Usability - Productivity - Business - The web - Singapore & Twins

Tracking down slow internet on SingTel Fibre to the home

SingTel makes big claims about the beauty of their fibre offering. I do not experience the claimed benefits. So I'm starting to track down what is happening. Interestingly when you visit SpeedTest, it shows fantastic results. I smell rat.
So I ran a test with Pocketinet in Walla Walla, WA. SpeedTest claims a 5ms ping response, but when I, immediate before or after such a test, issue a ping -c5 www.pocketinet.com I get results rather in the range of 200-230ms.
Ein Schelm wer böses dabei denkt!
While this evidence isn't strong enough, to accuse someone of tampering, it points to the need to investigate why the results are so different ( IDA are you listening?). So I started looking a little deeper. Using traceroute with the -I parameter (that uses the same packets as ping) I checked a bunch of websites. Here are the results (I stripped out the boring parts):
traceroute -I www.pocketinet.com
  9  3.913ms  3.919ms  4.033ms
 10  204.256ms  170.493ms  171.314ms

traceroute -I www.economist.com
  9  4.316ms  4.882ms  4.680ms
 10  193.164ms  188.148ms  196.526ms

traceroute -I www.cnn.com
  9  4.772ms  4.679ms  5.160ms
 10  171.006ms  187.336ms  171.447ms

traceroute -I www.ibm.com
 9  4.385ms  5.857ms  3.853ms
 10  178.135ms  183.842ms  181.097ms

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark international connectivity! (Sorry Wil)
Only Google bucks that pattern. But that's due to the fact that their DNS sends me to a server in Singapore. So the huge jump in latency happens in the 203.208.182._and 203.208.151._ subnets.
whois tells me:
% [whois.apnic.net]
% Whois data copyright terms    http://www.apnic.net/db/dbcopyright.html

% Information related to ' -'

inetnum: -
netname:        SINGTEL-IX-AP
descr:          Singapore Telecommunications Pte Ltd

So, the servers might be in the SingTel overseas location? InfoSniper sees them in Singapore (you can try others with the same result). Now I wonder, is the equipment undersized, wrongly configured or something else happening that takes time on that machine?
Looking for an explanation.

Update 19 Sep 2014: Today the speedtest.net site shows ping results that are similar to traceroute/ping from the command line - unfortunately not due to the fact that the command line results got better, but the speedtest.net results worse - Now ranging in the 200ms. I wonder what happened. Checking the effective up/down speed will be a little more tricky. Stay tuned

Posted by on 17 September 2014 | Comments (2) | categories: Buying Broadband


  1. posted by Wee Meng on Saturday 20 September 2014 AD:
    Thanks for taking the effort to test this !
  2. posted by Esael on Sunday 26 October 2014 AD:
    My stinktel fibre sucks. The sales told me no drop in speed. Been bad for a few days. Don't even feel like calling their tech supporr