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51 posts

Master Geek

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Topic # 112956 29-Dec-2012 12:20
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Always a problem when there are multiple issues and topics, and I know some of these have been brought up previously but trawling through the posts I see that some of the threads have not been posted on for a while, so perhaps i am the only one left...

I moved to the AYCE plan (yes, i know) because we are a household of 7 and have multiple data needs. Streaming, browsing, Skype, downloads etc and i was regularly burning through my cap. 

All worked fine for about 4 or 5 months, but in the last 3 months, the problem has been unpredictable Download Speeds.

I'm metres from a cabinet. My modem always connects at around 13Mb but I get on average 4Mb, with speed test varying wildly from < 2Mb to approx 11 Mb within 2 minute periods. There is no consistency or predictability at all, and this problem exists throughout the day.

On-line streaming is virtually impossible due to the constant buffering. Even watching a 2 minute trailer requires three or four interruptions to allowing buffering to take place. Accessing a site with graphics is like the days of dial-up in watching an image to appear bit by bit.

Now, I have fair number of devices in my house. Some connected by wireless and some connected physically to my router, so here's what i did...

Disconnected everything. One device, physically connected to one router. Even disconnected the one phone from the line to avoid complications of a noisy filter. Same result. approx 2Mb download speeds.

Then, just incase it was either the router or the device connected to the router, I've changed them both. New router, different PC connected to it. Same thing.

So, for FIVE days I've been trying to get Slingshot to help with this. First person tried to get me to change to a capped plan as they didn't understand the problem wasn't with traffic shaping. (Interestingly, the person also didn't seem to realise that should I move to capped plan, I would have to enter a new 24 month contract with Slingshot should i wish to move back to AYCE. Quite worrying that the support team can unintentionally mis-direct in that way). The biggest problem i had was convincing someone that the 13mb connection speed does not dictate the minimum download speeds you'll receive. Again, slightly worrying from a support point of view.

So after providing results of ping tests and traceroutes and screenshots of speed tests etc, they have agreed to get a Chorus technician to come have a look, at some point within the next 3 days. 

My concern is that the should the Chorus technician be able to resolve the problem (I have no doubt they will find one). The amount of effort and time it has taken to convince Slingshot that this it is their problem, not mine is just confirming my belief that they are not equipped to manage such a service and it comes across in limited customer service.

I may have signed a contract, but think I may end up trying to slip out of this one without additional cost and on to a different provider.

I'm not really asking for anything, but just sharing my Christmas frustration.


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  Reply # 738297 29-Dec-2012 12:30
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Sounds like you've done most of the steps of an isolation test, short of connecting your modem directly at the demarc.

Can you post your modem line stats please?

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  Reply # 738309 29-Dec-2012 13:03
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What are your DSL sync stats and more importantly are they varying over time, or just speedtest results?

DSL sync stats are far more important than speedtest results, and if you are really "metres" away from a cabinet it would highly likely point to a wiring issue. Statistically speaking most wiring issues are in the home, and not on the Chorus network.

 
 
 
 


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Master Geek

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  Reply # 738314 29-Dec-2012 13:16
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dmartora - send me an email with your account number and I will get a senior member of our tech team to investigate further. My initial thoughts are in house wiring (as suggested by sbiddle), or speed MAY vary if your are connected to an old BUBA-only exchange or a Conklin in the chorus network. I am doubtful that the perceived speed reduction relates to the core network in this instance.

Regardless - let's get to the bottom of the problem for you and your flat mates.


Regards

Scott Page
Slingshot General Manager
Scott.page@team.slingshot.co.nz




ScottP



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Master Geek

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  Reply # 738326 29-Dec-2012 14:15
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sapage: dmartora - send me an email with your account number and I will get a senior member of our tech team to investigate further. My initial thoughts are in house wiring (as suggested by sbiddle), or speed MAY vary if your are connected to an old BUBA-only exchange or a Conklin in the chorus network. I am doubtful that the perceived speed reduction relates to the core network in this instance.

Regardless - let's get to the bottom of the problem for you and your flat mates.


Regards

Scott Page
Slingshot General Manager
Scott.page@team.slingshot.co.nz


That's very kind, I'll do just that, I wasn't expecting any responses to be honest so this is very pleasant to have such positive responses

I don't dispute that the majority of cases are house-side of the connection. As mentioned, I have a pretty extensive set up which I make no apologies for in these days of connectivity and streaming, but because of this and for the first couple of months, I was convinced it was in the house, and life would have been a lot easier if i had a router that could simply report on traffic by connected device and i could have cut down my investigations considerably.

Slowly buy surely I have been trying to find out if there is a rogue device on the home network going mental and hogging the bandwidth or creating a bottleneck. I would happily pay for a technician's time (either network or line technician) if it meant this problem could be resolved, but that option never seems to be available. Irrespective of ownership or responsibility, I'd gladly pay a modest call-out premium if it meant i could get expertise in areas i don't understand, i.e. just because i've thrown together a home network, doesn't mean I am able to resolve or identify a problem if i have a device behaving incorrectly.

And just to prove how bizarre this is. On my now fully populated home network with a mixture of active wired and wireless devices, the slingshot speed test presented a positively healthy ~11.5Mb four times in a row, which is the first time i have had that in months. I've just tried to watch a trailer in HD on my Apple TV, and it worked without buffering.

With regards to modem/router stats, i wasn't really sure what was being asked for from sbiddle and RunningMan, so does the attached screen shot meet that need?



Thanks for any further help, and i will certainly provide my details to you Scott for any help you can provide.





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  Reply # 738347 29-Dec-2012 15:09
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dmartora:

With regards to modem/router stats, i wasn't really sure what was being asked for from sbiddle and RunningMan, so does the attached screen shot meet that need?






Yes, it's the ADSL link information at the bottom that is important.

The 13547kb/s downstream rate is reasonable, although certainly on the low side for your attenuation of 7.5dB. The most probable reason this is low is due to an internal wiring issue in your house, that installing a master filter would resolve.

That downstream sync rate would also be consistent with a 11.5Mb/s speedtest.

Are you able to check those stats again at a time when you are seeing a slow connection, and see if they differ significantly?

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  Reply # 738356 29-Dec-2012 15:49
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With only 7.5dB attenuation you should see sync speeds up around the 20Mbps mark. This is most definately either a house wiring issue or bad pair from cabinet. 90% chance it is in the house. Have you tried other line cords too?

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  Reply # 738357 29-Dec-2012 15:55
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As above house wiring! Look up coffeebaron here on Geekzone



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Master Geek

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  Reply # 738360 29-Dec-2012 16:18
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Just want to say thanks for the responses to date. I truly have no problems if it is house wiring. This is not an attempt by me to deflect any responsibility. Sure, i was a bit miffed with the customer service level and the effort it takes to get some kind of understanding, but nevertheless if it is down to my shoddy wiring or network construction, I'll still need some help and I'll acknowledge the cost (including pride) that it may come at.

I've also had networked devices long enough to know that wires deteriorate and network cards go faulty so if there is noise on the network, that would help me understand... as i said, I wouldn't know how to identify it and it confuses me because the layout of the network hasn't changed, bar the odd introduction of temporary wireless devices. I tried downloading some network monitoring tools, but to be honest I found them a little challenging to use.

I have actually been really surprised that an initial post that stemmed from sheer frustration on my part (bear in mind it has been happening inconsistently for months) that was just an opportunity to vent, appears to be getting quite a lot of constructive advice, albeit suggesting I've overlooked a few things, but all productive advice is appreciated (even if it is house-side of the network)

Again, with an incredible sense of irony, since i first posted this topic this morning, I have not had less than an average of 11.5Mb/s on each speed test. But it is this very inconsistency that has driven me nuts over the months.



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  Reply # 738367 29-Dec-2012 17:04
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dmartora: Again, with an incredible sense of irony, since i first posted this topic this morning, I have not had less than an average of 11.5Mb/s on each speed test. But it is this very inconsistency that has driven me nuts over the months.




Murphy's law in action!

The intermittent faults are almost always the hardest to pinpoint, so it can take some time.

Particularly with wiring issues, faults have often been there since day one, but masked by usage habits or similar - only showing up when you start increasing internet usage. Also, it's common to have more than one root cause contributing to an issue.

If you read through these forums, you'll see many recommendations that people install a master splitter/filter, and that is probably a good idea in your case. These devices will cost about $150-$200 including professional installation, and provide you with a single outlet that the modem plugs in to. You also remove all the plug in filters on your various phone jacks.

In broad terms, the very great majority of phone wiring installed in houses was never designed for ADSL/VDSL signals, and as such about 90% of wiring faults are within the house. A master filter isolates the voice from the DSL signals at the point they enter the house, meaning that each cannot interfere with the other. The result is a faster and more stable DSL connection. It's generally worthwhile doing, even if your primary fault happened to be elsewhere, you would see an improvement in connection.

Chorus (who provide a big proportion of the wholesale connections) normally charge $200 to do this. Depending on where in the country you are, there are a couple of people on here who will give you a discounted rate for the same service.



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  Reply # 739079 1-Jan-2013 11:24
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So, I had a few days of consistently reasonable download speeds (c. 11-12Mbps), so I cancelled the technician and least slingshot know it was back to normal.

Then of course it all started happening again, but guess what? I think I've pinned it down and think there still is an issue that I'd appreciate guidance on.

Whenever I something is uploading, at all, the speed drops to below 6mb without fail.

So I use DropBox, and I have PhotoStream syncing whenever I add new photos to my library. Whenever I add something locally, it immediately syncs to the cloud.

Now I switched all this off over the last few days when I was trying to trouble shoot in order to try and get consistent readings, and lo and behold everything shot up to something acceptable.

As soon as it all came back on, inconsistent download speeds, of 2mb, 4mb, 6mb and poor Internet streaming.

So, when uploads speeds are currently limited to less than 1mb (approx 850K) as suggested by the speed test (run when I wasn't uploading anything), should uploading to the cloud have that much of a detrimental effect on my download speeds.

I can repeat this test and get the same result every time, so any help and guidance before I go back to slingshot would be appreciated.

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  Reply # 739094 1-Jan-2013 11:54
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Maxing out your upload connection will absolutely impact your download speed.

This is a bit of a simplification, but in broad terms, as data goes through your connection in one direction, going in the opposite direction is a series of requests for more data, and acknowledgements that the last bit arrived OK.

If the connection is maxed out uploading, then these requests and acknowledgements relating to the traffic going the other way have to fight for space on the line, slowing down the data transfer.

There are a few solutions:

1) Easy way is if you can set a limit on the upload speed in the software you are using - throttle it back to 75% or so of your upload speed.

2) QoS - Get a router than can do Quality of Service, and set it up to prioritise upload traffic so it suits you (bit more of a challenge if you have no experience in this).

3) Move to VDSL or UFB. Either of these will provide upload connection throughput about 10 times greater than ADSL.

Finally, if/ when you are troubleshooting any slow connection type issues, always make sure there's nothing else legitimately using the connection ;-)

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  Reply # 739101 1-Jan-2013 12:08
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As explained above if you saturate your upstream then downstream will be affected. If you want to understand why, read up a little on TCP, in particular how ACK's function.



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  Reply # 739512 2-Jan-2013 21:45
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You know, I really wanted this to have been resolved.

Speeds started dropping again, so...

I only have one phone connected to the phone line other than the outer, so removed that.

Switched off the wireless from my router.

Disconnected every device from my router apart from one sole desktop (iMac)

Ensured all uploading cloud based applications activities were disabled (PhotoStream, DropBox).

Speed tests were repeatedly slow again. So I am flummoxed again (technical term) and will resolve to get the line filter installed as per recommendations, but was wondering whether the fact that I only had the router connected negates the need for that test.

I'm trying to decide whether this is a fault that needs reporting with Slingshot and closing the fault was a tad premature.

I don't believe slingshot offers VDSL, and having checked on the Chorus website, Fibre is not hitting my area until... No schedule yet... Nice planning from them.

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  Reply # 739514 2-Jan-2013 21:57
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what are your line states, when this problem occurs.............

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  Reply # 739515 2-Jan-2013 21:58
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sorry i meant "stats"

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