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Topic # 23635 4-Jul-2008 21:21

For those many of you who are experiencing issues with TCL cable-modem internet performance, can I suggest you hang in there for a couple of weeks? 

I know most of you will anyway because face it, unless you live within a couple of km of a Telecom exchange then cable internet absolutely hoses all over anybody’s ADSL – Unless the cable operator tries really hard to screw up the HFC cable-modem system, and this accurately summarizes what TCL has done for the last 6 or 7 years.

However, TCL have within the last 2 weeks completed a modernization upgrade to HFC cable-modem and CATV transmission equipment in the Wellington HFC network – along with a CMTS augment – that will already be making a difference in some areas of Wellington and Kapiti. This augment itself doesn’t solve too many problems but it does provide the platform for cost effective upgrades that are easy to implement and which will improve cable-modem performance in the Wellington area.

The major issues currently affecting cable-modem performance are: The ARP issue, the size of the nodes (directly affecting in the “contention ratio”), and CMTS through-put. ARP Issue: Most of you are aware that TCL runs the cable-modem system as one huge flat VLAN, hence the ARP issue. The fix for this issue is to segment the VLAN into several smaller VLANS. TCL have trialed a fix (called VLAN segmentation) for this issue, and the result of the trial was better than hoped for.

The reason TCL have not fixed the ARP issue in recent years was not a technical issue, nor even a financial issue, it was a contractual issue with a number of business customers who had blocks of IP addresses from TCL. These contractual issues have been worked through, and the VLAN segmentation project is being implemented this week and next week. Yes, I’m saying the ARP issue should be resolved by end of next week.

Give it another week after that to allow for the usual delays and issues. Node Size Issue: TCL HFC network in Wellington has node sizes of up to 2000 homes/node. This is huge by international standards and quite an issue. TCL have planned and recently committed to a project to reduce node size (node segmentation). Each node will effectively get split into either two or four nodes depending on current size.

This split is made possible by the equipment recently installed in the HFC network and with a modest capital outlay. TCL absolutely do have plans to start segmenting nodes this financial year, and some should be completed prior to Christmas. I cannot understate the difference this will make. All your peak time woes should disappear. CMTS Through-put: Current CMTS units used in the TCL network have a 100Mb/sec Ethernet connection to the IP cloud.

It would be fairly accurate to say that currently, on average, there is one CMTS per node. One CMTS with its one Fast-Ethernet connection has a max through-put of possibly 60-70Mb/sec on a good day, so it doesn’t take a genius to work out that two or three 25Mb/sec (Warp Speed) customers on any one node will probably stuff the node. However – DOCSIS 3.0 is coming.

This is definite and it is coming soon-ish (I have no direct knowledge of a timeframe on this but when I find out I’ll tell you). Whatever other goodies DOCSIS 3.0 brings, it will also force TCL to upgrade CMTS units and the new units have Gigabit Ethernet connections - so end of CMTS through-put issues (for now). More when there is more to say.

[Moderator edit (MF): segmented, split this very long single paragraph post!]


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  Reply # 143114 4-Jul-2008 22:57
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very interesting post, keen to read more if you have the time!

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  Reply # 143115 4-Jul-2008 22:59
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Fantastic! More network upgrades that should have been done years ago! ... that will be delayed for another couple of years!

Any future date mentioned by TelstraClear or those "in the know" should have an extra 12-18 months added on by the reader. Now, where's that mysterious 25Mbit plan (in Wellington, for less than the GDP of a small nation) that was due last year? Hmm...

I'm not holding my breath as you can imagine...

(Thanks for letting us know, but it's just going to get peoples hopes up)

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 143117 4-Jul-2008 23:02
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They have until the 15th, mine is still being urinated on by a Telecom ADSL connection.

lots of promise, no refunds for dual-up-esque speeds and every excuse in the book, actual mux-modem cable speed is ok but there is next to no international performance!

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  Reply # 143139 5-Jul-2008 04:01
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glassman: ARP Issue: Most of you are aware that TCL runs the cable-modem system as one huge flat VLAN, hence the ARP issue. The fix for this issue is to segment the VLAN into several smaller VLANS. TCL have trialed a fix (called VLAN segmentation) for this issue, and the result of the trial was better than hoped for. The reason TCL have not fixed the ARP issue in recent years was not a technical issue, nor even a financial issue, it was a contractual issue with a number of business customers who had blocks of IP addresses from TCL. These contractual issues have been worked through, and the VLAN segmentation project is being implemented this week and next week. Yes, I’m saying the ARP issue should be resolved by end of next week. Give it another week after that to allow for the usual delays and issues.


Urgh.... Close, but not quite. It should be done and dusted by the end of July, but there are a couple of other "issues" holding things up. At this stage we're hoping to have the final work done in Wellington during the week starting the 21st , but that may slip a bit if the mentioned "issues" cause too many headaches.

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  Reply # 143140 5-Jul-2008 04:05
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paradoxsm: They have until the 15th, mine is still being urinated on by a Telecom ADSL connection.

lots of promise, no refunds for dual-up-esque speeds and every excuse in the book, actual mux-modem cable speed is ok but there is next to no international performance!


That's just bizzare, there's no congestion in the network once you get past the cmts, so you _should_ be getting whatever your tcp window size and the latency to wherever your going lets you have.

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  Reply # 143169 5-Jul-2008 11:20
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doppleganger:

Urgh.... Close, but not quite. It should be done and dusted by the end of July, but there are a couple of other "issues" holding things up. At this stage we're hoping to have the final work done in Wellington during the week starting the 21st , but that may slip a bit if the mentioned "issues" cause too many headaches.


Thanks for the reality check... The last thing you guys need is unrealistic dates put on you.

I do hope that you get it sorted soon though. Wink







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  Reply # 144291 8-Jul-2008 09:50
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Hi all

Is there any updates to this info?


cheers in advance

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  Reply # 144307 8-Jul-2008 09:58
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As the info is only 3 days old and we are being told that at BEST we are looking at the end of July I would not expect any updates until the end of July at the soonest.








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  Reply # 145518 9-Jul-2008 16:32
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Good stuff, glad to see that TCL finally sorted network performance, your description of the current network gels with the impression and understanding many of us had found, which to be quite honest is pretty poor, but as has been said the poor engineering was not an engineering decision but a commercial one, as often is the case.

You can be sure there will be many looking for good things to come from this upgrade.

I guess just one question more, will this upgrade include Kapiti as well as Wellington, and when is ChCh to be upgraded.

Cyril

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  Reply # 145565 9-Jul-2008 17:29
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I would love to see the upgrades, however I would just prefer are reliable service now!

Since I have been at work today, I have probably had my connection time out 4-5 times per hour! And I know it will only get worse when I go home tonight Frown

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  Reply # 145742 9-Jul-2008 21:28
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Between 8.30 and 9.30pm tonight I have lost connection every 3-5 mins approx...I have to apologise to my other 24 people in my warcraft raid and leave.

Noone can believe that I have a cable connection with a reputable telco that provides this service.


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Reply # 145839 9-Jul-2008 23:49
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I said a happy goodbye to the horrible Telstra cable internet last night, Telstra have utterly pitiful international bandwidth as my speedtests and just general usage have proved and on monday the actual cable network started to become very unstable. Cable1 works well in the USA but here it's a truly hopeless, unreliable and hideously overpriced service, actually, woosh-wireless is curently hosing the cable!!!!

I'm a very happy Telecom convert now enjoying my stable 5Mbps speeds to international destinations and watching 500Kbps youtube videos without them stalling evey 10 seconds for a rebuffer.

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  Reply # 145910 10-Jul-2008 08:35
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paradoxsm: I said a happy goodbye to the horrible Telstra cable internet last night, Telstra have utterly pitiful international bandwidth as my speedtests and just general usage have proved and on monday the actual cable network started to become very unstable. Cable1 works well in the USA but here it's a truly hopeless, unreliable and hideously overpriced service, actually, woosh-wireless is curently hosing the cable!!!!

I'm a very happy Telecom convert now enjoying my stable 5Mbps speeds to international destinations and watching 500Kbps youtube videos without them stalling evey 10 seconds for a rebuffer.



Well done. I assume you must be close to a telecom exchange to get this service?
Are you in Wellington?

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  Reply # 145919 10-Jul-2008 08:53
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So have Telstra stopped new cable internet hookups? I know it is a silly question as of course they have not but it really is getting to the critical stage and seems to be getting worse not better.

I would think that they would be stopping new connections until they can sort out the issues as they are going to loose what customers they have if it gets much worse.







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  Reply # 145944 10-Jul-2008 09:35
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mattbush:


I'm a very happy Telecom convert now enjoying my stable 5Mbps speeds to international destinations and watching 500Kbps youtube videos without them stalling evey 10 seconds for a rebuffer.



Well done. I assume you must be close to a telecom exchange to get this service?
Are you in Wellington?



Yes, Wellington, i''m not close to an exchange at all (3KM - 6500Kbps) hence my first choice initially being the more expensive cable promising 10Mbps, It delivered about 5Mbps nationally and less that 1Mbps internationally with really bad jitter and horrible pings.

Telecom was chosen mostly due to offering a 30 day guarantee, so far, so good, neighbour is with "someone else" on dsl and getting same national speed but a poorer international speed 1.5Mbps at worst times though nothing like cable-slow.

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