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John_GS
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Message 11 of 32
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Re: Latency Spikes

Hi craigmdennis

 

Thanks for posting and welcome to the community.

 

My apologies for the broadband issues but the advice above is correct, there are a few of your downstream channels out of spec. All of the upstream ones are as well. No known area issues which is the first thing we check so we'll send a PM to you now to arrange a technician visit to the property.

 

Best,

John_GS
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John_GS
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Message 12 of 32
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Re: Latency Spikes

Hi @craigmdennis

 

Thanks for joining me on PM. Just to update the thread - the engineer visit was booked in. 

 

This can be tracked and/or altered in your online account

 

Let us know how the visit goes.

 

Best,

John_GS
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craigmdennis
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Message 13 of 32
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Re: Latency Spikes

Thanks to everyone who has been helping so far.

An engineer came and balanced the upstream(?) as well as discovered a couple of sections of cable that were damaged (and so replaced them).

Unfortunately, this hasn't resolved the issue.

This was on a recent conference call. Again, I was unable to participate.

2021-10-20_18.24.21_Brave Browser_k5MEj7ZX.png

 

Here is the BQM covering the time the engineer was here (note the red lost packets when they disconnected the cable). Notice that it has made no difference to the latency spikes after 6pm.

My Broadband Ping - Virgin Media

And then today's:

My Broadband Ping - Virgin Media

What else can be done?

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Andrew-G
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Message 14 of 32
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Re: Latency Spikes

Well, first of all, lets think about you rather than the miserable connection VM are offering.  Nationally we're looking like heading into another winter of on/off lockdowns and WFH.  Is this poor connection risking your job, or harming your ability to do it?  If the answer is yes to either, then get yourself an Openreach connection ordered ASAP.  It will be slower, but as you've found "fast & unreliable" is a pointless deal.  Zen Internet will do you a 12 month contract, if you go with larger suppliers they'll usually insist on 18 month deals.  "Now" are offering 30 day rolling contracts for Openreach internet, but you'll have a higher connection charge and Now have customer service like VM.  For a 12 month Zen contract, that's going to be around a quid a day - surely that's worthwhile if it avoids problems with work?

Next up, what to do about the shoddy VM connection?  VM have had their chance, they've still not left you with the connection you're entitled to under both consumer law and VM's regulatory commitments.  Steps from here are potentially slow, and may result in your connection being fixed or you leaving VM altogether, that's why the Openreach connection is the priority.

Looking at the BQM, there's some spikes at all times, and some of these are just line noise and connection loss (eg in the first of those BQMs, at 2am, 3:15am, and 4:30am).  But apart from those, both these and your previous BQM show a typical over-utilisation pattern - you see how it's very poor during normal waking hours, and then relatively peachy from about half past midnight to 9 am? Shows that the network and your hub are working moderately well when there isn't too much traffic on VM's local network.  The root cause of this is almost certainly VM selling more contracts than their network has capacity for, and there's a bottleneck on signal processing usually at the head of the local coax network, creating moderate delays that sometimes don't affect speed tests, but create 70-200ms delays that destroy latency and massively disrupt latency sensitive applications like video calls and conferencing, gaming, and live-streaming. 

If my diagnoses is correct there is 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.  Nationally problems of this nature have declined, and VM spend tens, maybe hundreds of millions to increase capacity.  But sometimes that's either not possible, or judged uneconomic or "not a priority" in some locations.  And sadly VM won't ever admit the truth, so even where there is a fault reference and a "fix date" 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 seems not, and as the fix date approaches it is simply moved a month or two ahead.  If there's not been a fault raised, then VM will swear on their mother's grave that there are no problems, irrespective of the evidence of a BQM.

Sometimes these capacity problems are short term (eg whilst other network improvements take place), but again, there's no way of getting honest and accurate answers out of VM.  It could be fixed tomorrow, it might not be fixed for two years.  Your options:

1) Sit it out (with or without an Openreach alternative connected), and hope blindly that VM do carry out improvement works.

2) Raise a formal complaint demanding that VM:

a) Resolve the problem within 30 days and pay compensation for the persistently poor connection, or 

b) Release you from any fixed term contract without penalty, pay compensation for the poor connection and any overlapping Openreach costs, and

c) If they cannot agree to either of these on terms acceptable to you, you require a "deadlock letter" for the purposes of taking the matter to arbitration at the industry complaints overseer, CISAS.  VM complaint handling is poor, so don't be too surprised if the complaint to VM is fobbed off and you have to take the matter up with CISAS.

If you go down the complaints route, the basis of your case against VM is the poor connection and failed attempts to rectify, and your legal rights are 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 VM promised Ofcom they'd adhere to in 2019, and the relevant point 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."

The forum staff may at this point intervene to head off the possibility of a complaint to CISAS (VM always pay the relatively high costs of CISAS investigations, and lose or concede about 92% of all cases taken to CISAS).  An informal resolution would be quicker and easier for you, as well as saving VM rather a lot of money, but don't accept a trivial settlement like four quid a month off, or release from contract with no compensation.

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craigmdennis
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Message 15 of 32
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Re: Latency Spikes

I appreciate the detailed and comprehensive reply. Unfortunately VM have us over a barrel because an ADSL line has a minimum speed guaranteed speed of 1Mb, and no that's not a typo.

I suspect over subscription is the issue as well given the speed alternatives. The engineer visit was not a waste and they identified and fixed a few problems. 

It's not risking my job and I thank you for your consideration of asking. 

I will have to lump it for now until a FTTP company see's value in this area. 

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Corey_C
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Message 16 of 32
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Re: Latency Spikes

Thanks for your post and updates, craigmdennis,


Sorry to hear of your ongoing latency issues. How has things been since your post?
I have run a remote diagnostic and have not been able to identify any issues with your connection. We can also provide online broadband help here: https://www.virginmedia.com/help/services-support/broadband

It may be capacity related as the BQM suggests however we have nothing flagged for capacity. If you need another visit I can do that for you.
Let us know if you need any further help.


Cheers,
Corey C

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craigmdennis
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Message 17 of 32
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Re: Latency Spikes

It seemed to be better immediately following the engineer visit, but according to the BQM it's worse. 

I can't have conference calls (see Google Meet diagnostics) and online gaming jumps from 80 to 250ms at its worst.

I don't know what to do at this point. I don't know if another engineer visit would yield anything. 

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risc19
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Message 18 of 32
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Re: Latency Spikes


@craigmdennis wrote:

It seemed to be better immediately following the engineer visit, but according to the BQM it's worse. 

I can't have conference calls (see Google Meet diagnostics) and online gaming jumps from 80 to 250ms at its worst.

I don't know what to do at this point. I don't know if another engineer visit would yield anything. 


I would have to agree with you there. Mine is also suffering at the moment after being 'fixed' for a while.

I lost count on how many visits I had and not one of them helped with the issue.

As I see it our equipment is all within spec, it's just the network that it's connect to thats struggling.

My Broadband Ping - Virgin Lagfest Modem Mode
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craigmdennis
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Message 19 of 32
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Re: Latency Spikes

Some people have suggested upgrading alleviates the issue slightly, but that seems ludicrous.
How is it that we pay £45+ a month and can't even use it for conferencing services? Surely there must be some QoS at the network level to prevent this?

Capitalism at it's finest. I do not have a choice.

Latest BQM is insane:

 

My Broadband Ping - Virgin Media

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legacy1
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Message 20 of 32
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Re: Latency Spikes


@craigmdennis wrote:

Surely there must be some QoS at the network level to prevent this?

 


The downstream is but the upstream is not as QoS as you would hope unless they rate limit after Docsis like 100Mb (if not lower) for 4 channels at 64QAM but only works if all channels on every modem in the area connected are at 64QAM and packets are balanced across the channels and no one has a bot flooding and DoS the connection.  

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