Telstra fixes US link issues

Repairs continuing to damaged Japan links

Fixes made to a core router in the United States have solved many of the browsing issues Telstra customers may have experienced when visiting websites based in the country over the past week and a half, according to the telco.

The issues, first noted on Monday 4 April, appeared to be derived from a US-based router that had struggled to cope with traffic loads.

An initial change made by engineers last week attempted to relieve traffic loads, pushing customers onto other routes out of the country. However, it appears not all customers were pushed onto “optimal” paths, reducing speed and introducing higher latency on connections to some websites.

According to one small business owner, who contacted Computerworld Australia, Telstra technicians weren’t aware earlier in the week why the initial fix had failed to solve the ongoing problem.

A second fix, scheduled earlier this week, aimed to finally resolve the ongoing issue.

“If this change is successful, then [Telstra engineers] will look to return all of the applicable peering traffic it is suppose to be handling back from the other three routers that are currently managing this traffic,” the Martin@Telstra account noted on the Whirlpool user forum.

A Telstra spokesperson confirmed via email to Computerworld Australia that the router changes had been successful, though engineers were continuing to monitor capacity.

Browsing issues were also blamed by some users on possible drops in capacity on international links as a result of the Japanese earthquake last month, and subsequent tsunami.

However, in an update posted on 16 March following the disaster, Telstra noted damages to at least two Japanese cable systems had “zero impact” on network capacity for end-users despite their use by Telstra for routing through the northern Pacific.

In clarifying, following direct correspondence between affected users and the office of Telstra chief executive, David Thodey, Martin said damages to the cable and another in the Pacific had exacerbated the router issues.

A Telstra spokesperson said some repairs would be made to the link between Japan and the United States this week, but full repairs would not be completed before mid-May.

“We have opened up additional capacity on other links to ensure capacity for our customers,” they said.

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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