[Bloat] Bufferbloat related censorship at Virgin Media

Dave Taht dave.taht at gmail.com
Sun Mar 1 18:28:35 EST 2015

I have put this on a blog post, and my g+ also, here, and submitted
the story to slashdot and reddit. How I spend my sunday afternoons
these days!

The linky version:

or g+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/107942175615993706558/posts/E1yMgbWW81C

--snip snip--

To whom it may concern at Virgin Media:

My IP address is apparently now banned from accessing your site at
all, for "advertising", on this thread:


Believe me, I understand the degree to which advertising pollutes the
internet. And certainly, given the brevity of my post, you could
assume that I was just some random guy, selling snake oil. Nothing
could be further from the truth. Admittedly, it was a short message,
it was kind of late, and I was in a hurry, being that I have so many
other networks to help fix. To clarify matters:

I am the co-founder of the bufferbloat project, and I like to think, a
world-wide acknowledged expert on the topic on this thread.

In particular, I worked pretty hard on part of the DOCSIS 3.1
standard, which was ratified years ago, and has a specific section on
it regarding technologies that can help fix *half* your bufferbloat


I admit to some frustration as to how long it is taking DOCSIS 3.1 to roll out.

The cablelabs study that led up to the AQM component in the 3.1
standard - in which I participated and am cited in, is here:


And while I continue to favor fq_codel as the best solution for low
and medium bandwidths - I have no problem with you somehow, soon,
getting DOCSIS-pie out the door.

If you continue to exist in denial of what your own R&D department for
your own industry is saying, ghu help you! After giving this talk at
uknof, the premier conference for network operators in the UK:


*over two years ago*, I met with 6+ technical members of Virgin
Media's staff, who all agreed they had a problem, understood what it
was, and grokked the various means to fix it. Judging from the
enthusiasm in the room, I figured you'd be rolling out fixes by now,
but was wrong.

A rather human readable explanation of what has gone into the pending
3.1  standard is in the IETF internet draft here:


Sadly, just DOCSIS-pie rolling out on the modems is not enough - you
have to somehow, yourselves, fix the dramatic overbuffering on the
CMTS side, as shown here:


These downlink problems have been discussed thoroughly on the
bufferbloat.net bloat and the ietf aqm mailing lists, and rather than
point at direct links I would encourage more people to join the
discussions there, and browse the archives.

As I have seen no visible progress on the CMTS front yet...

The best way to fix bufferbloat for your suffering customers *now*, is
 to help them - and your customer service departments - recognise the
problem when it occurs and propose sane ways to fix it with stuff
available off the shelf which includes the free firmware upgrades
distributed by openwrt, or nearly any linux derived product and by the
products available downstream from those.

I have no financial interest in *free firmware*. I'm just trying to
fix bufferbloat on a billion+ devices and nearly every network in the
world as fast as humanly possible. Furthermore, me and a whole bunch
of Internet luminaries gave the theory and code away for *free* also,
in the hope that by doing so that might more quickly get the megacorps
of the world to adopt them and make the quality of experience of
internet access for billions of users of the world vastly better.

Fixing bufferbloat was a 50 year old network research problem, now
solved, with great joy, thoroughly, by some of the best minds in the
business, and the answers are now so simple as to fit into a few
hundred lines of code, easy to configure for end-users and easily
embeddible in your own devices and networks if only you would get on
the stick about it.

We have provided the code, are in the standardization process, and
provided free tools to diagnose and fix your epidemic bufferbloat
accurately on every kind of device you have.

Two examples of fixing bufferbloat on cablemodems:



And the *free* tool designed not only to accurately measure
bufferbloat, but one that you can setup internally to test your
networks and devices for it privately and quietly and then fix them
with, is here:


So, now, a rant:

Now, if me pointing a customer of yours that has correctly identified
the root cause of his own problems, at the solutions both available
now, and pending, is considered "advertising", then there really is an
orwellian mixup between the definition of that word, and the truth, on
your side of the water.

Please, unblock my dtaht account and unblock my IP, and allow in
better information about how customers of yours can solve the
incredibly serious, and incredibly epidemic problem of bufferbloat.

... A problem that is now easy to solve with cheap gear now all over
the market so that all your customers suffering can fix it for
themselves if they so choose.

And: I would like a public apology for blocking me, and a clear
statement from Virgin, as to how, when, and where, they will begin to
roll out their own fixes to bufferbloat across their subscriber base.
And perhaps, you could publish some guidelines - like accurate
up/download settings to use - to help your customers fix your problems
for themselves.


Dave Taht
Co-founder, bufferbloat.net

Dave Täht
Let's make wifi fast, less jittery and reliable again!


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