Announcement: November 27th, 2001

Hello all,

Last Wednesday, the 21st of November, we conducted a conference call with a few people from Rogers Cable management. The call lasted a little over an hour, running from roughly 5:15 PM EST until 6:20 PM. I was only able to attend until 6:05 PM. We originally had only 3 issues on the agenda, but 3 additional ones were discussed briefly on the call. Most of the call was devoted to DHCP issues, along with some of the mail issues.
Following below is the original agenda and our questions, followed by the items that were actually discussed and the answers that were provided.

  1. "major DHCP issues resulting from the @Home->@Rogers transition"
    • what is causing these problems?
    • what measures are being taken to prevent them from occurring in the future?
    • can you provide a rough estimate as to when these problems will be solved?
    • is the management of DHCP being done solely through the hardware addresses of subscribers' network interface cards?
    • if so, how long are the hardware addresses cached for?
    • does anyone at Rogers have to manually key in or edit subscribers' hardware addresses, or is this always done automatically?

  2. "details involving mail and news server transition"
    • will subscribers be able to send and receive e-mail from a non-Rogers IP address with the new system?
    • what sort of file transfer limits will be imposed on e-mail (e.g. @Home has a 5 megabyte [including overhead] limit)?
    • what sort of file transfer limits, if any, will be imposed on the news servers?
    • will any newsgroups be blocked from the newsfeed, like how @Home currently has things?

  3. "some ex-Shaw regions are still very problematic"
    • what is behind these (apparently brand new) problems?
    • if it's a bandwidth issue, what is causing the additional traffic load?
    • what is being done to alleviate these problems?
    • can you provide a rough estimate as to when these problems will be solved?
    • what is being communicated to subscribers in these regions, if anything?

RBUA Conference Call with Rogers

RBUA Attendees: Chris Weisdorf, Rob Borek, Wojtek Zlobicki, Vivien Milat, Bryan Samis

Rogers Attendees: Nancy Cottenden, Dermot O'Carroll, Albert Kim

Time: 5:15PM ­ 6:20PM

  1. Tech Support Busy Signals
    • Increase in call centre support personnel to deal with extra call volume during changeover

  2. DHCP Issues
    • No customer impacting DHCP outages in two days
    • Some problems initially with switchover
    • Most large problems have been resolved, still stamping bugs and glitches out of system
    • New DHCP assigns 7 day leases, renewed daily
    • If host doesn’t renew DHCP after about 6 days, MAC cache will be flushed,
    • allowing subscribers to plug other computers- such as laptops- into their cablemodems without first calling customer support
    • All customer transitions to new DHCP was completed earlier this week (with the exception of LANCity modem users)
    • LANCity modem users will be transitioned during network cutover (no date provided, but we'd guess on or before this Friday, November 30th)
    • Some areas had trouble with DHCP due to @Home hardcoding parameters in CMTS (cablemodem termination system, or headend cablemodem) devices -- had to be reconfigured manually and led to DHCP outages for some areas
    • DHCP now binds your lease to your MAC / hardware address. Until a more efficient system is put in place (in the future), if you change the computer you’ve plugged into your Rogers service or change your network card, you’ll need to call support to have them enter the new MAC address for you. This will be automated and not require any customer or support intervention in the future.

  3. New Mail/News Information
    • New mail servers will be web accessible ­- send and receive mail online
    • No external (non-Rogers IP address) POP3 access will be allowed at launch, may be considered in future
    • Max incoming message size of 5MB
    • Currently no outgoing limits
    • Currently no news server transfer limits
    • Currently no newsgroups are blocked or filtered (full newsfeed), however this may change in the future

  4. Performance Issues in Ex-Shaw areas
    • After we reported this issue to Rogers, they investigated CMTS loading and found that no CMTS devices in effected areas were overloaded, however, distribution of customers across line cards in CMTS devices was unbalanced -­ Rogers is working to correct the issue
    • Problem also caused by old cable plants and other infrastructure in these areas. Rogers is initiating a complete rebuild of the networks in these areas, using 755MHz and “fibre to the feeder” technology
    • DOCSIS rollout in areas may help situation -- 100% DOCSIS deployment by February

  5. Reported Speed Decreases
    • RBUA has gotten reports of speed decreases across the board over the last few weeks, incorrectly identified by some subscribers as speed capping
    • Rogers unaware of any problem that could be causing this ­- will investigate
    • New OC-48 to Buffalo turned up at beginning of month ­- now three in total (7.5Gbps capacity)
    • Overall traffic on Rogers network has increased 40% recently

  6. New Backbone/Network Info
    • No cut over from @Home backbone yet
    • No date in sight for cut-over
    • Rogers has backup transit link to Teleglobe
    • Rogers also negotiating private peering arrangements with Canadian and American ISPs

Things that were not discussed, simply because we didn't know about them at the time, were the news server and outgoing mail problems.

As many of you have reported over the past few days, binary retention and propagation on the Rogers news server is at or near zero. Yes, the Rogers transition site says that retention is supposed to be 72 hours, but that is definitely not true at the moment. We don't have any info on this so far, but anything forthcoming from Rogers will be reported.

Also, as many of you have reported since about Thursday or Friday of last week, you are only able to send e-mail through the Rogers SMTP (outgoing mail) servers if the "From:" e-mail header contains a address. This is in stark contrast to how @Home runs things at the moment, where you're able to send any outgoing mail you like, through as many external accounts as you like, so long as you're on a Rogers@Home IP address. Many of us make use of multiple non-Rogers/@Home e-mail accounts, so the ability to use Rogers's new SMTP server for outgoing mail is a must. I have already brought this up with Dermot O'Carroll, Rogers Cable's Senior VP of Network Engineering and Operations, and he told me that this will be corrected ASAP. Forget everything you've heard from customer support, in the newsgroups and even our forums. This is the only true info out there on this. It will be corrected sometime. I still don't know when, so if additional information is disclosed by Rogers on this topic, I will be sure to make another announcement.

Lastly, this conference call with Rogers was not a substitute for a face-to-face meeting with Rogers management. We will be having another one of those sometime soon. No date has been set yet, but it's definitely in the works.


Chris Weisdorf

President and Technical Director,

Residential Broadband Users' Association

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