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Topic # 213909 18-Apr-2017 15:11 Send private message quote this post

Apologies, a long post!

 

We live just outside the official Auckland urban area. We changed from ADSL2+ to VDSL2 in May 2016 shortly after Chorus changed their criteria for connecting VDSL. Prior to the changeover, we were typically getting speeds of ~10+Mbs down and ~1.0 Mbs up on ADSL2+. As part of the new install we got a Vodafone HG659 modem and of course, a new VDSL master splitter installed.  Immediately after the changeover, our down speed had effectively doubled to 22-23 Mbs up but down speed dropped to 0.85 – 0.9 Mbs (as measured on speedtest.net).

 

With VDSL boost on the horizon, I re-checked 3-4 weeks ago. Down speed was still 22 Mbs but up appeared to have dropped even further to ~0.7 Mbs. Disappointing but I figured we could live with it – hoping that VDSL boost may help.

 

According to a (second) Chorus tech here 4 days ago (Easter Friday!), it is ~1.6 km cable distance from the cabinet to our house (could be right – I get 1.8km following around streets in Gmaps). The line along the road is an underground trunk (was SH1 until ~8 yrs ago).

 

The connection from the road to our house consists of ~150m of overhead cable (over the road and across a neighbouring property), then finally ~50m underground to our house. The overhead line is a ~15 pair cable and the final 50m underground, a 3-pair cable. There are potentially connections to 5 rental units on the neighbouring property from the same point (one overhead, 4 underground) though when we had a phone line issue ~3 years ago, none of the residents on the neighbouring property had a landline and only one had broadband. Most of the incoming ~15 pairs at the base of the pole on the neighbouring property are not connected to anything.

 

About 10 days ago our VDSL connection suddenly failed and ever since has been unusable. Occasionally we get perhaps up to half an hour uptime but much more often it is only a few minutes or seconds, often followed by 30mins – 2+ hours of no connection. Our landline still works, though has always been a bit substandard (voices often muffled).

 

On Monday last week (~3 days after the connection went down) I phoned Vodafone and a Chorus technician came out on the Wednesday. He was here over 2 hours and checked the connection at the point our modem is connected, the incoming line on the outside wall of the house, at the pole on the neighbouring property where the line changes from overhead to underground, and at the roadside. He told an adult son who was here that he was getting 3Mbs at the road but that dropped to 0.9Mbs at the pole on the neighbouring property. He confirmed the dropouts but was not able to do anything about it.

 

Initially the technician told my son he saw no point checking with a different modem as he considered the main problem was the overhead line, which he said were always smaller diameter wire than underground cables. Hence the high attenuation between road and the pole on the neighbouring property. However, about 10mins after leaving, the technician phoned me and suggested we should try a different modem as he was able to get a connection with his test modem. Since we still had effectively no connection with the HG659, we went out and bought a new modem (Asus DSL-AC56U), and updated it to latest firmware. Alas, that changed nothing. Still exactly the same behaviour. Have swapped between the two a couple of times but see no difference behaviour.

 

I followed up with Vodafone. The first technician had closed the ticket. They activated a new incident and a second technician came out on Friday (Easter).  Vodafone also uploaded a data block lasting 7 days onto my mobile so we connect through that.  However, that is not practical as there are three adults in the house, two using desktop PC’s that do not have wireless AP's.  Plus my mobile was getting warm-hot with just a single connection through it. Vodafone eventually provided us with a Vodem with another 7-day data block. A very good service (all credit to Vodafone) but it is not a permanent fix. Only 3 days left on that and there is no fix to our VDSL connection problems in sight.

 

The second technician got measurements of 0.9Mbs up speed at the pole, 0.5 up where the line comes into the house, and 0.4 Mbs up where our modem is connected.  But again said there was nothing he could do to fix the problem. He did mutter something to the effect that he could report a fault at the road but they are all contractors and if he had to come out again on the same issue, it would be in his own time as they are only paid for a single visit.  Suggested perhaps reverting to ADSL.  He dismissed the notion that the overhead line was an issue as it was a ~15 pair cable.  Replacing it with an underground cable would make no difference (apart from being very expensive, if feasible - not on our property).  He changed the cable pair used over the final 50m of underground cable but that made no difference.

 

About three minutes after the second technician left, I got a txt from Vodafone say their “tech advises that your fault .. has been investigated and resolved.  Please call .. if the issue .. not resolved”.

 

Now at a loss as to what is the best long-term solution but will leave that aside for the moment. In periods when the VDSL connection has been up, we have confirmed that we are now getting only 0.4Mbs up and only 9Mbs down.  Both a significant degradation in performance relative to just 3-4 weeks ago.  The Chorus website is still showing our connection as VDSL with a download speed of 22Mbs; ie. same as I measured a month or so ago.

 

My main questions at this point are:
- Why the sudden degradation in performance?
- The second technician suggested it was probably because of more people switching to VDSL.  But that would not explain the sudden degradation of service? Almost all, if not all new houses near the cabinet are in a new housing area which is on UFB.  No new houses near us.
- Any possibility it is related to implementation of VDSL boost? The timing seems possibly right?
- Are the decreases in upload speed as expected; ie. 3Mbs on the roadside 1.4km from the cabinet, down to 0.9 Mbs a further 150m along an overhead cable, then down to 0.5 Mbs after a further 50m of underground cable?
- Is it possible the ~13 unused pairs in the overhead cable are increasing the attenuation? Inductance?
- Would it help/be permissible to connect the three pairs of the underground cable to three of the overhead cable pairs & join the wires together at each end (ie. road and house) to triple the cross section area of copper between the road and house?  No way that more than 6 of the ~15 pairs will be used in the next 20-30 years.

 

The Chorus Broadband map shows us within the 20Mbs+ zone. That zone extends in a strip ~700m further along the road from where we connect. Almost all the download speed vs distance charts I looked at show VSDL having higher download speeds than ADSL2+ out to about 2km, which is consistent with the Chorus Broadband map.

 

The first technician commented at one point that there had been problems with the main cable along the road but made no further mention of it.

 

Cannot provide connection stats as we cannot connect on VDSL at the moment. For the last few days have solely used the wireless connection.

 

I will follow up with Vodafone again later today but from our experience to date I am not certain what more they can do?


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  Reply # 1766887 18-Apr-2017 17:10 One person supports this post Send private message quote this post

What is the implementation of VDSL
boost you talk about. Got a link?


You need to post your line stats cause
your post is essentially useless without it

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  Reply # 1766889 18-Apr-2017 17:17 Send private message quote this post

They're referring to ddDLM probably.

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  Reply # 1766903 18-Apr-2017 17:37 2 people support this post Send private message quote this post

It sounds like it is some kind of infrastructure/cabling failure. Possibly to do bad weather damaging infrastructure or some new connection in the vicinity which causes some collateral damage.

 

The problem is no body wants to invest in copper infrastructure any more. If it is an expensive infrastructure fix then the only option might be Wireless broadband. I can't imagine any ISP is prepared to invest thousands of $ on new copper cabling.

 

It sounds like you can get wireless broadband. Is that an option? The only issue with wireless broadband is there is a cap of 120G or so which might be a problem if you are a heavy streaming user.




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  Reply # 1767025 18-Apr-2017 22:50 Send private message quote this post

DarkShadow: They're referring to ddDLM probably.

 

Yes.

 

==

 

Re. line stats, as mentioned, connection to the VDSL is near impossible at the present time.  Could wait even 4 hours without connecting, which would mean three people off line for 4 hours to no avail.  

 

We now have yet another Chorus tech coming in the next day or three.  Will try and get line stats when the tech is here.

 

From memory, when we did have a brief VDSL connection a few days ago, line attenuation down was something like 35.  Before the problems started it was in the 20's.  Do not recall other stats.

 

We did have very heavy rain two days beforehand but on the Friday (7 April) when the problems first started, the weather was relatively benign.  There are trees on the neighbouring property that look as though they may be touching the overhead cable.  However the cable is multi-pair and insulated so I assume that should not be a big issue?  The Vodafone tech I spoke to today indicated that the cabling would be specifically checked this time.  

 

==

 

There are other lines coming off the same pole at the roadside, servicing a few properties on the other side of the road.    They are thinner lines and go up the pole in a separate duct.  Those lines were knocked off the next pole along the road when a large tree was felled, and are currently lying on the ground.  They are insulated wires so not certain if being on the ground is an issue.  Regardless, I assume it should not affect our line which is separate connection.  Besides, the tree was felled about 4 months ago.

 

We have had our line across the road knocked out a couple of times by very high loads shifted in the dead of night.  However, the last time that occurred was about 2 years ago.  

 

Photo of roadside pole below.  Ours is the thick line heading to the upper right. The other three droop down and lie on the ground further along the road.  There is a fourth (not visible from this angle) that drops almost straight down to the ground.  

 

Second photo shows our line heading through trees on the neighbours property.

 

 

 

        

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 1767035 18-Apr-2017 23:54 Send private message quote this post

smalltrader:

 

 

 

...

 

It sounds like you can get wireless broadband. Is that an option? The only issue with wireless broadband is there is a cap of 120G or so which might be a problem if you are a heavy streaming user.

 

 

 

 

Yes, can get wireless.  Currently temporarily on 3G.  Getting 'reasonable', stable upstream speed (2.0 - 2.4 Mbs).  Downstream is a bit flaky though.  Can get up to 20Mbs down but also have seen as low as 1.3 Mbs down.  Typical probably ~9MBs.  Have not done extensive testing though.  Six tests just now: downstream speed was ~13, 20, and 14 Mbs to Auckland servers and ~9.5, 3.3 and 18.5 Mbs to Wellington servers (speedtest.net).

 

However, main issue is the 120 GB cap as you intimate.  Actual usage over the last 6 months has varied between 130GB and ~250GB, with an average of about 180GB.   Downstream speed also seems more sensitive to load on the system.


'That VDSL Cat'
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  Reply # 1767049 19-Apr-2017 07:20 2 people support this post Send private message quote this post

I would keep at your rsp.

Clearly chorus agree there is a fault here, so that's a positive step...

This is by no means related to ddDLM.




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Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.




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  Reply # 1767329 19-Apr-2017 13:56 Send private message quote this post

This is crazy.  As mentioned a third Chorus technician was scheduled to come out and investigate the problem (by 19:00 on 19/04/2017).  Great.  But I just received a txt from Vodafone stating "Our tech advises that your fault INC00000xxxxxxx has been investigated and resolved.  ..."

 

The 'tech' certainly never came to our house and yet again, absolutely nothing has changed.  Modem still fails to connect over VDSL.

 

So, three times a technician comes out and three times advises that the fault has been 'resolved' but in all three cases there was absolutely no change in the situation.  Still no VDSL.

 

Now into the eleventh day of no usable VDSL connection.  In fact for the last couple of days I have not seen a single time when the modem has connected via VDSL.  Not that I have spent every minute staring at the modem control panel.  

 

==

 

We generally have wireless (Vodem) set as primary WAN and VDSL, as secondary WAN.  Reversing that makes no difference, still no VDSL connection.  But with the latter we get occasional dropouts when the VDSL attempts to connect.  Modem just goes through repeated cycles of trying to initialise the VDSL connection and then reporting 'Link down', then after about 10 secs tries to initialise again.

 

Back to Vodafone yet again.  However, this is starting to become very time consuming.


'That VDSL Cat'
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  Reply # 1767336 19-Apr-2017 13:59 Send private message quote this post

All you can do is try to esclate through your rsp.

 

 

 

this is the sorta case i'd take up in a heartbeat if it was within my control... feel for ya being stuck in the swarm of vodafones 'ninjas' - i too struggle with my connection leg that is on VF.





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1767916 20-Apr-2017 14:29 Send private message quote this post

 

 

Ouch - this website does not like pasted tables!  Attempt again with images.

 

 

 

==

 

OK, Chorus tech#4 has now come and gone and we at last have our VDSL connection back

 

Line stats are:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See speed test results below.

 

Speed tests give averages of 18.6 Mbs down and 0.75 Mbs up on the VDSL connection, which is a bit lower than the figures the technician got at the wall jack (~20.2 and 0.83) but close, I guess. He got almost the same on the incoming line to the splitter.


Notes:

- technician said the wiring in the area near the master splitter was incorrect & fixed that (not certain of details, son was there at the time)

- said that when the master splitter was fitted, Cat6 cable should have been installed to the VDSL jack point on the wall (was meant to be part of the deal). Instead the existing Cat3 cable had been used. However, he could understand why it wasn't (concrete block walls, concrete floor slab, no ceiling space, etc). By good fortune we already had laid a Cat6 cable that went most of the way to the master splitter and was easily 're-purposed' so we now have Cat6 from the splitter to the wall jack. I had put in half a dozen Cat6 cables when we replaced decramastic tiles on part of our roof - once in a lifetime opportunity. I originally intended that cable to go to a multifunction printer nearby but had never done it - printer working OK via wifi so the cable has been laying idle for the last ~2yrs. Just had to pull it through one wall and we were at the splitter.

- when he arrived, he said VDSL should never have been installed "max 1km". "Just asking for problems".

- did a 13 min line test on incoming line, and a 6 min line test at the wall jack and said he was got zero errors which he found 'unbelievable' at 1.6km. Also was very surprised at the line speeds he was getting. Would never get that in an urban setting (which he was used to working in). When leaving said he was still shaking his head that the connection was 'that good' at this distance.

- said he would get a 24 hr line test done to provide a baseline in case of future issues.



Questions:

- why is the upstream line attenuation so much higher than down?

- given that we now have a single length of Cat6 cable direct from the master splitter, why are the speeds we are getting (slightly) lower than the figures we were getting when the VDSL was first installed 11 months ago (~22 / 0.9)? At that time the connection from the splitter to wall jack was via a Cat3 cable (with a join in it!). Indeed, were still getting 22 Mbs down a month ago through the joined Cat3 cable.

- Why the 'big' difference between the data rate (down) and MAX rate?

- a question I asked previously. Given the significant drop in upstream rate between the road (3 Mbs) and the incoming line to the splitter (~0.83), would it help to join the ends of the wires so that had a single pair, with each of the pair consisting of 3 wires?

In respect of the last question, the technician agreed it could potentially help but was not something he would do / had ever done. Was not certain if would get 'cross-talk' between the wires. Our previous house had Cat5 installed for landline internal wiring and in that case the the installers joined the wires so that had 2x2 wire pairs; ie. each of a pair consisting of two joined wires, effectively doubling the area of wire used. Said it would improve the line.



Comment:

Re 3G vs VDSL results below:

- Ping better and much more stable on VDSL

- Downstream average is about the same for 3G and VDSL, but the VDSL is much more stable. The 3G downstream speed varied from ~4.5 Mbs to 25 Mbs over the course of half an hour. Previously had seen a figure as low as 1.3 Mbs at night

- Upstream the 3G is considerably better than what we are getting on our VDSL connection. Would dearly love to see that a lot higher [frown]

- but main problem with 3G is that data cap of 120GB is too low for our usage, so is not really an option at this point.


Speed test results before and after re-established our VDSL connection (speedtest.net):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 1768007 20-Apr-2017 16:56 Send private message quote this post

I see we are on profile 8b.

 

 

 

The thread on Changes to DLM Incoming suggests possibly higher upload speed with 17a?

 

 

 

I take it we just have to wait until switch onto 17a.   Presumably by the end of May?


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  Reply # 1768009 20-Apr-2017 17:00 One person supports this post Send private message quote this post

you wont be guaranteed 17a. but going off the comments you may very well get it.

 

17a allows upload speeds up to 50mbps, line card dependant, one allows 50mbps the other 30mbps.


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  Reply # 1768280 21-Apr-2017 09:11 One person supports this post Send private message quote this post

Your line is currently interleaved with a high (13.4 dB) SNR margin. That suggests you're on some kind of stability profile, which makes sense given the problems you had before the technician's visit. I think the best thing you can do is not touch your modem for a couple of weeks and let DLM do its thing. I'm sure the process will squeeze a few more megabits out and hopefully drop your latency too.

 

Someone who knows more please correct me if I'm wrong, but 17a seems pretty unlikely at that distance, even with the new DLM changes. You're right at the very far margins of VDSL availability. If 17a worked on your line, wouldn't it work on every line - i.e. there'd be no need for profiles at all?


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  Reply # 1768579 21-Apr-2017 20:01 Send private message quote this post

for a line of your length, 17a would make the connection worse not better.

 

 

 

Your line is by far not a good case for 17a, the high upstream attenuation would still imply a bridgetap.

 

 

 

 

 

Little story about chorus techs, they told me my line was too far for VDSL.

 

This line was 2dB attenuation, across the road from the cabinet with exactly 233M of copper.

 

Fault was actually the wiring, which i knew and gave explicit reasoning (was resistance based) however they didn't want to do the job, so they picked lying their way out instead.

 

 

 

 

 

Now that's not to say this is the case for you, infact i would say 1KM is about right for your line attenuation, if you have high crosstalk in your area your line is actually as i would expect.

 

 

 

Please do not double up cables to try to "reduce" anything.





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.




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  Reply # 1768650 21-Apr-2017 23:03 Send private message quote this post

hio77: ... the high upstream attenuation would still imply a bridgetap. 

 

Hmm, that could well be the case - makes sense (now that I searched and found out what a bridge tap is!).  I assume we simply tap into the line part way along its full length?  Any chance of getting the wire cut so that there is a simple direct line running between us and the cabinet?

 

The distance we are at is challenge enough without the added burden of a bridge tap.  Our current upstream speed is awful.

 

Presumably the wires can always be re-joined later if needed.  But given the move away from copper and total resistance of council town planners to any further houses in this area it is unlikely the spare pairs in the cable will ever see duty.  At most there are about 15 houses further along the road that could be serviced from this cable (half of them more than 2km from the cabinet and about a third, 'weekend' use only).  The next cabinet along the road would be closer to any other houses. 

 

 

 

hio77: ... i would say 1KM is about right for your line attenuation, if you have high crosstalk in your area your line is actually as i would expect. 

 

We are quite a lot more than 1km from the cabinet.  Tech#2 tested line length at 1.6km, which is probably not far out.  I originally measured 1.8km around streets but (a) that was done on a Visual Earth satellite image in a Mercator projection that gives false distance readings, and (b) I realise now that another cabinet is ~0.1km closer, and on the same road as us.  I now get a touch under 1.5km and as the road from the cabinet to our roadside access point only has a couple of gentle curves, I suspect that 1.5km is close to correct.  About 0.4 km through residential, the rest 'rural'.  According to tech#2 the main line from the cabinet is a 50 pair cable with 0.6 mm diameter wires, if I recall correctly.  It runs along what used to be SH1.  I doubt there is high crosstalk on the line.  

 

Do not recall why I originally thought we were on the other cabinet, which is on a side street.  It was 3 yrs or so ago that I originally checked the distance.  Is there anyway of confirming which cabinet we are on?

 

 

 

hio77: ... Please do not double up cables to try to "reduce" anything. 

 

Thanks, that was one point I was keen to have clarified.  Is that because the cables are not as tightly twisted as Cat5/6 and hence risk getting "crosstalk" or similar?

 

If that is the case, then would there not be some loss to the unused wire pairs in the cables?

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1768655 21-Apr-2017 23:39 One person supports this post Send private message quote this post

DS248:

 

Is there anyway of confirming which cabinet we are on?

 

 

Your ISP can tell you.

 

The fibre running outside your gate, have you got a quote from Chorus for connecting to that?

 

Also, have you checked for non-4G wireless network operators in your area? (Start by looking on broadbandmap.nz)


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