In the past 3-4 weeks, I have noticed a significantly worse experience with online games (mainly COD:Warzone). I thought my pings were not that bad, rarely saw packet loss, run a wired connection, but the games felt like I was playing with a much higher ping than displayed. My friends in the same game are fine but say I'm lagging. More recently this actually started to show as having much higher or inconsistent pings. I had been checking status in area as well as running speed tests, but apart from the odd low speed on one or two speed test servers, I hadn't seen anything to really point at the cause. I saw on the community people posting BQM's, so set one up, and right away could see the issue. There is a very noticeable trend which directly matches the periods I most experience issues.
Any help would be appreciated as the issue is getting worse and becoming unplayable.
The BQM shows a typical over-utilisation pattern - you see how it's very poor during normal waking hours, and then much better 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. You can choose to believe whether this is Covid related, or whether VM simply sell contracts until (and indeed after) the local network is at capacity, but the outcome is the same for now.
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. But sometimes that's either 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 there will be a fault reference and a "fix date", but 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 seem not, and as the fix date approaches it is simply moved a month or two ahead.
There is a little glimmer of hope, that as and when your area is upgraded to DOCSIS 3.1, and sufficient customers are using the Hub 4, then that ought to improve matters, but this could be many months, even a year or two hence. Simply having a Hub 4 on its own won't improve matters, and although VM aren't saying so, I suspect that even after D3.1 is active, a significant proportion of customers on an over-utilised segment would have to be using the Hub 4 before the benefits start to appear.
1) Sit it out, and hope that either VM do carry out improvement works, or that they get D3.1 live and hand out plenty of Hub 4's, and that this tactic actually does work. If you're already in a D3.1 area, then (in theory) it is simply waiting for the Hub 4's to be installed and their collective benefit to hopefully materialise.
2) Get yourself a new ISP. If you're in a fixed term contract you'll probably have to use the VM complaints process (and arbitration at CISAS if need be) to try and be released from contract without penalty.
Of late we've had a further lockdown, and the start of the 2020 game and console release cycle, both of which have driven traffic up hugely. If the over-utilisation started suddenly in the past week or two, there's a hope that it will fade away when those influences decline, and if this applies my advice is to wait and see for a month or two, even if that's really inconvenient. If the problem's longer standing then the earlier comments about expecting a resolution to take a lot longer probably apply, along with the potential remedy being to get a new ISP. But if you go down new ISP route, check if you're liable for any VM early termination fees because you're in a fixed term contract, and make sure you speak to a competent ISP (AAISP, uno, Aquiss, IDNet, CIX, Zen Internet) to establish your expected speed and whether there's any existing contention (over-utilisation) issues on the Openreach network around you. Failure to do the first could land you with a big bill, failure to do the second could mean you jump ship and find the situation is no better, but your broadband is slower.
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Yeah, I wouldn't want to directly link it to same period as the second lockdown, as I believe it was getting worse before, just hadn't been tracking with BQM. I think, but do not know exactly, this could have stretched as far back as start of October.
Hub 4's have been rolling out in my area, have had ours since the summer. Can't say it has made any improvement, apart from actually being able to do port forwarding (believe previous hub 3 was bricked with firmware update, so had it running in modem mode). Believe these were being shipped out due to being a high utilised area (without quoting email), but not to expect an immediate improvement.
I don't doubt there's likely a waiting game or need to consider alternatives, but following the support path for now in case there's anything I'm overlooking or an actual fault that can be addressed.
I've looked into this and ran my diagnostics and our automated systems have identified a prolonged congestion issue affecting multiple customers in your area. This would cause slow speeds on broadband and performance issues with some of the features on our TV service. Our engineering teams are aware of the issue and will look to resolve as soon as possible.