said by DDubya:
Why would the route change? Can somthing be done about the lag?
Internet routing is done via the BGP routing protocol. It can change for a huge variety of reasons, so it would take a seminar to explain why. Basically, BGP has determined that this is the shortest route to the prefix based on the current advertisement from the destination network.
A likely reason for a change could been that the destination network, or Shaw, changed a transit or peering agreement or point. Or new connections were added, and BGP believes these connections result in a shorter path. Or connection were removed. Or the networks in the middle changed. Etc. etc. etc. etc.
The first hop 100% packet loss in normal on the Shaw CMTS, it doesn't mean packet loss. Internet nodes DO NOT have to respond to ICMP echo messages (which is what traceroute uses). Lots of internet routers de-prioritize and may drop these.
You can try using a tool that does a TCP traceroute, that can sometimes be more accurate. I've never found a good tool for that myself... (not that I've looked very hard).