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JohnEpton
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VOIP and Latency issues

For some months it has been virtuall impossible to make quality phone calls via my internet phone company. The call quality gradually deteriates to become un-usable after about 30 minutes. I can hear the caller but the caller hears missing words and gaps.

The VOIP provider asked me to check Latency which I have done several times and the average ping time is typically 150 ms. I have Rebooted the Router several times with no impact. Are there any changes I can make? Is it a VM problem? or is it just heavy traffic which no one can fix?

I am just about the ditch the VOIP supplier unless anyone can direct me to an alternative solution.

Thanks

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Beth_G
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Re: VOIP and Latency issues

Hi JohnEpton,

 

Welcome to the community - I'm sorry to hear that you've been having some issues with the quality of your landline calls.

 

I can see that there is currently a congestion issue in your area which is due to be fixed on the 24th June. This issue will affect your broadband service and cause intermittency in your connection until it gets resolved.

 

Please let me know how things are after Wednesday and if you need anything else from us.

 

We apologise for any inconvenience and frustration caused in the meantime.

 

Kindest regards.

 

Beth

 

 

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JohnEpton
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Re: VOIP and Latency issues

Beth

i checked the ping settings on 25th and I found the values much more stable than previously. The difference between the max and min values is significantly reduced. Previously max could be up to 450ms and now it is around 112ms. Average around 95ms.

not yet had a chance to evaluate it on a long duration VoIP call.

many thanks for your help.

John

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Andrew-G
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Re: VOIP and Latency issues

95 ms ping average?  Something's badly, badly wrong still.

Go to Thinkbroadband.com create an account (free) and setup a Broadband Quality Monitor.  That'll continuously monitor the connection and provide you with a chart of the latency and packet loss on your connection.  Ignoring the red bar where my modem was off overnight, it SHOULD look something like the chart below.  If it doesn't, then after 24 hours post a link (not an image) to a shared snapshot chart and we can take a look.  If you're still seeing average 95ms ping then it seems that either VM have not fixed the over-utilisation issue, or there's an additional underlying problem on your connection.

Note that ping is the one way time for a packet to travel, latency is a round trip, so in most scenarios latency is double the ping.  Based on that 95ms average, my initial suspicion is that VM have done NOTHING to fix the over utilisation, they've just issued a fault reference with a review date.  I could be wrong, let's see what your BQM shows.

My BQM:

My Broadband Ping - VM number 2

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JohnEpton
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Re: VOIP and Latency issues

Andruser

Thankyou for getting back to me and for recommending the BQM which I have been running over the weekend.

I got the impression that things had improved as my simple ping tests showed an improvement and the phone line quality had improved. However two calls today had very poor quality audio.

Please could you look at my BQM plots. I have two. One is testing the link (from London?) to my VOIP provider in the USA. This shows a solid green block running at 96ms with no blue, yellow or red in the plot. The other link is from London? to my router. It shows lots of yellow lines going off scale and at times, a blue plot at around 60ms. Overnight, the plot is very similar to yours. I will try to send a Shared Snapshot Chart.

Note that most of the time of the measurement there was virtually no traffic generated by my home network..

Thanks again, John

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/2d71a5e60e388595ac826a5bad763d7dfe86ca98-29-06-2020
https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/8fc79a366fa91cad5077673c2fd5a6b132ae4315-29-06-2020

 

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Andrew-G
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Re: VOIP and Latency issues

Very smart thinking to do a parallel plot from Thinbkbroadband to your VOIP provider!  I am impressed.

What the TBB-VOIP chart shows is what you'd expect from one "industrial" internet hub to that of a well connected data centre.  So little spiking, and a solid average latency that you'd expect for a transatlantic connection.

Then we come to your TBB BQM.......what a dismal dog's dinner.  And unfortunately it is very obvious that there is still a desperate over-utilisation issue in your area.  Either VM's work that allegedly finished last week hasn't fixed the problem, or perhaps they've done nothing, and had just scheduled a review date in the hope that the problem (or simply the complaints) will go away.  I would expect that if you can get a response from them now the "fix date" will have been punted a few months ahead, although whether that involves any intention of actual work being done to fix it, who knows.  Channel your inner sceptic, and you'll probably come to the right answer.

There's few good moves from here.  If VM won't invest to fix over-utilisation, they can't be forced to.  You can complain to the company, and when that produces no useful outcome escalate to the industry arbitration scheme CISAS, but they still can't force the company to invest if the company maintain there's no viable payback, or there are no spare resources to do the work.  CISAS could get you released without penalty if you wish to leave but are still in a fixed term contract, but you still have to use the VM complaints process first.  You can also complain to Ofcom, who do take notice on a glacial timescale, but don't get involved in resolving individual complaints.

The most effective fix for customers is usually to leave and take their business to a different ISP, but then you have to consider what Openreach or other options exist for you locally.  If you have to switch ISP, always check out their customer ratings on Trustpilot, and if possible consider the smaller ISPs that focus on customer service (eg those on the right hand side of this page).

 

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JohnEpton
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Re: VOIP and Latency issues - A feedback path to VM?

Andruser

Thanks for a rapid and helpful reply.

On a separate point, I am very new to the community and I am trying to figure out how it works. Some responders appear to be ‘linked’ to VM and appear to be able to get things done - like resolving my issues with email that I had recently. Can I assume that VM monitors the community and picks up and deals with issues , like high congestion or am I expecting too much?

John

 

 

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gary_dexter
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Re: VOIP and Latency issues - A feedback path to VM?


@JohnEpton wrote:

Andruser

Thanks for a rapid and helpful reply.

On a separate point, I am very new to the community and I am trying to figure out how it works. Some responders appear to be ‘linked’ to VM and appear to be able to get things done - like resolving my issues with email that I had recently. Can I assume that VM monitors the community and picks up and deals with issues , like high congestion or am I expecting too much?

John

 

 


A forum mod will look into things yes.

If there’s an existing known fault they will provide a reference number and estimated fix date. 


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Re: VOIP and Latency issues - A feedback path to VM?

Hello

Yes VM staff do monitor and read all posts, but could take a few days to get to the post.

Regards Mike

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Re: VOIP and Latency issues - A feedback path to VM?

Can I assume that VM monitors the community and picks up and deals with issues , like high congestion or am I expecting too much?

Four types of people trying to help in this forum:

1) Ordinary people, usually customers with time on their hands, but no affiliation to VM.  That's me, for example.

2) VIP users.  Longer standing helpers, who have been recognised for their helpfulness by VM, but don't work for the company, and by and large don't get any rewards.  They have a tiny bit more in the way of privileges round the forum (eg can see unapproved images, and approve them if they see fit, and have some better access to escalate issues).

3) Forum moderators.  A sort of "buggins turn" job that I'd guess is deeply unpopular with VM staff, and is not to help as such, just to keep order and ensure everybody abides by the rules.

4) VM staff.  Mostly the VM social media team, but some sales and technical staff are helping out at the moment.  

It's that last group who can do most to help, but in the case of "over-utilisation" there's little the forum staff can do.  They can say whether there's a fault reference and tell you what "fix date" has been set.  They either can't see, or aren't allowed to disclose if there's real work going on to fix the problem (nor if they know that nothing is being done).  Two years ago, this forum had very few over-utilisation complaints - a few, but not many at all.  Over the past six months they've become a much more significant number, and this predates Covid.  Put simply, somebody high up in VM made a decision last year to allow the sales team to sell whatever they could without worrying if there were the capacity available in the new customers locality.  As VM is a large bureaucratic corporation, no matter what the forum staff might like to be able to do, they have no control over the process that VM's asset management people use to decide if individual areas of over-utilisation deserve investment.  And as increasing capacity is slow, difficult, and expensive, VM generally don't bother unless there's a compelling "growth case", for example the opportunity to connect a large new housing development at the same time as upgrading a congested area.

Sometimes over-utilisation goes away of its own accord (invariably meaning that sufficient other customers have cancelled their contracts to free up capacity).  Sometimes VM invest to fix over-utilisation (not very often, I'm afraid).  But all too often VM won't do anything, and customers aren't leaving, so that the problem persists for years.  Sorry that's not what you want to hear.

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