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TheBod
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Consistent latency spikes during daytime

Hi there,

Have 350Mb, speeds seem ok most of the time, but latency is a huge issue.

Running the SuperHub3 in modem mode, with a TpLink AX50 as the router. Some devices connected via WiFi, some wired (some using powerline).

See my BQM here: 

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/337ccd09cc63fc82514438fd8fa9987d561595a8-28-04-2021

 

This is an issue for us as me and my flatmate play online multiplayer daily, and the latency causes us to fly around in games etc, instead of being smooth.

 

Any advice?

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Andrew-G
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Re: Consistent latency spikes during daytime

The BQM looks like a typical over-utilisation pattern, meaning more traffic than VM's local network can handle. Nothing you can do to improve matters. In some areas VM undertake work to rejig the local networks to balance loads and eliminate over-utilisation. But sometimes/often that's either not possible, or judged uneconomic if there's a need to spend money on more equipment.  There will be an "estimated fix date" if this is officially recognised as over-utilisation, but there's no way of knowing if that fix date is actually backed by any 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. Your options:

1) Sit it out, and hope that VM do carry out improvement works. There's little or nothing you can do to force VM to upgrade the network, nor can you rely on any fix date that is stated.

2) Get yourself a new ISP if there are acceptable alternatives. If you're in a fixed term contract you'll probably have to use the VM complaints process (and possibly escalate for arbitration at CISAS ) to be released from contract without penalty. If you need to do this, the grounds of your complaint is the poor performance, 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 states "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."

3) There is no third option.  There's nothing you can do that improves over-utilisation or bypass it.  VPNs, new routers, fiddling with settings etc don't make any difference, the problem is that there's simply more data traffic than the CMTS gear can process in real time, leading to very brief delays that may not affect measured speeds, but destroy good latency.  The CMTS is the magic box that sits at the head of every local coax network, and acts a big multi-customer modem to translate optical data into radio frequency data that your hub understands, and the hub then converts back into electrical impulse data for your devices (and then again into a different wireless protocol for the wifi...).

When VM staff get round to this post, they will be able to say if there's an over-utilisation fault (but don't believe the fix date).  They may also ask you to run the hub in router mode in order that they can check the hub's status data (that'll stop your BQM because your IP address changes between router and modem mode).  I don't think your BQM shows anything that would be down to power or noise problems, but always worth going along with any reasonable request from the company to investigate.

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TheBod
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Re: Consistent latency spikes during daytime

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the thorough and speedy response.

I thought that might be the issue; I live in a flat near the centre so that doesn't surprise me. Anything I can do to flag it up so VM are aware, or is it just a case of waiting for someone to reply and confirm?

 

I would consider a different ISP if a) they had FTTP rather than FTTC (~60Mb doesn't cut it these days, plus there's the chance they are over-utilised too), and b) they could provide internet + Sky Sports and BT sport 4k for the same price. I'm just waiting for another provider to have a proper gig up gig down network readily available to consumers so I can swap to them.

 

I'm assuming the same CMTS gear is used for the gigabit connection, so upgrading to that + the hub4 would make no difference?

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Andrew-G
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Re: Consistent latency spikes during daytime

I thought that might be the issue; I live in a flat near the centre so that doesn't surprise me. Anything I can do to flag it up so VM are aware, or is it just a case of waiting for someone to reply and confirm?

Wait and see what the forum team advise, if there's no known problem, and there's no power or noise fault, then you can raise a complaint, but the chances of that provoking action itself are low.  Having said that, VM seem more likely to address over-utilisation in city centres - it is just a real pity that the company simply can't be open and honest about utilisation faults and what (if anything) they will do to fix that, including when. 

I would consider a different ISP if a) they had FTTP rather than FTTC (~60Mb doesn't cut it these days, plus there's the chance they are over-utilised too),

Only a few years back 60 Mbps was seen as cutting edge, and it more than cuts the mustard for gaming, which needs 5 Mbps down and 5 up (plus a further 5 up for Twitch victims).  Latency is everything, bandwidth is merely garnish unless you're a web developer or other trade who routinely download and upload terabytes.  Because of differences in regulation Openreach are far less likely to suffer contention problems - they will refuse customers when there's no spare capacity, VM on the other hand are, shall we say "less thorough" in their avoidance of this problem.

If you really need both bandwidth for "heavy lift" and latency for gaming, videocalls and the like, then (should resources permit) you could consider a 35 Mbps Openreach line on a one year contract from a smaller ISP such as Zen for thirty quid a month or so, whilst keeping the VM connection for the bundle and bandwidth.  Pricey, and shouldn't be necessary - is a quid a day for decent gaming a price you'd consider, and the year contract?  And if it didn't deliver the latency, you can cancel in the cooling off period and pay nothing.  There's a few "no minimum term" contracts offered in the market, but usually expensive for what they are, and often with companies with no solid reputation.  

I'm assuming the same CMTS gear is used for the gigabit connection, so upgrading to that + the hub4 would make no difference?

100% correct.  There's no preferential treatment for any data traffic, so any packets that arrive when the CMTS is running full throttle get queued.  And you'd lock yourself in for a new 18 or even 24 month term at higher cost.  

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Sasha_W
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Message 5 of 14
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Re: Consistent latency spikes during daytime

Hi @TheBod

 

Welcome to the forum page and thanks for posting this on here. 

 

Sorry to hear that you're experiencing some issues but it does look like you have had some good advice from our VIP's on here 🙂 

 

I have just taken a look at your account via your forum information and it does look like everything is running smoothly on our side. 

 

There are no outages or faults which could be causing any issues. 

 

Just a quick question, how are things today? 

 

I know it's only been a couple of days but let me know if you are still experiencing issues 🙂 
 

Thanks 

Sasha - Forum Team


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TheBod
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Message 6 of 14
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Re: Consistent latency spikes during daytime

Hi Sasha,

Thanks for getting back to me.

The issue is still present, as you can see from my live BQM: 

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/2fd4f06b8e63e40641045ab8f34a42624b65f06e

 

It does appear to be "just" an oversubscription issue, I would argue that it isn't "running smoothly". Could you get this raised up as an issue please? 

Thanks.

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Sasha_W
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Re: Consistent latency spikes during daytime

Hi there, 

 

Thanks for coming back to me. 

 

So I have decided to book you an engineer and will PM you over the details. 

 

If you wish to change or cancel this then you can via your virgin media account and at your orders section,

 

If you do have any further issues please feel free to get in touch and I am more than happy to help you. 

 

Thanks 

Sasha - Forum Team


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TheBod
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Message 8 of 14
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Re: Consistent latency spikes during daytime

Hi Sasha,

Engineer ran a couple tests, and setup up an HDU, but nothing has changed unfortunately:

 

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/40ef1cbabca2226c233ebfe63d878f4ce0...

 

(Not that I expected him to be able to do anything tbh).

 

Could you please get this raised as an oversubscription issue? 

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risc19
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Re: Consistent latency spikes during daytime

You dont happen to live near the reading area do you?

My Broadband Ping - 1GIG HUB4 Router mode

HUB4 1Gig Router mode
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John_GS
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Re: Consistent latency spikes during daytime

Hi TheBod

 

Thanks for coming back to us.

 

I've checked the network and it's not congestion so unable to raise it for that and also all your levels are in spec from the other check I ran. 

 

If they've installed that for you today, please continue to monitor it for a few days and report back to us

 

Kind regards,

John_GS
Forum Team

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