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Glurp
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Topic # 195190 9-Apr-2016 16:17
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Now that JohnR is out of the firing line, I really need to post a rant about VF. I wish to be absolutely clear that this is a rant. I am really frustrated and fed up but I don’t know if what I believe to be true actually is true. This is just my opinion but it is opinion fed by real irritation. If I am wrong about anything I would be glad to be corrected.

 

I am on 4G RBI. My ISP is Netspeed, a small operator, but as I understand it, my Internet connection and everything related to it actually comes from Vodafone.

 

For about the first half-year that we had RBI, we were delighted with it. Coming from dial-up, it was like coming from the Dark Ages. It worked well and reliably and our Internet speed was blazingly fast compared to anything we had experienced before, especially after we upgraded to 4G. We had regular, reliable download test speeds of about 30 mbps. This never varied by much. I installed a second antenna and our speeds went up to around 50 mbps. For several months this stayed the same. Streaming was smooth and we had the keys to the kingdom.

 

Then it all went to hell. Since December our speeds have plummeted and our connection has become completely unreliable. For two months we couldn’t stream at all. Our connection started jumping around between different distant masts instead of the one we were supposed to be getting our signal from. The signal was usually very weak, but occasionally it would jump up for brief periods. Sometimes the connection would disappear altogether. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Occasionally I received updates on this from my ISP. VF was having a problem with this. VF had stuffed up that. VF was doing maintenance. Etcetera, etcetera. The connection didn’t go down every day, but the average was probably about once a week. The thing is, it seemed to go down every time I needed to use it. I am only a private consumer, but if I had a business that was dependent on this service, I would be out of business by now.

 

For the last month or so it has been better again, almost back to how it used to be. I started to think that maybe the worst was over. Then today (Saturday, of course, that also seems to be part of the pattern) I noticed that pages were taking an awful long time to load. I checked the router. It had fallen back to 3G! Download speeds were around 2-3 mbps. This is a first. With everything else that has gone wrong, I haven’t encountered this one before.

 

I have been in frequent contact with my ISP about the ongoing problems. They seem willing to try to help, but they say their hands are tied. The issues all have to do with the ‘service’ being provided by Vodafone. They can relay my complaints but they can’t really do much else. I don’t get the feeling they are trying to pass the buck. I think they really can’t do much.

 

Yet here’s the thing: I am paying quite a lot of money (I think around $120/month or so) for a service that I am not getting. It is unreliable and I cannot depend on it. Much of the time it is too slow for anything other than email. Even when it works, there is no certainty that it will keep working long enough to watch an entire film or an episode from TV. It goes down for maintenance or whatever more often than it should. Even when it is running at normal speed, I get pixilation and freezing frames if too many people want to go on-line at the same time. It is like having a 1950s phone with a party line. It is unreliable, inconsistent, and poor quality.

 

Maybe this is the fault of my ISP, but I’m inclined to blame Vodafone, especially after all the other horror stories I have heard here. This seems to be a company in collapse. Their technology is falling apart and their customer service is even worse, if some of the tales here are to be believed.

 

 And this is what really incenses me: Thanks to the idiot policy of our government, which as I understand it (maybe incorrectly) has compounded their stupidity by making exactly the same dumb mistake that was made in the past with Telecom by creating protected monopolies and allocating bits of territory exclusively to those monopolies, I no longer have any effing choice to go anywhere else. Yes, I can change ISPs, but I will still be getting my RBI from bloody useless Vodafone because they have the only masts that serve my area because they have been given exclusive rights to that coverage. So how does it come about, that a company that systematically craps on its customers is permitted to be the only provider of RBI services to big chunks of the country? Or do I have this wrong?

 

Anyway, that is my rant. If I am being unfair to VF, I will be happy to apologise. But I am still paying way too much money for way too little service. RBI in our area, which used to be good, has now become crap. Why should this be?  I haven’t used up our 80 gig data cap in months. I couldn’t even if I wanted to. But we are still being charged for it. Why can’t Spark, or 2 degrees, or anyone else put up an RBI mast for our area so there is a little competition and maybe even a little free choice? I realise New Zealand is a small market, but there does seem to be an unnatural obsession with monopoly providers here.

 

There. I am done. Everybody jump on me with both feet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 1529042 9-Apr-2016 16:17
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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:

 





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.



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  Reply # 1529053 9-Apr-2016 16:20
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Does PeterReader work for VFNZ?


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  Reply # 1529081 9-Apr-2016 17:16
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I do feel that you've been a little unfair and assumed the worse and laid the blame at Vodafone's feet based on subjective opinions voiced here.
I'm happy to look into your issue if you'd like to drop me a message here or via the Vodafone Community with your address.
Mike




Channel Manager, Help & Support @ Vodafone NZ


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  Reply # 1529094 9-Apr-2016 17:29
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So RBI is over Cellular, has the antenna moved in any direction even by the slightest this WILL affect received signal thus have a bearing on tcp/ip packets and will appear to be a slow or patchy connection.








Glurp
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  Reply # 1529111 9-Apr-2016 17:55
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MikeHales: I do feel that you've been a little unfair and assumed the worse and laid the blame at Vodafone's feet based on subjective opinions voiced here.
I'm happy to look into your issue if you'd like to drop me a message here or via the Vodafone Community with your address.
Mike

 

Thanks for your response. I do appreciate it. I don't know if I am being unfair or not. That is why I made clear that it was a rant. All I know is that there seem to be ongoing issues and I am paying for something I am not getting. At present my Internet speed seems to be back again. The signal is good and I am on 4G. But these kinds of things keep happening and there is no good explanation for them. I will PM you.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 




Glurp
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  Reply # 1529112 9-Apr-2016 17:57
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phantomdb:

 

So RBI is over Cellular, has the antenna moved in any direction even by the slightest this WILL affect received signal thus have a bearing on tcp/ip packets and will appear to be a slow or patchy connection.

 

 

No, this is something I have carefully checked in the past. It does not seem to affecting the problems.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 1529113 9-Apr-2016 18:02
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Does your LOS to the tower have trees in the path? I have seen negative effects when wet trees hamper the rx levels, furr trees are pitucularly bad.

gwh

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  Reply # 1529117 9-Apr-2016 18:09
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phantomdb:

 

So RBI is over Cellular, has the antenna moved in any direction even by the slightest this WILL affect received signal thus have a bearing on tcp/ip packets and will appear to be a slow or patchy connection.

 

 

 

 

This is completely incorrect in the context of RBI. Alignment needs to be "good enough" not precise like wireless broadband in the 2Ghz or 5Ghz spectrum. It will affect the upstream traffic before it affects downstream. 




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  Reply # 1529181 9-Apr-2016 19:49
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kornflake: Does your LOS to the tower have trees in the path? I have seen negative effects when wet trees hamper the rx levels, furr trees are pitucularly bad.

 

Yes, there are some Redwood trees. Branches criss-cross LOS but there are gaps through them. Initial installation was end of July last year, so we have had wet trees in the way before. I don't think they are a major issue, though of course I cannot be certain.

 

 





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  Reply # 1529184 9-Apr-2016 19:54
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I would say if your signal is jumping around and has reduced so much, This would be a case of going back to the provider and saying Here's the issues im noticing. This is happening, could you look at it? I agree, sounds like they are passing the buck rather than looking at the issue.

 

 

 

Sounds like something has gone wrong, i would say December would just be the increase in holidaying visitors but obviously thats past now.





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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.




Glurp
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  Reply # 1529185 9-Apr-2016 19:54
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gwh:

 

phantomdb:

 

So RBI is over Cellular, has the antenna moved in any direction even by the slightest this WILL affect received signal thus have a bearing on tcp/ip packets and will appear to be a slow or patchy connection.

 

 

 

 

This is completely incorrect in the context of RBI. Alignment needs to be "good enough" not precise like wireless broadband in the 2Ghz or 5Ghz spectrum. It will affect the upstream traffic before it affects downstream. 

 

 

I agree. After the problems did not get better I experimented extensively with both antennas and their precise alignment made little difference. Eventually I put them back in their original positions. Reception is either good or poor but the antennas do not seem to be a factor in this. Something else is causing it.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 




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  Reply # 1529189 9-Apr-2016 20:00
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hio77:

 

I would say if your signal is jumping around and has reduced so much, This would be a case of going back to the provider and saying Here's the issues im noticing. This is happening, could you look at it? I agree, sounds like they are passing the buck rather than looking at the issue.

 

 

 

Sounds like something has gone wrong, i would say December would just be the increase in holidaying visitors but obviously thats past now.

 

 


I have gone back to my provider, many times. He doesn't understand it either. We have tried different things. At least some of the problem was due to the fact that I was being switched between different masts much further away than the one I should be using but he couldn't figure out why. There was also another unexplained problem because sometimes even when I was on the correct mast, the signal was very poor. A third problem was inconsistency. Sometimes everything magically cleared up and worked normally again for a period of time. That is why I said sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Whatever is causing this seems to be at the Vodafone end but it is very hard to pinpoint.

 

 





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  Reply # 1529213 9-Apr-2016 20:32
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Have you considered moving providers? 

 

http://www.ultimatebroadband.co.nz/rbi-wireless.html

 

 

 

Would be worth a look, who knows maybe even a chat to @coffeebaron might net you a few tips to try.





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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 # 1529214 9-Apr-2016 20:38
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Could it be an issue with the rx aireals on the tower, shame a certain person is no longer here... ask your reseller to ask one of the Vodafone RF engineers to look at the tower stats.



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  Reply # 1529215 9-Apr-2016 20:38
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Not something I am eager to do but I might change my mind if the problems continue. The thing is, I have already invested a lot with this one paying for the initial set-up and the equipment, which I bought outright. I also don't know that things would be any different if VF is still supplying my RBI signal. I like my current ISP and I don't think the problem is their fault, though I have no way of knowing for certain.

 

Until today things had improved quite a bit. They are back to normal now. I will wait and see a little longer.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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