Slow FTP Connection to COBC for MSP

COBC (Coordination of Benefits Contractor) is responsible for implementing MSP (Medicare Secondary Payer).

We, a workers comp insurance company, need to reported medicare beneficiaries we have some type of medical responsibility for.  To notify COBC we upload some files to them; well it takes mins to connect to their FTP server. It has been this way since day one, over a year now.

We use WsFTP as a client.

Here is the connection log.  It took almost 2mins to connect, that’s insane.

Finding Host sftp.section111.cms.hhs.gov …
[2011.05.02 12:05:05.976] Connecting to 204.76.173.42:10022
[2011.05.02 12:05:06.226] Connected to 204.76.173.42:10022 in 0.249995 seconds, Waiting for Server Response
[2011.05.02 12:05:06.288] Server Welcome: SSH-2.0-Maverick_SSHD
[2011.05.02 12:05:06.288] Client Version: SSH-2.0-WS_FTP-12.2-0
[2011.05.02 12:05:07.101] DSS Signature Verified
[2011.05.02 12:05:07.179] Session Keys Created
[2011.05.02 12:05:07.179] Ciphers Created
[2011.05.02 12:05:07.179] New Client->Server ciphers in place.
[2011.05.02 12:05:07.179] New Client->Server ciphers in place.
[2011.05.02 12:05:07.179] Completed SSH Key Exchange.  New Keys in place.
[2011.05.02 12:05:07.241] Trying authentication method: "password"
[2011.05.02 12:05:07.241] GIS SSH Server supporting SFTP and SCP
[2011.05.02 12:05:07.554] User Authenticated OK!
[2011.05.02 12:05:07.554] Completed SSH User Authentication.
[2011.05.02 12:05:07.679] Started subsystem "sftp" on channel 0760a2ce
[2011.05.02 12:06:42.130] SFTP Protocol Version 3 OK
[2011.05.02 12:06:42.505] sftp protocol initialized
[2011.05.02 12:06:42.521] Changing remote directory to "/"
[2011.05.02 12:06:43.005] Getting Dirlisting2011.05.02 12:06:43.474] # transferred 239 bytes in 0.281 seconds, 6798.353 bps ( 849.794 Bps), transfer succeeded.

I of course contacted them, went up the food chain 2 or 3 levels but nothing changed.  Very disappointing but not surprising.

Anyone have any ideas why it would take so long to connect?  I’ve never seen such slow connections using FTP.  Thanks.