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Bufferbloat problem (latency related). Recognising it for what it is and possible ways to solve it.

Hello,

I would like to bring into your attention the issue of "Bufferbloat". Hopefully your technical team is already aware of that.

Bufferbloat is an issue that was discovered back in 2011 (but actually has existed for many years) and results in high latency (lag) for internet users. If you google it you'll find all necessary info. Here's a link I found very informative on the issue:

https://gettys.wordpress.com/bufferbloat-faq/


The internet community actively encourages people to test their hardware for Bufferbloat, so I followed their advice and found out that my router (the Netgear CG3100D-2 Cable modem) is affected as well. The tool I used is this:

http://www.dslreports.com/speedtest

 
There is only so much I can do on my own to help alleviate the problem, since I'm not in a position to update the router's firmware. So the best I could do was to bring this matter to your attention.


If your routers'/modems' OS are Linux based then I think that the solution could be as simple as updating to a more recent Linux kernel. You'd have to confirm with your engineers of course.
I think that the "CoDel" solution must have been implemented into ALL Linux kernels following version 3.5:

https://www.linux.com/news/software/linux-kernel/609480-after-7-release-candidates-linux-35-makes-it...


Obviously the performance of your users' home modems would probably benefit even more from an update to the LATEST Linux kernel (version 4.3 is soon to be released) since there are network-related fixes that have recently trickled into the kernel code and can have a dramatic impact on the network:

http://bitsup.blogspot.com.au/2015/09/thanks-google-tcp-team-for-open-source.html


I understand that this is a LOT to take in at once, but I felt compelled to share this bit of knowledge.
I care very much about latency, I really do. I hope you and the rest of your customers do as well. Take that from a user that uses to Skype with his family back in Europe. Every milisecond we can shave off is HUGE.


If you investigate further into the Bufferbloat issue you'll find out that there is lots of performance to be unlocked from the current hardware. Also, if anyone has ever complained to you for latency or line congestion that leads to apparent loss of connection, etc (gamers come to mind), looking into solving the Bufferbloat issue on the user's end could be a great place to start.

I will not even touch on the issue of security fixes (another of the benefits from updating the modems' software to the latest kernels).



Here's to hoping that your technical team is already looking into these issues and there is a MAJOR rollout of firmware fixes for end users' modems in the works. If not, it's never too late!


Kind regards,
Thanasi

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Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Bufferbloat problem (latency related). Recognising it for what it is and possible ways to sol...

Hi Thanasi, 

 

Thanks for bringing this to our attention.  I have passed this onto our development team to look into further.

 

- Ben 

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