I'm new to this forum (and broadband technical stuff generally) so please forgive any naive questions.
I have a problem with my EE ADSL broadband which I think is one of latency rather than speed, experienced as an intermittent slowness in reaching (rather than downloading) web pages. The problem is the same whether the pages are information-heavy (e.g. video) or information light (e.g. my email in-box). Typically, it can take more than 30 seconds to get through to a page whose servers I know to be located in London (i.e. my university's email server), and sometimes I get timed out altogether ('Safari was unable to open the page because the server stopped responding').
The thinkbroadband speed test does not capture this problem - it gives consistent speeds of about 9 Mb/s down and 0.9 Mb/s up and a ping time of about 30 ms. However, with other speed tests (e.g. broadbandspeedchecker) I have been able to record ping times in whole seconds - enough to reach a server on the moon, by my calculations!
There are two tests which have shown something correlating with my experience:
(i) The broadband quality monitor shows frequent flares in latency, e.g. yesterday:
My Broadband Ping
The timing (7am - 9am) would seem to suggest congestion as the cause, but similar episodes have occurred in the past at all times of the day, including 2 am at night.
(ii) I made over 20 traceroute maps to the usual sites (bbc, google etc). All of them got timed out at step 2 and most (17) of them also at step 3 eg. :
traceroute: Warning: www.bbc.co.uk
has multiple addresses; using 126.96.36.199
traceroute to www.bbc.net.uk
(188.8.131.52), 64 hops max, 72 byte packets
1 brightbox.ee (192.168.1.1) 1.021 ms 0.625 ms 0.494 ms
2 * * *
3 * * *
4 184.108.40.206 (220.127.116.11) 7.320 ms 7.640 ms 7.106 ms
5 18.104.22.168 (22.214.171.124) 8.066 ms 8.086 ms 15.801 ms
6 bluestream-gw-b.thdo.bbc.co.uk (126.96.36.199) 7.622 ms 8.524 ms 8.337 ms
7 * * *
8 188.8.131.52 (184.108.40.206) 10.813 ms 11.096 ms 10.816 ms
9 220.127.116.11 (18.104.22.168) 14.270 ms 13.836 ms 14.798 ms
10 bbc-vip013.cwwtf.bbc.co.uk (22.214.171.124) 13.387 ms 13.507 ms 13.272 ms
I interpret this as repeated failed attempts to access a gateway server belonging to or leased by EE (126.96.36.199 is listed as a BT server, 188.8.131.52 as Orange).
I also notice that although all the route times add up to less than 200ms the traceroute map took about 2 minutes to complete (is this normal?).
Needless to say, I have raised the issue many times with EE to no avail. They have not been able to find anything wrong with my setup, either remotely or when an engineer visited my house. Perhaps they consider this level of service to be acceptable, but I need to do something about it. I am employed by a university but often need to work from home, using internet to communicate with colleagues in real time.
I have two options:
(i) EE suggest upgrading to their basic FTTC service for about £30/month. But I can see no technical reason why that would solve a problem caused by congestion on their servers (unless they actually prioritise traffic for clients on the more expensive fibre tariffs for commercial
reasons, which is possible).
(ii) Move to an ADSL service with one of the smaller, more expensive ISPs with a better reputation for customer service (Zen Internet?) for about the same price.
Given that current speeds are perfectly adequate for my purposes (I don't do streaming or gaming), and have lost confidence in EE, I'm inlcined toward the latter, but would appreciate any suggestions.
Sorry for the long post, but I thought best to put up all relevant information first. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.