My recent AT&T IP routing odyssey

I’m convinced that every tech company contains a handful of engineers and technicians who know their product; every other employee helps create layers that prevent customers from speaking with them. AT&T is no different. I have a couple Miami-based clients who were unable to see their own websites (hosted in Orlando) when using their AT&T DSL Internet connections. Their traceroute results revealed that their packets were being dropped by AT&T, rather than being routed to Level3. Their packets never left AT&T’s network.

Twice I contacted AT&T’s DSL support department without success. One support person suggested that AT&T’s DNS servers may not have received the update for the clients’ domains. I was certain that this wasn’t the case, but obediently followed her instructions on how to request a DNS update via email, with no result. The other support person suggested that the problem wasn’t AT&T’s. On a theory that maybe Level3 was rejecting the packets, I posted a request for help on a Level3 tech support page and received no reply.

caseclosed-150wI called again. John Ledyard, another AT&T DSL support person, listened, agreed that the problem could be in AT&T’s routing tables, and asked me to email him the source and destination IP addresses together with a broken traceroute result. Mr. Ledyard told me that although he couldn’t personally fix the problem, he would forward my email to someone who could fix it. Voilà! Within a week, the packets were reaching the destination host.

I don’t know exactly what was broken or why the problem occurred, but now it’s repaired. All’s well that ends well.

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695


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