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Plusnet's default routing , a bad policy and dangerous

richardg8jvm
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: 06-11-2015

Plusnet's default routing , a bad policy and dangerous

Hi

As everyone is aware the current threat level for international terrorism in the UK is severe.

so whats that got to do with Plusnet's routing policy 

A lot

due to the problems I've been having with my broadband I've been using one of the NS tools "traceroute" a lot to investigate where the problems are.

and what I've found is disturbing, PN's default route appears to be straight down to Telehouse in London, the trunk cluster of routers.

I've checked routes to organisations in the North of England and Scotland and they all go via London.

Not very logical as you are adding time to the data route, as well as doubling traffic between Sheffield and London.

The whole principle of having ip addresses is to make routing simple.

There are good high speed trunks between the urban areas of Yorkshire and Manchester, why go via London.

Putting the default routing via Telehouse is a major security issue, I suspect this may well be a mindless issue forced by

BT the owners of PN , but surely someone apart from me has realised that a well positioned explosive device or even a suicide bomber at the Telehouse trunk router would render the internet in the UK pretty useless until standby routes kick in.

I suspect many of the speed issues repeatedly reported by customers would disappear if more direct routing was used.

No doubt this will be read by someone in the "DOUGHNUT" , it may even get read by someone in PN to investigate their data routing. It may even get the network section of PN to realise the quickest and shortest route to Manchester from Sheffield is not via London

 

Richard

8 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Plusnet's default routing , a bad policy and dangerous

Most Plusnet customer broadband traffic doesn't go via Sheffield.

DS
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Re: Plusnet's default routing , a bad policy and dangerous

On the subject of Telehouse...

The building itself isn't (or wasn't years ago) identified, it's a very secure building, at the time when I was there 98% of the UK's internet went through it.

(Not defending the building or the owners. Should anyone wish to know how I now or why I was there - I should have been there for 2 weeks installing switchgear but ended up being in there for 12 months during their 2000 refit/extension/expansion/modification).

MrSilver
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Registered: 05-10-2016

Re: Plusnet's default routing , a bad policy and dangerous

Not sure its the default route? Who knows what alternative routes they have. Seeing as pretty much the whole of the internet peers in Telehouse you'd kind of expect a lot to go via there.

Just did a trace to virgin.com and it went via Slough and not via Telehouse.

tesco.com and asda.co..uk went via faraday.ukcore.bt.net not Telehouse

microsoft.co.uk and netflix doesnt have telehouse in its trace.

so not very default route?

 

You do also know plusnet doesn't manage your data from the exchanges, and doesnt bring all the data back to Sheffield? 

Even if they did I dont think it would make much difference to speed anyway, wherever you breakout in the uk if you want to say play BF1 you go via their peering in... Telehouse. So if BT take the traffic to london or plusnet invest in many metro nodes to route the traffic all themselves isn't going to make any real difference here.  If I ping a server in london I'm getting approx 7-8ms on FTTC, if I ping a server over in Netherlands it is only adding 4-5ms more, so even if you could break your traffic out earlier its not going to save much latency or effect your speed if I can get to .nl in 4ms

 

 

I am pretty sure someone has thought of telehouse as a part of the UKs critical national infrastructure and has thought about how to stop a lone suicide bomber blowing it all up. Telehouse itself is multiple buildings. LINX at Telehouse itself has over 12TB/sec capacity highlighting how many different people provide access to their services via telehouse

 

Would the ISP industry design such a reliance on Telehouse today if it was starting from scratch? Doubt it. Is it a bad and dangerous policy to go to telehouse to get traffic where everyone else provides this though.. not really.

Plusnet used to peer with Level3, that caused no end of routing problems with them taking traffic via the US etc, sure things still get glitches but its been much better over the past year or so.

richardg8jvm
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: 06-11-2015

Re: Plusnet's default routing , a bad policy and dangerous

Its still folly to shove everything through, there is not really any building that is secure if someone is determined enough

to get in to it..

And everything from here goes through lo0.central10.psb-bng04.plus.net and then down to London

MrSilver
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Re: Plusnet's default routing , a bad policy and dangerous


richardg8jvm wrote:

 

And everything from here goes through lo0.central10.psb-bng04.plus.net and then down to London


not really.. the BNX0X are the gateways, there are lots of them, reboot your router and you will be on a different one. so if it gets lets  say a power failure you will pop up on another gateway, so wouldn't fall into the bad policy or dangerous category, or even single point of failure as you would reconnect straight away again.

richardg8jvm
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: 06-11-2015

Re: Plusnet's default routing , a bad policy and dangerous

If  I reboot it goes to the same gateway everytime.

So it not different every time. and all routing for me go down thru London, I'm aware that telehouse is not one building as well , hence the use of the phrase telehouse router cluster

Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Plusnet's default routing , a bad policy and dangerous

Yes, they're all in London. I think psb = Plusnet South Bank and pcn = Plusnet Colindale.

If you're that concerned, you ought to have your own backup connection.

22over7
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Registered: 07-04-2016

Re: Plusnet's default routing , a bad policy and dangerous

Very interesting.  When routing was first thought about, there were various things like the Cuban missile crisis going on (ICBWrong), and the number one concern was fault tolerance.  Nowadays, our number one concern seems to be hoovering up everbody's browsing habits, and storing them for a year.  It strikes me these concerns are pretty challenging to reconcile. Still, I'm sure Plusnet's network engineers are more than up to the task, and Seagate etc are rubbing their hands. 

I'm in Edinburgh. My ping to Thinkbroadband is usually 23msec (down a couple from 2 years ago).