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TJDML
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Latency issue affecting gaming

Hi,

looking for some pointers/assistance from the community.

For a number of months now gaming on the PS4 has been a real challenge due to the regularly high latency on the connection. We’ve tried various things - wired vs wireless connections, connecting directly into the Hub as opposed to the Netgear Orbi we have around the house, changing DNS settings etc - and nothing seems to help.

I’ve been running a BQM and can see the average latency and spikes match what’s being experienced - the graph is consistent with improvements only seen during the early hours.

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/de791c9046ee782ffa47b4c285ad7fb2b1... 

Download speeds are also not where they should be, rarely coming near the 200Mbps we pay
for.

Can anyone offer any advice as to where I should go with this? Would any other diags be useful?

Thanks.

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Andrew-G
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Re: Latency issue affecting gaming

That BQM is sadly a classic picture of over-subscription.  Basically, VM have sold more connections than the local network has capacity for.  There's nothing you can do about it directly.  Sometimes VM can and do rejig local networks to eliminate over-subscription, but sometimes that is not feasible within a cost that the company regard as economic - for example, if they needed to add additional capacity through significant investment.  

As a general rule, a fault reference is issued, and nothing is actually done.  When the fix date approaches, VM network operation look to see if anything has changed (ie have sufficient customers left to bring the network back under capacity).  If they haven't, then a new "fix date" is assigned, along with earnest promises that it will be fixed.  This can and does go on for years, and the VM forum staff and customer service agents have no visibility into whether the fix date is backed by real changes, or whether it's just a make believe "review date".  Churn rates are probably falling because VM's contract length is now 18 months rather than twelve, so it could be a very, very long time before attrition brings the local network traffic down to match capacity.

In some cases (the quarter of the network running on the DOCSIS 3.1 standard) they can issue a Hub 4, which uses extra magic to increase capacity, but if you are on the majority of the network operating on DOCSIS 3.0 that won't help, and they won't issue a Hub 4.  And even then you're exposed to the half-baked Hub 4.

If I were seeing a BQM like that, I'd be looking at finding a new ISP, because chances are that's going to continue for a long time, and you can't rely on VM's promises of a fix date.

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Re: Latency issue affecting gaming

Thanks for the explanation. Having seen some similar threads on here that were also related to my postcode I feared that might be the case but always good to get a more experienced opinion.

Will start having a look at the alternatives.....

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Andrew-G
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Re: Latency issue affecting gaming

If you do conclude that a new ISP is your best option, do give serious consideration to the smaller, customer-service oriented ISPs, including Zen Internet, AAISP, uno, IDNet, CIX, and Aquiss.  Zen offer packages that are much like the larger ISPs, you'll find the others are a little more SOHO oriented (you'll see what I mean when you check out the packages) but that doesn't stop them being excellent domestic ISPs.  Whilst all these and the other big ISPs use Openreach, don't assume that means the quality of service is the same - there's a country mile between the ability of different companies to get the best out of Openreach when sorting out provisioning or technical problems.  

Of course, you may simply want the most heavily discounted packages that large ISPs can offer, but that will sadly be accompanied by mediocre service.  Big or small, check out customer reviews on ISPReview and Trustpilot for any prospective ISP before signing up. 

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Re: Latency issue affecting gaming

Thanks again. I had already noted Zen and will look at the others. As ever, it'll be the balance of the better service you get from the smaller ISPs versus the simplicity of the package, including TV, from the larger providers. 

This is the dilemma that's always existed...

 

 

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