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thomasedwardkin
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Good download, awful ping

Hi,

I have had VM installed for around 3 months now. I have the 350 package. Download speed I don’t really have any issues with, however my ping / latency in online gaming is awful. I’m already on Ethernet and had the connection installed in the same room as the PS5. I have ping of around 30mbs which is worse than my previously (and cheaper ISP EE). I’m on the Ethernet cable provided by VM and using their hub 3. Any advice would be gratefully received. BQM details below. TIA

 

BQM completed over last 24 hours  hope that link works, first time I’ve used it.

 

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/4292ead3ca1c29368100e3f7faa0ca1afe79327f">My Broadband Ping</a>

 

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thomasedwardkin
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Re: Good download, awful ping

Edit: 30mbps is when the connection is running smoothly. The issue I’m having is the spikes in latency. I’m experiencing serious “jitter” leading to gameplay stutter and mbps exceeding 200 for a few seconds. Making online gaming unplayable.

Also one final note - the VM cable cabinet is only located around 20ft from my property. 

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thomasedwardkin
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Andrew-G
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Re: Good download, awful ping

Bad news, I'm afraid.

From my stock reply: The BQM shows a typical over-utilisation pattern - you see how it's very poor during normal waking hours, and then peachy from about half past midnight to 9 am?  Shows that the network and your hub are working perfectly when there isn't too much traffic.  Although measured speeds may be good, what's causing the latency problem is that VM have signed up more customers than their network can handle, this creates brief queuing of data packets at the head of the local cox network, and the resultant delays in the 40-200ms range create the spikes you see on the BQM, and play havoc with gaming, live streaming, and video call types of use which are critically sensitive to poor and erratic latency.  Very rarely it is a transient fault as VM make changes to the network, but that's far less common than "systemic" over-utilisation caused by poor control of sales, an occasionally it is a network fault that isn't over-utilisation but is evident during busy times.  Given the very clean cut off at 12:30am I think that your problem is unfortunately a classic over-utilisation problem.

Nothing you can do to improve matters. In some areas VM do indeed undertake work to rejig the local networks to balance loads and eliminate over-utilisation, and the roll out of DOCSIS 3.1 is helping a modest amount (but not a panacea).  But sometimes upgrade works are not possible, or judged uneconomic if there's a need to spend money on more equipment. And sadly VM won't ever admit the truth, so even if there is a fault reference and a "fix date", there's no way of knowing if that fix date is actually backed by an actual plan of action and programme of works. Quite often it seems not, and as the fix date approaches it is simply moved a month or two ahead.  Over-utilisation is a particularly Virginmediaesque tragedy - the problem is always self-inflicted, it could be having millions of pounds thrown at it and a permanent and glorious fix will happen tomorrow.  Or, even if there is a fix date, it may be in the "we won't bother with this one" bucket, where no effort at all will be made to resolve the issue.  Either way, you'll get no reliable and accurate information out of VM, and there's a good number of examples of similar situations in the forum.  As far as the forums are concerned, there's only one example where it seems a customer has managed to bludgeon VM into fixing an over-utilisation fault, and this took many months of unbelievable persistence.  Other customers have been almost as persistent but seen no improvement.

Your options:

1) Sit it out, and hope that VM do carry out improvement works.  A bit like sitting in the dark during a power cut, with no idea if or when the lights will ever come back on.  This is your easiest option.  As a rule, formal complaints don't have much effect - VM get so many they just fob them off, and even if escalated to the industry complaints scheme CISAS, they still can't force VM to make the necessary investments.

1a) As above, but raise a complaint asking for an ongoing discount (say 30% of broadband charges per month) until the problem is fixed.  You may need to use the formal complaint and escalation to CISAS to get a satisfactory outcome here.  

2) Carry out a one man/woman campaign to persuade VM to fix the fault.  This will take months to achieve any outcome if any, many forum, email and phone interactions, during which you will encounter the full Franz Kafka experience of dealing with VM.  Do not go down this route lightly, I'm absolutely serious when I say it can impact on your emotional well being.

3) Get yourself a new ISP. If you're in a fixed term contract you'll probably have to use the VM complaints process (and review at CISAS if need be) to be released from contract without penalty.  A search on my posts about over-utilisation will throw up my thoughts on how to structure a complaint to VM and how to use the CISAS scheme to achieve this outcome if it is what you want.  Whilst most people can only get slower speeds with Openreach, they make a far better job of managing capacity to avoid similar (contention) problems, and the Openreach technology and network architecture is somewhat less prone to these types of fault.  Since latency sensitive uses rarely use much bandwidth, the lower speeds are not necessarily a problem, unless your use profile is something like a gamer by night and a web developer or video editor by day, in which case the heavy upload and download needs for the day job will compete with the desire for a "lean and fast" connection at night.

4) Lay in a (say) 35 Mbps Openreach connection purely for latency sensitive uses that runs alongside the VM connection.  That really shouldn't be necessary if VM didn't screw up their own network, but it is certainly an option a very few users have taken.  That would be about a quid a day for a competitively priced broadband only offer, albeit with a 12 month commitment from the likes of Zen Internet, or 18 months with the large ISPs.  

thomasedwardkin
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Re: Good download, awful ping

Andrew,

Thank you for such a detailed, brilliant response. All so insightful, and much more than anything on VM’s website. I’ve had a read through the post you shared (all 31 pages) and can understand the OP frustrations as this seems the exact same problem as I’m experiencing. 

At this stage, having just seen the struggle and stress he’s had over this for months now, I don’t have the energy to enter the same monotonous battle with VM. I might just take the cancellation fee hit and go elsewhere, I can’t be bothered with this rubbish for another 12+ months. 

2 questions people may be able to help with. 

1) is the cancellation fee maxed out at £240? That’s what their website seems to imply.

2) how do you know which ISP will be good for latency? Only seem to advertise download speeds. You mention BT. But how can I find out if they’re going to show similar issues? Effectively I want to make sure I’m getting the best connection for my buck. Feel hard done by with VM.

 

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Andrew-G
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Re: Good download, awful ping

DO NOT PAY AN EARLY EXIT FEE!  VM have created the problem, you're rewarding their unethical or incompetent behaviours if you buy out your contract, and you then encourage them to perpetuate this shameful business practice against other customers.  And you'll be £240 worse off.

Raise a complaint using the online form in My Virgin Media, giving them thirty days to resolve the latency problem or to release you from contract without penalty, and state that if they can't agree to that, that you then require a deadlock letter for the purposes of escalation to CISAS.  The grounds of your complaint is the poor performance in regard to reasonable uses of a residential broadband connection, and your request for release from contract without penalty is twofold: First the Consumer Rights Act 2015 that requires any consumer service to be provided with "reasonable skill and care", and second, the Ofcom Fairness Commitments that VM signed up to in 2019 (but seem rather careless in complying with), that state "Customers’ services work as promised, reliably over time. If things go wrong providers give a prompt response to fix problems and take appropriate action to help their customers, which may include providing compensation where relevant. If providers can’t fix problems with core services they have promised to deliver within a reasonable period, customers can walk away from their contract with no penalty. "  If you have to go to CISAS, copy the complaint to Ofcom, and add in a request for compensation for the poor connection and refusal to release you from contract.

In terms of can you expect a better connection from Openreach, ask neighbours, maybe even ask if you can set up a BQM for a couple of days against their IP address.  Also, phone up somebody who knows what they're talking about, such as Zen Internet's provisioning team (phone number on their website), and ask them as a pre-sales enquiry what speed you could expect, and whether there's any contention problems with Openreach for your area.   

hortonj88
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Re: Good download, awful ping

I believe Openreach won't provision a service if there's contention issues or if the cabinet is full.

When I was a VM customer my gaming latency to games like WoW, FFXIV and League of Legends was anywhere between 125 and 500ms and those games are hosted in Germany or the Netherlands.

When I was on Openreach FTTC my latency sat between 26 and 32 ms because the FTTC lines are long (over a mile).


Luckily Openreach turned on FTTP in February and I've been on that since. Gaming latency sits between 10 and 17 ms.

 

 

Whether you get a good service from Openreach FTTC is dependent on how far you are from the cabinet that serves your property.

 

@thomasedwardkin As someone who's had openreach services for a few years now I can say that latency has always been stable even when I was on the mile+ long line FTTC connection.

Connection remained solid even through all of the 2020 lockdowns, never had issues gaming.

 

Virgin Media isn't really an ISP designed for Gamers, Streamers or anyone who does latency sensitive activities online.



********************************************************
Previously M200 (Left due to utilisation)


Now: BT FTTP 900/110 connected an ASUS RT-AC86U router.


https://www.speedtest.net/result/12098955842.png
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Sofia_B
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Re: Good download, awful ping

Hi @thromasedwardkin. 

 

Welcome to the Community and thanks for your first post, we're happy to have you with us 🙂 

 

I'm very sorry to hear you've been experiencing ping issues, I can appreciate how frustrating this must be and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. 

 

I'm so glad to see Andrew_G was able to provide some advice here. 

 

The BQM doesn't look healthy at all, apologies about that. I've managed to locate your account from your profile information, and everything seems to be performing as it should. There's no indication on the account there is a utilisation issue, is this something you've been advised previously?

 

How have things been since posting? 

 

Thanks, 

 

 

 

 

Sofia
Forum Team



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