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leemcg
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Unusable upload speeds in working day

I'm on M350 in North East London. Every day without fail, on ethernet, I get a lovely 350D, 36U at about 7.30am (have just run a speed test now). But from about 9-4pm my upload speeds fall to 2-4Mbs. 

Regular as clockwork, and the same for 2 other people with Virgin in my street.

As it seems the only way, I'm still including all of my details. Maybe all three of us are configured wrongly...

My Monitor

[url=https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/0ec5e249737eff958566b9d715d1e688680053e8]My Broadband Ping[/url]


(sorry, I've tried a few different ways to copy in the link, and none seem to work as a nice image. Happy to edit if someone can let me know what the right way to link is)

And from my Hub (which is in modem mode) status:

 

Downstream

Downstream bonded channels

Channel Frequency (Hz) Power (dBmV) SNR (dB) Modulation Channel ID

12027500002.737256 qam9
22107500002.537256 qam10
32187500002.537256 qam11
4226750000236256 qam12
52347500001.937256 qam13
62427500002.537256 qam14
72507500002.536256 qam15
82587500002.436256 qam16
92667500002.536256 qam17
102747500002.236256 qam18
11282750000236256 qam19
12290750000236256 qam20
132987500002.236256 qam21
14306750000236256 qam22
15314750000236256 qam23
16322750000236256 qam24
173307500002.236256 qam25
183707500001.536256 qam26
193787500001.436256 qam27
203867500001.436256 qam28
213947500001.536256 qam29
224027500001.736256 qam30
234107500001.736256 qam31
244187500001.736256 qam32



Downstream bonded channels

Channel Locked Status RxMER (dB) Pre RS Errors Post RS Errors

1Locked37.6796034897
2Locked37.3669431940
3Locked37.3778232311
4Locked36.6857733386
5Locked37.3804532610
6Locked37.3780528418
7Locked36.6725230326
8Locked36.6657830110
9Locked36.6615227855
10Locked36.6908130386
11Locked36.6986832578
12Locked36.6957424204
13Locked36.61021024101
14Locked36.6700522890
15Locked36.3680025439
16Locked36.6966924788
17Locked36.6742723715
18Locked36.6783721209
19Locked36.61122025363
20Locked36.3725326263
21Locked36.3964225044
22Locked36.61016123784
23Locked36.3914219598
24Locked36.3815620665

 

Upstream

Upstream bonded channels

Channel Frequency (Hz) Power (dBmV) Symbol Rate (ksps) Modulation Channel ID

12579975739512016 qam4
24619998541512064 qam1
33939975840512064 qam2
43260006339.5512064 qam3



Upstream bonded channels

Channel Channel Type T1 Timeouts T2 Timeouts T3 Timeouts T4 Timeouts

1ATDMA0020
2ATDMA0010
3ATDMA0010
4ATDMA00110

 

 

Network Log

Time Priority Description

02/02/2021 07:55:39Warning!LAN login FAILED : Incorrect Username / Password / ConnectionType;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
01/02/2021 22:39:46criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
01/02/2021 11:40:22Warning!RCS Partial Service;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
30/01/2021 11:15:48ErrorDHCP RENEW WARNING - Field invalid in response v4 option;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

 

I've tried to report this, but haven't managed to speak to a person yet, hence trying here.

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Andruser
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Re: Unusable upload speeds in working day

When did you last reboot the hub?  If the BQM refers to your current IP address, then the hub is rejecting test packets that create the BQM, and a reboot usually solves that, also you've got high post-RS error counts, which could be accumulated over time.  You've also got upstream noise issues because one of the channels is dropping modulation.

But all of that may be incidental - what you describe sounds like a widespread problem for many VM customers at the moment or "over-utilisation", which is where there's too much traffic due to home working and home schooling.  That usually affects upstream traffic, and hits the upload speed and latency (response times) which affects gaming and video calls or voice conferencing.  If this is the problem, then the only cure is to wait for lockdown to end, or to get a new ISP (which might take until lockdown has ended).

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leemcg
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Re: Unusable upload speeds in working day

Do Virgin acknowledge that? Because it seems to me that they try to pretend all is well. One of those other people in my street was only installed 2 weeks ago, so that can't be helping with the problem, if it's just utilisation.

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Andruser
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Re: Unusable upload speeds in working day

@leemcg Do Virgin acknowledge that?

Let me put it politely: It is readily and obviously apparent that VM's network is in some/many areas really struggling due to Covid.  The company's response is too often one of obfuscation, denial and delay, and is causing huge damage to its own reputation.  I suspect many customers would be pretty understanding if VM came out and admitted where and when it had problems due to the exceptional demands of lockdown, but openness is not a quality the company possesses.  In theory VM don't sell new connections in areas of over-utilisation, on the other hand there's a lot of things VM do or don't do in theory. 

But absent a BQM it is difficult to be certain.

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tehwolf
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Re: Unusable upload speeds in working day


@Andruser wrote:

@leemcg Do Virgin acknowledge that?

Let me put it politely: It is readily and obviously apparent that VM's network is in some/many areas really struggling due to Covid.  The company's response is too often one of obfuscation, denial and delay, and is causing huge damage to its own reputation.  I suspect many customers would be pretty understanding if VM came out and admitted where and when it had problems due to the exceptional demands of lockdown, but openness is not a quality the company possesses.  In theory VM don't sell new connections in areas of over-utilisation, on the other hand there's a lot of things VM do or don't do in theory. 

 


i suspect that many folks affected by overutilisation would also be willing (even happy!) with some sort of traffic shaping being implemented to improve performance at peak times!

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Message 6 of 11
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Re: Unusable upload speeds in working day

I agree, consistently bad/ unusable upload speeds.  I would sacrifice download speed for upload  - i'm not watching TV or gaming during the day but I am trying to participate in video calls 

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Andruser
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Re: Unusable upload speeds in working day

@tehwolf i suspect that many folks affected by overutilisation would also be willing (even happy!) with some sort of traffic shaping being implemented to improve performance at peak times!

That wouldn't help, because it isn't really about inequitable distribution of bandwidth, simply that the combination of a hard coded 10:1 down/up ratio on the DOCSIS standards plus VM's long standing approach to contention ratios (that is, the "average" use assumed when matching customers to available bandwidth) don't work when so many people are doing upload intensive things (MS Teams, Zoom, Houseparty, all the home schooling etc).  Back in the good old days of 2019, relatively few office workers worked from home, kids (when not skiving) did the decent thing and went to school, and in the evening there were plenty of alternative ways to spend our time compared to in front of a computer, so a fixed amount of bandwidth could be spread across more homes without causing a problem.

Individually, most houses aren't attempting to use more than their contracted upload bandwidth (some are, just not many).  But the cumulative sum of all that upload activity is probably (guessing) around three times the assumed cumulative use, and even with some headroom in the original contention calcs, there's a bottleneck at the CMTS.  Short of booting some customers off the system, there's nothing VM could do to sort this out in any short term timescale.  Worth noting that other ISPs may also have been caught out by Covid, but their problems will more typically be on the downstream because of the way VDSL works, and even then Openreach appear to be more careful about contention as they are subject to closer regulatory attention.   

Whisper it, because I have a reputation to uphold, but I do have some rare sympathy for VM in terms of the problem occurring - nobody realistically expected this to happen with any probability that made it worth investing for beforehand.  Where I have no sympathy for them is their appalling handling of these problems, the deafening silence about the issue, the fact that their avoidably poor customer service has made things worse for customers, and that they then crimp out another inflation busting price rise.  

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tehwolf
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Re: Unusable upload speeds in working day

@Andruser I'll take your word for it - I know very little about DOCSIS.

in my (simple) head though, if they capped upload at 15mbit for everyone on more than that (an amount that should support 3 - 4 video calls going on at the same time in any given property) they'd surely have more to go around..?

accept that it's probably not that simple, and as i said, the sum total of my knowledge on DOCSIS could be written on the back of a postage stamp with a sharpie, so I'm just makin' it up 🙂

 

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Andruser
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Message 9 of 11
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Re: Unusable upload speeds in working day

Capping the upload at that level wouldn't help, because the "average" use would still be too high.  Say you're on a 1 Gbps contract with what, 50 Mbps upload...most people aren't coming close to that other than infrequent file uploads.  System stress will be just be the same because across the fleet of 1 Gbps connections most households will be doing the same sort of 1-3 video-call sessions as customers with slower speed tiers, so they'd be contributing as much to the problem before or after any 15 Mbps cap were imposed.  Rationing bandwidth with a cap might work if VM capped all connections to say 6 Mbps upload, but that of course means each household has to choose one decent quality video-conference stream, or two low quality ones (bearing in mind users often have no control over the settings).  Who gets the videocall capacity in a household with two working parent and two children?  How will that land with customers?  Can you see VM daring to do something that radical?  And as the over-utilisation varies from non-existent to extreme, you'd have different caps for every segment of the network creating immense confusion.

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tehwolf
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Re: Unusable upload speeds in working day

all valid points.

If VM has oversubscribed as heavily as you intimate (or estimate) then yes, it would have to be a severe cap to resolve it in the short term - the question, though, is would it be any worse than the current scenario in heavily overutilised areas? i mean, a lot of the most commonly used VC/collaboration platforms will automatically adjust bitrate of video streams according to the bandwidth available so for most people, it wouldn't need any manual configuration knowledge.. it would just translate to blocky video 🙂 

I don't care about it being a nightmare to manage though - that's their issue not the end-users - and comes down to the ability of their teams to manage and track change in their environment - that's all process and governance (i'd hope that they were better at this than customer relations, but i guess it's a pretty bold assumption nonetheless). 

it would go down like a cup of cold sick with some customers, no doubt - but i imagine that if there was an improvement in service for core WFH/School From Home, most reasonable people would be accepting of it.