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jpollock
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  #542774 8-Nov-2011 19:35
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DonGould:
Are you suggesting that Telstra are the fastest just because they fudge the figures and Vodafone have been in the back water because they just don't bother?


Actually, I'm saying that TCL is probably performing better because they have more aggressive caching than Vodafone, or that Vodafone actually provides a connection without a transparent proxy.  It could also be that TCL's cable subscribers are all located close to the same cache, increasing the cache hit rate.  Without the ability to analyse the methodology, we can make no conclusions.  Shifting to https would result in more of an end-to-end test, but then it would be subject to preferential QoS if it didn't go to normal high traffic sites.

DonGould:
Is this information being used by consumers to make provider choices?  Or is it mainly being used by industry guys to help build business cases to get better get in to the network or the likes of Telecom to sell more capacity to slower providers?


If it wasn't important to consumers, you wouldn't have seen a billboard advertising the results. :)

DonGould:
If it's consumers, then yes, I can see a point for not having the figures fudged... but who would fudge it anyway that we wouldn't eventually notice and start posting on GZ naming names?  Just look at the long thread about the Telstra link to the US last month as an example.


Well, prior to that thread, I just assumed that TCL was shaping as a matter of policy.  Now we know that it's a fault, but a fault with an upstream provider, who is shaping as a matter of policy. :)

They'll definitely do it.  Heck, I would do it!  It will provide a temporary advantage for a couple of years (until everyone installs a cache), but that's long enough to make a tonne of cash.  I don't see any legal repercussions - they're reporting the results, but they don't validate the results, nor guarantee that they are representative.  That's the tester's role.

I have personal experience with dodgy carriers, and the games they play.  Not NZ, but overseas.

So, yes, they will do that sort of thing.  It had no effect on NVidia's or ATI's sales when they were caught. :)




DonGould
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  #542823 8-Nov-2011 20:32
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jpollock: If it wasn't important to consumers, you wouldn't have seen a billboard advertising the results. :)


Telstra is sighting the TrueNet stats as evidence that they're the fastest... but at what?  At 15mbit or even 25mbit they're not the fastest anymore at all, VDSL2 is, if you look at straight line speed, or even fibre if we count the small installation up north...

Does this sort of marketing help or hurt the brand? 

Clearly Telstra feel it helps the brand and they run a very large successful enterprise, so I have to give it to them.

...But would the smaller guys get away with this kind of selective marketing?

However from a consumer point of view, are we wining from this, even if the information really is a bit questionable?

Is it causing the competitors, to Telstra, to put more effort in to improving their systems?  Or do we think they're just working harder to fudge the facts and make their product not look as far behind as it really is?

I guess I agree with you, I'd like to know if John is moving the goal posts around fast enough to just cause the providers to just improve the services rather than focus on fudging.

But will the marketing from Telstra simply do the job and pull customers from competitors until someone shows up that someone else is faster? 












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freitasm
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  #542827 8-Nov-2011 20:38
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jpollock:
DonGould:
Are you suggesting that Telstra are the fastest just because they fudge the figures and Vodafone have been in the back water because they just don't bother?


Actually, I'm saying that TCL is probably performing better because they have more aggressive caching than Vodafone, or that Vodafone actually provides a connection without a transparent proxy.


This doesn't seem to be the case anymore. It looks like Vodafone is using a transparent proxy now - although I couldn't get anyone on record to confirm or deny it.





 

 

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mattbush
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  #542896 8-Nov-2011 23:54
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My observations tell me that generally vodafone have been crappy for 2 of the last three months...kinda scary really considering their company size, and Telecom have been extremely reliable over the full period.

I certainly wouldnt be happy being a Vodafone customer!!!

johnr
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  #542913 9-Nov-2011 06:09
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mattbush: My observations tell me that generally vodafone have been crappy for 2 of the last three months...kinda scary really considering their company size, and Telecom have been extremely reliable over the full period.

I certainly wouldnt be happy being a Vodafone customer!!!


Hi Matt

Can you please provide some evidence to back this up?

When Vodafone is having issues we get complaints on the VFNZ forum / Geekzone, Both these places have been very quiet lately!

If there is a major speed / latency issue that customers are experiencing on Vodafone fixed Broadband please let me know so we can get this looked into ASAP,

John

freitasm
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  #542923 9-Nov-2011 07:29
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I think the most recent issues on Vodafone involved DNS failing, or the use of a transparent proxy set to use an overseas DNS by default. I received reports of cdn.geekz1.com being resolved to our overseas CDN provider instead of using our local servers. At the same time other web sites failed to load.

This was solved the same day and seems it didn't happen again.

That is one of the things that made me think a transparent proxy was placed in their network.




 

 

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DonGould
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  #542938 9-Nov-2011 08:47
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johnr: When Vodafone is having issues we get complaints on the VFNZ forum / Geekzone, Both these places have been very quiet lately!


Quoting John here, but more a general comment...

Is the market starting to sort it self out?

Are customers starting to look at information, such as published by TrueNet and just get better at figuring out where they should be?

After my families experience with Vodafone, I wouldn't choose them as an ISP for my needs... the TrueNet data seems to back up the suggestion that they don't represent a good value choice for me.

That's not to say that VF don't offer a product that is more than acceptable in the market place.  It simply means that it's not a product that would fit me.

Is the market starting to figure out what's what and buy the right product fit?

Clearly, VF is not as snappy, as Telstra.  It's also a different price and there are other added value points that Telstra don't do.

Is the complaining slowing down because customers are learning more about what to expect from each provider and not just expecting every ISP to deliver the same performance level and then get annoyed when it doesn't measure up?

Is TrueNet's project actually helping the whole industry by better managing consumer expectations with month by month real performance information?

Is this in turn having a flow on effect of reducing customer complaints and matching customers with providers?








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johnr
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  #542948 9-Nov-2011 08:56
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Don we have fantastic growth in the fixed line space,

John

mattbush
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  #542953 9-Nov-2011 09:11
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I would like to think that customers are using available information more to make purchasing decisions, rather than the marketing smoke and mirrors a lot of "telcos" seem to use. More and more information is becoming available via many "social" type sites that all providers need to be aware of.

It is indeed good to see that some of the bigger players in NZ are actually responding in a quick fashion to comments in forums such as this.

jpollock
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  #542955 9-Nov-2011 09:15
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freitasm: I think the most recent issues on Vodafone involved DNS failing, or the use of a transparent proxy set to use an overseas DNS by default. I received reports of cdn.geekz1.com being resolved to our overseas CDN provider instead of using our local servers. At the same time other web sites failed to load.

This was solved the same day and seems it didn't happen again.

That is one of the things that made me think a transparent proxy was placed in their network.



And that says what this test is really measuring - the presence of an aggressive transparent proxy -  not any improvement in network performance.

This is of limited benefit as more and more traffic begins to go https.  Google, Facebook, Twitter, even Youtube.  Anyone with an account that people want access to - it's behind https by default.

In those situations a transparent proxy provides no benefit.  A non-transparent proxy will even slow it down, since it must parse and pass the request on.




DonGould
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  #542970 9-Nov-2011 09:32
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johnr: Don we have fantastic growth in the fixed line space,

John


I think this is great news for the industry. :)

Why do you think this is John?  You commented that complaints are quietening down.  Do you agree at all with the suggestion that perhaps your company was getting a share of the wrong kind of customer but those customers are now finding a providers more suited to their expectations?

Do you think that your support systems (forums being the best example, and local support desk) are just getting better traction so you're actually dealing with customers better which is having the flow on effect of giving your staff more room to breath and just deliver a better service?









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johnr
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  #542989 9-Nov-2011 09:56
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DonGould:
johnr: Don we have fantastic growth in the fixed line space,

John


I think this is great news for the industry. :)

Why do you think this is John?  You commented that complaints are quietening down.  Do you agree at all with the suggestion that perhaps your company was getting a share of the wrong kind of customer but those customers are now finding a providers more suited to their expectations?

Do you think that your support systems (forums being the best example, and local support desk) are just getting better traction so you're actually dealing with customers better which is having the flow on effect of giving your staff more room to breath and just deliver a better service?




All our call centre staff are now NZ based here in Auckland which has helped so much!

This is now going off topic of this thread Don

John

michaeln
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  #543055 9-Nov-2011 12:14
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jpollock:
freitasm: I think the most recent issues on Vodafone involved DNS failing, or the use of a transparent proxy set to use an overseas DNS by default. I received reports of cdn.geekz1.com being resolved to our overseas CDN provider instead of using our local servers. At the same time other web sites failed to load.

This was solved the same day and seems it didn't happen again.

That is one of the things that made me think a transparent proxy was placed in their network.



And that says what this test is really measuring - the presence of an aggressive transparent proxy -  not any improvement in network performance.

This is of limited benefit as more and more traffic begins to go https.  Google, Facebook, Twitter, even Youtube.  Anyone with an account that people want access to - it's behind https by default.

In those situations a transparent proxy provides no benefit.  A non-transparent proxy will even slow it down, since it must parse and pass the request on.


But, alongside that comes content distribution networks (CDNs), such as Akamai. Valve's Steam servers are also CDNs. As ISPs respond to objective surveys (and accurate, objective surveys are good for the industry IMHO) more of these get installed. They work just fine with  encryption.

And I repeat, the aim of the test is to measure the sort of performance the 'average' customer gets. So, if there is an aggressive transparent proxy that significantly reduces latency, I would argue that that was an improvement in network performance. As far as the customer is concerned it certainly is.

The network isn't just fat pipes and big switches: it also includes fast DNS, good caches, CDN, et. etc.

freitasm
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  #543080 9-Nov-2011 13:01
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I agree. It's the "experience" that counts.

For example I am working on a paper about optimization. On a 1.5 Mbps line and using certain technologies we are able to push compressed and optimized stuff at a rate that on the other side looks like six times faster than the nominal line speed.

Wouldn't you want to experience that as a customer?

The only problem with transparent proxies is when they are not transparent - and it looks like most ISPs don't have a good grip on performance management yet...






 

 

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jpollock
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  #543152 9-Nov-2011 14:44
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freitasm: I agree. It's the "experience" that counts.

For example I am working on a paper about optimization. On a 1.5 Mbps line and using certain technologies we are able to push compressed and optimized stuff at a rate that on the other side looks like six times faster than the nominal line speed.

Wouldn't you want to experience that as a customer?


If that's what the far end decides to provide, then yes.  In fact, everyone should be gzip'ing their files as they are placed on the server.  It's one of those "free" optimisations.  Same goes for putting the CSS at the top, and the javascript at the bottom.  Gzipping alone will reduce page download times by ~70%.

If it's the proxy in the middle installed by my ISP reformatting the HTML/javascript and re-compressing the images?  No way, not at all.  Evil, evil, ptooey, ptooey.

If it's the far end's CDN which is reformatting it and publishing it, sure, that's end-to-end.

freitasm:
The only problem with transparent proxies is when they are not transparent - and it looks like most ISPs don't have a good grip on performance management yet...


We're getting away from what is my central points:

1) The existing test prefers ISPs with transparent proxies.
2) We don't have sufficient information on the methodology used by the test.  Surprising considering TrueNet is a JV with Catalyst and TrueNet mentions Open Source...
3) The test seems to measure access using HTTP to the Web.

I maintain that this makes the test suspect, prone to gaming, and of short term value.  For example, if it is port 80 only, HTTPS, RTMP, RTP, SPDY will all be ignored.  This means that flash video traffic isn't included in the test, nor internet voice, nor anything that Chrome does with Google.  Those are all large sources of traffic on the network, and ones that customers have complained about (TCL + YouTube?)...

Even worse, if the test prefers cache hits, it will prefer locations where the data is pre-cached.  Therefore, it will prefer locations where all of the customers using the equipment can be expected to go through the same cache server.  Smaller ISPs, or ISPs with fewer customers reporting results will be at a disadvantage because there won't be enough hits on the test data to keep it in the cache between test runs, and other test equipment won't come along to hit the cache while it is hot.  This doesn't represent a benefit to a customer, merely a benefit for the test.

Now, if we want to have a discussion about net neutrality, we can.  It is my firm beliefe that all connections should be end-to-end.  If I ask for a connection to 10.10.10.1, I should get content from 10.10.10.1 (cached if the protocol allows it).  What should not happen is that I should ask for content from 10.10.10.1, and get content from www.google.com because my ISP's (or any ISP until the destination owner's) transparent proxy redid the address lookup.  No proxy, other than one owned by the destination, should ever, ever, ever modify the content flowing through it.




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