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Standard User David_W
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 06-May-15 16:01:43
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Finally moved from the Manchester to the London gateways


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Ever since I joined Zen, I've been connected through the Manchester gateways despite being 40 miles north of London. Over the years, I've been on:
  • ADSL (20CN) over BT Wholesale
  • ADSL (21CN) over BT Wholesale
  • ADSL2+ (21CN) over BT Wholesale
  • FTTC over BT Wholesale
  • FTTC over Zen's backhaul (current)

Lower latency to London is welcome, not least as my SixXS IPv6 tunnel terminates in London (roll on native IPv6 from Zen).

My latency to the Zen gateway has dropped from around 15ms to 9ms. This is not a huge change, but the effect has been to drop my first hop IPv6 latency from 21ms to 9ms (as the traffic doesn't have to travel over the Zen network from Manchester to London before reaching the tunnel termination). As the BQM server seems to be in London, a similar drop from 21ms to 9ms can be seen in the BQM for the changeover yesterday.

Edited by David_W (Wed 06-May-15 16:02:08)

Standard User bet_here
(regular) Thu 07-May-15 03:59:13
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Re: Finally moved from the Manchester to the London gateways


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
My connection reverted back to a London gateway at the same time as yours switched, but my BQM is now showing some packet loss. (There was no-one in from 10am-4pm that day).

It was moved to Manchester following an outage on March 23rd, but upstream interleaving (6ms) has been applied in the mean time.

Simon.
Standard User mixt
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 07-May-15 13:39:07
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Re: Finally moved from the Manchester to the London gateways


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
Nice!

I get about 8 ms ping to the first Zen hop on my WBMC line (South East Kent):

$ ping -c10 62.3.84.19
PING 62.3.84.19 (62.3.84.19) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 62.3.84.19: icmp_seq=1 ttl=255 time=7.90 ms
64 bytes from 62.3.84.19: icmp_seq=2 ttl=255 time=7.80 ms
64 bytes from 62.3.84.19: icmp_seq=3 ttl=255 time=7.87 ms
64 bytes from 62.3.84.19: icmp_seq=4 ttl=255 time=7.86 ms
64 bytes from 62.3.84.19: icmp_seq=5 ttl=255 time=7.86 ms
64 bytes from 62.3.84.19: icmp_seq=6 ttl=255 time=7.87 ms
64 bytes from 62.3.84.19: icmp_seq=7 ttl=255 time=7.34 ms
64 bytes from 62.3.84.19: icmp_seq=8 ttl=255 time=7.87 ms
64 bytes from 62.3.84.19: icmp_seq=9 ttl=255 time=7.85 ms
64 bytes from 62.3.84.19: icmp_seq=10 ttl=255 time=8.13 ms

--- 62.3.84.19 ping statistics ---
10 packets transmitted, 10 received, 0% packet loss, time 9023ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 7.346/7.840/8.134/0.197 ms

And just under 9 ms to my IPv6 tunnel end point in London (Hurricane Electric).

I am curious about one thing though. Your BQM graph looks super stable. Completely flat line, a very thin blue line with minimal yellow as well. Mine is not, and pretty much has never been, like that. Is this because you are running pfSense or is it more likely to be because you are on a GEA-FTTC line and so do not have BT's back-haul network giving you jitter?

Do you know of a place which details ETA for GEA-FTTC roll-out in specific areas? Or is this something Zen have to do off their own backs over time? It would be nice to move across to GEA-FTTC. smile

Ta.

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Edited by mixt (Thu 07-May-15 13:40:22)


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Standard User Geordish
(learned) Thu 07-May-15 16:18:12
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Re: Finally moved from the Manchester to the London gateways


[re: mixt] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by mixt:
Do you know of a place which details ETA for GEA-FTTC roll-out in specific areas? Or is this something Zen have to do off their own backs over time? It would be nice to move across to GEA-FTTC. smile


GEA-FTTC isn't really a thing...

GEA (Generic Ethernet Access) Is a product that BT Openreach sell. It allows an ISP to purchase an FTTC circuit (and maybe other services). Basically it is a port connected to a switch, and all subscribers are presented in different VLANs. This is similar in some ways to LLU (except there you purchase access to the physical copper line, and have to provide a DSLAM). Its quite good in that it works in a parent/child fashion. An exchange may actually connect up to 3 or 4 other exchanges, so to get full coverage you only need to build out to a subset of them (unlike LLU where to get full coverage you had to go to all of them)

ISPs have 2 methods of providing an FTTC circuit.

1) Build out to an exchange, and order a GEA service from BT Openreach.

2) A wholesaler (ie BT Wholesale) builds out to all the locations, and sells a service across their backhaul to a convenient location.

Basically all exchanges where FTTC is available will have GEA available, as this is how wholesale will (should?) be taking the services.

As far as I'm aware Zen have not announced they are going to be extending their roll-out past the initial 200 exchanges.

Edited by Geordish (Thu 07-May-15 16:18:47)

Standard User David_W
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 07-May-15 16:45:08
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Re: Finally moved from the Manchester to the London gateways


[re: Geordish] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Geordish:
GEA-FTTC isn't really a thing...

GEA (Generic Ethernet Access) Is a product that BT Openreach sell.
Very true - but I understood mixt as referring to the way that Zen somewhat misuse "GEA FTTC" on the "View Line Data" page of the customer portal.

FTTC customers on BT Wholesale backhaul have a line technology of "WBMC".

FTTC customers on Zen backhaul have a line technology of "GEA FTTC".


In other words, Zen (mis)use "GEA FTTC" to mean "we purchase GEA FTTC direct from Openreach and provide our own backhaul from the handover point".

In reply to a post by Geordish:
As far as I'm aware Zen have not announced they are going to be extending their roll-out past the initial 200 exchanges.
I haven't seen any announcements either, but they appear to be continuing the roll out beyond the original 200 exchanges. I'm on Flitwick (SMFK), which is not at one of the original 200 exchanges. None of the original 200 are adjacent to my exchange - the nearest is of the order of 15 miles with another exchange area between here and there. I can't think the GEA handover point for my exchange is at one of the original 200.

In September 2014, I had an order appear on the customer portal back in September 2014 for "Zen Fibre GEA Migration". On the fulfilment date, 1 October, I switched from BT Wholesale WBMC to GEA-FTTC over Zen backhaul, with a down time overnight of the order of 10 minutes.

Standard User rippedcotton
(experienced) Thu 07-May-15 18:52:37
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Re: Finally moved from the Manchester to the London gateways


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Geordish:
As far as I'm aware Zen have not announced they are going to be extending their roll-out past the initial 200 exchanges.

I haven't seen any announcements either, but they appear to be continuing the roll out beyond the original 200 exchanges. I'm on Flitwick (SMFK), which is not at one of the original 200 exchanges. None of the original 200 are adjacent to my exchange - the nearest is of the order of 15 miles with another exchange area between here and there. I can't think the GEA handover point for my exchange is at one of the original 200.


It seems that SMFK has somehow been connected back to SMBD (Bedford) to allow GEA-FTTC. Bedford is also the place where the cabinets on SMWLS (Wilstead) are fed from. At some point I expect that I will see the same migration occur on my account page, but I have no idea when. I imagine it will require some extra kit to be added to Zen's Bedford PoP or for another link across to BT's kit to be activated.

--

Brian

Zen Fibre 2
Standard User David_W
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 07-May-15 19:29:49
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Re: Finally moved from the Manchester to the London gateways


[re: rippedcotton] [link to this post]
 
Zen can only provide service from their network when they have a GEA Cablelink from the relevant handover switch to Zen's equipment. It's possible Bedford is the GEA handover location for Wilstead and even for (the more distant) Flitwick - I don't know and have no access to that sort of information.

If Bedford is the handover location for Wilstead, it would seem that the only barrier to your move to the Zen network is Zen getting a Cablelink to the relevant switch. This is inexpensive, though is not a guarantee it will be done.


Does anyone happen to know for certain where the GEA handover locations are for SMFK and SMWLS?

Standard User lockyatlrg
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 07-May-15 23:19:22
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Re: Finally moved from the Manchester to the London gateways


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
Happy for you, mine has gone the opposite way and now I connect to Manchester node (some 120 miles north of me) so added 240miles - just to go past my house and back to London.

My ping was 9ms to BBC is now 20ms which is rubbish IMO and worse than I got with my BT connection so now my contract is up I will start to look else where as Zen isn't the cheapest option and they don't seem to care about my ping increase.

Zen Fibre
ROUTER:-Asus Dark Knight
JDSU Stats
Attainable 105977D 38659U
Sync 79999D 20000U
Attenuation: 5.4 SNR: Down 13.1 Up 24.3
Line Length 80meters
Standard User caffn8me
(knowledge is power) Fri 08-May-15 01:25:15
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Re: Finally moved from the Manchester to the London gateways


[re: lockyatlrg] [link to this post]
 
My experience is that these connectivity swings are temporary while upgrade work is carried out. I've seen it on two connections recently.

Sarah

--
If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment, I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat

Spiders on coffee - Badass spiders on drugs
Standard User lockyatlrg
(fountain of knowledge) Fri 08-May-15 10:16:12
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Re: Finally moved from the Manchester to the London gateways


[re: caffn8me] [link to this post]
 
I doubt it now tbh.

Zen Fibre
ROUTER:-Asus Dark Knight
JDSU Stats
Attainable 105977D 38659U
Sync 79999D 20000U
Attenuation: 5.4 SNR: Down 13.1 Up 24.3
Line Length 80meters
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