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6 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 93664 4-Nov-2007 13:04
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*** Response from WorldxChange ***
 
We have been following this thread silently for about a month now because I instructed our staff not to respond to any posts for two main reasons.
 
Firstly, we wanted to get a better feel of what the actual end-user issues being experienced are so that we can differentiate between genuine user/service concerns and the nebulous noisy comments that are completely irrelevant etc.
 
Secondly, we had anticipated completing a major network integration milestone relating to DSL services in the first week of October that unfortunately slipped its deadline by three weeks and has just now been completed.
 
This upgrade was delayed due to "coordination issues" between access provider, hardware vendor and egress provider (read into this what you will...) and came at a time when some of our key resources were deployed elsewhere (ie Maverick in the USA etc)
 
I have no intention of revealing our detailed network topology and modus operandi on this forum (as it is the best source of information for our competitors to find out what we are doing) but I will attempt to provide some answers to the genuine issues relating to DSL speeds and throughputs that have been raised here.
 
There are three main bottlenecks in providing the current UBS DSL-based bitstream services to the masses in New Zealand.
 
The LAP
- This is the link between the legacy TDM-based DSLAMS and the first ATM switch in Telecoms network
- This link is where the current internet-grade specification is enforced and depending on which DSLAM you are connected to determines the maximim throughput of your service.
- LAP-based issues are not as prevalent as they were 12 months ago because of the topology changes that Telecom have implemented over the past year but can still affect the end user experience in some cases.
- Telecom has also been converting the legacy ASAM DSLAMS to the newer DSL2+ IP-based ISAMS and by the end of this year they would have migrated 50% of the country's DSL users onto this new hardware.
- As each exchange/cabinet DSLAM is converted, users will experience at least one outage and will notice inconsistent speeds and throughputs (normally the sync speeds increase and slight improvements in throughput have been reported)
 
The Handover link
- This is the link between Telecom's data network and the service provider's BRAS (Broadband Remote Access Server)
- The traditional handover link is an ATM-based STM1 tail although some of the larger ISPs have had to install STM4 tails to aggregate 4 x STM1 links
- Each service provider uses different network dimensioning figures for these handover links depending on whether their respective customer bases are high or low bandwisth users.
- Changes in customer profiles and rapid increases in customer numbers can and do cause throughput bottlenecks at peak times that cannot be quickly resolved due to the 60+ day leadtimes for additional links.
 
Upstream International bandwidth
- Clearly the most commonly picked on topic when end-users compare the performance of individual ISPs and the most expensive to address.
- As a general comment it is fair to say that most broadband users have absolutely no idea what international bandwidth costs but some of you do know and therefore have an understanding of the challenges that face an ISP.
- We normally purchase international bandwidth from our different upstream providers in significant blocks and we time our incremental bandwidth expansion as best we can to provide our users with as consistant an experience as we can.
- This is not a perfect solution because our internet user and data usage growth is generally linear (god bless torrents.....) whilst the bandwidth growth is stepped and this results in varying throughputs - generally at peak times.
- A (good) side effect of being awarded the industry's Telecommunications Carrier of the Year award in October was that our average daily broadband signups has doubled over the past few weeks and this has caused extra contention for bandwidth as well.
 
So - what are we doing about these issues...?
 
The recent network upgrades/augmentations that we have completed (albeit three weeks later than we had planned) include solutions to address each of the bottlenecks that we have partial or complete control of.
 
LAP
- Unfortunately, we cannot do anything about the LAP bottlenecks until we are able to get our hands on the first variant of EUBA that allows for CoS and QoS parameters (Enhanced UBA is regulated ethernet-based end to end service not available until Q3 of 2008)
 
Handover
- We have commissioned GB Ethernet handoff links to replace the existing ATM links that carry DSL users traffic between Telecom and ourselves
- At the same time we have also commissioned a new BRAS that has been speced for the existing UBS as well as UBA, EUBA, HSNS and all other ethernet-based NGN variants.
- To give you some idea of our level of commitment here, we have migrated from hardware with 1GB backplanes to hardware with 320GB backplanes which is larger than anything even Telecom/Xtra have in their network.
- All of our users will be migrated to this platform during early November with the cutover being done in the middle of the night - more to follow on this.
 
International bandwidth
- We have recently installed Akamai caching servers to increase the response times and throughput of some of the most popular local and overseas content.
- We also host the Valve Steam servers for New Zealand and with the recent release of Half Life Episode 2 these servers have been happily caching the game to users all over the country for the past few weeks.
- We have another massive block of international bandwidth being added this week that will definately resolve offshore speed issues for a while.
 
I am sure that these changes will resolve most (if not all) of the issues raised in this thread and our staff are outstanding in their willingness and ability to support you all if there are any other concerns.
 
Our intention is to always try and offer a better service than our competitors so we are happy to hear about the good and bad that our users experience whilst using our products and services and we will always do our best to resolve/adapt accordingly.
 
This is why we opened ourselves up on GeekZone in the first place.
 
On a final note, just because we do not respond to some threads immediately does not mean that we are not reading them and continuing to work behind the scenes...
 
Regards,
 
Paul Clarkin
Director, Operations & Carrier
WorldxChange Communications Limited
 
2007 Telecommunications Carrier of the Year

183 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 93671 4-Nov-2007 13:53
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Shrap:
- Clearly the most commonly picked on topic when end-users compare the performance of individual ISPs and the most expensive to address.


I appreciate finally getting a response from Xnet, though it should have come much sooner. However, I think the above quote is entirely inappropriate. Xnet's cost structure is of no concern to the customer. My next question is what is Xnet going to do for users who have been experiencing these issues for the last few weeks? Xtra did the right thing with their similar faux pas with regard to their failed "unlimited" plan recently - I believe Xnet should front up to affected customers and offer a similar credit. A CSR I spoke to on the phone about a week ago has already suggested I speak to management to seek a credit, but I believe Xnet management should be proactive in settling this issue.

 
 
 
 


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Reply # 93675 4-Nov-2007 14:11
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Its good hear to that world exchange is taking note of user experience and is taking action on this. Compare this in contrast with another provider recently who is providing substandard service on some connections and was not exactly up front to its customers.

It would have avoided a lot of posts if something had ben posted earlier, even if was something along the lines of 'yes there was an issue, sorry we can't comment on it' .




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  Reply # 93679 4-Nov-2007 14:30
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Question to WxC - We all know that international bandwidth is more expensive than national bandwidth, however, there no incentive to download a file nationally rather than internationally. Why not offer something like, for example, ~$0.80/GB national, and ~$1GB/international?

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  Reply # 93680 4-Nov-2007 14:42
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This has certainly be quite a significant issue for myself as I rely heavily on my VFX lines for most of my telecommunication needs. This network issue impacted quite heavily on the QoS for these lines, so much so that I have been very close to moving to an other ISP. It is good to hear this should now be resolved (or at least very soon as users get switch over).

I am certainly impressed to the extent of the behind the scenes upgrade that has gone on here. It sounds like you haven't just done a wee patch up job, but have obviously put in some serious infrastructure to really stay ahead of the game in future.

Cheers WxC !!!




Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend from $150 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
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  Reply # 93700 4-Nov-2007 17:27
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I agree with Mike Gayner. Initially being told by a CSR that my problem was "unusual" when there was a two page thread on people complaining about the issue (on GP Forums), and only receiving replies to every second email was far from reassuring. In fact it just pissed me off. It took about a month to get any confirmation that a problem even existed.

Anyway, I'd recommend you keep your "thank you for fixing it" posts until the have actually fixed it.




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173 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 93753 5-Nov-2007 08:17
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Just a general comment if I may.  I think its incredibly gutsy for any provider to come on to a forum and open themselves up to scrutiny - especially a technical forum as goodness knows how many execs, engineers, consultants, programmers, etc - there are here that can comment on and pick over every piece of information.  On that score Worldx are to be congratulated.  In addition, the information provided indicates Worldx are working incredibly hard behind the scenes - so thumbs up again.  In relation to the comments below, just a couple of things:

Shrap:
*** Response from WorldxChange ***
We have been following this thread silently for about a month now because I instructed our staff not to respond to any posts for two main reasons.
Firstly, we wanted to get a better feel of what the actual end-user issues being experienced are so that we can differentiate between genuine user/service concerns and the nebulous noisy comments that are completely irrelevant etc.
Secondly, we had anticipated completing a major network integration milestone relating to DSL services in the first week of October that unfortunately slipped its deadline by three weeks and has just now been completed.
This upgrade was delayed due to "coordination issues" between access provider, hardware vendor and egress provider (read into this what you will...) and came at a time when some of our key resources were deployed elsewhere (ie Maverick in the USA etc)


Firstly (and mods, please correct me if I'm wrong) - this is a public forum. As long as people register, abide by the terms and conditions, and stay on topic they can make as much nebulous noise as they like. Its entirely their right to do so.  If its isn't appropriate then I'm sure the mods will act accordingly - but up until that point the essential question is whether or not its relevant to the forum.
Secondly - slippages and projects delays happen - its a fact of life. Only worldx, however, are in a position to say conclusively whether or not the project could have been managed better, what other contingencies could have been taken, etc.

In any case, good luck for the future and congratulations on the TUANZ award.

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  Reply # 93763 5-Nov-2007 09:56
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I would like to back comments made by cokemaster (quck comment would have been helpful) and kiwioverseas above.

But good on you XNET for all the good (and expensive!) work going on behind the scenes. I look forward to a better peak hour experience.

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Reply # 93769 5-Nov-2007 10:44
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Excellent news, we can keep moving clients over to WorldxChange and not worry about performance issues. Thanks guys for spending the money on hardware and bandwidth :-)





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  Reply # 93771 5-Nov-2007 10:57
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Keeping in mind that you cannot receive much of that DSL traffic (unless you are doing ATMoE) over your new GigE link until 1st quarter next year I would hope that thats not the bottle neck. :)

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  Reply # 94009 6-Nov-2007 21:35
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anyone else having issues tonight?



Mines pretty bad....



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Geek


Reply # 94012 6-Nov-2007 21:39
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Nope... I'm way faster than you!  Surprised


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  Reply # 94015 6-Nov-2007 21:57
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As soon as we stop having problems, I'm sure these threads will be filled with "FINALLY"s




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Master Geek


  Reply # 94016 6-Nov-2007 22:07
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   40 kbytes   to  LA  from Auckland.    

   regards  Bruce. 


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  Reply # 94019 6-Nov-2007 22:28
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KiwiOverseas66: Firstly (and mods, please correct me if I'm wrong) - this is a public forum. As long as people register, abide by the terms and conditions, and stay on topic they can make as much nebulous noise as they like. Its entirely their right to do so. If its isn't appropriate then I'm sure the mods will act accordingly - but up until that point the essential question is whether or not its relevant to the forum.

Hi Kiwi, this reply is not a moan at you, its just an answer to your post :o)

This is a common misconception, the forums are the private property of the New Zealand company whoms server they run on. They are publicly accessible, just like a businesses reception area is, but they are most definitley not a 'public forum', users have no 'rights' here, other than basic NZ law (certainly no right to say whatever they please).

Moderators can and will delete posts and ban users at will to keep the quality of the forums consistent with the sites general desire to stay clean, tidy, relevant and fair, and typically I think the team does a great job of this, and we are certainly non-biased, despite having at least one of us every month being accused of being the lap dog of [insert telco/isp/softwarehouse/majorhardwaresupplier name here], when in most cases we are displaying neutral views, and in a few cases expressing our own valid opinion (sometimes we are wrong, just like users).

Sometimes people are given as much rope as we feel like giving them (often to simply hang themselves with), whilst others are cut off within seconds of actions that do not tickle our fancy.

</rant>

Again, this is a general reply for no one in particular. Please dont think its aimed at you!! It hasnt really been said for a while, and needed to be!

Complaints and comments are welcome







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