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Standard User johnankrett
(newbie) Mon 04-Jan-21 14:57:11
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Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


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Hi. As described in heading...
This is a new connection (replacing an FTTC), installed 11th December that has never been right.
I raised a fault with Zen and they talked me through connecting my laptop direct to the ONT, over a couple of different CAT8 cables, showing an erratic 30 to 80mbps download. Upload is a solid 19mbps.
BT were supposed to come out before Christmas, I got the text message, read the safety stuff as requested, watched the video and texted back "viewed yes" and "Rep watched" messages, got the "received" message" and.... they didn't turn up.
They reported to Zen that no fault found.
BT were organised to come out "again" this morning. I got the text message, read the safety stuff as requested, watched the video and texted back the "viewed yes" and "Rep watched" messages, got the "received" message"..... but again they did not arrive.
This time they phoned me to say that they had run diagnostics and the problem was with configuration at Zen.
I got shirty with them and asked how they knew the install was OK when they had not been here. They said they had checked the line to the house and did not need to come inside. I told them that the last 5 poles were all on my land, and nobody had been in the field or in my garden, so how could they have "checked to the house".
They said they would report back to Zen. I phoned Zen and told them I was not happy.
An hour later Openreach phoned again, to say they had "checked the build" and the problem was with my Zen router.
I explained (very slowly....) that we had tested while connected direct to the ONT with the router out of the circuit, (three weeks ago, before even notifying them) and that the problems persisted, so it could NOT be the router. They told me that it would not work plugged directly to the ONT and that a router was required. I explained very slowly that Zen technical support had talked me through the reconfiguration, that it DID "work", but that the speed/reliability problem persisted.
They said that I should get in touch with Zen.
Is it me?
I am new to all this, and the whole performance seems to be out of the 1980's BT playbook....,
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 04-Jan-21 16:57:57
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: johnankrett] [link to this post]
 
The fibre ONT connects at same speed regardless of product bought (2.4 Gbps), and has no rate adaption capabilities.

As with others with similar problems either it is a configuration issue at the handover area, or in the Zen area of control.

If using exactly the same router as you had when on FTTC recommend a reset to factory defaults and set it up again, some routers appear to remember some old settings (usually BT Smart Hub issue).

So should not need anyone to visit and needs Zen and Openreach to rebuild the connection profile in their kit.

Another possibility is that the FTTP and handover has no problems and there is congestion issues slowing you down, and this where a speed test result from https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest can be diagnostic If the issue is a capped download speed you'd expect the download to hit the cap and stay at that speed rather than wander up and down during the test.

Edited by MrSaffron (Mon 04-Jan-21 16:59:47)

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User candlerb
(fountain of knowledge) Mon 04-Jan-21 21:54:30
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
The OP described download as "erratic" 30 to 80 Mbps.

I agree that most likely the problem is upstream. However there is one thing to check: when the PC is connected directly to the ONT, check that the interface status on the PC shows 1G

If there were a broken pin in the ONT then it *might* fall back to 100M - although 100M full duplex still ought to give a stable connection, albeit capped at 100M, so I think this is unlikely to be the problem.


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Standard User Pheasant
(committed) Tue 05-Jan-21 01:03:48
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: candlerb] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by candlerb:
The OP described download as "erratic" 30 to 80 Mbps.

I agree that most likely the problem is upstream. However there is one thing to check: when the PC is connected directly to the ONT, check that the interface status on the PC shows 1G

If there were a broken pin in the ONT then it *might* fall back to 100M - although 100M full duplex still ought to give a stable connection, albeit capped at 100M, so I think this is unlikely to be the problem.

I had a faulty ONT (after a lighting spike). It refused to connect at 1Gbps and defaulted to 100M/FD.

Took a bit of convincing the supplier that the ONT was indeed [censored] (I don't think their MI / dashboard allows them to see the customer side ethernet port speeds), but ultimately they fulfilled their obligations and OR tech was there the next morning with a replacement ONT and service was back to usual.

That's not to say what the issue is here, but these things do break, like anything.
Standard User bowdon
(committed) Tue 05-Jan-21 11:50:35
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: Pheasant] [link to this post]
 
I wonder if OR have a device they can plug in to the ethernet customer end that would be able to test the ONT?

BT Infinity 2 - ECI Cabinet
Standard User Zarjaz
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 05-Jan-21 12:27:00
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20 *DELETED*


[re: bowdon] [link to this post]
 
Post deleted by Zarjaz
Standard User johnankrett
(newbie) Tue 05-Jan-21 17:08:27
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
Another possibility is that the FTTP and handover has no problems and there is congestion issues slowing you down, and this where a speed test result from https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest can be diagnostic If the issue is a capped download speed you'd expect the download to hit the cap and stay at that speed rather than wander up and down during the test.


see speedtest: https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/16077974533...
(not vey steady...)
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 05-Jan-21 17:42:09
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: johnankrett] [link to this post]
 
If issue was the PON i.e. fibre locally would expect the upload to be affected.

Things to do...

1. Double check that PC is not maxing out CPU before and during the test
2. Make sure your anti virus is not impacting things, i.e. turn off temporarily or test from another device
3. If test is over Wi-Fi make sure to check with Ethernet direct into router
4. Run test again between 1am and 7am i.e. when congestion should be less of an issue

Latency testing does not indicate that the connection is in heavy use by a cloud backup

Looking at another test you seem to have done
http://tbb.st/1609751019536506055
Can see a big delay between clock starting and tests seeing first data, this could indicate a very slow DNS configured.

http://tbb.st/1609751279214699655 has the delayed start issue too.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 05-Jan-21 19:40:47
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
Can see a big delay between clock starting and tests seeing first data, this could indicate a very slow DNS configured.

Hmm, sounds like a security product interference??

21 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User Pheasant
(committed) Thu 07-Jan-21 09:22:51
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: bowdon] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by bowdon:
I wonder if OR have a device they can plug in to the ethernet customer end that would be able to test the ONT?

Yeh. Its called a laptop wink
Standard User johnankrett
(newbie) Sat 09-Jan-21 15:07:34
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
2. Make sure your anti virus is not impacting things, i.e. turn off temporarily or test from another device


Switched off Avast, and it improved download speed by about 50%. ie. from 45mb to 65mb (it cured the "slow start" syndrome and presumably more). We renewed our Avast "Premium" about the same time the fibre went in, and it must have defaulted to "everything" rather than the configured settings we were already using - and we didn't checkfrown Thanks for your help on this.

However, still not the 115mb we are paying for, so Zen got OR to try again. Went through the text to say they were coming yesterday / watch video / text them to confirm we had watched it routine again - and at the end of it there was a comment that they would only enter the premises if we had NO service. Not happy at that point as we obviously DID have service, but hey ho....

Nobody came yesterday, no phone calls from engineers, nothing.

Tried a speed test last night.... 65mb grrrr
then again this morning https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/16102024854... and...
bingo! 111mb!

Not only a higher effective speed but the graph shows (most of) the variation has gone away.

Got exited and ran test again.. 66mb again 88mb grrrrr

09-01-2021 14:52:38 (GMT) 88.5 Mbps 18.6 Mbps Zen Internet
09-01-2021 14:50:39 (GMT) 66.1 Mbps 15.8 Mbps Zen Internet
09-01-2021 14:28:36 (GMT) 106.0 Mbps 20.4 Mbps Zen Internet
09-01-2021 14:14:59 (GMT) 111.8 Mbps 21.6 Mbps Zen Internet
08-01-2021 20:16:56 (GMT) 69.0 Mbps 20.0 Mbps Zen Internet
08-01-2021 18:39:37 (GMT) 69.7 Mbps 19.9 Mbps Zen Internet
08-01-2021 18:38:51 (GMT) 65.6 Mbps 19.6 Mbps Zen Internet

This is on a decent HP laptop with Avast "File shield" and "Behaviour shield" and "Web shield" turned off, over a wired connection (all Cat8) with wifi turned off at the router.

Where do I go next?
Standard User jabuzzard
(experienced) Sun 10-Jan-21 13:48:01
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: johnankrett] [link to this post]
 
You could probably start by removing the Cat8 cables and replacing them with something that is actually supported by the equipment you are using. We have a classic case of the Dunning–Kruger effect in play here.

TL;DR Cat8 and Cat7 cables are only sold to the gullible and uninformed who think being a higher number makes them better. The reality is they are actually worse unless you are using CG45 or Terra connectors which I can absolutely guarantee you are not because there is no equipment available for purchase with them.

I strongly recommend using either Cat5e, Cat6 or Cat6a cables that are actually supported by an IEEE 802.3 standard.

Edited by jabuzzard (Sun 10-Jan-21 13:50:49)

Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 10-Jan-21 14:12:00
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: johnankrett] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by johnankrett:
decent HP laptop with Avast "File shield" and "Behaviour shield" and "Web shield" turned off


Where do I go next?
My personal opinion is to backup the licence key, and then uninstall the Avast software and reboot. You could try booting from a Linux Live CD (or USB stick these days!) which would give you an operating system without any third party modifications.

As well as changing the cables. Have you connected directly to the ONT with a normal ethernet cable, that are typically available in the normal supermarkets.

Do you have access to any other computers with ethernet ports?

21 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User jabuzzard
(experienced) Sun 10-Jan-21 21:36:41
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jchamier:
In reply to a post by johnankrett:
decent HP laptop with Avast "File shield" and "Behaviour shield" and "Web shield" turned off


Where do I go next?
My personal opinion is to backup the licence key, and then uninstall the Avast software and reboot. You could try booting from a Linux Live CD (or USB stick these days!) which would give you an operating system without any third party modifications.

As well as changing the cables. Have you connected directly to the ONT with a normal ethernet cable, that are typically available in the normal supermarkets.

Do you have access to any other computers with ethernet ports?


The Dunning–Kruger is large here, they are using Cat8 Ethernet cables smile
Standard User johnankrett
(newbie) Wed 13-Jan-21 18:48:26
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jchamier:
As well as changing the cables. Have you connected directly to the ONT with a normal ethernet cable, that are typically available in the normal supermarkets. Yes (with the help of ZEN support), got same result. Tried one old Cat 5e cable and two new Cat8 cables from different manufacturers.

Do you have access to any other computers with ethernet ports? Yes, got same result


What is the issue with Cat8 cables?
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 13-Jan-21 18:58:35
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: johnankrett] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by johnankrett:
What is the issue with Cat8 cables?
No need for them in a domestic setting. Even at 1 Gigabit speeds. Unless you live in Buckingham Palace, I suspect you won't have a need for a cable longer than the Cat5e specifications let you run 1000 Mbps. smile

Category 8 is designed for data centres where distances between switches and servers are short. It is not intended for general cabling. It is defined by the standards organisations for lengths upto 36 metres.

By buying Cat 8 at eBay/Amazon prices, you are more than likely getting something sub-standard. Without enterprise test tools, you won't be able to tell.

21 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM

Edited by jchamier (Wed 13-Jan-21 19:00:31)

Standard User johnankrett
(newbie) Wed 13-Jan-21 19:22:40
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Thanks.
Standard User jabuzzard
(experienced) Thu 14-Jan-21 10:15:58
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jchamier:
In reply to a post by johnankrett:
What is the issue with Cat8 cables?
No need for them in a domestic setting. Even at 1 Gigabit speeds. Unless you live in Buckingham Palace, I suspect you won't have a need for a cable longer than the Cat5e specifications let you run 1000 Mbps. smile

Category 8 is designed for data centres where distances between switches and servers are short. It is not intended for general cabling. It is defined by the standards organisations for lengths upto 36 metres.

By buying Cat 8 at eBay/Amazon prices, you are more than likely getting something sub-standard. Without enterprise test tools, you won't be able to tell.


It's actually worse than that. Everything up to Cat 6a was a balanced pair. Cat7 and Cat 8 has each individual pair with a screening. This turns the pairs into miniature twinax cables. This is why genuine Cat 7 and Cat 8 need to be terminated with GG45 or Tera connectors and plugged into devices with GG45 or Tera sockets. These properly terminate each of the twinax cables to stop the electrical signals bouncing off the end of the cable and degrading the signal (simplified explanation for those without appropriate degrees in physics or electrical engineering).

There are absolutely zero devices on the market with GG45 or Tera sockets that I am aware of and certainly no consumer equipment so there is no way you can actually correctly use a Cat8 cable.

The OP has used a little bit of knowledge about Ethernet cables, that Cat6a is better than Cat 6 which is better than Cat 5e etc. and used that to conclude that Cat7/8 is better still. They didn't have sufficient knowledge of subject to determine that they where wrong. This the definition of the Dunning–Kruger effect.

The OP first port of call should be to replace the Cat8 cables because they do not conform to a valid IEEE or TIA/EIA standard and could be making things worse.

There are unfortunately a lot of charlata's on eBay/Amazon who are selling Cat7/8 cables to the gullible.

My personal prediction is that the proposed use case of Cat8 in the data centre will not transpire. It will all be direct attach cables or fibre. Even in 2021 if you presented a device in the data centre at 10Gbps with a twisted pair interface it would be a right pain in the backside as you would have to go out and by a very expensive SFP+ to plug it into a switch. Which is why server grade NIC's all have SFP+ cages so one can make the choice between a DAC or some SFP+'s and fibre as suits.
Standard User ft247
(newbie) Thu 14-Jan-21 11:01:17
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: jabuzzard] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jabuzzard:
Even in 2021 if you presented a device in the data centre at 10Gbps with a twisted pair interface it would be a right pain in the backside as you would have to go out and by a very expensive SFP+ to plug it into a switch. Which is why server grade NIC's all have SFP+ cages so one can make the choice between a DAC or some SFP+'s and fibre as suits.


SFP+ in my experience is the way to go for 10Gbps networking in the home too.

-preterminated fibre is cheap, and given the choice between installing Cat6A+ without expensive test kit, or just taking a bit of care pulling the fibre, the fibre is the easier and cheaper option. In my day job I see a lot of abused fibre patch cables and it's amazing what they'll stand up to, especially when you are not pushing the limits of the power budget.

-10GBASE-T SFP+ modules are more expensive than fibre.

-Fibre SFP+ / DACs often consume less power, which means they generate less heat. Most home data closets/lofts don't have air handling...

-There is a healthy market in last-generation ex-server SFP+ PCIe cards at reasonable prices.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 14-Jan-21 11:08:27
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: jabuzzard] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the detailed rationale, I hadn't researched Cat7/8 in enough detail. I saw there was a specification.

Having used Cisco direct attach at 40Gbps for short runs in our data centres, and then fibres for everything else, we just used Cat 6 for our general servers (some with 4 x 1Gb), and then the big midrange kit running lots of VMs had direct attach.

I assume the cable are going to be Cat6 with an incorrect label on, when sold on eBay/Amazon etc!! Whom in a the domestic market is going to be able to tell?

21 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 14-Jan-21 11:09:32
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: ft247] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by ft247:
SFP+ in my experience is the way to go for 10Gbps networking in the home too.
When I next upgrade my network, I'm tempted to make sure I am 10Gbps ready with SFP+, maybe with 2.5Gbps over copper to start with.

21 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User jabuzzard
(experienced) Thu 14-Jan-21 16:50:18
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: ft247] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by ft247:
In reply to a post by jabuzzard:
Even in 2021 if you presented a device in the data centre at 10Gbps with a twisted pair interface it would be a right pain in the backside as you would have to go out and by a very expensive SFP+ to plug it into a switch. Which is why server grade NIC's all have SFP+ cages so one can make the choice between a DAC or some SFP+'s and fibre as suits.


SFP+ in my experience is the way to go for 10Gbps networking in the home too.

-preterminated fibre is cheap, and given the choice between installing Cat6A+ without expensive test kit, or just taking a bit of care pulling the fibre, the fibre is the easier and cheaper option. In my day job I see a lot of abused fibre patch cables and it's amazing what they'll stand up to, especially when you are not pushing the limits of the power budget.

-10GBASE-T SFP+ modules are more expensive than fibre.

-Fibre SFP+ / DACs often consume less power, which means they generate less heat. Most home data closets/lofts don't have air handling...

-There is a healthy market in last-generation ex-server SFP+ PCIe cards at reasonable prices.


I am not sure SFP+ is a great idea in a home. I did my home with Cat6a over a decade ago now smile However that was mostly because I got free cable from work. The contractors kept leaving the ends of boxes in the patch rooms at work and the network guy got fedup. After threatening them he would chuck it out he gave it all to me when they didn't shift it. I guess 20m barely gets out the patch room but with a central location can cover much of a home. I did have some 30m lengths as well, and some shorter. I also got free Cat6a patch panels when a floor was refurbished and everything was stripped out including the patch room. Wish I had taken the 50+ Cat5e panels as well and flogged them on eBay. They ended up in a skip frown

If you do fibre then it gets messy trying to plug your TV or playstation/xbox. I can mix and match over my structured wiring. Sure I have not done a full test on all the terminations, but I have tested some and they sync at 10Gbps and there is plenty spare to re-terminate them if needed. The Cat6a euromodules are however a lot more expensive than Cat5e ones, and I did buy those as my OCD wanted them to match the power sockets.

However you are right, for the price of a single 10Gbase-T SFP+ I can buy a couple of SX SFP's and 100m of fibre. The only use of 10Gbps over twisted pair is to deliver a fast speed to the desktop IMHO. It seems to be taking an inordinately long time for speeds faster than 1Gbps to trickle down to the desktop. I mean 1Gbps to the desktop was the norm at work less than a decade after 1Gbps came out. I was installing my first 10Gbps server connection back in 2006.
Standard User ft247
(newbie) Thu 14-Jan-21 19:34:22
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: jabuzzard] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jabuzzard:
I am not sure SFP+ is a great idea in a home. I did my home with Cat6a over a decade ago now smile

...

If you do fibre then it gets messy trying to plug your TV or playstation/xbox. I can mix and match over my structured wiring.


Agree completely, I have a mix of fibre, Cat5e and Cat6 - like you, from ends of boxes. The only core of fibre that is lit is to the desktop, and 10GBase-T is perfectly happy on 20m of Cat6 to the NAS.

The main point of the fibre is to allow for future expansion - when the NAS gets replaced I'll get something with SFP+, and should there ever be a need for a second switch anywhere it can have a 10G fibre link back to the core.

Overkill - certainly. But so is a Cat6A Euromodule for the Xbox!
Standard User Pheasant
(committed) Thu 14-Jan-21 21:59:18
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: ft247] [link to this post]
 
The main drawback with SFP+ is that there is no way to deliver PoE if you use copper plugables in your cages, which is a major shortcoming for an intended 'general purpose' connection. This doesn't really matter where SFP+ is used for its intended purpose i.e. datacenter, backbone and edge connectivity.

SFP+ is nice, but I'd stop short of recommending for 'future proof' general purpose horizontal distribution.

In the horizontal, the better bet I reckon if you want to run up to 10 Gb/s over copper is to use a modular switch with native 100/1000/2.5/5/10G copper ports and the ability to swap out modules with SPF+ cages
Standard User Pheasant
(committed) Thu 14-Jan-21 23:20:00
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Re: Slow FTTP. My Zen 115/20 service is delivering 50/20


[re: johnankrett] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by johnankrett:
Where do I go next?

1. Can you get your hands on another laptop or PC to test directly from the ethernet port the ONT? I know bit more difficulty in pandemic times

2. Bin those "Cat8" cables. All you need is a decent Cat5e or Cat6/6a patch lead. Please don't get them from eBay. Something decent with a recognisable structured cabling brand name like Commscope, Molex, Siemon or TE/Krone you can't go wrong. Shout if you need to know where to get some online (not Fleabay OK!)

Testing with another laptop will tell you whether its your service at fault or your laptop.

My Broadband Speed Test
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