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Comcast, level 3 communications, and slow web response

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Comcast, level 3 communications, and slow web response

Hi Everyone,

First let me point out that I'm not nearly as technically astute as most of you obviously are.  This posting will probably be full of errors and missing info, so I apologize up front for any of that.  If more/different info is needed, let me know.


I'm near Manchester NH.   For the last two weeks I've noticed a huge slowdown in web response.  I have a copy of VisualRoute 13.1 and use this to check on the sites giving me trouble and it seems that whenever there's a bottlenet, packet losses start to increase when Comcast routes its signals to Level 3 Communications nodes.  From there, performance declines through multiple Level 3 nodes.  Then there's a jump to a Level 3 Node in Broomfield CO regardless of where the other servers are. This is where the packet loss is usually the highest, and there's always a jump to that node when things go into the dumper.


From Broomfield the trace goes to the ISP of the site I'm trying to connect to.  At that point packet loss starts to drop until it's 0 at the site.


That's the most sense I can make out of the VisualRoute traces, anyway.


Now I realize this is "Cybermonday" and traffic is expected to be high, especially after 11:00am EST when the folks on the west coast start to go online at 8:00am PST.  Sure enough it's gotten worse.  But the problem I've described above has been pretty constant to a lesser degree and I often have to stop my browser and press "Reload" a few times to try to get a faster connection.  Sometimes that works, sometimes not.  


I see other people adding their "modem parameters" to their posts, so here are mine:


RF Parameters

Freq/Power:              615.000 MHz     1 dBmV      
Signal to Noise Ratio:  37 dB      
Modulation:               QAM256     

Freq/Power:              32.200 MHz     45 dBmV      
Channel Type:           DOCSIS 2.0 (ATDMA)     
Symbol Rate:            5120 kSym/sec     
Modulation:              QAM32      

System Uptime:          40 days 2h:7m:28s
Computers Detected:   1
CM Status:                Telephony-AC Power Iso OFF Reg Complete
WAN Isolation:           OFF-Access to WAN is allowed
Time and Date:          MON NOV 30 11:58:06 2009

Interface Parameters
Interface Name     Provisioned         State     Speed        MAC address
LAN                    Enabled              UP         100 (Full)    00-13-11-F6-7F-EC
CABLE                 Enabled              UP         ----           00-13-11-F6-7F-ED
USB                    Enabled              DOWN     12             00-13-11-F6-7F-EF
MTA                   passWithWarnings UP         ----           00-13-11-F6-7F-EE




And here are the HW/SW versions:


System:     ARRIS DOCSIS 2.0 / PacketCable 1.0 Touchstone Telephony Modem HW_REV: 32
VENDOR: Arris Interactive, L.L.C.
BOOTR: 5.01
SW_REV: 6.1.51I
Product Type:    00000000 050e3982
Product Release:    00000020
Flash Part:    MBM29LV320BE
Download Revision:    2
Firmware Revision:    6.1.51I
Battery Charger FW Rev:    01.60

Firmware Build and Revisions
Firmware Name:    TS060151I_061909_MODEL_4_5
Firmware Build Time:     Fri Jun 19 18:13:40 EDT 2009



I also see that other people include "Traceroute" information.  Here's a typical trace with VisualRoute, trying to connect to  Note that is the Level 3 server Broomfield CO


Step Losses    IP                 Node Name

2     10    -                                               
3  -                                               
13  30               
14  20               
15  30                
16  20            
17  40                          
18  20               
?           ...            -                                               

Well, that's about it, a pretty typical listing of things that happen here when internet response is very slow.  Is the info I've provided overkill, or is other info needed?


Thanks for your time,

Big Al Mintaka

Message Edited by AlanMintaka on 11-30-2009 01:04 PM

Re: Comcast, level 3 communications, and slow web response

Your modem's stats are good at that moment but that is only one short lived snapshot in time. If the figures are remaining relatively stable then it doesn't seem to be a connection quality issue. Are you using a flavor of Windows ? If so, can you please provide some traces to sites that seem slow using the built in Windows Tracert tool as examples ?

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Silver Problem Solver

Re: Comcast, level 3 communications, and slow web response

I am duplicating your Level 3 losses and the losses at cyberverse flint-sackett, and I never reach the monoprice site.  Is the site down?


Can you contact the webmmaster of the site you are trying to reach (monoprice) and get them to troubleshoot the issue for you? 


Re: Comcast, level 3 communications, and slow web response


It turns out there are problems at monoprice too.  I do have this problem with other sites but in this case monoprice has made things even worse.


This morning they posted a banner message saying there would be delays in shipping because they were in the process of moving to a new warehouse.


Later they said they had to perform emergency maintenance from 10:00am - 10:10am PST to resolve "constant problems with our ordering page" or something like that.  They weren't back up by 10:15am PST so I stopped trying.


Now it's about 7:00pm EST, 4:00pm PST.  The banner message on their website now reads:


"Due to the heavy order volume, we are experiencing delays on fulfilling most of the orders. We are temporarily unable to accept any new orders with expedited guaranteed shipping options at this time until further notice. We are doing our best to ship out all the orders ASAP. We truly apologize for the delay and any inconvenience this may cause you."


This could be a combination of problems including the fact that it's "CyberMonday" and buying volume is high everywhere.   I don't believe the "new warehouse" story, but that's just my opinion.


I'm not going to use monoprice to troubleshoot the other problems I was having.  Too many variables with them.


UPDATE 7:00pm EST.  I was able to complete an order with monoprice, though I had to reload the ordering pages many times.  If you haven't already, give them a try now.


Have a good one,

Big Al Mintaka


Message Edited by AlanMintaka on 11-30-2009 07:18 PM
Silver Problem Solver

Re: Comcast, level 3 communications, and slow web response

not familiar with VisualTrace, does the trace you posted show that you lost 10 packets on the first hop out of your house? 

It would be interesting to see a post of a trace to yahoo and perhaps one to another site that you are having an issue with.

Also be nice to see an extended ping to that first IP address in your visual trace from above.