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ChrisShaw
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Buffering and Slow Speed

I have had continual problems with buffering on my cable broadband for the last couple of years and the broadband speed (supposedly 100Mbps) is seldom anywhere near this value and regularly down nearer 10Mbps with awful buffering issues (Area 31, Tring) that are far worse than with ordinary, BT with supposedly much slower download speeds (approx. 9Mbps).  The service is so unpredictable and frustrating, particularly given the costs I am paying.  The TiVo sits gathering dust (a pointless, low quality and again unreliable service).  We have had an engineer out but the issues seem to remain. Every now and then it hits the download speeds expected, but more often than not the service simply frustrates with such massive fluctuations from 100 to less than 10 for no apparent reason.

Despite many, many attempts, I have never been able to run the online service status "Run tests" to completion for either the broadband or TiVo since they get to approx. 45% and then state, "We're trying to sort it out for you" etc.; is this normal?

What am I supposed to do to get the sort of consistency of service advertised and for which I am expected to pay?

 

[MOD EDIT: Subject heading changed to assist community]

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Re: Buffering & Slow Speed

Hi ChrisShaw,

 

Thanks for posting and a warm welcome to the community.

 

My apologies that you are having issues with your broadband connection.

 

Looking at your connection, the line and hub have come back as fine. However, there are peaks of high traffic during the evening which may impact you, however it is currently not breaching our thresholds. We will continue to monitor this issue. 

 

Do you only notice these speeds during peak hours or can it be any time of the day?

Are you testing through a wired or wireless connection?

 

Let me know how you get on
Sam


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ChrisShaw
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Re: Buffering & Slow Speed

Dear Sam,

I am disappointed with your reply.  If my slow download speeds are not breaching your thresholds then your company's thresholds must be ridiculously low.  Using a wired connection to the hub I am now regularly getting less than 1Mbps, often 0Mbps and averaging less than 3Mbps during peak times when we are most likely to use the service.  I am paying for 100Mbps and so you think less than 1/33rd of the paid-for service is acceptable.  Even the TiVo buffers and so the TV service provided is equally unacceptable.

I am not prepared to accept the continuous misinformation coming from VirginMedia; promised resolution dates regarding over-utilisation issues in the area that are forever being extended etc.

Your company is failing dismally to manage traffic flow during peak times and the rates I receive do not come close to those purported in your company's current advertising regarding 'expected' peak rates for the 100Mbps service.  Recently we have seldom been able to stream anything during peak hours and so perhaps, on the basis of clarity and honesty, you should be advertising that as a possible scenario on your website.

I am getting to the point where I may have to request that CISAS adjudicates as to whether your service breaches acceptable thresholds.  I am now keeping a regular log as evidence for the pitiful download speeds now being achieved.  My last call to customer services saw an unsolicited £3.22 amount credited to my account for the 'loss of service'; I am not sure this comes close to offsetting the inconvenience and annoyance caused through the unacceptably slow, peak-time download speeds.  I am sorry, but I have lost all confidence in VirginMedia and look forward to leaving for the cheaper and more reliable services offered by BT and others.

Regards,

Chris Shaw

 

 

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ChrisShaw
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Re: Buffering & Slow Speed

These are my logged speeds recorded thus far, when tested via cabled connection to the Hub:

Date

Time

Ping/ms

Download / Mbps

Upload / Mbps

Sunday 20th Nov

19:53

852

0.78

2.35

 

20:44

235

0.00

0.00

 

20:45

531

2.43

3.25

 

20:50

921

1.43

3.19

 

21:27

940

2.97

3.48

Monday 21st Nov

00:39

183

42.40

1.87

 

05:32

125

10.57

1.22

 

05:41

714

81.99

4.12

 

17:45

437

20.37

2.82

 

18:27

531

0.00

2.86

 

18:30

123

2.28

1.39

 

19:39

600

3.07

1.81

 

20:01

756

0.00

3.50

 

20.15

353

0.00

0.00

 

20.20

336

0.00

0.00

 

20.25

157

2.04

2.32

 

20.30

179

2.02

2.91

 

20.59

216

1.94

2.12

 

23:09

414

5.60

3.07

Tues. 22nd Nov

19:58

625

0.23

3.10

 

20:00

998

0.00

3.49

 

As you can see, exceptional performance from VirginMedia's 100Mbps Vivid100 service. So, is this pathetic peak-time upload performance due to the 'magic in the cables'; I think not.

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Message 5 of 7
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Re: Buffering & Slow Speed

Hi ChrisShaw,

Thanks for getting back to me. 

I appreciate the speed tests that you have completed. I understand how frustrating this can be and I would like to help as much as I can.

With the speed tests most of the results were during peak hours, do you get these speeds outside these hours or is there a difference?

Are you able to complete a few speed tests at different times of the day whilst the Super Hub is in modem mode please so we can see if there is a difference? When using speedtest.net > select the default server and post a link/screenshot of the results.

If you get chance create a Broadband Quality Monitor so we can see the performance of the connection. If you do set up the BQM make sure that you go into your router settings > Advanced Settings > Ping > and tick Respond to ICMP echo requests sent to WAN IP.

Hope to hear from you soon

Sam


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ChrisShaw
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Re: Buffering & Slow Speed

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As requested, various speed tests over the last couple of days and a BQM. No problems with speeds outside of peak times but slow downloads at peak times with significant buffering when streaming (including on TiVo). Speed tests were via LAN using modem mode. Given that I am supposedly being provided with a 100Mbps service, it seems ridiculous that I am getting less than a tenth of this speed during peak times when I am more likely to use it; this is what I find most frustrating. Given that I used to get faster and more steady speeds at peak times with BT via copper wires when I used to be in Cornwall, living approx. 3 miles from the nearest exchange and 1 mile from the nearest cable-ready cabinet, I think my peak speeds are indicative of the extent of over-utilisation of the VirginMedia network in my area. It seems unreasonable to be expected to pay for a service that VirginMedia cannot come close to providing during peak times.

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Re: Buffering & Slow Speed

Hi ChrisShaw,

 

Thanks for posting your speed test results and BQM graph, I appreciate it.

 

I understand that these issues seem to be due to high peak time traffic, however the traffic on the network is still running low.

 

The next step will be to complete ping tests/trace routes during these times, whilst the Super Hub is in both router mode and modem mode. We will then replicate these this side to see if we get the same issue.

 

Speak soon

Sam

 

 


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