any plans to encourage infrastructure competition in the UK rather than retail / resell competition only? I'd be interested in how BT and Ofcom call 40Mbps 'super-fast' while other countries are deploying 100Mbit and 1Gbit.

From @ignitionnet

A. The plans we have set out today on superfast broadband ensure that there is scope for wholesale competition - which will offer flexibility and scope for innovation as well as ensuring that there is scope for further infrastructure upstream should companies wish to invest in competition of this kind. It's important to keep both forms of competition available as we believe both will be important to a successful superfast broadband market in the UK. While the next steps will see much higher data rates, around 50mbps, we expect to see development beyond that in the future to higher speeds.

You know we're in a fantastic state when Ofcom are kissing up to BT over offering 40Mbps while various other places are merrily rolling out more than double that speed.

BT Openreach need to be split from Wholesale / Retail, we may actually see a company more interested in infrastructure than shareholders. This is the company offering a measly 1.5 billion on 'super fast' broadband while happy to piss away more than that in a futile attempt to prop up this laughably run company's share price through share buybacks and dividends.

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Virgin puts 'legal P2P' plans on ice

Carl Thomas
Paris Hilton

Haha P2P

P2Ping on a service with a 30:1 download:upload ratio on the shiny new product, that'd have worked.

Paris - for trying to monetise P2P while forgetting the uploading part of the equation.

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BT shares tumble on £340m Global Services bill

Carl Thomas

Total Shambles

Just think, wasn't that many years ago this company was one of the 20 largest in the world by market value.

Complete and utter cockup of incredible proportions.

I say borrowing and pissing another billion away on share buybacks is clearly the way forward. Getting the company into more debt and throwing it at the shareholders should work.

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BT opens wallet to send fibre to the home

Carl Thomas
Paris Hilton

@Mike

It's surprising any of us pay for our broadband as your rural town is apparently subsiding us townies, and presumably the rest of your rural area as well.

Get the bug out of your arse over the M25 'chastity belt' cities get this stuff first because it makes the most economic sense, not out of the kindness of BT's heart. Urban areas are more densely populated, tend to have bigger exchanges, and get these services first simply because that's for BT where the *profit* is.

BT seem to think that urban areas subsidise market towns and the like. Pity you have the bug in your backside that you subsidise everything and everyone in the rest of the country.

Without the 'townie' rollout you aren't getting this at all, without the 'townie' rollout you wouldn't have gotten DSL when you did. Get over it just as I get over paying far more for housing and most goods than you along with having smaller living space and being in a more compact area.

Paris, because she's heavily subsidised.

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Ofcom flashes cash guarantees at BT for fibre investment

Carl Thomas

Interesting..

Ofcom imply no unbundling to be required, as you'd hope, but a strong wholesale model. Probably just as well considering that some ISPs wanted BT to lay individual fibres from each exchange to each home so that they could physically unbundle, something no-one else in the world has done.

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Darling admits Revenue loss of 25 million personal records

Carl Thomas

Good To See The Electronic Era Has Hit HMRC

So they burn the stuff to CD / DVD and mail it...

VPN? Electronic transfer?

Why weren't these details strongly encrypted?

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Virgin Media stops the rot

Carl Thomas
Alert

Minor Error

*Virgin confirmed the next stage of efforts to further differentiate itself by ramping maximum downloads speeds up to 50Mb/s in 2008. Further down the line it's reviewing an implementation of DOCSIS 3, a newer cable standard, which is capable of downloads in the hundreds of megabits per second.*

Well no, they need to implement DOCSIS 3 before they can increase speeds to 50Mbit/s as the current kit won't do it.

Considering this is the same cable operator that say they are bandwidth limited at the moment and so can't do HD, and DOCSIS 3 needs the equivalent bandwidth on the cable to 12+ HD channels I wouldn't hold my breath.

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British computer society blunders on BCC

Carl Thomas

BCS - Truly Modern

I have fond memories of a nice chat with the BCS regarding them being completely out of touch with IT in general, their 'exams' being a total waste of time, and my amusement at them equating several years of experience with 3 years at University boozing it up and learning irrelevant rubbish.

I must confess bitterness, I was looking into BCS membership to carry over to another country when emmigrating, however being a network engineer sadly my database and management skills were a bit lacking so no point taking their exams.

The fact they have questions about the basics of everything in IT, pointless for a job but clearly relevant to them, in their exams but don't know how to send email amuses.

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