Routers start to forget the net

forget-it-forget-me-1962(1)The worldwide web is slowing down as routers start to forget about some parts of the internet.

Internet speeds are slowing and some sites would not load because Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing tables have hit the limit, and older routers are failing.

Many tier-one internet service providers (ISPs), and in turn, the last mile ISPs they support are providing bad service throughout the US and some parts of Canada.

Level 3, AT&T, Cogent, Sprint, Verizon, and others have suffered from serious performance problems at various times on yesterday and it is likely to get worse.

Some Web hosting companies, such as LiquidWeb, and its sites have been effectively knocked offline.

BGP is the routing protocol used to share the master routes, or map, of the internet. Some routers have to process 512K routes which is much more than they were designed to handle. Some old hardware and software is just crashing or ignore newly learned routes in protest.

Internet engineers knew this problem was coming was early as May and predicted that something unpleasant was going to hit the fan in August. In fact, they were lucky that it did peak in August as most of Europe is closed.

It is strange that the telcos did not heed the warning, rush out, and buy some newer routers. Apparently, they were too busy fiddling or something. So it looks like telcos and ISPs are having to call their engineers back off their hols to fix the problem. However, it does mean that the internet is going to be rubbish for a couple of weeks.