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Yet another post about terrible latency on M350

So from what ive read this seems like Virgin Media simply cannot handle the volume of traffic currently being put through previously quiet residential areas. We have 2 people working full time from home, and i presume so has half the area.

My issues started a month or so ago and have got progressively worse over time. Online games are unplayable, business calls and video are flaky and wifi calls disconnect randomly (we also have terrible cell reception here, so i rely on wifi calls through EE).

I thought that it could be some throttling on Virgins part as ive a NAS that was erroneously uploading huge amounts of data backups. I stopped that a month ago but to date the issue hasnt got any better. Id speak to virgin to confirm the throttling if i could...

Fortunately our contract expires in December, so may switch to BT 1GB FTTP, which sounds more resilient. Its double the price though, so this is a last ditch effort to see if anyone from Virgin can help and spot any issues. The fact im having to get tech support on a forum because Virgin have simply shut down their call centres is enough in its own right to justify walking away and never looking back!

Ive run a BQM the past 12 hours and it suggests that this is tied to when the network is most active, 8am - 10pm:

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/24b6b73d567be3f0461251f867bc598e0189eb6d-06-11-2020

Modem logs included:

Channel Frequency (Hz) Power (dBmV) SNR (dB) Modulation Channel ID
128275000011.140256 qam19
220275000011.540256 qam9
321075000011.840256 qam10
421875000011.640256 qam11
522675000011.540256 qam12
623475000011.440256 qam13
724275000011.340256 qam14
82507500001140256 qam15
92587500009.938256 qam16
102667500008.638256 qam17
112747500001038256 qam18
1229075000011.540256 qam20
1329875000011.540256 qam21
1430675000011.540256 qam22
1531475000012.140256 qam23
1632275000012.540256 qam24
1733075000012.540256 qam25
1837075000014.140256 qam26
193787500001440256 qam27
2038675000012.540256 qam28
2139475000011.640256 qam29
2240275000011.540256 qam30
234107500001240256 qam31
2441875000012.440256 qam32

Downstream bonded channelsChannel Locked Status RxMER (dB) Pre RS Errors Post RS Errors
1Locked40.950
2Locked40.370
3Locked40.350
4Locked40.350
5Locked40.360
6Locked40.970
7Locked40.370
8Locked40.360
9Locked38.990
10Locked38.9130
11Locked38.9180
12Locked40.340
13Locked40.3140
14Locked40.350
15Locked40.330
16Locked40.900
17Locked40.950
18Locked40.900
19Locked40.980
20Locked40.3160
21Locked40.940
22Locked40.340
23Locked40.350
24Locked40.9140
Upstream bonded channelsChannel Frequency (Hz) Power (dBmV) Symbol Rate (ksps) Modulation Channel ID
13940000439.5512064 qam2
22580001439.5512064 qam4
33260001939.5512064 qam3
44620002139.5512064 qam1
 
Network LogTime Priority Description
06/11/2020 09:58:59noticeLAN login Success;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
04/11/2020 05:07:15criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
04/11/2020 05:04:33noticeSW download Successful - Via NMS
04/11/2020 05:02:34noticeSW Download INIT - Via NMS
02/11/2020 06:29:43criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
01/11/2020 19:35:54noticeDHCP Renew - lease parameters tftp file-cmreg-vmdg505-bbt062+voc-b.cm modified;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
01/11/2020 19:35:54ErrorDHCP RENEW WARNING - Field invalid in response v4 option;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

 

 

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Re: Yet another post about terrible latency on M350

You've got two problems by the look of it.  Your downstream power levels look too high for reliable operation, but the BQM shows that your suspicions are correct and the local network is over-utilised, and that's why the latency is poor all day, but fine during the small hours.  Getting power levels fixed is usually easy, but sadly the evidence of many other customers' experience of over-utilisation is that it is not going to change quickly (a timescale between several months and a couple of years).  I'd say cut your losses and take your business elsewhere.  And even if VM offer a fix date, that is often a made up date with no programme of improvement works attached to it; As the "fix date" approaches, a new fix date is assigned, a month or two down the road.

Get the new ISP in and working before cancelling VM - yes, there's a months overlap that you're paying for, but if there's any delays or faults on the new line then you're not left without a connection.  But why go for a pricey 1 gigabit BT connection?  WFH typically uses at most 5 Mbps for videoconferencing, and (if it worked) your existing 350 Mbps would be massive overkill. 

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Re: Yet another post about terrible latency on M350

Hello Andruser

Thans for confirming my suspicions, its very much appreciated. Its a shame, but ultimately i understand the limits of the technology, and the fact Virgin couldnt have seen the work from home situation coming. It is what it is i guess. The lack of customer service irks me. You shouldnt need to do this for free for them, although ive no doubt i got more from you in ten minutes than i would have from Virgins call centre in days!

Am i right in thinking that a DSL BT line tends to have much better resilience for congestion, and so whilst speeds might not be as good typically as cable, the latency should be much better?

In terms of why i want a GB line, i run a tech company and so sometimes being able to download a lot is helpful. Its likely overkill i know that, but im happy to pay a bit of a premium for the benefits occasionally as im a bit of a techie and whilst i might not get value from it, i'll definitely appreciate it.

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Re: Yet another post about terrible latency on M350

i understand the limits of the technology, and the fact Virgin couldnt have seen the work from home situation coming. It is what it is i guess.

Given that most people's home working is not high bandwidth, and the network is already setup to offer very high speeds, the problems are caused by VM running some nodes far too close to capacity.  Before Covid many areas had congestion problems, but these tended to be "evening only", and as a broad and sometimes inaccurate generalisation all Covid has done is make all day peak times.  I don't have much sympathy for VM on the issue of congestion.  If you really don't want to switch ISP, then VM should be able to both offer you 1 Gbps AND resolve the congestion issue when they roll out DOCSIS 3.1 in your area AND IN ADDITION they have swapped most users in congested areas to the Hub 4, but as I say, that's between months and a couple of years.

The lack of customer service irks me.

It irks most customers who encounter it.  VM know how bad their customer service is, but as it doesn't improve we can safely conclude that they don't care

You shouldnt need to do this for free for them, although ive no doubt i got more from you in ten minutes than i would have from Virgins call centre in days!

Well, like most of the other Insightful users (I don't like the VIP moniker, but hey-ho) I've a smattering of tech knowledge, an interest in these things and time on my hands.  

Am i right in thinking that a DSL BT line tends to have much better resilience for congestion, and so whilst speeds might not be as good typically as cable, the latency should be much better?

I'm afraid I don't know.  Openreach certainly have SLAs for performance, and stronger regulation than VM, but congestion can occur on any network.  The place to ask that would be the forums of Thinkbroadband and ISPReview.  Even then, somebody else's problems may not affect you, just as my VM connection has good low latency and reasonable reliability whereas your does not.  I'd suggest that you don't automatically go to BT, but try speaking to AAISP or Zen Internet (or Aquiss, uno, IDNet, CIX) to see if they can offer you a FTTP connection.  Not only is their customer and technical service vastly better than the large telcos, but their provisioning teams can probably give you a good idea of the performance you can expect, and these companies are far more effective at getting the best out of Openreach than consumer-focused large ISPs (including BT, EE and Plusnet, despite being part of the same group as Openreach).

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Re: Yet another post about terrible latency on M350


Well, like most of the other Insightful users (I don't like the VIP moniker, but hey-ho) I've a smattering of tech knowledge, an interest in these things and time on my hands.  

I can relate, i mooch on a few forums in my particular very specific work niche and its nice to be useful! Also, when its not paid, you can walk away when people are idiots 🙂

I agree on the ISP. Ive a friend fairly senior in BT and his thoughts were the same. His comment was that whilst BT might have the buying power, who are they going to favour, me or KPMG/Barclays/etc? Ive used smaller ISP's and getting straight through to 2nd line support with someone who just knows whats happening is a lovely thing.

I'll go through the motions with VM, try and see if the signal strength helps, and then make a switch at some point. It cant be much worse!

Once again, thank you for your time, its been incredibly useful.

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Re: Yet another post about terrible latency on M350

Having exactly the same issues here. been like this most of the year.

I've been with virgin since it was telewest 512kb and can honestly say the gaming experience back then was perfect. i just cant get my head round the fact when i do a speed test i get nearly 400mb. but i cant play a simple online game without high latency and jitter.

will be cancelling ASAP. its nice to read other people having these issues. i'm not alone. saves me the hassle on fault finding which has been taking up so much of my time lately.

Thanks