The journal of Paul M. Watson.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

French Connection

It is faster for me to download files from foreign mirrors than it is to download from a mirror I can literally take a 5 minute drive to. 50Kb/s from France, 15Kb/s from UCT.

Why is that?

One thought I had is this; While I am thankful for having it at all, ADSL in South Africa is quite restricted. There is one provider; Telkom. Every ADSL account has a monthly cap (genreally 3Gb but it depends on who you buy it through). They only really care about international bandwidth which is why only international bandwidth usage counts towards your cap. Once you hit your cap they don't cut you off but they shape your international access such that anyone else who hasn't exceeded their cap gets first priority. Effectively your international access becomes useless except at the dead of night when you might get 5Kb/s. Local bandwidth is never counted nor shaped.

So if local mirrors were effective I'd rarely use international bandwidth for the big downloads.

I doubt it is intentional though. More than likely Telkom, SAIX and co. have local requests tied up in an unintentional knot.

Pity I don't know anybody at the UCT mirror as then it would be quicker for me to cycle there, burn a CD and cycle home than downloading from France, Hong Kong or Antarctica.

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