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Standard User wheres_my_beard
(newbie) Fri 18-Jan-13 11:43:59
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Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[link to this post]
 
I have been experiencing high ping, huge latency, and drop offs for some time.

I upgraded from a 10Mbps line in October, having not really had any problem with the previous connection(ping around 20 for online games, and reasonably consistent speed around 8Mbps) , but wanted to try SUPERFAST BROADBAND and only really had a great service for about 2 weeks after the upgrade before the problems started

I have reset my router countless times, reinstalled windows7 trying both 32 and 64bit to see if that helped, which it didn't. I have been advised by VM staff to reset my router, and they seem reluctant to send someone out, prefering to suggest that it's my hardware that is the problem and that I should take my PC somewhere to be looked at, in my first phone call at least.

The problem also occurs when I connect my PS3 via ethernet, my android devices (2 x phones, and Kindle Fire) wirelessly.

In a more recent call, the person I spoke to acknowledged there was a fault, but seemed to think it was already being dealt with, and that no enginner was needed for me specifically. I was advised to be patient, and wait a week. I was given a £10 discount from this months bill which was nice, but not as nice a service that delivers the goods.

I set up a monitor last night following advice from tech help on the VM forum (which apparently no-one working for VM is involved in - genius!), and wondered anyon has an opinion on what it shows, and what I should do.

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/ping/share/485ada5aa33...

Thanks for reading this, and any help you can offer...

Pete
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 18-Jan-13 11:48:27
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: wheres_my_beard] [link to this post]
 
Assuming you were not using your connection at the same time it shows high utilisation even in the middle of night, suggesting you may have a couple of torrent users in the area that are seeding a lot and saturating the upstream that like downstream is shared

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User David_W
(experienced) Fri 18-Jan-13 12:38:36
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: wheres_my_beard] [link to this post]
 
As MrSaffron says, assuming that your connection was not being used to the maximum throughout the monitored period, your monitor shows a great deal of jitter even in the middle of the night and increasing amounts of packet loss as people get up and start trying to use their connections.

If you're lucky, Virgin will resegment the network and you'll finish up on a segment away from heavy upstream users (typically heavy peer to peer users). More likely, nothing will happen - or if it does, you will only have similar problems again after a short while.


Unfortunately, the shared nature of the 'last mile' channels in a cable system makes it fundamentally vulnerable to this kind of over-utilisation. DSL has other weaknesses - it is vulnerable to the local RF noise environment and the available speed depends on the length and quality of your line - but it doesn't share this problem. By way of comparison, see the monitor in my signature, which is on an 80/20 VDSL line over the BT Openreach system. It helps that I use one of the more expensive ISPs, who don't skimp on capacity in their network or their links to the BT Wholesale backhaul network, but most of the consumer ISPs can manage something similar.


Clearly your first step is to contact Virgin using your monitor as evidence that they are not providing a satisfactory quality of service - consumer broadband is contended, but you're connected to something that is full. Ultimately, you may be better with DSL, though that's not likely to be a cheap option as you will need a phone line over BT infrastructure as well as any Virgin line you keep.


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Standard User wheres_my_beard
(newbie) Fri 18-Jan-13 19:16:21
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Wow, David, our graphs couldn't be more different.

Ill keep monitoring over the weekend and contact VM on Monday.

Any idea of the likelyhood of VM (or any other ISP for that matter) actually trying to do something about this problem?
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 18-Jan-13 21:31:41
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: wheres_my_beard] [link to this post]
 
http://craigswebsites.co.uk/ping/

Shows a range of Virgin Media connections and a good few other providers further down the page.

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User wheres_my_beard
(newbie) Mon 21-Jan-13 13:05:11
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
I've just had a conversation with "James" at VM 151, who says that VM's technicians are doing some work at the local exchange to put in another line, so that customers can be moved across to it. This is will apparently improve the service being provided. This will not be completed before 13th Feb.

I don't have a lot of faith in VM; does this sound like BS, or do they put "second lines" in, once all the fibre optics are installed??!!

On a happier note, I got a further £5 credit on my account ( I got a £10 credit from "Marie" at VM on the 14th Jan, who told me the problem would be fixed by today). So, I'm £15 up this month. FTW. Kind of.
Standard User David_W
(experienced) Mon 21-Jan-13 13:36:48
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: wheres_my_beard] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by wheres_my_beard:
I've just had a conversation with "James" at VM 151, who says that VM's technicians are doing some work at the local exchange to put in another line, so that customers can be moved across to it. This is will apparently improve the service being provided. This will not be completed before 13th Feb.

This could be a really bad description of resegmenting the local cable network at the node, which is the only way your situation will be helped. This involves physically dividing the existing network into two or more pieces, which means each segment has its own set of upstream channels, increasing the capacity available.

If resegmentation doesn't take place or doesn't resolve the issue, I'd be looking to escape from Virgin and move to a different ISP.

Standard User Daniel_T
(newbie) Mon 21-Jan-13 19:12:32
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
I live in Norwich and I am sorry to say but this is not a new issue for the Norwich area. I upgraded about 18 months ago and it has been present since.
It can be best described as a sometimes off but mostly active issue. I had a period of 3 months after making serious complaints to the CEO's office of Virgin where it improved. Within a day I had a team of engineers round, they had to accept it was a result of high utilisation.

Take a look at mine now,

http://tinyurl.com/bgkwfc9 Sat 19th Jan
http://tinyurl.com/axeb7av Sun 20th Jan
http://tinyurl.com/agnn8fk Mon 21st Jan

I love playing Fifa online, but as Fifa/Ea still use P2P connections, from 16:00 - 00:00 it is unplayable.
Standard User wheres_my_beard
(newbie) Mon 21-Jan-13 20:26:51
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: Daniel_T] [link to this post]
 
My readings since setting up the monitor:

17th
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/ping/share/3e06fa3a24a...

18th
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/ping/share/d19619ece20...

19th
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/ping/share/9360715b257...

20th
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/ping/share/d49eb871947...

21st
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/ping/share/82393aa0443...

This is a screen grab showing a ping monitor for the past hour, it looks like this most of the time, with massive peaks every 70-80 seconds or so.

http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l196/Lalsow/?actio...
Standard User Daniel_T
(newbie) Mon 21-Jan-13 20:31:52
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: wheres_my_beard] [link to this post]
 
Do you connect straight to the Superhub? Or use a router?
Standard User wheres_my_beard
(newbie) Mon 21-Jan-13 20:33:17
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: Daniel_T] [link to this post]
 
Straight to the Superhub. Via VM dongle, not ethernet cable.
Standard User Daniel_T
(newbie) Tue 22-Jan-13 08:17:23
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: wheres_my_beard] [link to this post]
 
There is your 1st Problem.

The Super Hub is awful. Do you have another router? If so I would strongly suggest switching your SuperHub to Modem mode so it acts only as a modem.

I then connect to a Netgear router and have found this really makes a difference.

Depending on what network card you have in your PC and the connection it makes I would also suggest that you dont go wirless on anything that connects to the internet if you can help it.
Standard User wheres_my_beard
(newbie) Tue 22-Jan-13 20:01:37
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: Daniel_T] [link to this post]
 
it's only 3-4 metres from the hub to the pc, so hopefully being wireless isn't the main cause of the ping, although I can understand that a physical connection may improve things.

My Broadband Speed Test
My Broadband Speed Test
<a href="http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/results/id/1358464001898444861.html"><img alt="My Broadband Speed Test" src="http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/button/1358464001898444861.png" /></a>
Standard User Daniel_T
(newbie) Tue 22-Jan-13 21:45:55
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: wheres_my_beard] [link to this post]
 
Trust me, the superhub and dongle are rubbish. I cant tell you how many problems I had. Try switching the hub to modem mode and even use another router on wireless.
Standard User wheres_my_beard
(newbie) Tue 22-Jan-13 21:51:38
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: Daniel_T] [link to this post]
 
I have my old netgear router; can i just plug them together with an ethernet cable, and use the old dongle running from that?
Standard User Daniel_T
(newbie) Wed 23-Jan-13 08:28:19
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: wheres_my_beard] [link to this post]
 
Give it a try. I am not saying it will cure the problem, but it should help.

Make sure you go in to your super hub settings and switch it to Modem Mode though.

Then run a latency test for 48 hours and see how it compares. Also you will eliminate any of Virgins arguments over this being your hardware. If you have a router in line then the latency tests will run providing your router is switched on,
Standard User Chrysalis
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 23-Jan-13 14:58:33
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: wheres_my_beard] [link to this post]
 
david_w I mostly agree with.

Ideally what you want is a clear date of someone like the CEO office when upgrades are going to take place, and then give that date a chance to see if it gets fixed, but if there is either no date or the date is a long way off its probably best to cancel.

I have been with virgin media in 2 stints, the first stint was around 4 years and I had high utilisation in the whole stint. No pockets of good service at all (that was when was called NTL).

The 2nd stint is now, and has been for around 3-4 years I think (lost track). It has also mostly suffered from high utilisation but not as severe as the first stint, it started off rough becoming unfit for purpose, then I was moved to docsis3 which gave adequate relief it was useable again although still congested, docsis3 then eventually got worse and worse (I assume as others were also been moved following complaints) and I started getting tbb graphs which were full 24/7, then VM did their 10:1 upstream work and I had a very huge improvement in service. Almost no jitter for approx 6 months, towards the end of that 6 months I could see congestion starting to reappear on jitter, then VM enabled the 10:1 configs and utilisation issues accelerated in pace and over time it gradually got to the point of where I was a few days ago where peak speeds were aweful, streaming services didnt work (sky go, youtube etc.) and bad jitter at peak although outside of peak jitter remained at useable levels. Then yesterday my 2nd major upgrade happened in this 4 years of service and now jitter etc. looks good again. This was at least 1 node split, added DS channels and US bonding enabled.

The problem is now tho I have gave VM notice so already have a VDSL2 connection so their upgrade came too late, this is on the back of several months of complaints and isnt really a congestion relief upgrade it seems to be the one been applied in all areas for the 120/12 product, but the point of my post is that this upgrade seems very significant, eg. the notorious brighton area had these upgrades late last year and their service was transformed but they had to wait over a year for the work. The idea of this history lesson is to give you an idea of the long stretches of time high utilisation can exist. Right now its good again how long it will last this time I dont know. I also now dont know if VM have done enough to keep my custom, VM retentions offered me a weak deal and wont budge on a new 12 month commit, so doesnt seem too likely.

BT Infinity 2 Since Dec 2012 - Estimate 65.9/20 - Attainable peak 110/36 - Current Sync 71/20

Edited by Chrysalis (Wed 23-Jan-13 15:01:30)

Standard User Daniel_T
(newbie) Wed 23-Jan-13 18:55:06
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: Chrysalis] [link to this post]
 
I managed to get free internet for 12 Months and they paid for my new router. I now have the head engineers mobile number on Speed dial.

Chrysalis I think what you have just described (although I have no grasp on the high tech you referred to) relates to my time with Virgin, Telewest & NTL over the past 8 years+. At times it is a great service but it is oversubscribed in many areas.

I fear the doubling of my internet speed. If history proves correct, this will result inmore drawn out arguments and service issues.

If you are not happy, get on to the CEO and kick up a fuss. You have to push them though or you wonít get what you want.
Standard User Chrysalis
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 23-Jan-13 18:59:54
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: Daniel_T] [link to this post]
 
yeah but do you also pay for tv etc?

given I told them I want the tv and phone gone if I got free net for 12 months I would be paying them zero smile

They offered me free 2 months and £5 a month off the other 10 months, but 12 month commit required.

BT Infinity 2 Since Dec 2012 - Estimate 65.9/20 - Attainable peak 110/36 - Current Sync 71/20

Edited by Chrysalis (Wed 23-Jan-13 19:00:48)

Standard User Daniel_T
(newbie) Thu 24-Jan-13 07:22:46
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: Chrysalis] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Chrysalis:
yeah but do you also pay for tv etc?


Yes I do, full package 3 seperate rooms.
Standard User Chrysalis
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 24-Jan-13 10:36:14
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: Daniel_T] [link to this post]
 
yeah so giving you free broadband they kept your tv subs smile

they have no tv subs to keep of me.

BT Infinity 2 Since Dec 2012 - Estimate 65.9/20 - Attainable peak 110/36 - Current Sync 71/20
Standard User wheres_my_beard
(newbie) Thu 24-Jan-13 15:34:26
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: Chrysalis] [link to this post]
 
I've just checked my connection whilst at work (it's become a bit of an obsession :-[ ) and this doesn't look good...

[url]http://www.thinkbroadband.com/ping/share/560ac61e3b43b98585c31325639c6d62-24-01-2013.html

Oddly though I was playing CoD last night between 10-12pm during that massive red block, and my ping wasn't nearly as bad as at some other times (it was around 70-150ms, instead of being 200+)
Standard User Daniel_T
(newbie) Thu 24-Jan-13 16:27:08
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: wheres_my_beard] [link to this post]
 
No that does not look good.
Get on to the Virgin media UK customer service team. Just bypass all the options and head for the "I am leaving you" section.
I have the Area Manager of Engineering calling me tomorrow directly to help out with my issue. It is nowhere near as bad as yours. If you like I will speak with him about your issue? What postcode area are you in Norwich. I am NR3....

Edited by Daniel_T (Thu 24-Jan-13 18:25:02)

Standard User Chrysalis
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 24-Jan-13 18:41:20
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: wheres_my_beard] [link to this post]
 
ip not changed? the all red means tbb cant ping you.

BT Infinity 2 Since Dec 2012 - Estimate 65.9/20 - Attainable peak 110/36 - Current Sync 71/20
Moderator billford
(moderator) Thu 24-Jan-13 18:44:08
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: Chrysalis] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Chrysalis:
the all red means tbb cant ping you.
Or that the round trip time is too long- I think Andrew mentioned once that it gives up at ~500ms.

It looks more like really severe congestion to me, which as it's a Virgin line...

Bill
bill@thinkbroadband.com __________________Planes and Boats and ... __________________BQMs: IPv4 IPv6
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband moderator but it does not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User wheres_my_beard
(newbie) Thu 24-Jan-13 22:29:39
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: Daniel_T] [link to this post]
 
Turns out my IP has been changed since using the Superhub in modem mode; not sure why.

I have set up a new monitor, and the results havent changed though:

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/ping/share/4b5755d5f31...

I'm in the NR2 area, which according to the VM fault section is having a "good" service still, despite there own online tests not actually working, for me at least.

I am willing to wait until the alleged fix date, but will really be kicking off if this doesnt improve things dramatically.
Standard User David_W
(experienced) Thu 24-Jan-13 23:34:36
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: wheres_my_beard] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by wheres_my_beard:
Turns out my IP has been changed since using the Superhub in modem mode; not sure why.

Changing from hub to modem mode changes the MAC address making DHCP requests to Virgin from the hub's router to the device connected to the modem port. As a result, you get a different IP address.

Standard User Daniel_T
(newbie) Fri 25-Jan-13 07:10:06
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: wheres_my_beard] [link to this post]
 
Ok - itís was explained to me yesterday evening that there are issues with 2 downstream channels. They were not aware of the fault but they are now. They wonít be able to give a completion date for the fault for the next 2 weeks. Unfortunately I am not the most technical person in the world so I canít repeat all of what was said but they estimate 2 months to get it sorted. Could be sooner.

I see that in Modem mode it has not made much difference for you. Does the internet feel more responsive though?
Standard User Chrysalis
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 25-Jan-13 16:00:01
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: Daniel_T] [link to this post]
 
by the way my good service lasted a whole 2 days.

first just the utilisation appeared to be coming back, but then it turned into constant packet loss and outages as well. I dont know if whatever the fault is making it appear to be higher utilised (will the higher jitter go back down when the packet loss is fixed?) but now I am glad I didnt take their deal and the cancellation is probably going to go through.

BT Infinity 2 Since Dec 2012 - Estimate 65.9/20 - Attainable peak 110/36 - Current Sync 71/20
Standard User wheres_my_beard
(newbie) Fri 25-Jan-13 22:33:13
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Re: Virgin Media 30Mbps Norwich area


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
Web browsing seems a little more responsive, but it still totally and absolutely sucks.

During the first couple of weeks of Superfast Broadband I was blown away with the snappy, almost instant loading of pages, where as now I have a pause when I click a link, it starts to load, then pauses, then some more loads, and then maybe the page fails or fully loads.

At times it feels like I've stepped back 10 years to dial up. [censored] dial up at that.
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