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news.metronet.co.uk

rockradio
Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: 30-07-2007

news.metronet.co.uk

The news server has been getting very slow to respond the past few weeks and I now feel I have to post a message to see if anything can be done. I am using it for text only, not binaries. news.metronet.co.uk has always been on the slow side, but recently it times out when trying to view messages. Its very erractic. One minute it won't load messages, the next it is loading fine. Seems to change at random times and not just at peak times.
If anything can be done it would be very much appreciated.
Regards
Howard
15 REPLIES
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 13,161
Thanks: 930
Fixes: 77
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: news.metronet.co.uk

Hi there,
I think the Metronet news server is in the lower priority traffic queues due to the fact that it carries binaries. Can you connect to news.plus.net?
I'd be interested to see if you still have problems with that.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

rockradio
Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: news.metronet.co.uk

I used to be able to connect to news.plus.net up to about 3 weeks ago and it was a better server, but it is not available to me recently. That is why I am using news.metronet.co.uk again. Its seems unfair that people like me wanting to just read newsgroups have to take second place to binary traffic. After all, I only want a tiny little bit of bandwidth to read my text. I wouldn't dream of using metronet for binaries and signed up to Giganews when I wanted to download from binary groups. Apart from anything else the ISP news servers are too slow for binaries and don't allow more than one simutanious thread.
Anyway, having said all that, news.metronet.co.uk is fine at this moment, but it will become unusable again sometime today.
Regards
Howard
rockradio
Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: news.metronet.co.uk

Just totally failed again. This error message returned instantly (no waiting for timeout).
Configuration:
   Account: news.metronet.co.uk
   Server: news.metronet.co.uk
   Protocol: NNTP
   Port: 119
   Secure(SSL): 0
   Code: 80004005
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 13,161
Thanks: 930
Fixes: 77
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: news.metronet.co.uk

Perhaps we can look at altering the traffic classification. I believe the feed is rate limited at 128kbps anyway so there shouldn't be too much impact.
I'll have a word with our products team and see what they think.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

rockradio
Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: news.metronet.co.uk

Thank you. It certainly would be good to read the newsgroups again.
Regards
Howard
rockradio
Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: news.metronet.co.uk

Oh, its still so terrible. When you need it its impossible to read messages. Just blank screen as we wait and wait and wait and wait for the measly 500 bytes of text to download. I just want to read important info (to me) about various things and recently about sorting out problems with my satnav on uk.rec.gps. I am not asking much. I just want to read the newsgroups. Do I really have to go to Google groups. Afteral, the news server is part of the package I pay for!
Please give the text users priority. Binaries MUST come second in priority as they are not time sensitive. Finding out info and getting replies IS.
Regards
Howard
Community Gaffer
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Re: news.metronet.co.uk

Howard,
I did ask about increasing the priority of the Metronet news feed but the consensus was against doing this I'm afraid.
As you only use the servers for text access have you contemplated using a free text-only server like Motzarella? Ttaffic to that server would be in the gold queues.
Failing that, I might be able to have your IP address moved across to the PlusNet Giganews account (assuming it's static). In doing this though, you would lose access to news.metronet.co.uk and the rate-limited binary feed.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: news.metronet.co.uk

Bob, admittedly this thread is nothing to do with me... but as I see it, the OP is complaining about ridiculously slow speeds downloading very small amounts - the example given was a mere 500B. Surely even with a rate limit of 128Kbps and a low priority, one shouldn't expect to see that poor a service?
Community Gaffer
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Re: news.metronet.co.uk

If the OP can provide a Wireshark capture then I can look into this further. Sadly I cannot get access to the Metronet feed from a PN connection since the Giganews acquisition.
No Be3G, I wouldn't expect it to be that slow, but we are talking single feed, low priority traffic and we're close to the lighting of another segment.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

rockradio
Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: news.metronet.co.uk

I'm rather perplexed.  How can it be reasonable to give priority to those wanting to download hundreds of megabytes of data in binaries which is not time sensitive, above people wanting to read text messages requiring only a few kilobytes of data which is time sensitive. IE I am posting and reading in real time.
Bob, I do very much appreciate you trying to get them to increase the priority for text users (which should be the same as for email), but seems they do not appreciate the problem of the incredibly tiny amount of data that is needed for text based news.
I am not convinced its actually to do with allocation or prioity as news.metronet.co.uk appears to suddenly stop for no good reason and not at peak times. I think its got a fault, but who am I?
Thanks for trying anyway.
Regards
Howard
Community Gaffer
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Re: news.metronet.co.uk

Quote from: rockradio
Bob, I do very much appreciate you trying to get them to increase the priority for text users (which should be the same as for email), but seems they do not appreciate the problem of the incredibly tiny amount of data that is needed for text based news.

Howard, I think you're misunderstanding what I've said. Binary and text traffic from news.metronet.co.uk are prioritised in exactly the same way. When downloading binaries though, the chances are that you're doing so using more than one thread which can improve speeds. The profiling we apply is based on port and IP address. As this is the same regardless of what you're downloading then there's no way of differentiating between text and binaries. We either prioritise it all, or prioritise none of it.
This is why I suggested you sign up for a text-only news service or consider my offer to look at giving you access to news.plus.net. These services are all prioritised.
I've no reason to believe that there's any service wide issues with the Metronet news server. If you suspect there is then I'd raise a ticket containing a wireshark capture and we can take it from there.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

rockradio
Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: news.metronet.co.uk

I see. I thought a greater priority was being given to binary downloader's over text. Thanks for explaining. In that case there can only be two conclusions. The metronet news server is either faulty or overloaded with traffic. I don't think it is overloaded with traffic as it is sudden and brief when it falls over and when it does it just disappears completely like the server does not exist and that suggests to me a fault, rather than too much traffic. It often seems to suddenly pack up mid morning for 20 minutes then is fine again. At peak times it does get slow too, but usable with patience. Thanks for the offer of connecting me to news.plus.net. I had access to that up until a month ago and the reason all this trouble started was because I was forced back to the metronet server. Yes, I am on a fixed IP, but I am wary of changing anything on my connection for now so will try the Motzarella news server you suggested and see how it goes.
Just a thought, but if there was some way to separate binary and text use of the servers, it would overcome this problem of binary use making reading text messages slow. Perhaps blocking the binary groups on the text server. Then the same priority as email could be given to the text news server and it would be possible to read and reply to messages in near real time as with email. I'd suggest that text based news uses far less bandwidth than email as its all plain text, when email is almost always html and often with images and attachments and of course there is a lot more email traffic than text news use. Thanks for all your help.
rockradio
Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: news.metronet.co.uk

Since the posts earlier in year, I've signed up to a proper news server that I pay for (Giganews). However, there are still big problems reading text on news groups via my Metronet connection. At certain times of day (usually afternoon and evening) it is very slow and can take 30 seconds to read a header and often times out trying to download the text of the message. My overal connection is fine when using a web speed tester, so its not my connection. That can happliy download a 50MB podcast via the web within a minute or two.
When the news groups gets like this I have been resorting to using a dialup connection and then the news server downloads perfectly ok with no delays. Surely this can only mean a problem with Metronet and probably port thottling.
I'd appreciate it if someone could look into allowing proper access to news servers via Metronet.
Regards
Rockradio
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 13,161
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Re: news.metronet.co.uk

Giganews traffic will have very low priority on the network as they carry binary newsgroups. This will make access to their site and NNTP servers very slow at times.
Metronet outsource their news service to Giganews anyway. The only difference between the service you're getting at the moment and Metronet's service is the fact that we rate-limit traffic to 2 x 128kbps feeds. You'd not notice this if you're only using the service for text though.
Text-only services have priority on our network so you may well be better going with one of these. news.individual.net tends to come quite highly recommended.
Did you try Motzarella as that's free?
I can see if I can get you access to the PlusNet text server if you'd like?

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵