Is PTCL Broadband testing some sort of edge-level caching system? If it is, its failing…

February 27, 2009 1:15 pm 23 comments

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So far I know of two PTCL Broadband customers facing this issue, one of which is me. If more of you are affected out there do share what you’re seeing about this issue.

So recently – for about two weeks or so – if you browse to certain blogs on the web you dont see the latest content but content that’s really old… sometimes one or two months old.

This isnt a browser issue because clearing browser caches does nothing…. I follow and techcrunch e.g…. both of these will do well over 20 posts in any average day. So I’ll see the posts for one day, and the next day the page will be showing posts from Jan 5th, or Feb 20th, or Feb 16th, or last Sunday etc… I notice that (1) its always those specific dates… there’s this engadget story from CES about some iPod video goggles that I’ve seen "featured" on the front page atleast a dozen times now (its from Feb 16th)…. also (2) when this is happening the page loads up in a snap lightning fast, and that the internet was slowing down slightly just before it.

Yesterday, and even today, this same issue perplexed me at – we updated the blog styles and replaced many of the old images with new ones… yet even though the webserver doesnt physically have that file anymore my browser shows the new theme for a while and then magically starts showing the old "greener" theme…. hmm maybe it misses the old paki theme too.


My working theory (and excuse me if half a dozen blogs already talked about this… I’m out of touch a bit) is that PTCL is using some edge-caching mechanism at their exchanges to offset disruption in normal internet behavior. Islamabad customers in particular have been noticing a lot of connection drops over the past few months and perhaps this cache kicks in whenever some backhaul connection goes out.

But whats worse, its a pretty poor cache if its only caching things approx once in 7 days… that doesnt really work for blogs.


So is there a secret cache directing traffic or not? So far its just conspiracy theories but if you know anything more about this do let us all know.

Facebook comments:


  • I’v had the same problem with all blogger based blogs for quite a while off and on. Its quite irritating, one was the issue is resolved is by using a proxy, I am sure it is a PTCL issue, Had the same issue with etisalat in Dubai quite a lot.

  • Wajahat Mateen

    Well, its an old problem with PTCL, you can overcome this by over writing DNS server settings in your DSL modem/router provided by PTCL. I have started using as my default DNS server rather using PTCL’s and haven’t experienced this problem since then.

    Hope it helps!

  • Basit Ali

    No wonder I never had this issue, I always had the DNS entry in my router.

    But the problem I’ve been facing with PTCL is poor speeds and occasional connection drops. I really the PTCL I used to use. This 1Mbps cant even stream youtube at times. Thats a shame.

    Are others having the same speed issues or is it only me?

  • I faced this issue using PTCL dial up

  • Yes this seems to be a DNS issue. I don’t usually use PTCL DNS servers. Instead I usually use public DNS servers. Try using as the prefered DNS at your end.

    A word of caution .. public DNS servers, if not chosen wisely, may slow down browsing.

    Osama the new looks seems to be good but the sidebar gets messed up in some posts. The blog installation also doesn’t seem to be updated which itself is a security risk.

  • Hmm OpenDNS also has the same issue – but Sanix’s suggestion works. Thanks!

  • Frraaz

    I don’t want to promote any particular company but I’ve been using Micronet broadband for more than a few years and firstly I’ve rarely had any problems, lekin whenever I did, their support was unmatchable.

  • omer

    ptcl is doubling broadband speed from 23rd march and some of the users are already upgraded

  • Shaheer

    I posted this on WiredPakistan and this is pretty much where I drew the problem to. It’s related with your gateway.

    Here’s the post:

    Solution: pull out the DSL wire, and plug it in back. It’s a hit-and-go method.

    Hope this helps everyone. I haven’t been able to get in touch with one of the senior technicians… courtesy of their horrid support (although if you do get in touch with the higher-up techies, they’re nicer)

  • Basit Ali

    @omer Doubling the bandwidth from 23 march??

    Does that mean the whole pipe is growing in size for the ISP or they will upgrade 1MB users to 2MB?


    I have my dsl modem on 2nd Floor and I usually work on ground floor. Pulling out and putting back in the DSL cable is not a very convenient option.

    I have been having this issue of DSL going out of sync whenever power goes and comes back. Yes I do have everything on UPS but still the dsl goes out of sync. Only option to bring it back online is to power down the modem and start again. So its quite a pain if you are not sitting on the same desk where modem is placed.

  • Shaheer

    @Basit: well – I don’t know which modem you have, but as far as my ZTE ZXDSL 831 is concerned, I can log in to the modem’s page via (user/pass: admin/admin) and force the modem to “disconnect” from the DSL service, then reconnect.

    That has the same effect – but slower than pulling the wire out (and back in).

  • I’m also having this caching issue with PTCL Broadband. I changed logo of one of the sites that I’m developing about 2 weeks back and the change was successful. After that I got busy. Yesterday, when I again started working on it, I was seeing the old logo (that should have been replaced 2 weeks back). I tested the site from a proxy server as well as downloaded the image from the server and it was new image.

    It means, PTCL was caching the site as old as 2 weeks old!

  • Basit Ali

    Thanks for the tip but I’ve tried it with not only ZTE but also with a TPLink and a Dlink modem. Behavior is the same. Even you restart the modem or reconnect from the modem console, the line does’nt hang up till you power down the modem. ……hhhhh poor me

  • Shaheer

    @Basit: no problem. I guess we have to try call PTCL’s 1218 and speak to a senior and inform them of this issue… or switch to another provider.

    There is one person’s email address who I heard gets work done by his juniors (I emailed him regarding a few issues 30min ago – let’s see). His email is

    jahangir.khan (at)

    See if you can get any help from there. I have my fingers crossed.

  • bilal

    i have problem with my ptcl dsl, whenever i receive call on my phone or simply pic the receiver, the dsl gets disconnected.
    what could be the problem?
    Any help will be highly appreciated.

  • Fahad

    Hey people .

    i am thinking of switching to PTCL broad band , i need your advice how good of a decision it would be.

    I am curently using Mobilink Infinity 1GB with 15GB cap limit, i very rarely face disconnection and mostly i get the 128kB download speed, and get about 30kb on torrents, m paying about 1600 for this connection monthly, what i hate most about this package is that it has a 15GB downloading limit and after that each 100mb costs 30Rs. further more i have a wireless router provided by Infinty.
    but due to this cap in the end i have a big bill to pay.
    but by observing your comments i m a lil confused that these issue would severely hamper me.
    need you advice.

  • SK

    If you are getting CACHED content from your ISP, try hitting CTRL+F5 (Works on Firefox&PTCL), this will refresh things for you instantly.

    Hope this helps.

    Pakistan Zindabad

  • This will refresh the local browser cache, I think we are talking about ptcl cache servers.

    CTRL+F5 (Works on Firefox Not On PTCL Servers)

  • shahid

    You can use ? infront of URL to bypass any cache sever involved.

  • zeeshan hayat

    hello brother

    i am a layman in internet or networking world

    i have a ptcl broad band with 2MB since 20th march 2009. in begenning days it was quite fast and nice.but since last two week i have been facing the problem with it.sometime its has a DNS problem and sometime it says keyports problem while connecting live messenger.

    so guys how can i come over this problem.and what are keyport please define it..

    PTCL technicians are lazy enough to come to resolve..

    plz get me get a rid of this problem by ur good techniques,,

    waiting for reply

  • Khawar Khalid

    Hi to All ,

    its better not to take PTCL because its getting down day by day and you will face a lot of problems, speed problems, customer support problem, no experts they have to solve problems, only old people with less knowledge ………!!!!!!



  • I am facing quite stressful issues with PTCL DNS Cache, so far i have sent them a complaint and no luck i am trying to visit a pakistani social community website but it keeps pointing to their old website instead of a new one.

    The program of DNS Ache at PTCL end is over 3 weeks now and it still not updated.

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