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# 167395 12-Mar-2015 11:50
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I signed up to GeekZone after being guided here by a friend. I was mainly interested in posting what I have written below, but overall I can't believe I've only just found this site!

Regardless, I am on an unlimited ADSL plan with Compass Communications. Over the past few months (we have been with them for ten months, since moving into our current place) we have had horrific connection spikes. They are hard to track and harder to contact Compass about, as the connection adjusts itself by the time I get home from work, and my husband doesn't know enough about computers to explain what is going on to their 0800 number.

Their ticketing system on the website has also never worked (something I have mentioned to them before), as submission of any tickets simply leads to a blank page and doesn't actually send any data through. There is also no email address displayed on their site, and the hours that the 0800 number is open only flashes up for a few seconds before redirecting to the broken ticketing system.

Getting onto my actual problem, this is the trace I ran last night during one of the spikes. These are now occurring daily, and as I work 9-5 outside of the house, my husband works online from home. By the time I get home in order to call them and deal with our router locally, the spike is gone. I called them about it when it was happening earlier this week, and they talked me through redoing the settings on the router and eventually telling me that it was my filter. They warned that if it was, I could be charged for the support call. I replaced my filter the next day, which improved our "regular" speed by about 2mb but has not helped the DSL spikes in any way. The above tracert clearly shows that pinging TO the router is fine, it's from the router to everywhere else that is the problem.

Is there anything else I can do from my end (short of moving to an area that offers fibre or at least VDSL), whether it's talking to them or pointing at my screenshot and going "hey look at this"? My husband really wants to change ISPs because of this problem but I know we're on a contract (I also know I can cut it short if it's their fault, but are they going to admit that?) and changing can be a hassle so I only want to do it once.

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5732 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  # 1256983 12-Mar-2015 11:50
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Hello... Our robot found some keywords in your post, so here is an automated reply with some important things to note regarding broadband speeds.



If you are posting regarding DSL speeds please check that



- you have reset your modem and router



- your PC (or other PCs in your LAN) is not downloading large files when you are testing


- you are not being throttled by your ISP due to going over the monthly cap



- your tests are always done on an ethernet connection to the router - do not use wireless for testing



- you read this topic and follow the instructions there.



Make sure you provide information for other users to help you. If you have not already done it, please EDIT your post and add this now:



- Your ISP and plan



- Type of connection (ADSL, ADSL2, VDSL)



- Your modem DSL stats (do not worry about posting Speedtest, we need sync rate, attenuation and noise margin)



- Your general location (or street)



- If you are rural or urban



- If you know your connection is to an exchange, cabinet or conklin



- If your connection is to a ULL or wholesale service



- If you have done an isolation test as per the link above



Most of the problems with speed are likely to be related to internal wiring issues. Read this discussion to find out more about this. Your ISP is not intentionally slowing you down today (unless you are on a managed plan). Also if this is the school holidays it's likely you will notice slower than usual speed due to more users online.



A master splitter is required for VDSL2 and in most cases will improve speeds on DSL connections. Regular disconnections can be a monitored alarm or a set top box trying to connect. If there's an alarm connected to your line even if you don't have an alarm contract it may still try to connect so it's worth checking.



I recommend you read these two blog posts:



- Is your premises phone wiring impacting your broadband performance? (very technical)



- Are you receiving a substandard ULL ADSL2+ connection from your ISP?

I am the Geekzone Robot and I am here to help. I am from the Internet. I do not interact. Do not expect other replies from me.

15345 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1257015 12-Mar-2015 12:14
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That first hop is the killer. It could be a physical fault or something outside the control of your ISP. Regardless of that if you can't log a problem or they don't react to problems then yes, change providers to one that will help. Spark are used to dealing with the general population who can't describe problems well, and as a technical customer I've found Snap to be excellent.


157 posts

Master Geek

  # 1257055 12-Mar-2015 12:45
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That's a huge lag.


Though it last mile problem. Might not be fixed by changing provider, as this is most likely telcom provider (chorus?) responsibility rather than ISP. However, your ISP should check and punch them to fix problem.

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  # 1257289 12-Mar-2015 16:07
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Thanks for your replies! I did notice that the heaviest spikes did hit hops along TelstraClear zones (through multiple traces and pings, not just the screenshot above) but Compass would still deny anything was wrong with the internet at their end- something I thought they'd be able to see if the ping to my router internally was fine.

I will look into Snap- I hadn't heard of them before. I'm in a central location but in a little pocket of "You can only get ADSL and nothing else". Despite being a ten minute walk away from a gigabit connection at work.

5595 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1257301 12-Mar-2015 16:27
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Pirran:[snip]I'm in a central location but in a little pocket of "You can only get ADSL and nothing else".

Can you answer PeterReader's questions above - in particular your ADSL line stats from the modem, and more precisely your location (suburb or town - don't need your exact address!).

As above, it's the first hop that is the problem. There are two general causes of this.

First is your internal wiring of your home causing some sort of issue, and this can usually be identified from the line stats.

The second, and I suspect more likely in your case from the info provided so far is that you are in a rural (or semi) location with very limited backhaul. This basically creates congestion, and leads to very high latency on the connection. If this is the case, then changing ISP will make no difference, as they will all be providing a connection from the same equipment.

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  # 1257310 12-Mar-2015 16:41
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I'm in West End, Palmerston North - about a ten minute walk from the center of town, certainly not rural. I'm in a unit and my neighbor in the connecting unit is with Spark and has said that he has no spike problems. I'll grab my router stats when I get home (I'm in town just finishing up work at the moment).

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Uber Geek


  # 1257313 12-Mar-2015 16:45
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ADSL line stats will probably tell us if you're on a Conklin, these are old DSLAMs from Jetstream days, which have very limited backhaul.  It would certainly explain things a little.


4238 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1257338 12-Mar-2015 17:35
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Pirran: I'm in West End, Palmerston North - about a ten minute walk from the center of town, certainly not rural. I'm in a unit and my neighbor in the connecting unit is with Spark and has said that he has no spike problems. I'll grab my router stats when I get home (I'm in town just finishing up work at the moment).

Changing provider will let you be served off a local cabinet rather than the UCLL gear that is all the way over in the exchange on church street.

You can get VDSL pretty much anywhere in' West End' but to be sure juat put your address in to

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  # 1257406 12-Mar-2015 19:39
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According to the Chorus maps link there, fibre is scheduled in our area by June 16th. If I literally move less than 100m towards town, I'd be in its current zone. It is so disappointing, haha. Broadband in my area is at > 10MB according to that same map.

Here are some stats:

4238 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1257423 12-Mar-2015 19:50
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...did you read my post. Check the Chorus map. It is more than likely Compass is feeding you from the exchange rather than a closer cabinet.

Edit: sorry, i didnt read your post haha. OK so 10Mbps you must be feed from the exchnage regardless. Compass must have some issues with backhaul to PM and need to fix this. If you change providers you will get put on Chorus gear which most certainly doesn't have backhaul issues.

5595 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1257437 12-Mar-2015 20:09
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The 9dB downstream noise margin pretty much confirms the ULL connection (Chorus would be 12)

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  # 1257454 12-Mar-2015 20:28
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Hi chevrolux, I did indeed read your post (and mentioned the key in my above post) though I'm not sure how it shows whether Compass is connecting me through the cabinet on the corner of the street, or through the exchange further on.

Thank you for your help also, RunningMan. The question probably remains now, how do I go about fixing it? Is it possible to be moved closer with Compass, how do I know which ISPs would do it? This has basically been a crash course in NZ internet for me, as I've never had these problems before and my computer expertise doesn't really sit with networks at all.

5595 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1257459 12-Mar-2015 20:40
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Chevrolux has the local knowledge and it's looking like it may be the ISPs back haul but it would pay to rule out a local problem with your equipment or wiring as well.

Does your modem show any errors (FEC etc) in the stats page? Also, can you check and see if the noise margin or attenuation fluctuate when the problem shows up.

Once you've ruled out a few basics then it's worth escalating to the ISP to see if they can resolve it

1408 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1257460 12-Mar-2015 20:41
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You seem to describe that the latency spikes are only intermittent and do not necessarily only occur at peak usage times (usually considered evenings).

Are you sure your connection is idle? You may be saturating your 640 kbps upstream bandwidth.

Perhaps log on to check your usage meter determine whether there has been excess upstream traffic:

20 posts


  # 1257472 12-Mar-2015 21:05
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My wireless shows some errors (very few), the wired shows none (and the wired is where the spikes are during the day, on the home desktop). As the spikes are random, it might take some time for me to be able to log stats as they occur, but I'll post them here if I do manage to see them within the next week or so.

The Internet Usage page seems to have changed since I saw it last, it no longer gives me a graph, just an overall number and type of UBA.

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