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#115010 10-Mar-2013 18:21
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UFB isn't available in our street yet but the fibre is in. With the fibre network about a block away are we actually likely so see an increase in speed or will the copper bits still limit speed?




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  #777691 10-Mar-2013 18:25
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Yes it will be far faster than your copper although some ISPs have had teething issues. There is no copper involved with it and your distance form exchange etc. no longer has any bearing on speed.




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  #777694 10-Mar-2013 18:30
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There is no copper component to a UFB connection. Your speed will be a best effort connection up to the speed you choose - 30 Mbps / 10Mbps or 100 Mbps / 50 Mbps

 
 
 
 


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  #777704 10-Mar-2013 18:58
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What are you expecting to get from UFB? It probably won't do much for web browsing, but should be better for video streaming and large file downloads.




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  #777725 10-Mar-2013 20:15
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DarthKermit: What are you expecting to get from UFB? It probably won't do much for web browsing, but should be better for video streaming and large file downloads.


The lower latency can definitely help web browsing.




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  #777731 10-Mar-2013 20:41
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A large amount will depend on what your current choke points are, which depends on where you are, and where your ISP has invested. Most people (quite correctly) shouldn't have to ask silly questions of their ISP around network infrastructure, loading and so on, yet everything has a material bearing on performance. Of course, most ISP's won't reveal these critical metrics anyway...

GPON as being deployed can serve 24 connections, and has maximum performance of 2.4Gbps down and 1.2Gbps up. Divide that by 24 connections and you get 100/50 maximum access speeds, or the more throttled 30/10 which is being sold as mass market. Each connection comes with a CIR - Committed Information Rate - of 2.5Mbps, which is all that is undertaken to be delivered in a busy network. Anything faster than that is a plus - but compared to DSL, that is a MASSIVE uplift across the Broadband population. 

Connecting to this 24 user node is a transmission link, which ties you back to larger aggregation points, and the multiple aggregation points need to eventually connect to a handover point - 34 I think for UFB. This is where the ISP has to connect to collect traffic and on-deliver to wherever it's going.

Now comes investment. Those handover points are all over NZ, and that means real physical network builds and network infrastructure for an ISP. Not cheap - but this backhaul can be rented if you can't build it, but it's rationed tightly down to the bit as you would expect. You literally do get what you pay for.

This concept exists today with the DSL network as well (and to a similar degree for Metro Ethernet), but the choke points are keenly felt in many parts of NZ at the Access layer. People are either too far from the exchange for the copper to perform, they are on UCLL connections that are long distances from the exchange, they are not on cabinet connections, on it goes. Distance matters and affects raw performance.

But spend any time here reading about people's experiences changing from ISP to ISP, and you will see comparisons where people have changed from Slingshot to Snap and found massive uplift in speeds. The access network can't have been the chokepoint, which means it must have been the backhaul and ISP layer.

Today the copper network is still pretty busy, but Telecom (and Chorus) were forced to spend a LOT of money upgrading the backhaul and node network and a lot more traffic is being processed than ever before. 

UFB addresses constraints at the Access layer. Your local fibre connection to the aggregation point will be fantastic, and will become slower as people join the network. But pretty much every ISP out there is using the network they have already built, as a few UFB connections won't make much difference - yet. If they were busy and slow on copper, they will be so on fibre until they upgrade their transmission as well.

So, is there an answer?
If you're in the main areas of NZ getting UFB - ie Auckland - your ISP will have a good sized interconnection with Chorus and you will have great performance for a time. This is the 'empty network' feature.

If you're in Greymouth, I'd suggest you try and get some idea of what investment your ISP has made in backhaul. The reality is only Chorus and TelstraClear ran fibre around most of NZ (not sure how far FX went in the end), and only Chorus did the whole country. 

Being on a fast, low-latency network is fantastic - I am on TelstraClear Cable at 15/2 speeds and have been for years - and when you have to use a rubbish connection, it really shows.

If your ISP is already busy or has flaky performance, UFB won't do much except expose those shortcomings more effectively... but the ISP's making a real difference right now are those who live or die by using service as their differentiator (Snap it would appear) or price. Once the big ISP's wade in with pre-canned offers, their main differentiator will be a network of VERY big boxes and BIG connections between them all.






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  #777753 10-Mar-2013 21:57
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antoniosk: [snip] Each connection comes with a CIR - Committed Information Rate - of 2.5Mbps, which is all that is undertaken to be delivered in a busy network. Anything faster than that is a plus - but compared to DSL, that is a MASSIVE uplift across the Broadband population. 
[snip]


Lots of good info in your post, but it's always worth pointing out that the CIR of 2.5Mbps for the mass market service applies only to the High priority queue, and even then, is only required between the users ONT and the handover to the Retail Service Provider.

Certainly there are handover issues at places around the country at the moment on the Chorus DSL network, but UFB isn't a panacea.

Anyone expecting to get 2.5Mbps all the time, and 10-30Mbps most of the time to local and national Internet sources should expect 3 things.

1) They probably will get 2.5mbps anywhere at any time unless there's an issue at the other end (but the 2.5Mbps CIR will have nothing to do with this)
2) They'll probably get 10-30Mbps locally and MAYBE nationally. They might even get 10-20Mbps to international speedtests depending on how badly the particular speedtest server makes up the numbers. (They typically throw away slow tests to give an ESTIMATE of the highest possible rate)
3) Neither of these points will make much noticable difference in browsing or even video streaming compared to ADSL most of the time.

Cheers - N




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Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.


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  #777809 11-Mar-2013 07:49
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It's worth throwing in a few things just to add to the conversation..

The CIR is something that people need to understand as the many in the media did a good job of confusing this in the early days of UFB. High priority traffic queues (ie your CIR) is only for correctly tagged 802.1p traffic. The headline 30/10 or 100/50 speeds are all best effort traffic with absolutely no guarantee of performance.

One major shortcoming of UFB in my opinion is the inability for Chorus or any of the LFC's to offer both layer 2 and layer 3 services. With xDSL and HSNS at present Chorus are able to offer tail services to enable ISP's to offer services in areas where they don't have a handover or only have a small number of customers which would make buying backhaul from a 3rd party provider such as TCL, CityLink or FX uneconomic. With UFB an ISP has to have backhaul of their own or lease capacity in every UFB handover location if they want to provide services in that location. This is why we're already seeing some ISP's only offer services in some areas.

I see backhaul contention is also going to become a major issue in the future. Right now with DSL a vast majority of users have speeds well below that they should be getting because they don't bother sorting out their wiring in their home. If 500 customers of an ISP in one area fixed their wiring to take their ADSL connections from 5Mbps to 15Mbps this would result in a big increase in aggregate throughout. I even had somebody jokingly say to me last week after my home wiring blog post that there is no desire for Chorus or ISP's to install master filters for free as it would merely result in costly upgrades of backhaul to cope with this!

 
 
 
 


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  #777816 11-Mar-2013 08:31
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sbiddle:

The CIR is something that people need to understand as the many in the media did a good job of confusing this in the early days of UFB. High priority traffic queues (ie your CIR) is only for correctly tagged 802.1p traffic. The headline 30/10 or 100/50 speeds are all best effort traffic with absolutely no guarantee of performance.


Agree about needing to specially tag the high priority.

Ummm, as far as the fibre company is concerned the 30/10 and 100/50 do come with guarantees, that is, a maximum of 2% packet drop. While it may be called EIR it is not EIR in the usual sense of the term. Of the RSP may treat it as best effort.

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  #777818 11-Mar-2013 08:37
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I upload 5-15GB per week during summer, by FTP 3-5 connections at once, to my editor in the US. Right now I'm on 2Mbps up TC cable, and I get the full 2Mbps. If I get UFB am I likely to get the full 10Mbps up?

Also is there scope for the connections to upgrade to 1Gbps later? I can't see any real need for it right now, but limiting to 100Mbps seems a little short sighted.

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  #777821 11-Mar-2013 08:48
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timmmay: I upload 5-15GB per week during summer, by FTP 3-5 connections at once, to my editor in the US. Right now I'm on 2Mbps up TC cable, and I get the full 2Mbps. If I get UFB am I likely to get the full 10Mbps up?

Also is there scope for the connections to upgrade to 1Gbps later? I can't see any real need for it right now, but limiting to 100Mbps seems a little short sighted.


You can sign up for 1Gbps now if you want a P2P connection.

The 100/50Mbps limits at present exists so there is no contention on the 24 way GPON split as GPON can only deliver 2.4Gbps down and 1.2Gbps up.

It's inevitable that the GPON spec will eventually be upgraded to support faster than 2.4Gbps.

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  #777825 11-Mar-2013 08:53
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I probably don't want to pay for 1Gbps, I was just curious. What's P2P in this context?

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  #777830 11-Mar-2013 09:15
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Point to point fibre.


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  #777848 11-Mar-2013 10:22
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Steve, I found your reply very useful.

I had one of the first UFB residential installs in Grey Lynn, Auckland, last July 2012 after being approached by my ISP to switch from ADSL to UFB. I signed up for the 30/10 package but for the first few months enjoyed 64/32. My ISP said this was because Chorus was not throttling speeds at that early stage, so I should not to expect it to last.

It has been apparent for the last four months that I am now well and truly on the 30/10 plan I am charged for, excepting that I never get more than 27/8. (plus or minus 1Mbps)

Can I ask for your technical advice please about how I might go about encouraging my ISP to give me the full 30/10 I am paying for? Is there something they should be doing, that they aren't doing?

I know those readers hanging out for UFB might say I am being picky, but this speed difference is 10-20% slower than what my ISP advertises, and charges me for. What concerns me is that at such an early stage of the UFB rollout across the country that already speed is being throttled below that advertised to encourage new sign-ups, and if ISP's are doing this now, then it does not bode well for the future either.

When I first raised this speed shortfall with my ISP they showed little interest and even said that Chorus only guarantee a UFB speed of 2.5Mbps anyway! (in other words: I should be happy with anything faster than 2.5Mbps). They also tried to shift the responsibility to Chorus.

Steve, I would appreciate your thoughts on this issue. Is there anything I can raise with my ISP that will "encourage" them to deliver 30/10? Why do you think they are not delivering the full 30/10?

I am certain that if I said I wanted to stump up with another $30 a month for the full 100/50 plan that my speeds would increase overnight! But right now all I want is the 30/10 I am being charged for and know from my first few months experience, is deliverable.


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  #777849 11-Mar-2013 10:26
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I'm not Steve, but getting that sort of throughput is pretty impressive, and I wouldn't be complaining if I was you.

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  #777893 11-Mar-2013 11:43
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There is some good explanation of the factors mentioned above and a few others here. It's from an Aussie ISP but I believe that it's applicable in NZ: http://www.internode.on.net/residential/fibre_to_the_home/reach_fibre/performance/

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