In the beginning was the command line..

Contention-ratio experiment

, posted: 10-Jan-2007 17:36

First of all I'm quite happy with my Xtra ADSL, no drops in 52 days, and before the last power cut, over 200 days of uninterrupted service.

I've been doing alot of late-night testing, because my ADSL line speed is a healthy 7616kbps-down (950m to DSLAM) but I can not download faster than 3.5Mbit/s. I naturally assumed this bottleneck would be a bearer at capacity but in proving this to myself I found that the 3.5MBit/s is shared between at least 20 ADSL customers.

The test I performed was simple. First I used bittorrent to saturate my connection late at night. with a solid 3.5Mbit/s coming down to my PC (monitored using gkrellm, azureus, ntop and Linux/netfilter) I downloaded an update onto a server down the road ( from My download at home instantly dropped relative to the speed of the download on the other server. Measuring the resultant download speeds on both connections they would appear to both sum up to 3.5Mbit/s which leads me to the conclusion I stated above.

If you know I am wrong in assuming the 3.5Mbit/s is shared between everyone in my area, I welcome your comment.

But what I really want to know is who at Telecom can I talk to about increasing capacity in my area? Xtra phone support were very well mannered but not helpful in this regard. There are new subdivisions going in here and there is a School. Telecom!!! Are you reading? The contention here is no longer good enough!

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Comment by juha, on 10-Jan-2007 17:51

That's a good experiment to illustrate shared bandwidth and backhaul provision. I would contact some of Telecom's public relations staff about this, mentioning the school and new sub divisions. Might not make a difference, but perhaps if you contact the school too and ask them to join in, Telecom could consider increasing the backhaul.

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Stuart MacIntosh
New Zealand

Hello world.