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Comcast users report name collision bugs

Kevin Murphy, September 23, 2014, 12:45:01 (UTC), Domain Tech

US cable ISP Comcast has become the latest company to experience problems caused by name collisions with new gTLDs.

In this case the gTLD in question is .network, which Donuts had delegated at the end of August.

Users of Comcast’s Xfinity service have been complaining about various issues linked to collisions ever since.

It turns out some Xfinity hubs use the domain home.network on residential networks and that this default configuration choice was not corrected by Comcast before .network went live.

The collision doesn’t appear to be causing widespread internet access issues — Xfinity has close to 20 million users so we’d have heard about it if the problems were ubiquitous — some things appear to be failing.

I’ve seen multiple reports of users unable to access storage devices on their local networks, of being unable to run the popular TeamSpeak conferencing software used by gamers, problems with installing RubyGems, and errors when attempting to use remote desktop tools.

Judging by logs published by affected users, Donuts has been returning the domain “your-dns-needs-immediate-attention.network” and the IP address 127.0.53.53.

Anyone Googling for 127.0.53.53 — the IP address selected to ICANN’s “controlled interruption” name collision management plan — will currently find this ad:

Cyrus Namazi, vice president of DNS industry engagement at ICANN, confirmed to DI that ICANN has received multiple reports of issues on Comcast residential networks and that ICANN has been in touch with the ISP.

Comcast is working on a permanent fix, he said.

Namazi said that ICANN has not received any complaints from users of other ISPs. Most collision-related complaints have been filed by residential users rather than companies, he said.

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Comments (5)

  1. Donuts Inc. says:

    “Controlled interruption” — which is what some users are now experiencing as you describe — is the way ICANN has decided to notify operators that their networks are misconfigured, and to encourage implementation of a fix before users register names in a given gTLD. In this instance, the method is proven effective, as Comcast is working on a fix before .NETWORK goes live in November.

  2. Keith says:

    To get around this issue, disable your system’s feature to obtain DNS dynamically via DHCP and configure Google’s public IP Addresses 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 — Doing this has fixed my issue of issuing NSLookup’s and getting unexpected responses with the 127.0.53.53 name.

  3. Jason says:

    We are aware of this issue – it was recently introduced due to a bug in a vendor firmware update. It will be fixed relatively soon!

    Jason
    Comcast Engineering

    • Eric says:

      Hello Jason,

      I am experiencing this issue for 2 weeks. Is this still occurring? What should I do as a Comcast customer? When I call support they seem like they are not properly trained for this level of issue. Please Help.

    • ben says:

      Any updates on when this will be resolved?

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