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Network gamers to blame

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UK cable operator Telewest has admitted that networking issues and insufficient capacity are behind the poor performance of some aspects of its broadband service, blueyonder.

Under pressure from network gamers, one of whom alerted The Register to the issue that has affected users for almost a month, Telewest has issued a statement to subscribers. This statement lays out the extent of the problems and promises a program of upgrades to fix the problem.

In the statement, Gary Jennings, of the Internet Operations division of blueyonder, said: "We are currently experiencing various issues with packet loss. This is affecting some aspects of the overall service, in particular it is affecting UDP [User Datagram Protocol] based applications such as gaming and real-time chat when the traffic to these services is passing through the areas affected."

Telewest spokesperson, Rachel Turner, said that it working hard to fix the problems, which she admitted were effecting some aspects of the service.

"We've identified issues which may mean that users experience some temporary interruption or slow down in speed. Telewest is working hard to resolve these issues," said Turner.

The worst affected by the problems are gamers, particularly in Croydon, where the presence of Telewest's news peering hub is putting a heavy load on network resources, but networking problems are affecting Telewest at a range of sites.

At the London Internet Exchange (LINX) packet loss at peak times is impacting service delivery. To address the issue Telewest is planning to upgrade from a 155Mbps to Gigabit link. It is also planning to upgrade its existing router on Friday.

Similar problems are effecting Telewest in the US and the telco has pledged to upgrade its equipment and increase the speed of links at switching centre Mae East before Christmas.

Meanwhile at Telewest's Woking base its news server is dropping packet due to the heavy load the news service is placing on its core router. To ease the load Telewest aims to move its news server from both Woking and LINX before Christmas.

blueyonder costs £33 per month and provides always on-access to the Internet through a cable modem at around 500Kbps. The service, which also experience 'teething troubles' when it was introduced in April, and there have been complaints about long waiting times for the service. ®

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