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ES91
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Message 1 of 17
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Severe Routing / Peering Issues to EU

Hi there,

Hoping someone can help. I've been banging my head against a wall for months trying to solve this one.

The issue I am facing is extensive buffering and extremely slow download speeds to servers located outside of the UK. Latency and Jitter is also not great for gaming, but not the end of the world, and tbh that is a different story altogether.

After extensive research, and much troubleshooting over the last few months, the issue is with Virgin Media's peering/routing resulting in extremely poor speeds to EU or essentially anything outside of the UK. I am currently based in London and on the 1Gig Fibre plan with Virgin.

I am a professional gamer and video editor in my spare time, and I own backup servers in Germany, Finland and the Netherlands. Downloading or streaming from these servers on Virgin Media results in average speeds of 2-4mb/s most days. I have changed servers, datacentres and everything to try to rectify this issue, but it remains.

This is the case for any of my friend's servers located in Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam too. They have fast connections but are not on Virgin Media Fibre, and I have a very very slow DL speed.

As a comparison the rough speeds they achieve are 55mb/s on BT FTTP plan from my neighbour, and Sky FTTP from my friend nearby achieves 90mb/s from the same servers.

My mobile device achieves well over 40mb/s on the EE network in London in tests to all of these locations.

In the home, I've tried the connection with the Superhub 4 connected in Router mode, and in Modem mode with my own very expensive ASUS AX86U router running Merlin. Neither improve speeds.

The SamKnows test, and Speedtest/fast.com test to UK-based servers with multi connections gives me 900mb-1.1gb speeds. This is great. But this is for the UK only.

If you test this outside of the UK, the speeds are 10mbps-20mbps. This is 95% speed reduction. The same servers tested on Sky or BT FTTP by friends on the same street, or a few streets over, all achieve over 400-600mbps.

Trying a Hetzner speed test (Finland, NL, DE, etc. I get between 1,6mb/s to (let's be generous and say) 5mb/s even at non-peak times e.g. 3am). Even my phone on these same servers gets 20x the speeds. Friends on other FTTP services are achieving well over 40 as an absolute minimum in peak times.

The connection I have tried with ONLY one device connected at a time, and I have tried various devices. Both wired and wifi. I am mainly interested in wired at this time as my main device is connected via high quality ethernet cables.

I am fairly technical person and have an above average knowledge in how things work, but felt the need to enlist the help of a friend who works in the industry (BT Engineer) to help me understand the situation in more detail. He ran a few tracert and ping tests and suggested that the routing by Virgin is completely to blame in massively bottlenecking my speeds.

After liaising with the datacentres I use, they ran full diagnostics and gave me an array of download tests to run, as well as receive my ping/tracert screenshots, and also confirmed that peering or routing by Virgin is the sole cause of the issue.

Setting up Cloudflare CDN has not improved the issue but in all honesty shouldn't be a required workaround for poor routing.

Is there anything that can be done here? I've been a customer of Virgin for 10++ years and I'm paying £60/mo for this service that is getting me no more than 5mb/s to where I need it. Really concerned here because I cannot even stream a decent bitrate, nor download large project files from the servers I need to access without leaving things overnight. Quite unacceptable for a 1Gig promised line :(.

Thanks for your time in reading this. Happy to provide any info and further details you might need.

Regards, 

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cje85
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Message 2 of 17
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Re: Severe Routing / Peering Issues to EU

Are you able to share any of the traceroutes as that will show where the problems are. Also if you could suggest some download links or speedtest servers for other members to try, that will help determine whether it is a network wide problem or something more specific to your area. 

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ES91
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Message 3 of 17
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Re: Severe Routing / Peering Issues to EU

Hi there,

Thanks for your reply. Please try these as an example.

On my 1Gig fibre line I receive 1.6mb/s to 3.6mb/s currently. And just testing on my phone on 5G I get around 25-40mb/s currently. 

 

trcrt.jpg

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adhsmith
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Message 4 of 17
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Re: Severe Routing / Peering Issues to EU

On all those links I get good speed from my VM connection

The only place I matched your poor speed  was on the https://testmyinternetspeed.org/ website which was a woeful 4Mb, I tried a UK VPN, still the same, moved myself to Germany and got over 60Mb.

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ES91
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Message 5 of 17
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Re: Severe Routing / Peering Issues to EU

Interesting, are you also on the Fibre 1Gig plan? Are you also London based?

Can confirm I've tried various locations with Nord VPN and have seen no real improvements.

 

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adhsmith
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Message 6 of 17
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Re: Severe Routing / Peering Issues to EU

No sorry I only have 660.

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Tom_F
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Message 7 of 17
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Re: Severe Routing / Peering Issues to EU

Hi ES91, thanks for your post.

 

Sorry to hear about the problems you've had with broadband speeds when connecting to servers outside of the UK. 

 

I've had a quick look at your services using your forum information and everything appears to be fine, however I appreciate this issue may be more complex so that's not a reflection of your experience.

 

I tested my speed via the link provided (on 1Gig in Manchester) and the results were poor, which was surprising as pretty much any other speed test shows good results.

You seem to have covered everything with regards to diagnostics, I can't offer any suggested actions and I'm unsure what would be the best course of action to take here but my knowledge around the network/routing is limited in honesty.

 

I'm going to ask a colleague who is a bit more knowledgeable for advice and will get back to you asap. 

 

Tom 

ES91
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Message 8 of 17
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Re: Severe Routing / Peering Issues to EU

Hi Tom,

 

Thanks so much for your time on this, and for double checking my services specifically. Interesting that you are also seeing the slow speeds in Manchester too.

 

I've wracked my brains (and other people's!) for a couple of months now, so would definitely appreciate any further points of view or guidance. As far as I have been told and understand there's an issue with peering across borders which stems not from the Home > Virgin side, but from the Virgin > Destination Server (Non UK) > Back to Virgin side.

 

My mother, and a couple of other family members based in the Midlands seem to be totally fine with Virgin Media speeds, outside of the UK, as they are not on the Fibre service. i.e. they can download those tests files incredibly fast, as well as from my friends servers, and my own. So there is a chance that it is isolated to this Fibre line for some reason. Same for the previous poster. Don't quote me on that though!  I also didn't notice this issue prior to my upgrade.

 

Thanks for trying those specific tests too, many of the tech advisors on the phone line refer relentlessly to speedtest which only selects UK based servers, or samknows, but the root of the issue is not related to the UK. These results would be mirrored for literally any server outside of the UK that isn't loaded onto a mega CDN which can also distribute effectively from the UK (I imagine things such as YouTube etc. make use of this). Feel free to try any other tests you might want to with any links you can find online to non-UK major data centres or providers, if you have the same issue as me all of them will have poor performance. It includes any type of server too (I've tried hundreds of different tests all with the same range of results). OH and on this CDN side of things, I've tried loading my own servers onto CloudFlare CDN to see if I can try to work around the issues seen here, but it hasn't improved.

 

As a side note, I have been assigned an engineer today between 4-7pm, but as you said, everything *seems* fine my end and if you're having the same issues in Manchester I'm uncertain whether he can do anything.

 

Regards,

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Roger_Gooner
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Message 9 of 17
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Re: Severe Routing / Peering Issues to EU

My traceroutes go through the Hayes hub site. My DNS is 9.9.9.9.

C:\>tracert fsn.icmp.hetzner.com

Tracing route to fsn.icmp.hetzner.com [78.46.170.2]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  192.168.1.1
  2     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  3    11 ms    12 ms    10 ms  haye-core-2a-xe-231-0.network.virginmedia.net [62.253.8.117]
  4     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  5    12 ms    10 ms     9 ms  tele-ic-7-ae2-0.network.virginmedia.net [62.253.175.34]
  6    13 ms    14 ms    13 ms  ae15-0.lon10.core-backbone.com [80.255.14.105]
  7    24 ms    22 ms    23 ms  ae6-2011.nbg40.core-backbone.com [80.255.14.246]
  8    28 ms    32 ms    27 ms  core-backbone.hetzner.com [81.95.15.6]
  9    30 ms    29 ms    37 ms  core24.fsn1.hetzner.com [213.239.252.250]
 10    36 ms    29 ms    28 ms  ex9k1.dc14.fsn1.hetzner.com [213.239.245.122]
 11    27 ms    24 ms    25 ms  fsn1-speed.hetzner.com [78.46.170.2]

Trace complete.

C:\>

 

C:\>tracert us-ny.lg.afterburst.com

Tracing route to us-ny.lg.afterburst.com [209.222.4.183]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  192.168.1.1
  2     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  3    11 ms    19 ms    10 ms  haye-core-2a-xe-231-0.network.virginmedia.net [62.253.8.117]
  4     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  5     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  6     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  7    19 ms    17 ms    18 ms  86.85-254-62.static.virginmediabusiness.co.uk [62.254.85.86]
  8    16 ms    16 ms    17 ms  ldn-b3-link.ip.twelve99.net [213.248.84.25]
  9    15 ms    15 ms    19 ms  ldn-bb1-link.ip.twelve99.net [62.115.120.74]
 10   108 ms   108 ms   108 ms  nyk-bb2-link.ip.twelve99.net [62.115.113.20]
 11   108 ms   109 ms   109 ms  nyk-b2-link.ip.twelve99.net [62.115.137.99]
 12   113 ms   112 ms   108 ms  choopa-svc071182-lag000971.ip.twelve99-cust.net [62.115.59.7]
 13     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 14     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 15   106 ms   105 ms   104 ms  209.222.4.183.static.afterburst.com [209.222.4.183]

Trace complete.

C:\>

 

C:\>tracert hel.icmp.hetzner.com

Tracing route to hel.icmp.hetzner.com [95.217.255.81]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  192.168.1.1
  2     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  3    12 ms     9 ms    17 ms  haye-core-2a-xe-231-0.network.virginmedia.net [62.253.8.117]
  4     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  5    11 ms    12 ms    10 ms  tele-ic-7-ae2-0.network.virginmedia.net [62.253.175.34]
  6    23 ms    14 ms    15 ms  ae15-0.lon10.core-backbone.com [80.255.14.105]
  7    40 ms    38 ms    45 ms  ae11-2086.sth10.core-backbone.com [5.56.19.42]
  8    39 ms    47 ms    38 ms  core-backbone.hetzner.com [80.255.15.126]
  9    42 ms    41 ms    42 ms  core31.hel1.hetzner.com [213.239.252.101]
 10    44 ms    44 ms    42 ms  hel1-speed.hetzner.com [95.217.255.81]

Trace complete.

C:\>

 

C:\>tracert mirror.nl.leaseweb.net

Tracing route to mirror.ams1.nl.leaseweb.net [5.79.108.33]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  192.168.1.1
  2     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  3    27 ms    22 ms    14 ms  haye-core-2a-xe-231-0.network.virginmedia.net [62.253.8.117]
  4     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  5    12 ms    10 ms    12 ms  m686-mp2.cvx1-b.lis.dial.ntli.net [62.254.42.174]
  6    10 ms    10 ms    11 ms  213.46.174.118
  7    10 ms     8 ms    19 ms  ldn-bb4-link.ip.twelve99.net [62.115.120.238]
  8    17 ms    19 ms    17 ms  adm-bb4-link.ip.twelve99.net [62.115.113.238]
  9    19 ms    16 ms    15 ms  adm-b6-link.ip.twelve99.net [62.115.117.115]
 10    16 ms    19 ms    15 ms  leaseweb-ic308104-adm-b6.ip.twelve99-cust.net [62.115.48.210]
 11    14 ms    14 ms    18 ms  po-2.ce06.ams-01.nl.leaseweb.net [81.17.34.73]
 12    16 ms    16 ms    17 ms  mirror.ams1.nl.leaseweb.net [5.79.108.33]

Trace complete.

C:\>
--
Hub 3.0, TP-Link Archer C8, TP-Link TL-SG108S 8-port gigabit switch, V6
My Broadband Ping - Roger's VM Broadband Connection
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ES91
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Message 10 of 17
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Re: Severe Routing / Peering Issues to EU

Just confirming back on this thread that the Virgin Media engineer visited in person (Phil, great guy) and found 0 faults from his side (power levels, connections, setup etc.) so is closing the job, but he has observed the issues first hand and had to escalate the topic to his manager as he couldn't understand why this was happening.

They suggested it could have been a wider network problem that requires another team, and that an investigation will be taking place via his manager but I haven't seen any comms come through to confirm that. Maybe there's some notes you may be able to see on your end, Tom?

Also following up with some more traceroutes from my side just in case this is useful.


Tracing route to fsn.icmp.hetzner.com [78.46.170.2]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms RT-AX86U-D728
2 * * * Request timed out.
3 11 ms 14 ms 15 ms bmly-core-2a-xe-735-0.network.virginmedia.net [80.1.224.81]
4 * * * Request timed out.
5 * * * Request timed out.
6 23 ms 25 ms 22 ms tele-ic-6-ae2-0.network.virginmedia.net [62.253.174.86]
7 22 ms 25 ms 24 ms ae19-0.lon10.core-backbone.com [5.56.20.73]
8 31 ms 32 ms 29 ms ae6-2011.nbg40.core-backbone.com [80.255.14.246]
9 28 ms 29 ms 31 ms core-backbone.hetzner.com [81.95.15.6]
10 37 ms 35 ms 31 ms core23.fsn1.hetzner.com [213.239.252.246]
11 37 ms 53 ms 42 ms ex9k1.dc14.fsn1.hetzner.com [213.239.245.82]
12 37 ms 45 ms 36 ms fsn1-speed.hetzner.com [78.46.170.2]

 

Tracing route to mirror.ams1.nl.leaseweb.net [5.79.108.33]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms RT-AX86U-D728
2 * * * Request timed out.
3 16 ms 15 ms 9 ms bmly-core-2a-xe-735-0.network.virginmedia.net [80.1.224.81]
4 11 ms 12 ms 10 ms bmly-core-2b-ae1-0.network.virginmedia.net [213.105.159.234]
5 * * * Request timed out.
6 12 ms 14 ms 10 ms m686-mp2.cvx1-b.lis.dial.ntli.net [62.254.42.174]
7 12 ms 11 ms 14 ms 213.46.174.118
8 17 ms 15 ms 13 ms ldn-bb1-link.ip.twelve99.net [62.115.122.188]
9 20 ms 21 ms 20 ms adm-bb3-link.ip.twelve99.net [213.155.136.99]
10 21 ms 23 ms 19 ms adm-b3-link.ip.twelve99.net [62.115.122.179]
11 24 ms 23 ms 20 ms leaseweb-ic316582-adm-b3.ip.twelve99-cust.net [62.115.145.63]
12 17 ms 18 ms 20 ms po-1.ce05.ams-01.nl.leaseweb.net [81.17.34.67]
13 20 ms 20 ms 19 ms mirror.ams1.nl.leaseweb.net [5.79.108.33]

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