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RainmakerRaw
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Congestion? (Also: Homeworks+/CMTS)

Since we moved house (over a year ago) our 200Mbps is nowhere near as good as it was. We only moved a few streets away, but it was from a new estate (with brand new VM infrastructure) to an older house. We have a SH3 in router mode (pending arrival of a new IPFire/pfSense box), with the wifi disabled (we have a Ubiquiti AC PRO) and the firewall and flood detection disabled. 

All LAN devices are running either Intel Pro 1000 gigabit NICs or else wireless AC (on 5GHz with 80MHz channel width). Operating systems include Windows 10 x64, macOS Sierra and various Linux and BSD derivatives (mostly openSUSE Tumbleweed).

According to the CMTS MAC it's Cisco kit, and we only have 8 downstream channels (256QAM) and 2 upstream channels (16QAM). At our previous address we had the full complement of downstream channels and four 64QAM upstream channels. Our speeds and page loading problems are getting worse and worse overall, but it does hit full speed off-peak which leads me to wonder about congestion rather than just old/knackered VM kit. 

Incidentally, I was told by VM that Homeworks+ was not available (likely the old Cisco CMTS?) but I could have the VIVID200 Gamer. We could really use the extra upload so I'm going to see what retentions can do next week.

Generally speaking, speeds are all over the place, and I get a lot of 'site couldn't be found / site timed out' errors even on the 'big' fast loading sites. I tried with Google, openNIC and other DNS and a clean browser (no AV, no addons etc) but no change - so it's not a DNS issue. It affects page loading, YouTube (which buffers or stalls a lot) and download speeds for NNTP, P2P, FTP and HTTP vary between 500KB/sec and 10MB/sec. I used to see 20MB/sec consistently but over time this has fallen to the variable mess we have now.

Can anyone please double check our stats (and account, for VM staff) and let me know if anything looks amiss or if our area (Liverpool L11) has congestion or network kit issues? Many thanks. 

Screen Shot 2016-11-04 at 00.08.43.pngScreen Shot 2016-11-04 at 00.08.58.pngScreen Shot 2016-11-04 at 00.09.06.png

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DavidJWalker
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Re: Congestion? (Also: Homeworks+/CMTS)

you can see the hub power levels by http://192.168.0.1/ don't log in Check router status whats like between 0 and 10 Power (dBmV) is ok but over and under that you need someone to come out and sort it and copy and paste them to here and we tell you on the outcome and peek times are 4pm to 1am and weekends that can exp low speeds and you need 10 downstreams for 200mb not 8 


Using VIVID 350 Optical Fibre, Player TV, Talk Weekends



Just another VM user trying to help out so my answers may be wrong.
If you do like my answer please mark it as helpful; it may help others
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Superuser
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Message 3 of 12
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Re: Congestion? (Also: Homeworks+/CMTS)


RainmakerRaw wrote:

According to the CMTS MAC it's Cisco kit, and we only have 8 downstream channels (256QAM) and 2 upstream channels (16QAM). At our previous address we had the full complement of downstream channels and four 64QAM upstream channels. Our speeds and page loading problems are getting worse and worse overall, but it does hit full speed off-peak which leads me to wonder about congestion rather than just old/knackered VM kit. 

If speed tests are not hitting close to full speeds, then yes you probably have at least a bit of a utilisation issue. Whether it breaches VM's limits that's another thing.

Incidentally, I was told by VM that Homeworks+ was not available (likely the old Cisco CMTS?) but I could have the VIVID200 Gamer. We could really use the extra upload so I'm going to see what retentions can do next week.

Generally speaking, speeds are all over the place, and I get a lot of 'site couldn't be found / site timed out' errors even on the 'big' fast loading sites. I tried with Google, openNIC and other DNS and a clean browser (no AV, no addons etc) but no change - so it's not a DNS issue. It affects page loading, YouTube (which buffers or stalls a lot) and download speeds for NNTP, P2P, FTP and HTTP vary between 500KB/sec and 10MB/sec. I used to see 20MB/sec consistently but over time this has fallen to the variable mess we have now.

Yeah, this seems to be a common intermittent problem for a lot of people now and again. I'm experiencing similar types of issues myself and definitely do NOT have a utilisation issue here. Speeds are full speed all the time (downloads as you say are a different matter).

So seems to be an issue with VM's network (probably proxy and video servers) and/or further out on the internet. It's difficult to generalise. A friend in Canada has been having similar random issues of late too, which makes me suspect at least some issues are related to DDoS attacks against various sites.

But I tried a site today and it was definitely not working at all through VM, but was not down for isitdownrightnow.com.

Can anyone please double check our stats (and account, for VM staff) and let me know if anything looks amiss or if our area (Liverpool L11) has congestion or network kit issues? Many thanks. 

I seem to recall someone mentioned in the last day or two about issues in Liverpool (possibly in the port-flapping thread).

Screen Shot 2016-11-04 at 00.08.43.pngScreen Shot 2016-11-04 at 00.08.58.pngScreen Shot 2016-11-04 at 00.09.06.png


Your stats are fine. Upstream power is as high as I would want it to be and still be optimal. If it goes any higher then think about getting it adjusted.

For further info on power levels see: http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/QuickStart-set-up-and/Power-levels/m-p/3195536

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Superuser
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Message 4 of 12
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Re: Congestion? (Also: Homeworks+/CMTS)


DavidJWalker wrote:

you can see the hub power levels by http://192.168.0.1/ don't log in Check router status whats like between 0 and 10 Power (dBmV) is ok but over and under that you need someone to come out and sort it

This is not correct advice. My downstream power is -6 dBmV and I don't need anyone to come and 'sort it'. It works fine.

Acceptable power levels for downstream are -6 dBmV to +10 dBmV.

and you need 10 downstreams for 200mb not 8 


Also not true. Totally depends on the utilisation levels in an area. The rule of thumb Cisco engineers use to allocate bandwidth is 2 times the max tier you want to run. i.e. if you want to run a 200Mb tier, then you need 400Mb of bandwidth, which is 8 downstream channels. VM just run a little hot in some areas. The requirement for higher numbers of downstream channels is for the 300Mb and higher tiers they're bringing out, and to smooth things out for utilisation generally.

 

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Superuser
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Message 5 of 12
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Re: Congestion? (Also: Homeworks+/CMTS)


RainmakerRaw wrote:

Since we moved house (over a year ago) our 200Mbps is nowhere near as good as it was.

For me it was since last February when downloads reduced significantly from various servers, and I haven't moved anywhere. Mind you running a VPN for a couple of months doesn't seem to have made a difference on the download speeds. Recently reliability issue of web sites I haven't yet tested via a VPN. It's hard because the issues are so intermittent and difficult to trace.

 

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RainmakerRaw
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Message 6 of 12
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Re: Congestion? (Also: Homeworks+/CMTS)

Thanks guys. I forgot to include this in the OP, but in case it helps here's my TB monitor:

cb7a77ac5087763817050ad0b1203955-04-11-2016

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cje85
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Message 7 of 12
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Re: Congestion? (Also: Homeworks+/CMTS)


MUD_Wizard wrote:

RainmakerRaw wrote:

Since we moved house (over a year ago) our 200Mbps is nowhere near as good as it was.

For me it was since last February when downloads reduced significantly from various servers, and I haven't moved anywhere. Mind you running a VPN for a couple of months doesn't seem to have made a difference on the download speeds. Recently reliability issue of web sites I haven't yet tested via a VPN. It's hard because the issues are so intermittent and difficult to trace.

 


It's interesting that you mention poor download performance. Is this the so called 'Slow HTTP download' fault, where you get good results on speedtest.net but downloads from most servers are much slower? It's something I've noticed all year. Websites/servers which always used to reach 200Mbps download speeds rarely even reach 100Mbps (and often much less) on VM now.

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RainmakerRaw
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Message 8 of 12
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Re: Congestion? (Also: Homeworks+/CMTS)

Well the fun continues. Having noticed the connection taking a nose-dive just before 5pm, I'm currently struggling to pull 5Mbps to 10Mbps for normal traffic (web, streaming video, etc). TB's speed test confirms that single-threaded connections are running under 10Mbps mostly, but multi-threaded are around 70Mbps. Seeing this, I checked my TB monitor and sure enough, ping spikes and packet loss. Given that the vast majority of online activity is single-threaded this is a huge headache.

Can a member of staff check into this for me and let me know what the issue is, whether it's a known fault (with reference) and what the ETA for a fix/upgrade is? I'm getting really sick of this. I'd rather have a reliable 75Mbps from FTTC all the time than 5Mbps most of the day but 200Mbps once a week at 3am when everyone's asleep anyway. Smiley Sad  If VM would pull their finger out and actually deliver a proper network I'd happily pay double the current price or more. As it is I feel like a tenner a month would be a rip-off for this.

vm-congestion-17.50hrs.png

 

tbb-congestion-packet-loss.png

 

When it does work, very occasionally, it's excellent: vm-200.12-speedtest-result-win10.pngIt's just a shame it's so rare.

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cje85
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Message 9 of 12
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Re: Congestion? (Also: Homeworks+/CMTS)

Your ThinkBroadband speed test shows a classic case of the 'Slow HTTP Download' fault. This has been a problem on parts of the Virgin Media network over the last year, and has been escalated by the forum staff to the network department twice, but has not been resolved. Several users have cancelled VM as a result of the dreadful single thread speeds.

There is a very long topic about it here:

http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Speed/Very-poor-HTTP-download-speed/td-p/3026879

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Forum Team
Forum Team
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Message 10 of 12
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Re: Congestion? (Also: Homeworks+/CMTS)

Hi RainmakerRaw, 

 

Thanks for keeping in touch, I am sorry to see you have been having trouble with your speeds. 

 

I have taken a look and it seems you are affected by fault ref F003626934 for slow speeds at peak times. I have popped the details across to the team that deals with this type of issue and they will contact you as soon as the can with some more information. We should have more details after 11/01/2017. 

 

Apologies that I do not know more at this time.

 

All the best

 

Emma


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