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rav101
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BQM Query: Do I have an issue with latency?

Hi all,

I have just signed up to Virgin media broadband for the first time on the  M500 package. I have set up my Hub at the weekend and have been checking the quality of my line. Whilst I am getting between 450mb to 550mb down and around 22mb to 25mb up (depending on the time of the day) its the ping that I've got more of an issue with. Using cmd I noticed when pinging google servers, my ping would be around 12ms - 14ms but would spike up to 19ms and sometimes up to around 39ms.

I have set up BQM to check what is happening with my connection and have posted the link here. This connection is at my new property which I have not moved into yet so this is with zero devices connected to the hub and so completely unused. I'm concerned that the average latency has a wide margin in the afternoon adn across the day the maximum latency is spiking up to 40ms - 60ms when there is zero load on the line.

I have three virgin media wall sockets in my house but I have currently plugged into the one closest to the outside brown box. Ideally I would like to have Virgin media come out and install / move a box in the loft where I will be having a server rack and switch with connections around the house. The virgin media hub is currently in router mode as I have not yet installed my own router / switch (Unifi Dream Machine with POE 24 Pro swich). Once I do that, the router will be switched into modem mode and I'm not sure if that will help.

Given the increase in latency during daytime hours and the reduction in latency in the middle of the night, I am guessing that virgin media is over subscribed in my area (area reference 24) but have not improved their network to cope with the increased capacity?

I am not currently at this property so cannot yet get into the hub to provide the additional stats that I have seen requested in other posts. I should hopefully be going to the property tomorrow so could get them and post them tomorrow if that helps?

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jb66
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Re: BQM Query: Do I have an issue with latency?

Its common for VM connections to have a poorer latency performance compared to FTTC, this looks like a normal VM connection
Z92
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Re: BQM Query: Do I have an issue with latency?

That appears completely normal to me, Virgin Media is meant for fast download speeds, not low latency. If you require a low latency connection then you need something like BT's FTTC service which is slower in regards to download speeds (averaging about 40-50mbps) but much faster in the latency department (around 7 - 8 ms typically) 

If your area is oversubscribed then I'd expect peaks of anything upto 200ms. 

Switching the router to modem mode will have little impact on your latency.

rav101
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Re: BQM Query: Do I have an issue with latency?

Hi both,

Thank you for confirming. As mentioned in my original post, this is my first time with Virgin Media so maybe niaively expecting both fast download speeds and lower latency. If that is pretty normal for Virgin Media then I'm fine with that. I don't specifically need super low latency but I didn't want to get myself locked into a contract when there were already warning signs (which it turns out this BQM is not) that the line was on the brink of major issues etc.

 

Thank you again for your quick responses!

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jpeg1
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Re: BQM Query: Do I have an issue with latency?

Latency always increases as more users contend for bandwidth.  It's how the network responds, and if it did not do so then it would simply grind to a halt.

The only question is how much latency is acceptable, and there is unlikely to be a definitive answer to that.

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Andrew-G
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Re: BQM Query: Do I have an issue with latency?

@jpeg1 Latency always increases as more users contend for bandwidth.

Yes and no.  There isn't a linear relationship between user numbers and latency.  As long as the traffic remains within the capacity of the various network elements latency will stay at the baseline level for a normal DOCSIS connection.  When capacity is exceeded (usually at the CMTS, but potentially further upstream at network switches), then latency jumps massively, although the actual delay could be upstream only, downstream only, or both ways.  

There's certainly "degrees of badness" on an over-utilised segment, where more users equals even worse latency, but for gaming and reliable videocalls the relationship is pretty binary because performance drops off a cliff as soon as data packets start being queued or timing out. 

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Z92
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Re: BQM Query: Do I have an issue with latency?

You can normally pinpoint where the congestion is from your modems stats, if you are getting T3 and T4 errors then the problem is generally a congested segment between the modem and CMTS due to collisions - even though most houses have there own cable, there's a lot of sharing going on. If you could sniff the connection you could see what your neighbours are downloading if you had specialised equipment. Congestion can also occur due to bad cabling introducing noise as that generally reduces available bandwidth on one or more legs of the circuit which is why VM always say never to use third party cabling. It might work for you but it could be effecting other people on the same circuit. 

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jb66
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Re: BQM Query: Do I have an issue with latency?

The whole area shares the same cable, its irrelevant if your sharing one with a neighbour if signals are in spec

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