on 20-09-2011 20:30
I have been experiencing very slow and heavily fluctuating download speeds on my 50 Mbps connection (Wembley HA9 - Area 21) during peak hours (approx 5:30 pm - 11:30 pm) since the end of last week. Outside of these hours, I seem to have a very reliable constant download speed of 47-49 Mbps, as was always the case before. Despite numerous reboots, a number of different actions by Virgin and an engineer visit today, the issue is continuing.
I first reported this to Virgin support (offshore call centre) last Friday, when I noticed speed of 0-2 Mbps with brief jumps to 10/20/30/40 Mbps for a few seconds - they told me they would send new signals to the router, and it did seem to improve speeds to a constant acceptable level at first. However, I noticed the issue again on Sunday and reported it again. This time they escalated the issue to their "senior support team" and being kept of hold while they investigated I was told that they had identified an issue in my area with too much upstream capacity being used, which would also affect my download speeds. They couldn't confirm an ETA for when the issue would be resolved but I was told that I would be notified when it was.
I noticed the same issue again around 6 pm on Monday, and it seemed even worse than before with the connection completely unusable - I was unable to browse any websites or run any speedtests, although the Super Hub was connected. When I rang up Virgin support again, they told me that the issue identified on Sunday has been fixed (unsurprisingly, I hadn't been notified as they said I would be) and after not getting a promised callback, I rang again and this time I was told that they had noticed the power levels on my Super Hub were fluctuating too much, and that an engineer visit would be required. When they mentioned this, I noticed that the power levels on the downstream channels had indeed moved up to over 8 dbMv where before they just over or under 7 dbMv, and I also noticed that I now have 4 downstream channels rather than 3 - not sure whether there has been some infrastructure change in my area recently that may have been related to this.
Anyway, the engineer turned up at my house today around 3:30 pm (the official slot was 4-7 pm) - I know him as a very polite, helpful and friendly chap who brilliantly fixed some major issues with my phone line a few weeks ago, that had been missed by previous engineers who had been in too much of a hurry to just get the Tivo/broadband/phone installation job done and over with rather than do do a proper job. Unsurprisingly, he didn't see the absymal download speed issue and I had been happily using a 50 Mb connection all day. When I mentioned the issues reported by the support team about the power levels, he suspected that there may been some cabinet amplifiier changes that may have affected my previously good broadband service and fitting an equaliser to my super hub so that the power levels and other connection settings are as per below. The engineer said that the new power levels were fine.
|Current System Time:Tue Sep 20 18:03:05 2011|
After fitting this, I still had a great 50 Mbps connection, as per prior to his visit. However, I started doing some more testing around 5:15 pm and started to see the issue return again although it did seem slighly better than before but still seeing fluctuating download speeds of e.g. 0/2/12/15/20/30/45 Mbps when using speedtest.net. Some runs on pingtest.net are also showing 1-2 % packet loss. I have rung up Virgin support again and they have left a message with the engineer asking him to pay me a visit tomorrow between 6-7 pm tomorrow to hopefully observe and identify the problem, with an official backup appointment booked for Friday that I can cancel if necessary.
These are my latest speedtest results which are absymal:
So the bottom line is that there is clearly some issue related to peak hours - and I can only assume network related right now - which has been massively affecting my broadband service since last Friday and still has not been resolved. I have no confidence that the root cause will be identified and fixed tomorrow. I work from home as a software developer and this is having a serious negative impact on my work, where Internet connectivity is essential. I've had Virgin TV for many years but only recently switched over my broadband together with taking Tivo recently, and I'm really starting to regret that decision - my previous Bulldog/Pipex ADSL 8 Mbps connection may have been slower but it was rock solid over 6 years, never gave such issues and didn't tie me into shoddy equipment like the Super Hub. Between the various bits of helpful but ineffective bits of generic customer service, I still have an unusable broadband service during peak hours - extremely frustrating.
Anyway, I've taken the time to write this down all the details all that I'm aware of - happy to supply any further information if it helps. I'd really appreciate the Virgin team here getting somebody to properly investigate this through to resolution - right now, it looks like this will continue indefinitely and I am a very unhappy customer.
on 20-09-2011 21:06
Also, please note that I am running these tests via a wired Ethernet connection directly into my Super Hub to take wireless issues out of the equation when investigating these low download speeds.
Having said that, the wireless download speed is fine, i.e. as per before, when I am not observing this issue via the wired connection.
on 20-09-2011 21:41
Latest update: just spoke to an offshore call centre to see if they could discover anything more in advance of the engineer visit and this time the lady I spoke to ran some tests and reported that my Super Hub did not appear to be connected to the UBR, even though I am able to view websites (albeit very slowly), post to this forum and indeed see an IP address in the status on the admin console.
She sent the signals to reactivate hub and following a reboot, we still had the same observations on both ends... so now very confused and frustrated!
This is the current Super Hub Status from the admin console:
Super Hub Status
I'm not sure whether this has all started deteriorating after last week's R30 firmware update, but hope this helps the investigation.
on 20-09-2011 22:54
Just now at approx 10:45 pm, the download speed is almost back to full:
Seen this consistently on a few speed tests, although a couple dropped to 30/40 Mbps.
on 21-09-2011 00:05
As expected, normal service is now resumed again with consistently high speeds for the past half hour from approx 11:30 pm:
on 21-09-2011 17:04
I've just spoken to Virgin support again after chasing a couple of times - thankfully got through to a more informative UK call centre this time.
The lady I spoke to informed that there was a cabling issue that had been identified at 6 pm yesterday which was affecting me - reference F001742571, ETA to be resolved on 28th September, just under a week away. But she couldn't conclusively say that this was the cause these slow download speeds between approximately 5:30 - 11 pm that I have been seeing everyday since last Friday.
That's a better update, but I'm still concerned that after waiting one week this fix may not resolve the issue that I am seeing and leave me with an ongoing poor service for over a week and half. I'd appreciate somebody from the Virgin forum team looking into this a bit more closely and giving me some confirmation and feedback on whether this is the root cause of my issue.
on 21-09-2011 19:07
Don't post again and they'll get ti you in about 3-4 days.