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Standard User mjws2
(newbie) Tue 14-Jan-14 17:56:27
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ISP with decent Broadband quality


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Hi TBB Forum members,

I am relatively new here so I apologise if this is a question that is frequently asked, however, my forum search was not particularly fruitful and I remain somewhat confused on the issues I would like to ask about. Thank you for your help in advance, it is much appreciated.

Here is my TBB quality monitor.

I am currently using Virgin Media (Up to 30 mbps) and am getting excellent average speeds on speedtests. However, I am having issues on anything that requires a constant internet connection, as I have intermittent drops in connection speed to zero. These are there at all times, but worse during peak times, when they increase in frequency from about once every 2 minutes to several times a minute, and last longer (from under a second to several seconds at a trot). Hence, VoIP with Skype, BBC iPlayer and online games all are somewhat frustrating experiences.

I have had this issue with VM at every household I have been in (3 over the last 4.5 years, all in Cambridge) and after going through a series of calls with them, they are sure there is nothing to be done on their end. I would like to switch providers therefore. Since no one in my household is a heavy user of bandwidth, nor does anyone use P2P networks I am not particularly bothered about top speeds, but am looking for consistent speeds in VoIP, games and streaming, ideally also at Peak times although I understand this is a bigger ask.

My questions are:

Is it likely that my issues are due to VMs particular architecture? I understand that their fibre architecture is "good for downloads, poor for quality". Is that true?

If so, will another provider improve my situation? Should I get an ADSL connection (which, as I understand, do not come faster than about 16 mbps) or would I also see improvements in quality if I went with one of the FTTC providers such as BT infinity or talktalk/plus.net alternatives?

And finally, in your opinion and experience, which ISP would you suggest for my criteria (good off-peak and peak-time broadband quality for streaming, VoIP and games).

Thanks!
Standard User Kr1s69
(knowledge is power) Tue 14-Jan-14 21:42:30
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Re: ISP with decent Broadband quality


[re: mjws2] [link to this post]
 
Whatever is causing the issue with your VM connection, moving to another provider will fix things as they'll not be running on Virgins cable network.

I would suggest Plusnet. Their traffic management policies prioritise the types of data you are interested in and are well priced.

Kris

BT Infinity 2
Ashington (Northumberland) Exchange
Standard User 5km
(knowledge is power) Tue 14-Jan-14 21:54:48
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Re: ISP with decent Broadband quality


[re: mjws2] [link to this post]
 
If the issue was with the VM connection then there would be packet loss when you say the connection is dropping to zero.

There are not noticeable moments of packet loss so I'd expect the issue is somewhere else. It could be your internal network or it could be that the peering used for the TBB BQM is different to the sites that you have issues with so doesn't show up the issue.

Either way if you have had this issue at multiple addresses then the simply answer is to leave VM for an ADSL or FTTC/Fibre provider.

I'd strongly recommend an FTTC/Fibre service as you'll be used to 30Mbps!

Sky Fibre Unlimited Broadband:- Speed Test | TBB Ping
Now on twitter @timmay2


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Standard User ian72
(knowledge is power) Wed 15-Jan-14 08:44:16
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Re: ISP with decent Broadband quality


[re: mjws2] [link to this post]
 
Has your router been replaced over the years? If still using the same one it could be a simple problem on the router.
Standard User noppix1
(newbie) Wed 15-Jan-14 10:10:10
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Re: ISP with decent Broadband quality


[re: mjws2] [link to this post]
 
Hi mjws2 and all.
I`m new here but I have been in I.T for many years.

I have had the same problem with VM fiber/coaxial over the last 3 years On and off.
Over the last 6 months my virgin line has been unusable most of the time due to over-utilization of there network. Due to how the Docsis3 system works the first thing to go wrong is latency when the system is stressed and then the speed drops off after that. I was getting 3 meg on a 60meg line. My friend on the same ubr gets 3meg on a 120meg connection
This is a BQM reading on a no usage day.
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/ping/share/d531ca45c14...

After contacting the Ceo department VM has agreed to release the contract due to the over-utilization issue.
I was somewhat upset to end my contract as this has been a love affair of over 15 years with the cable network. Back in 2005, Whilst ADSL had problems providing users with 1/2Meg connection I was getting speeds of 20Meg and low pings without ever having a problem.

So in a some what reluctant move I ordered BT infinity 2 FTTC, I know its the same line and system as used by its competitors but BT seem to have best customer service from what I could see so a extra few quid a month did not bother me.
To be honest I was expecting the same old c**p that adsl offered back in 2005 and the line to be next to useless, but, I`m lost for words!.
I`m getting 74/19 on the 80/20 service at 250M from the fiber cab and the ping is untrue as shown below, Due to me having the home hub5 I have to ping from my CCTV server so there are some packet loss issues as the unit is set to update and restart during the night but as you can see the line is flawless.

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/ping/share/6350b7ef94d...

I know the ping only shows the A.M hours but compare it to the VM chart, The part at the end is when I turned off the Home hub to fit the Tandy cable that just arrived so I got booted to another I.P, The only gripe I have to be honest. My VM connection would hold the same I.P forever, ever years sometimes. But the FTTC connection seems to give me a new I.P on every reboot, Not the end of the world though.

So if you can get FFTC or even FTTP and your speed predictions come back good it may be worth a go.
Standard User s_yates
(newbie) Wed 15-Jan-14 10:15:46
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Re: ISP with decent Broadband quality


[re: Kr1s69] [link to this post]
 
Plusnet is well priced, but don't rely on swapping ISPs to fix your problem.. I'm with Plusnet and my TBB Quality Monitor is here. As you can see, not much better than what you have on Virgin.
Standard User noppix1
(newbie) Wed 15-Jan-14 10:17:58
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Re: ISP with decent Broadband quality


[re: 5km] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by 5km:
If the issue was with the VM connection then there would be packet loss when you say the connection is dropping to zero.

There are not noticeable moments of packet loss so I'd expect the issue is somewhere else. It could be your internal network or it could be that the peering used for the TBB BQM is different to the sites that you have issues with so doesn't show up the issue.

Either way if you have had this issue at multiple addresses then the simply answer is to leave VM for an ADSL or FTTC/Fibre provider.

I'd strongly recommend an FTTC/Fibre service as you'll be used to 30Mbps!



I would normal agree but the Docsis3 system seems to que and delay the packets rather than drop them. The delayed packets make gaming impossible and make browsing sluggish.
Standard User Zadeks
(experienced) Wed 15-Jan-14 10:28:34
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Re: ISP with decent Broadband quality


[re: s_yates] [link to this post]
 
That isn't a normal plusnet connection.

ADSL or VDSL?
How often is the connection left idle?
Standard User noppix1
(newbie) Wed 15-Jan-14 10:37:51
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Re: ISP with decent Broadband quality


[re: mjws2] [link to this post]
 
Another option might be that you ask VM to put you on a Docsis 2 service, You might only get 10 meg but it will be the fastest 10 meg you have ever seen due to the Docsis 2 system being so quiet and only used for Tivo and the odd modems now.
In 2011 I dropped to Docsis 2 to escape the hell of the Docsis 3 crisis and it was bliss, ever though it was only 10meg. But due to a house move in 2012 and the massive amounts of internet data hungry devices I now own, I had to use Docsis 3 as VM was not happy with 400gig a month usage on Docsis 2 as it would lag out Tivo users, and so, I was returned to Docsis 3 hell.

To ask about this email a complaint to Executiveteam@virginmedia.co.uk and they will normal call you back the following day. Be sure to add your VM account number and land line/mobile number. They are a very friendly bunch and have always helped me in the past.

Its a lot less extreme than fitting a new line and way better if you can only get ADSL.
Standard User noppix1
(newbie) Wed 15-Jan-14 10:41:33
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Re: ISP with decent Broadband quality *DELETED*


[re: Zadeks] [link to this post]
 
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