NetCom Caching


Fully vaccinated are you?
If you have NetCom as a service provider, be aware of the following:

Author Topic: <a href="" target="blank">Netcom Users- Time to Complain</a> Ted posted December 01, 1998 05:41 PM ET

I just received an email from a UBB user who uses Netcom as her ISP. She has been wondering why her UBB pages have not be redreshing properly... it turns out that Netcom has a new caching policy....

As they explained to her:

"You are correct. Netcom decides to put a web caching. It is similar to disk or RAM cacheing, frequently accessed URLs (excepting pages) and netnews, will be cached. This will provide improved performance to our customer and reduce network overhead and traffic.

Customers going outside of will get either cached pages or have that page(s) cached as a result of their request cached pages will be retained for 2 days or until cache gets full (45 GB) new cacheing error messages, pages 218-221 only, will appear INSTEAD of regular browser errors."

I can't believe that they believe that ignoring NO-CACHE pragma commands is good for business. And of course, they aren't caching their own pages... If you are a Netcom user, you may want to let them know what you think. elite posted December 01, 1998 06:04 PM ET

That is crap!!! I know I have the option of using a proxy server, and dont know why netscape doesnt allow this.... I would never use this and it is horrible!!! Glad I have a fast connection and a good host *soon to be its own backbone* Anyhow can you make up a letter and an email address to send it to? As this would be horrible for all of are pageviewers. I will put this on my page if you draft it up

------------------ Slurpee posted December 01, 1998 06:33 PM ET

Cripes, no wonder when I'm at home accessing these forums and my board I get that problem. It was driving me crazy. I would upload pages and reload them, and none of the damn changes were there. I really hate Netcom.

------------------ Brett (AKA Slurpee) Better Business Boards DaBuzz posted December 01, 1998 07:53 PM ET

2 Days oh dear god! That makes most of the web useless for anyone who uses it for REAL TIME information.

What are the chances they are doing this to force people to their Netnews portal since all other news sites will be 2 days out of date!

That is a truly lame cache policy, I hate to say it ... but Netcom users would be better off on AOL at this point.

------------------ Wes Salmon Personal Site: My UBB Site: (PDA & Handheld PC Discussion Forum) mark posted December 01, 1998 08:28 PM ET


When did I get a sex change?

Tis I that discovered this through a horrific experience that had me re-installing windows 3 times and basically ready to leap off my balcony thinking I was nuts and some odd virus had found a way to mess with my cache. ugh.

Theres more about this in the ubb bugs section if you care to read up on it, but this is very bad. I have not received a reply from Netcom regarding my last inquiry to them, that essentially states I will be encouraging users to drop them like a bad habit if they don't immediately toss the caching machine out their window. Actually, they are now local to me (I just moved) so I've been considering a small lawsuit to recover the last 2 days of going over the UBB code, host inspection and basic teardown of my systems!

[This message has been edited by mark (edited December 01, 1998).] mark posted December 01, 1998 08:50 PM ET

Me again.

I'll be giving life to a part of my site I never integrated for this issue. I'll forward the postings to netcom every day.

If you're not too thrilled about this situation or know someone that isn't, heres the spot:

Of course, I'll have to ftp in to see your replies, because I'm on netcom until next week and they've already cached this page for me.

Thanks, Netcom!

Mark Dodd elite posted December 01, 1998 10:02 PM ET

Start the letter by saying: You cheap gready bastards.. -JK maybe:

It has come to my attention that you have recently implemented a policy that takes away the vast amount of resources offered by the Internet. I am referring to your recent implementation of your "cache all pages but ours policy." This policy effectively makes getting current up to date information impossible for Netcom users, and will result in a tremendous loss in service unless it is rectified in a very quick manner. I am asking you to stop this policy before I suggest to Netcom users to take there own action whether that is to cancel service and or complain..

Thanks, XYZ

------------------ ChrisFrez posted December 01, 1998 11:53 PM ET

I would suggest sending a small letter about this to C-Net website. I had a buddy who had a continuous problem with his Cable modem from @Home service. He setup a website about it, contacted C-Net and they did a story about it. The next day after the story, his cable modem was fixed and the VP from the company flew out from New York (to Detroit) to take him out to dinner.

------------------ Chris Frezza / 95 Supercharged Z28 12.325 @118.55mph on BFG Comp/TA's webcamresource posted December 02, 1998 08:18 AM ET


I have already done that. Sent it to Cnet, and Skinny at the rumor mill. Check out

------------------ DaBuzz posted December 02, 1998 08:39 AM ET


I'd quote the email from Netcom above provided by Ted. That would probably add viability to the "boycott" part. Just saying pages aren't being refreshed and support is clueless is much less likely to stir the sh*t than saying "Netcom is knowingly forcing a 2 day time warp on any site but their own".

Give it a monopoly spin since they sell advertising on their "Homeport" page which seems to be their own portal for netcom users. Locking them into their own site for REAL TIME news while knowingly making other REAL TIME news services out of date is obviously anti-competitive.

Just an idea.

------------------ Wes Salmon Personal Site: My UBB Site: (PDA & Handheld PC Discussion Forum)

[This message has been edited by DaBuzz (edited December 02, 1998).] Charles Capps posted December 02, 1998 06:28 PM ET

*returns from the abyss of problems* Ya know, Netcom is based out of San Jose. I wonder how long the policy were to last if, say, a local TV station got word of this and put it up on their nightly tech report during the normal newscast... mark posted December 03, 1998 04:47 PM ET

Just keeping ya'll up to date. Here's the reply I sent to their original message:



Thank you for your reply.

Unfortunately your transfer to a chaching system without notifying your customers has resulted in two days of me abosultely pulling my hair out, reinstalling windows 98 3 times, going over my cgi and conferencing with my host provider.

By caching content, you are FORCING users to view old content on dynamically changing pages. I am getting complaints from users who operate on netcom who cannot see updated content on my sites, and even more frustrating is being a web designer and dialing in on netcom- perfecting content and updating pages does not work now, all I see are old pages regardless of uploading the new content.

You will be losing me as a customer and I will be recommending all of my users to abandon Netcom if you do not repair or discontinue this system immediately.

You have cost me days of productivity at very, very bad time.

If you doubt the severity of this issue, feel free to make a post at:

with your caching routine online and try to view the updated pages.


Mark Dodd

And here is their reply:


Hello Mark,

Thank you for your feedback.

The web caching system is on a trial period with the San Jose POP only.

A copy of your reply message has been forwarded to our system administrators for further evaluations. Sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you and your users and thank you for your patience in the matter.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

- Connie

--------------------------------------------------------------------- On-Line Technical Support ICG Netcom 24-Hour Technical Support: (408) 881-1810 ---------------------------------------------------------------------

elite posted December 03, 1998 05:00 PM ET

Thats a stupid system to force on everyone. Is should be up to the users. If you want it turn your browser to proxy if not leave it alone!! Simple

------------------ Linzi posted January 13, 1999 10:08 PM ET

Just a quick addition to this for UK netcom users. I found a wonderful solution - freeserve! Alex Ethridge posted January 14, 1999 11:39 PM ET

There is one thing that comes out of all this that I am really thankful for. It sure gives us unknowing, unsuspecting people some inside information when making decisions choosing a web host.

Regardless of what their final decision is on cacheing, I would never do business with someone who would implement (force) this (brainless idea) on their customers just as a test (folly).

It would not surprise me at all that the person or persons responsible for this idea don't even have computers of their own, don't even have an internet account and have never had to rely on the web for meaningful information. This happens often in the corporate world--the real decision-makers have no real-world experience.

I don't want to get into bashing here but, the word "ignorant" comes to mind--not in a critical way, mind you. Ignorant in the sense meaning uninformed. Just clueless; that's all.
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